Detroit Red Wings
Clear Bag Policy Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Yzerman set to add Hall of Fame to list of feats

Monday, 11.9.2009 / 9:02 AM ET / News
Associated Press
X
Share with your Friends


Yzerman set to add Hall of Fame to list of feats

DETROIT -- Steve Yzerman was nervous before making his NHL debut.

He quickly found out he had nothing to worry about.

In his first game, in 1983 at Winnipeg, Yzerman had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings.

"I was nervous because I didn't know what to expect and my dad was in town," Yzerman said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press before being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night. "Then, I remember being comfortable with how I was doing with the pace.

"It was a pleasant surprise."

It was for Detroit, too.

"We considered sending him to Peterborough because we thought he might need another year of junior hockey to get stronger physically," said Red Wings senior vice president Jimmy Devellano, who drafted Yzerman fourth overall. "It didn't take us long to see this skinny, 18-year-old kid was our best player. That tells you something about him, and our team at the time."

Yzerman finished his rookie season with 87 points and retired with 1,755 in 2006, when no active player had more points. He turned around Detroit's franchise, hoisting three Stanley Cups and helped Canada win men's hockey Olympic gold in 2002 for the first time in 50 years.

Yzerman's career will be celebrated during enshrinement ceremonies in Toronto, where he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame with former teammates Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille, Brian Leetch and New Jersey Devils president Lou Lamoriello.

Yzerman was never the biggest or fastest player on the ice, but Leetch compares him with Wayne Gretzky.

"No one looks at Gretz as the greatest skater, but watch video of him and his ability to create space and hold onto that puck," Leetch said. "I looked at Steve the same way."

Yzerman has few peers as a leader, being a captain for an NHL-record 20 seasons.

He rarely led with his words. He always did with his actions.

"Steve preferred to keep his mouth shut and his ears open as a player, and he still does as a vice president for the organization," Devellano said. "As a player, he didn't need to say how strong his will was because he simply showed it every day."

Yzerman missed the first 66 games of the 2002-03 season following a knee surgery usually reserved for retirees, which involved sawing into the bone below his knee and using a wedge to realign the joint.

Bones in his face were shattered and various other ailments hurt Yzerman during an NHL career that was spent entirely in Detroit.

"No player I ever coached could play with a pain threshold like Steve Yzerman," Hall of Fame coach Scott Bowman has said.

During Detroit's Stanley Cup run in 2002, Yzerman had to use his stick as a prop to get off the ice and still was one of the team's best players at times.

"He was skating on one leg," Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom recalled.

Yzerman is glad he hung up his skates when he did, though, unlike some athletes who return after calling it quits or regret retiring.

"Not once have I thought I retired too soon," Yzerman said.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 50 17 18 23 35
H. Zetterberg 51 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 50 14 16 -3 30
G. Nyquist 51 14 13 -4 27
J. Abdelkader 51 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 36 6 18 10 24
M. Green 45 3 17 -8 20
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
D. DeKeyser 47 6 8 10 14
R. Sheahan 50 7 6 -15 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 18 10 4 .931 2.06
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89