Red Wings Sundqvist: Yzerman is a “terrifying kind”

Oscar Sundqvist has found making the adjustment to play for the Detroit Red Wings a smooth transition. The veteran striker was acquired in last season’s NHL trade deadline from the St. Louis Blues.

Adapting to Steve Laserman as its general manager, well, let’s just say this is still a work in progress.

“It’s kind of intimidating,” Sundqvist said of the presence that Yzerman carries around the Little Caesars Arena.

Speaking to Andy Strickland and former NHL strongman Cam Janssen on the Cam & Strick Podcast, Sundqvist has been very open about discussing how he has adapted to life as a Red Wings player. Getting used to having a Detroit legend as its president is an ongoing process.

“I was still nervous talking to him at the end of the season (during exit interviews),” said Sundqvist. “I was so scared. It’s kind of nerve-wracking. People are scared when he gets in. But I think that’s the way GM should be.

“He has very high expectations for everyone. You can sense that he is a successful general manager. How he talks to you about his plans. He was very straight with me. He was up front with me.”

“You can see that he has goals for what he wants. He has a plan and he follows it and he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.”

Sundqvist is a big supporter of the leader

Sundqvist spoke fondly of a number of his Detroit teammates.

“(Captain Dylan) Larkin, I love him,” said Sundqvist. “Then you have (Tyler) Bertozzi, who is a little soccer player, but he’s also great. He’s a crazy boy.”

Sundqvist reserved special praise for defender Moritz Ceder, Calder Cup winner as the NHL’s Best Rookie.

“This man is like an animal,” Sundqvist said of Seder. “Being that young and playing the way he does – I’ve seen many times in my short time there, people trying to hit him when he’s not familiar with the guy and it looks like he’s hitting a brick wall. That surprised me the most. You can’t knock him down.”

“He and (Lucas) Raymond are kind of goofballs making fun of each other. You can see how much confidence they have.”

As a team, the 2018-19 Stanley Cup winner with the Blues believes the Red Wings are heading in the right direction.

“There are a lot of talented young players,” said Sundqvist. “It’s just learning to play the right way and keep it through a whole season.”

Successful knee surgery

After the 2021-22 NHL season ended, Sundqvist underwent knee surgery to clean up some residue from the ACL sugar he had a year ago.

“The graft they made of the patellar tendon was very thick, so it hit the bone and couldn’t straighten out,” Sundqvist explained. “They just scraped the bone and found a cyst.”

Eating in Motor City

It didn’t take long for Detroit to beat Sundqvist. That old saying about the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? This appears to be true.

“What really surprised me were the really good restaurants,” Sundqvist said of Detroit. “Downtown, you have four or five really great restaurants. Royal Oak, where I’ve stayed, there are seven other great restaurants.

“Many restaurants are very good.”

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