Report linking Yzerman with Rangers job casts doubt about him returning to Red Wings

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Steve Yzerman has been linked to possibly returning to Detroit after announcing he planned to step down from his role as Tampa Bay general manager.

Detroit — Steve Yzerman an automatic choice to return to the Red Wings?

Well, hold on for a bit.

The New York Post reported Friday Yzerman would be “amenable” to talking with the New York Rangers about their upcoming vacancy for the team president position.

Hall of Famer Glen Sather, the current Rangers’ president, is retiring.

Sather would like to have his successor in place by the start of free agency on July 1.

Yzerman left his role in Tampa Bay as general manager before this season began, and became a consultant for the Lightning.

The Lightning — whose roster Yzerman constructed — will head into the playoffs next week with the league’s best record (61-16-4). If the Lightning wins their season finale Saturday, Tampa would tie the NHL record for most victories in a season (62), held by the Red Wings in 1995-96.

Yzerman, who had a Hall of Fame playing career with the Wings and began his front office career in the organization, has long been considered the likely successor to general manager Ken Holland.

But Wings’ ownership gave Holland, 63, a two-year contract at the end of last season — and Holland has shown no inclination to retire or move into a advisory role, but rather continue rebuilding the Wings’ roster.

This week, Holland extended coach Jeff Blashill’s contract for two years, one year beyond Holland’s contract is to conclude.

Former Rangers goalie and broadcaster John Davidson is also considered a favorite to replace Sather.

Davidson is currently president of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and previously worked in the same capacity with the St. Louis Blues.

Davidson remains popular in New York and his strong ties to the Rangers organization would appear to make him a natural fit — much like Yzerman with the Wings.

Twitter: @tkulfan