How Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman met Tigers president Scott Harris

Detroit Free Press

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Steve Yzerman’s connection to Scott Harris, the new president of baseball operations for the Detroit Tigers, began thanks to a former teammate.

It was Chris Chelios who introduced Yzerman and Harris, who now are in charge, respectively, of building the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. Yzerman was part of Chris Ilitch’s recruiting team in bringing Harris to Detroit.

“I know of him very well in following his time with the Cubs,” Yzerman said Wednesday. “Cheli took me to a game in Chicago and he knew the Cubs staff very well. It was a few years ago now. Got a chance to sit with Scott and the management team of the Cubs. That was my initial meeting with them, during a game, and picked their brains. They were very gracious and polite to me in bothering them during the middle of a game. That was my first meeting.”

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The two sat down again when Harris, 34, was being recruited to join the Ilitch organization.

“We got a chance to meet last week when Scott was in town and talk a little bit about Detroit, about the different companies, about the Red Wings, about philosophies on building a team,” Yzerman said. “I picked his brain a little bit. I really enjoyed the meeting and look forward to in the future picking his brain more. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge. He’s significantly younger than I am, but tremendous résumé and a tremendous education and background, not only scholastically but in the business of baseball and the business of pro sports. Really look forward to exchanging ideas from learning and from watching Scott lead the Tigers forward.”

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Her latest book, On the Clock: Detroit Red Wings: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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