One thing about summer is that it allows for a different perspective on the game of hockey than when we are fully immersed after October rolls around. With that in mind, I give you five things I have learned or relearned or merely observed while "getting away from the game" over the summer:
Add in this week's unique Research, Development and Orientation Camp headed up by
This continues Shanahan's involvement in the big picture that began in 2005 during the lockout when
Meanwhile, Yzerman has swiftly moved into his role as the new GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Like his former Red Wings teammate Shanahan, Yzerman's current rise to prominence in reshaping an NHL franchise was foreshadowed. Most recently, he was GM of Team Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2010 Olympics. In talking with Yzerman earlier this summer, he credited his three-year stint with Hockey Canada leading up to the Olympics as vital to his growth and development as a manager. That both Yzerman and Shanahan have arrived as top young executives in the game via Detroit in such a short period of time tells me one thing: they were paying close attention to the Red Wings' operation long before they hung up their skates.
The other part of the formula mixes in younger players who have served long apprenticeships overseas or in the AHL. To that end, the Red Wings added forward
The success of the Chicago Blackhawks last season and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008-09 has a lot to do with the prevailing notion that winning it all is possible with a young core.
Say what you will about another Atlanta Thrashers' expat:
I'm not sure I have that same sense in Kovalchuk's situation. Grossman appears to be the tail wagging the proverbial dog. Is this quest mostly about money or winning?