Steve Yzerman

Steve Yzerman

Infobox Ice Hockey Player

image_size = 100px
position = Center
played_for = Detroit Red Wings
shot = Right
height_ft = 5
height_in = 11
weight_lb = 185
nationality = Canada
nationality_2 = United States of America
birth_date = birth date and age|1965|05|9
birth_place = Cranbrook, BC, CAN
draft = 4th overall
draft_year = 1983
draft_team = Detroit Red Wings
career_start = 1983
career_end = 2006
halloffame =

Stephen Gregory Yzerman [ [ ESPN - Steve Yzerman Stats, News, Photos - Detroit Red Wings ] ] IPAEng|ˈaɪzɚmən (born May 9, 1965, in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada) is a retired Canadian professional hockey player who played his entire National Hockey League career with the Detroit Red Wings. Yzerman led the Wings to three Stanley Cup championships (1997, 1998 and 2002). Prior to the 1986-87 season at the age of 21, Yzerman was named captain of the Red Wings and continuously served as captain until his retirement two decades later. Yzerman retired as the longest-serving captain of any team in North American major league sports history. Once voted to be the most popular athlete in Detroit sports history, locals often simply refer to Yzerman as "The Captain."

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 was a ten-time NHL All-Star, a First Team All-Star in 2000, and a member of the All-Rookie Team in 1984.

On July 3, 2006, Yzerman officially retired, finishing his career ranked as the sixth all-time leading scorer in NHL history and on September 25, 2006 was named as a team vice president.cite web |title=Red Wings bring Yzerman into front office| url= | accessdate=2006-09-25] His jersey number, 19, was officially retired on January 2, 2007 during a pre-game ceremony at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

He currently serves as Vice President/Alternate Governor of the Red Wings, having been immediately added to the front office upon his retirement.

Playing career

Yzerman was born in Cranbrook, British Columbia, but grew up in Nepean, Ontario (a suburb of Ottawa, now a district in that city) where he attended Bell High School and played for his hometown Nepean Raiders Junior A hockey team. After one season with the Raiders, Yzerman was drafted by the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, and played center for the Petes from 1981 to 1983.

The 1983 NHL Entry Draft was the first for Mike and Marian Ilitch, who purchased the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 1982. Looking to inject some excitement into a once-proud franchise, Jim Devellano, the Red Wings' then-general manager, wanted to draft Pat LaFontaine, who grew up outside Detroit and played his junior hockey in the area. However, when LaFontaine was taken 3rd overall by the New York Islanders, Devellano settled on Yzerman, drafting him fourth overall.

Standing 5 foot 11 inches and weighing just 160 pounds, the Red Wings were prepared to send him back to Peterborough for another year, but "after one (training camp) session, you knew he was a tremendous hockey player," said Ken Holland, the current Red Wings general manager who was a minor league goaltender for the Wings during Yzerman's rookie training camp. [Free Press staff, "The Captain: 22 Seasons, 3 Cups, 1 Team," page 15. Detroit Free Press, 2006] Yzerman tallied 39 goals and 87 points in his rookie season, and finished 2nd in Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) voting. [Shelley Lazarus, "Hockeytown Hero: The Steve Yzerman Story." appendix pages xiii and xv. Proctor Publications, 2000] That season, Yzerman also became the youngest player in an all-star game at the age of 18. [cite web |url= |title=Never again? Liut pitched an All-Star shutout |accessdate=2008-08-11]

On October 7, 1986 [cite book|title= The Captain |author = Detroit Free Press |publisher= Detroit Free Press |year= 2006 |isbn= 978-1572439351 |pages=pp. 25 |chapter=Captain, My Captain |quote=Red Wings coach Jacques Demers named Steve Yzerman team captain on October 7, 1986. ] , Jacques Demers, who was the Red Wings coach at the time, named Yzerman captain of the team, making him the youngest captain in the team's history. Demers said he "wanted a guy with the Red Wings crest tattooed on his chest." [, [ Wings Of
] The next season, Yzerman led the Wings to their first division title in 23 years.

During the 1988-89 season Yzerman recorded 155 points (65 goals/90 assists), a total that only Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux have surpassed. Yzerman finished third in regular season scoring behind Lemieux and Gretzky and won the Lester B. Pearson Award (MVP as voted by the NHLPA), and was a finalist for the Hart Trophy (MVP as voted by the NHL writers).

