Welcome to the 4th edition of Throwback Tuesday. This week I had no clue as to what athlete I would choose to be my throwback player. With baseball season in full swing, and the NBA playoffs intensifying. I thought to myself, hockey doesn't get much love around this time of the year. So the player I chose, is none of than "The Captain" Steve Yzerman.
A young man from across the water (Canada) brought his talents to the NHL back in 1983. Steve was drafted 4th overall by the Detroit Red Wings. In just his rookie season with the Wings, Yzerman scored 39 goals and had 87 points. He also finished 2nd in rookie of the year voting. If that wasn't enough, Steve was voted to the all star team at 18 years old. In just his 3rd season with the Wings, he was named team captain. The youngest captain in team history, and it showed as "The Captain" led the Red Wings to its 1st division title in 23 years. Fast forward to 1993 when Scotty Bowman took over as head coach of the Red Wings. Scotty and Steve didnt exactly see eye in the beginning, but that changed quickly. At one point the team thought about trading away Yzerman, but they held on to. Within 2 years, in 1995...Steve and Scotty led the Wings to the Stanley Cup Finals for the 1st time since 1966 (well before my time), only to be swept by the New Jersey Devils. Even after getting the team to the Finals, his leadership was still in question.
Steve Yzerman would then suffer some injuries later in his career, which caused him to miss some games and not play to at a high level. In 2005, Steve would sign his last contrat as a player. In that season, he scored his 691st goal passing Mario Lemieux for 8th place. Steve Yzerman went on to retiree from the NHL in 2006, and then appeared on Sports Illustrated for the first time. The Red Wings would keep him in the organiztion, by putting him in the front office as team vice president. 3 years later, Stevie Y would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Steve Yzerman is a legend in the city of Detroit. When you think Detroit Red Wings or Hockey Town, Steve is one of the first names you think of. He had the longest career wearing the "C" as the longest serving captain on one team (20 years). The Captain has had many accomplishments, below is the legacy he left here the Hockey Town:
- 9x NHL All Star
- Longest-serving captain for a team in league history (1,303 games)
- Lester B. Pearson Award
- Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
- Frank J. Selke Trophy
- Inducted into Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame