Yzerman will forever be known as the Captain. He is the longest-serving captain in sports history.
Prior to the team drafting him, the Red Wings had fallen on hard times. Gone were the dominating years of the Production line with Howe, Abel and Lindsay. The team went through the 70’s known as the Dead Wings for their play.
That started to change when Yzerman came to town. A quick skater, great puck handler and easy scorer he took the league by storm. Only two other players have scored more in a season then his 155 point effort in 1988-89. He helped to raise the Wings out of their funk to make them a legitimate team again.
By the time he retired, Yzerman had led the team to three Stanly Cup titles, how he did that is what will forever endear him to this city.
Never a loud, brash person, he led by example. When new coach Scotty Bowman came to town, he wanted to greatly alter Yzerman’s game as he wanted him to focus just as much on defense as he did offense. Most players would fight such a change.
Yzerman embraced the change, and while his offensive stats suffered, the team did better. It takes someone special to be the star and captain, yet to take on a different role and allow others to shine. He would go on to be one of the best two-way players in the game and won a Selke Trophy in 2000.
He had this unstoppable spirit. Later in his career he suffered knee and eye injuries that would have made most players retire. He kept coming back, kept leading his team and kept winning.
Detroit is Hockeytown because of the Steve Yzerman