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Red Wings GM Admits to Feeling Pressure

Yzerman realizes that expectations on are the rise for his team



Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings GM
Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman is readily admitting that he's feeling pressure to start showing more tangible results from his rebuild.

It was a blunt admission and frankly, perhaps even a little bit surprising to hear coming from such a determined and focused competitor as Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman.

Pressure? Sure, he’s feeling it.

“Yeah, a little bit, honestly,” Yzerman was admitting. “You know, we want, our fan base wants to win. We came close last year to making the playoffs.”

At the same time, Yzerman recognizes that in the world of pro sports, close doesn’t really count for much in the long run. Coming close to winning the Stanley Cup isn’t a comfort to the Edmonton Oilers.

Likewise, coming close to being a playoff team isn’t something that is resulting in sense of accomplishment for the Red Wings.

All it’s served to do is to increase the level of expectations among Red Wings fans. And it’s done so without the accompanying rewards of actually getting to play playoff hockey. That’s something the Detroit franchise hasn’t done since the 2015-16 NHL season.

“Expectations are raised for some individuals, for our team,” Yzerman acknowledged. “We had 91 points, 41 wins. That’s tough to do and (we) still (didn’t) make the playoffs.

“We’re probably going to have to get more than 91 points next year to get in. That’ll be a challenge for us.”

Red Wings Yzerman Won’t Change Plan

Yzerman is vowing two things about his plan for rebuilding the Red Wings back to what they were when he was a player – into an NHL power.

Firstly, he’ll never refer to his work as the Yzer-plan.

“Yeah, I really don’t use that term,” he said.

Secondly, short-term ups and downs will never result in him making alterations to his long-term plan for the team.

“Pressure, I guess whatever you want to call it, it’s not going to change what I’m trying to do,” Yzerman said. “It’s the right way to do it. And it’s taken some time. And I can’t tell you it’s five years, seven years, 10 years.

“I’m just gonna stick with it here. And we’ll keep going. But we would all love to win – me, everyone, our fan base.

“I understand.”