When Scotty Bowman took over as coach in 1993, Yzerman initially chafed under Bowman's stern coaching style. Bowman, for his part, felt that Yzerman wasn't concentrating enough on defense; Bowman had long expected his forwards to be good back-checkers as well. Relations between the two became so strained that at one point, the Red Wings seriously considered trading him to the Ottawa Senators. However, Yzerman gradually became a better defender, and is now considered one of the best two-way forwards in the history of the game. [cite book |last=Duhatschek |first=Eric et al. |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Hockey Chronicles |year=2001 |publisher=Checkmark Books |location=New York City |isbn=0816046972]

In 1995, Yzerman led Detroit to its first Stanley Cup finals series since 1966, but the Red Wings were swept by the New Jersey Devils. In 1996, Detroit finished with an NHL-record 62 regular season wins, but lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Colorado Avalanche. Yzerman scored perhaps the most memorable goal of his career in the 1996 playoffs, beating St. Louis Blues goalie Jon Casey with a slap shot from the blue line to win the Western Conference Semifinals in double overtime of Game 7.

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 first to wheelchair-bound Vladimir Konstantinov, who had been severely injured in a car accident just six days after the Cup victory in 1997.

On November 26, 1999, Yzerman became the 11th 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. [The Detroit Red Wings, "The Detroit Red Wings 2005-06 Media Guide", page 86, The Detroit Blue Wings, 2005] Yet, he still finished sixth in team scoring and led Detroit to its 3rd Stanley Cup in six years—the 10th in franchise history.

That summer, Yzerman underwent a knee realignment surgery known as an osteotomy, a procedure usually reserved for the elderly. He missed the first 66 games of the 2002-03 season, but got an assist in his first game back on February 27, 2003.

On May 1, 2004, Yzerman was hit in the eye by a deflected slapshot from the stick of teammate Matthieu Schneider in a playoff game against the Calgary Flames, breaking his orbital bone and scratching his cornea. He underwent eye surgery following the incident, but was sidelined for the rest of the 2004 post-season. He returned in the 2005-06 season, following the lockout, wearing a face shield.

On August 2, 2005, Yzerman signed a one-year deal. On March 31, 2006 he scored his 691st NHL career goal, passing Mario Lemieux for 8th place all-time. [

cite news
author =
title = Yzerman passes Lemieux on goals list
url =
publisher = CBC
date = 2006-03-31
accessdate = 2006-08-06
] He scored his final NHL goal, the 692nd of his career, on April 3, 2006, in a game against the Calgary Flames.On July 3, 2006, Yzerman announced his retirement. Shortly afterwards "Sports Illustrated" published a special commemorative edition dedicated to Yzerman entitled "Yzerman: A Salute to Stevie Y" which featured Yzerman's first appearance on the cover of "Sports Illustrated".

Yzerman currently holds the NHL record (19 seasons/20 years) as the longest serving captain of a single team. [Free Press staff, "The Captain: 22 Seasons, 3 Cups, 1 Team.", page 11. Detroit Free Press, 2006] In addition to being eighth all-time in regular-season goals and sixth in overall scoring, Yzerman finished his career seventh all-time in regular season assists, and eighth in all-time playoff scoring. He ranks second in nearly every significant offensive category in Red Wings history behind Gordie Howe except assists; Yzerman has 1,063 assists to Howe's 1,020. Only Howe and Alex Delvecchio played more games as a Red Wing.

On September 25, 2006, the Red Wings named Yzerman a team vice president and alternate governor. He is now a key assistant in the team's hockey operations. On January 2, 2007, the Red Wings retired Yzerman's jersey number, 19, before a game against the Anaheim Ducks. As an additional honor the captain's "C" was added to the corner of his banner to forever commemorate him as "The Captain". The official retirement ceremony was hosted by Yzerman's long-time friend, former NHL goalie and ESPN hockey analyst Darren Pang and featured such Red Wing luminaries as Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio (the three still-living Red Wings players to have their uniform numbers retired by the team), and Scotty Bowman. For the ceremony, the active Red Wings players wore Yzerman throwback jerseys representing the Red Wings, Team Canada (Canada won gold at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games), the Campbell Conference All-Star team and the Peterborough Petes. Former teammate Vladimir Konstantinov attended the ceremony, walking across the ice for the first time without a wheelchair since his last game in the 1997 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On January 30, 2007, Hockey Canada named Yzerman the general manager of Team Canada for the 2007 IIHF World Championship in Moscow (April 27-May 13), where they beat Finland with a score of 4-2 on Sunday May 13th to win the Championship.

