NHL Franchise Notes: Yzerman Cautiously Optimistic In New Role
ESPN.com's Emily Kaplan notes the arrival of Red Wings Exec VP & GM Steve Yzerman "brought cautious optimism that the rebuild will now accelerate." Yzerman has "promised to restore a winning culture but has been overly cautious in assigning a timeline." He said, "I don't know if it will take one, two or five years." In fact, Kaplan notes he "evades sharing as many details as possible." He "won't give any clues on what he'd like his team's identity to be ... nor any particulars on how he would categorize" the '19-20 season as a "success." It is almost as if Yzerman is "using this season to suss out what he has, before putting his signature stamp on things." The "worst of the cap issues have passed," and next summer, the team "could have upward" of $38M to spend (ESPN.com, 10/18).
BACK IN BLACK: In Tampa, Diana Nearhos noted the Lightning's black jerseys are back, "starting with Saturday’s game" against the Avalanche. The Lightning will "wear their alternate 'disrupt the night' jerseys for all home weekend games this season." The team "debuted the jerseys last February to a mixed response." The base of the jersey is "simple, no trim or striping, and the gradient effect meant to evoke Lightning static was hard to see from far away." But the gray-trimmed black numbers were also "hard to read against the black jerseys on TV" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/14).
SHOT CALLER: SPORTSNET.ca's Elliotte Friedman noted Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk has "halted the search for a President of Hockey Operations until at least the end of the season." What is uncertain is if the search "will continue, or if GM Pierre Dorion's work convinces Melnyk that no new hire is necessary" (SPORTSNET.ca, 10/16).