Pat Verbeek. (Photo courtesy of NHL.com)

Red Wings hire Wyoming native as assistant GM

Hailed as “one of the brightest minds and hardest workers in the game,” Wyoming native Pat Verbeek has been hired as assistant general manager for the Detroit Red Wings.

Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman made the announcement on Monday, and said Verbeek will serve alongside current Assistant General Manager Ryan Martin.  Yzerman said Verbeek will focus on player personnel decisions.

“I’m very excited to return to the Red Wings,” said Verbeek in a media release. “I want to thank the Ilitch family, Jimmy Devellano, Ken Holland and Steve Yzerman for giving me a start in scouting after my playing career and providing a strong foundation for my managerial career. I’d also like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning for nine tremendous years. I believe there is an exciting young core here in Detroit, and I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the hockey operations staff to get this team back into contention.”

As a player, Verbeek logged 1,063 points and 2,905 penalty minutes over a 1,424-game NHL career, which was spent with the New Jersey Devils (1982-89), Hartford Whalers (1989-95), New York Rangers (1994-96), Dallas Stars (1996-99; 01-02) and Red Wings (1999-01). He also made two appearances at the NHL All-Star Game, has won a gold and silver medal for Canada at the IIHF World Championship, and earned a  Stanley Cup championship with Dallas in 1999.

The 54-year-old’s post-playing career has spanned 13 years, including four seasons as a professional scout for the Red Wings from 2006-2010. For the last seven season, Verbeek has served as assistant general manager and director of player personnel for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Pat Verbeek is one of the brightest minds and hardest workers in the game and has been a trusted and valued resource to me throughout my management career,” said Yzerman. “He played a pivotal role in helping build the Lightning into a Stanley Cup contender throughout his tenure with the organization. I’m very excited to have Pat on board in Detroit and look forward to continuing to work alongside him.”