Yzerman is one of the most powerful figures in Red Wings history, and is considered a hero outside hockey as well. On January 2, 2007, Yzerman was presented the key to the city of Detroit by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at a luncheon prior to the jersey retirement ceremony. On January 13, 2007, Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm (incidentally another Canadian-American) visited Detroit and the Joe Louis Arena and proclaimed the day as "Steve Yzerman Day” in the state of Michigan. On January 11, 2008, when the Red Wings visited Ottawa to play the Senators, Yzerman was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.cite web |url= |title=Yzerman at home in Hall |publisher=Ottawa Senators |date=January 9, 2008 |accessdate=2008-01-11] Yzerman received another honor when he was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame on February 11, 2008 [ 2008 MICHIGAN SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Steve Yzerman warmly inducted into Hall | | Detroit Free Press ] ]


Yzerman and his wife Lisa Brennan (b. 17 June 1965) were married on June 10, 1989, and have three daughters, Isabella Katherine (b. 23 February 1994), Maria Charlotte (b. 21 April 1998), and Sophia Rose (b. 14 May 1999). They reside in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Not far from where Steve Yzerman grew up, the Nepean Sportsplex named one of its indoor ice surfaces the Steve Yzerman Arena in 1997 in his honour. This is the home rink of the CJHL's Nepean Raiders, the Tier II Junior "A" team Yzerman played on during the 1980-81 season. The Raiders currently play in the Yzerman Division.

The CJHL divisions have been renamed the Robinson and Yzerman divisions after two of the most prominent players coming from the league.

Awards and achievements

* NHL All-Star Roster - 1984, 1988 , 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000
* NHL First Team All-Star, Centre - 2000
* Lester B. Pearson Award - 1989
* Conn Smythe Trophy - 1998
* Frank J. Selke Trophy - 2000
* Stanley Cup Champion- 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008 (Executive)
* Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy - 2003
* Lester Patrick Trophy - 2006
* Sixth in NHL history in points, eighth in goals and seventh in assists
* First in Red Wings history in assists; second in points and goals; third in games played
* Number (19) retired with Detroit Red Wings - 2007
* Number (19) retired with Canadian Men's National Team - 2005
* Named Vice President of Detroit Red Wings - 2007
* Named General Manager of Team Canada - 2008
* Was Ranked #6 in The Hockey News "The Top 60 Since 1967 - The Best Players of the Post Expansion Era"
* Inducted into Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame - January 11, 2008
* Inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame February 11, 2008
* Inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame - 2008 [cite web |url= |title=Yzerman, Lewis among Canada's Sports Hall of Fame inductees|publisher=The Sports Network|date=2008-05-13 |accessdate=2008-05-13]

Career statistics

International play

Played for Canada in:

*1983 World Junior Championships (bronze medal)
*1984 Canada Cup (champions)
*1996 World Cup of Hockey
*1998 Winter Olympics
*2002 Winter Olympics (gold medal)

International statistics

Yzerman was considered a leading candidate for the captaincy of Team Canada in 1998, along with Wayne Gretzky and Ray Bourque. Yzerman had led the Detroit Red Wings to the Stanley Cup during the previous season and he was one of the longest serving team captains. However, General Manager Bobby Clarke instead selected Eric Lindros.

In late 2005, after Yzerman ruled himself out of a third Olympic appearance, Wayne Gretzky announced that no one would ever again wear jersey #19 for Team Canada, in Yzerman's honor. [cite news
title = Report: Yzerman's No. 19 untouchable
publisher = TSN
date = 2005-12-14
url =
accessdate = 2006-08-06


ee also

*List of NHL statistical leaders
*List of NHL seasons
*List of NHL players
*Captain (ice hockey)
*List of NHL players with 1000 points
*List of NHL players with 500 goals

External links

* [ Stevie A comprehensive fan site dedicated to Steve Yzerman]
*Hockeyref|y/yzermst01.html|Steve Yzerman
*youtube|wCzerir52NQ|Video of Steve Yzerman's jersey number retirement
*imdb name|id=1192124

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