If there ever was a personification of what someone meant when they referred to, "Detroit Red Wings hockey," Stevie Y is it.
Upon his retirement in 2006, the front-office job he had hoped for was immediately given to him.
As the Wings VP of Operations, he was largely, and by his own estimation, supposed to be assuming an apprenticeship position. The management team he was joining could probably teach every other front office in the league a thing or two about running a hockey team.
Still, Yzerman made his mark early in his management career. He was the one responsible for convincing GM Holland that signing Pavel Datsyuk to a seven-year, $47 million contract in 2007 was a steal.
This season, Yzerman faced the biggest challenge of his post-playing career as GM of the 2010 Canadian Olympic team. In typical Stevie Y fashion, he settled for the only outcome he found acceptable, a gold medal win in February.
In early April, rumors popped up that the Tampa Bay Lightning were in the market for a new GM, and Yzerman was the man they wanted.
Things got a bit more serious once it was announced Red Wings owner Mike Illitch had given the Lightning permission to talk to Yzerman about the opportunity.
Yzerman is ready and very much willing to assume a GM position in the NHL.
However, with the impending long-term extensions of Holland and Assistant GM Jim Nill, it seems quite clear that this opportunity is not going to develop with the Red Wings.
As the most beloved player in Detroit Red Wings history and a valuable member of the Wings' current brain trust, losing Yzerman will be a tough thing for the organization to stomach.
Still, Yzerman's readiness and desire to lead an NHL team from the GM's chair seems to suggest his flight from the Red Wings' nest is forthcoming.