| Detroit Free Press
Video: Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman on challenges of 2021 season
Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman on challenges of COVID-19 shortened 2021 season. Dec. 22, 2020.
Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Red Wings haven’t decided how to give the occasion the recognition it deserves, but the plan is to have a captain again for the first time in nearly three years.
General manager Steve Yzerman, whose own naming to the captaincy was done at a news conference, wants somebody — think Dylan Larkin — to wear the “C” during the pandemic-shortened 56-game season. The Wings have relied exclusively on alternate captains since Henrik Zetterberg retired in September 2018.
“We haven’t figured out how roll that out, but our plan hasn’t changed,” Yzerman said.
That was one of the many subjects Yzerman discussed during a half-hour Zoom meeting with media Tuesday afternoon, two days after the NHL formally announced plans for a 56-game season.
Here are the highlights.
European to Christmas Vacation
The Wings loaned multiple players to European teams, and some, like Filip Zadina and Michael Rasmussen, already have returned to Detroit. Yzerman said Gustav Lindstrom and Mathias Brome will be recalled. Moritz Seider and Joe Veleno are not eligible to be recalled from their Swedish Hockey League teams until their seasons are over. Players in the metro Detroit area have been skating at Little Caesars Arena since the start of December.
The Wings can officially begin training camp on Dec. 31.
The season is slated to start Jan. 13. The NHL has yet to release a schedule, but the Wings will play eight games against each of the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning in the temporarily realigned Central Division.
Yzerman has seen a preview of the schedule and said there will be 10 games in 18 days in January. That should get guys into game shape quickly, given there won’t be any exhibition games.
With no fans in the stands — which not only affects ticket sales but also in-arena concessions — the NHL is looking at allowing advertising on players’ uniforms to offset financial losses.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to see if we can’t generate revenue from it,” Yzerman said. “It’s the norm outside of North America.”
Y go blue
Yzerman sported a Red Wings “Michigan college night” hat that had a block M on the bill. “It’s about as close I could get to ever getting accepted at University of Michigan,” Yzerman joked.
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.