John Davidson

What Steve Yzerman returning to Red Wings means for the Rangers

The Red Wings have announced a press conference for later today including former Detroit captain Steve Yzerman.

Yzerman is expected to be named GM of the Red Wings while current GM Ken Holland is expected to remain as SVP. (Gord Miller)

Yzerman was believed to have been of interest to the Rangers to replace Glen Sather as President but it’s not yet known if the Ranger ever spoke with him.

Larry Brooks writes that Yzerman informed the Rangers recently that he had “essentially committed to another endeavor.” (NY Post)

Adam Rotter: Yzerman always seemed like a long-shot for the Rangers. The expectation was always that if he was leaving the team he built it in Tampa it was because he wanted to return full-time to his family in Detroit. That is what happened and Yzerman is no longer, even as a remote possibility, an option for the Rangers.

So what does this mean for the Rangers search for a new President? Well, John Davidson remains the top choice. The Rangers will likely have to wait until after Columbus’ season ends to speak with him and he may not even be able to join until after July 1. Davidson has the ties to the organization and James Dolan and it has always seemed to make sense that he would one day run the Rangers. I still think Jim Schoenfeld makes a lot of sense as well. He’s already in the organization and certainly on board with the rebuild and path the Rangers have set out on.

John Davidson Rangers

Who the contenders to replace Glen Sather as President may be (Updates)

4/6/19 | Nick Kypreos says on Hockey Night in Canada that Messier doesn’t have the experience and that while Ron Francis’ name has been mentioned it likely comes down to Yzerman or Davidson.

Kypreos says that Davidson would be the “safer choice” for Dolan.

4/5/19  | 3:47PM: Steve Yzerman is reportedly willing to consider the Rangers opportunity though it isn’t known if the Rangers have requested permission from Tampa to speak with him or if the Rangers would automatically offer him the position if discussed. (NY Post)

Larry Brooks writes that neither Mark Messier or Wayne Gretzky are considered to be candidates but Brian Leetch, Dave Maloney and Brad Richards could “merit consideration” to replace Sather. (NY Post)

9:25AM: On TSN’s Insider Trading, Bob McKenzie said that the most obvious candidate to replace Glen Sather is Blue Jackets President John Davidson. (TSN)

McKenzie said that Davidson’s time as President in St. Louis and Columbus, along with his connections to the Rangers, make him “the most obvious and maybe leading candidate.” (TSN)

He adds that Steve Yzerman is another “eminently qualified individual’ but that many believe he could end up in Detroit when his contract with Tampa expires this season. (TSN)

On Hockey Central, John Shannon said that “at the top of the list to replace Mr. Sather would be Mark Messier. Messier has always wanted to return to the organization and this could be an opportunity for that. The other one that has some ties to NY is John Davidson. Davidson has a great many ties to Madison Square Garden. The other is Steve Yzerman, rumored to be going back to Detroit, rumored with Seattle and the Rangers will obviously kick the can on Yzerman as well.”

In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that if Davidson wants to return to the Rangers than he is the “leading contender.”

Brooks writes that while the assumption is that Steve Yzerman will return to the Red Wings, the Rangers need to find out if he has interest in coming to the Rangers. (NY Post)

Others mentioned by Brooks include former Canucks GM Mike Gillis, former Kings GM Dean Lombardi as well as Brian Leetch and Dave Maloney. (NY Post)

Jeff Gorton will remain as GM of the Rangers.

Adam Rotter: Yzerman, to me, is a long shot. He’s done great things in Tampa and is definitely qualified but the Rangers have set out on a certain path and while Yzerman may feel the same way about rebuilding, how he goes about it, and who he goes about it with, would likely lead to hirings, firings and trades that would sort of reset the reset. Going to Detroit and ultimately succeeding Ken Holland is the right move for Yzerman. Had Sather decided to step away last year, before all the trades and hiring of David Quinn, someone like Yzerman would make sense since he could direct everything from the top-down.

John Davidson would fit more in line with what the Rangers are doing and likely allow Jeff Gorton to continue directing the day to day operations. That is how Davidson has done things in St. Louis and Columbus and while he definitely has some say in how things go, day to day is run by the GM. I don’t think the Rangers, or James Dolan and Glen Sather, are looking to radically change the path they are on and are probably looking for a President to keep them on this track. JD would do that but if it’s not him, I think Jim Schoenfeld would fit right in.