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Steve Yzerman is returning to Hockeytown to be the Red Wings' GM

Steve Yzerman
Gabe Taviano
FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg
Former Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman skating on the ice

"The Captain" is coming back home. Steve Yzerman is going to be the next General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Detroit Red Wings. 

The former captain led the Wings to three Stanley Cup championships in his 20 years wearing the "C" on his jersey. 

Yzerman says there is a lot of work to be done, starting with the NHL draft this summer.

"But I’m confident if we do things well, that everyone will be pleased and we will get the results we are expecting," Yzerman said. 

Yzerman says he hopes fans will be patient as the team is still rebuilding.

"It’s imperative that we continue to develop and provide these young kids the environment and the opportunity to fulfill their potential. I’m confident we will do that," he said. 

Ken Holland, who Yzerman is replacing as GM, served in the role for 22 years and was with the team for four Stanley Cup victories in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008. 

Yzerman was most recently the General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, which tied the regular season record of 62 wins. That record was set by Yzerman and the 1996 Red Wings. 

"I'm still really disappointed that we didn't win a championship [in Tampa Bay]. With the pieces we started with and the players we had at the end, I just really thought we would win a Cup there," he said. 

Yzerman retired as a player in 2006 and spent four years in the Red Wings' front office learning from Holland and Mike Babcock, who was the head coach of the Wings at the time and currently coaches the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Fans had long speculated about Yzerman's return, but that speculation intensified when he announced he was stepping down as the GM in Tampa with one year still on his contract last summer. But Yzerman insists he hadn't planned to take the GM job in Detroit at that time. 

"My goal when I went to Tampa nine years ago was to win a Stanley Cup... I really wasn't thinking beyond that," he said. 

The Lightning were swept in the first round of this year's Stanley Cup playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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