Thursday, August 31, 2006

Steve Yzerman

Everyone has their heroes in sports, I have mine. I follow football, tennis & ice hockey. One of my heroes & favourites in hockey is the now retired former long-time serving captain of the Detroit Redwings - Steve Yzerman. At the age of 40, Yzerman decided to finally hang up his skates as age & injuries take their toll on the man, a leader on ice who lead his NHL team the Redwings to Stanley Cup glory in 2002, while basically playing on one leg. He had to have surgery on the other after the playoffs. Joining Detroit in 1983, he played his entire professional career (1983 to 2006) for the Red Wings, leading the team to three Stanley Cup championships (1997, 1998 and 2002). At the age of 21, Yzerman was named captain of the Red Wings for the 1986-87 season, and continuously served as captain until his retirement nearly two decades later. Yzerman retired as the longest-serving captain of any team in NHL history.

Steve Yzerman was born in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada but later moved with his family to Nepean (Ottawa), Ontario, where he grew up. He played junior hockey with the Petersborough Petes of the OHL. Yzerman won numerous awards during his career, including the Lester B. Pearson Award in 1989, the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1998, the Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward in 2000, and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance in 2003. He is a nine-time NHL All-Star, a First Team All-Star in 2000, and a member of the All-Rookie Team in 1984. He was also an integral part of the Olympic gold-winning Canadian Men's Hockey team of 2002. On July 3, 2006, Yzerman retired, finishing his career ranked as the sixth all-time leading scorer in NHL history. Despite the retirement, Detroit management wants Yzerman to remain in the organization, after a year off if he so wants to. His jersey number 19, will be retired in January 2007, in a ceremony held before a game against the Anaheim Ducks. He will be missed on the ice.

Highlights from his career

In 1995, Yzerman led Detroit to its first Stanley Cup finals series since 1966, but were swept by the New Jersey Devils. In 1996, Detroit finished with an NHL record 62 regular season wins but lost in the Conference finals to the Colorado Avalanche. In 1997, Detroit won its first Stanley Cup in 42 years by sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers. The following year Detroit repeated the feat, sweeping the Washington Capitals. Yzerman earned the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP. He handed the Cup to Vladimir Konstantinov, who had been injured severely in a car accident just six days after the Cup victory in 1997. On November 26, 1999, Yzerman became the eleventh player in NHL history to score 600 goals. In 2000, he made the NHL All-Star First Team and won the Frank J. Selke trophy. In 2001-02, Yzerman re-aggravated a knee injury, forcing him to miss 30 regular season games.[citation needed] However, he led Detroit to its 3rd Stanley Cup in six years--the 10th in franchise history. He was also part of the Canadian Olympic Men's hockey team that beat the USA 5-2 in Salt Lake City at the 2002 Olympics, winning gold for the first time in 50 years.

Song for the day - "On Walks The Night" - JESSE COOK


Post a Comment

<< Home