Saturday, May 08, 2004

5/8 Notes

The Captain speaks Steve Yzerman, amazingly, wants to keep playing, though he believes there will be a lockout next year which could interfere with his plans. If there is no season, his age will likely keep him from playing, not the eye injury he suffered a week ago.
"I expect my eye to heal. I have some problems with vision but I expect that to (improve). We'll get a good idea in the next couple of weeks if or how much permanent damage there was to my eye. But it's not the type of injury that really affects your career, as opposed to damaging your knee."
His scratched cornea is apparently fine and the fractures to his orbital bone will heal too but he also has a small tear in his iris and some bleeding in the back of his eye. The tear affects how his pupil dilates and is making the eye sensitive to light. Even will all those problems, The Captain had planned on returning in the later rounds of the playoffs, had the Wings continued on. Needless to say, Yzerman has new thoughts about visors since his injury.
"I have three daughters that don't play hockey, but if I had a son and he was turning pro I'd want him to wear a visor. You don't need an eye injury. This is the first one I've had. The first thing that went through my mind was I don't want to lose my eyesight. I really believe guys should be wearing them. I wouldn't have said that a week ago."
He said he will wear a visor for the as long as he continues playing. He isn't too optimistic about the chances for a season next year.
"From my understanding, the ownership throughout the entire league is preparing for that as well. The time there was a contracted season and a full playoff (1995) it worked reasonably well. It's a no-brainer to think, at the very least, they're going to start the season in January."
He, like the rest of his fellow players, will not accept a salary cap and hopes for something like baseball's luxury tax. And, unlike Gary Bettman and the NHL owners, he is realistic about the success of the NHL in the US.
"In a lot of parts of the (United States) hockey isn't a popular sport and I don't know that it ever will be. Throwing a salary cap in there isn't going to all the sudden make the NHL more popular in San Antonio (Texas) or other parts of the country. I believe we're in some markets that aren't hockey markets."
However, while he may believe that now, he said he'll "probably be arguing the other way," when he has a desk job with the Wings in a couple years or so. I cannot believe that man. He still wants to play. Wow. Steve, you've got nothing to prove! It might just be time to let it go, as much as I don't want that to happen.... Click here to see a picture of The Captain and his eye from Friday's talk with the media. It isn't pretty. (from David Guralnick of the The Detroit News) Holland on some changes The Wings GM will meet with team owners Mike and Marion Illitch within the next two weeks about where to go with the coaching staff and the players. About the latter, Holland said "The group we had here didn't get it done. We have to make some changes." In the process of making those changes, the Wings will eliminate a considerable amount of their nearly-$80 million payroll. He will start negotiations with Kris Draper and Mathieu Schneider son in hopes of preventing them from going on the open market. Holland, while appreciative of the coaches' job in the regular season, acknowledged that they fell short of the ultimate goal.
"The coaching staff did a great job. I have to meet with the owners to decide what direction we're going. I thought they did a great job considering all the injuries, winning the President's Trophy. But at the same time, did we get the desired result? No, we did not."
He also said "If they are back, there are some things they need to do better, but certainly there is a chance they won't be back." Dave Lewis defended himself and rightfully said he improved but admitted that he his job is likely in jeopardy.
"I know I'm a better coach than I was two years ago, or at the beginning of the season. I've been proactive. If things didn't work, I made changes. "My job was to win the Stanley Cup, our job as a team was to win, and we didn't get it done. It's a result oriented business."
I'm mixed in my feelings about Lewis. He did a great job in the regular season, for sure, but something was missing in the playoffs. I really felt he didn't learn his lessons and stick with what was working then but kept reverting back to what had worked during the season. I'm not sure if the players are taking him seriously any more and it may be better for all parties concerned if there is a parting of ways. The coaches that are available, though, aren't much more successful in the playoffs than Lewis. ... Because the Wings will not pick up his $6.5 million option, Brendan Shanahan will not be back unless they offer him a lesser, one-year deal and he takes it. Shanny said
"It doesn't make any sense to comment on that until I talk to (management). If they choose to bring me back, great, but if not, I have no regrets about coming here and will take away a lot of great memories."
I'm reluctant to let Shanny go, even though he was a big disappointment in the playoffs. He has been a Red Wing for roughly the time I've been a Wings fan (eight years) and I'd really hate to see him go. ... Chris Chelios wants to be back next season but the Wings may not be interested. (Above from mlive (here and here) and DetNews) ... I will be a call-in guest on's "Hockey Insider" at around 1:00 ET, if you want to listen in. It's hosted by Rick Morris and Joe Lindway and I've been on it twice already this year. If it weren't the last show of the season, I'd recommend that you listen to it every Saturday at 12:00 ET. Be sure to listen to it next year, though, if you don't already. UPDATE: The time has just been changed from 1:00 ET to about 1:40 ET.


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