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No, Red Wings Yzerman Isn’t a Michigan Man

Four former Wolverines on Detroit roster



Compher, DeBrincat
J.T. Compher and Alex DeBrincat are among the many players with Michigan connections on the Red Wings roster.

The term Michigan Man is one that’s thrown around with frequency in certain local sporting circles, but it isn’t a cause that means much to Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman.

On paper, the Red Wings are going big for Michigan men. The addition of unrestricted free agent center Tyler Motte gives the Red Wings four former Michigan Wolverines on the roster. All four of them – Motte, center J.T. Compher, center Andrew Copp and team captain Dylan Larkin – were teammates on the 2014-15 Wolverines squad.


Yzerman thinks so. In fact, he’s quite certain of it.

“We don’t care where the players are from,” Yzerman said. He only cares that the players are good.

“That they’re from the area is nice, but most importantly, we’re trying to build a good team on the ice,” Yzerman said.

Michigan A Hockey Hotbed

Beyond this quartet od ex-Wolverines,  the Red Wings were also signing UFA forward Sheldon Dries, who’s from the Detroit suburb of Macomb. Then there are holders such as defenseman Jeff Petry (Ann Arbor) and winger Alex DeBrincat (Farmington).

Yzerman is quick to point out that the reason he brought these players into the fold was entirely about their hockey skills. It has nothing to do with what it says on their birth certificates.

Still, even if it wasn’t foremost in his mind as he was adding these players, Yzerman does recognize that by onboarding so many locals, it certainly is proving beneficial to the marketing of the club.

“I think it’s good,” Yzerman acknowledged. “I think it’s good for our market.”

The abundance of Michigan players on the roster of Michigan’s NHL team also speaks well to the product on the ice at all levels of the game in the state.

“It shows the strength of hockey in the state of Michigan and in the Detroit area that these young players are coming up and in playing in the NHL, and I think there’s a little bit of an added bonus for us.,” Yzerman said.