|Hockey Hall of Fame, 2009|
May 9, 1965 |
Cranbrook, BC, CAN
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||Detroit Red Wings|
|NHL Draft||4th overall, 1983
Detroit Red Wings
Stephen Gregory Yzerman (//; born May 9, 1965) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player and current general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League. Yzerman played his entire National Hockey League (NHL) career with the Detroit Red Wings and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Prior to the 1986–87 season at the age of 21, Yzerman was named captain of the Red Wings and continuously served for the next two decades (dressing as captain for over 1300 games), retiring 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 led the Wings to five first-place regular season finishes and three Stanley Cup championships (1997, 1998, and 2002).
Yzerman won numerous awards during his career, including the Lester B. Pearson Award (Most outstanding player) in the 1988–89 NHL season, the Conn Smythe Trophy (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, having scored a career-high 155 points (65 goals/90 assists) in 1988–89 which has been bettered only by Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Yzerman's #19 jersey was officially retired on January 2, 2007 during a pre-game ceremony at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. On November 4, 2008, he was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. He also became an honoured member of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility, inducted alongside 2001–02 Red Wing teammates Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille.
On September 25, 2006, Yzerman was named as a Vice President of the Detroit Red Wings. He won a fourth Stanley Cup as the Vice President of Operations in 2007–08. He served as the team's Alternate Governor until he was hired away from the Red Wings to become the general manager for the Tampa Bay Lightning in May 2010.
Yzerman has represented his country in several international tournaments as a member of Canada's national hockey team (Team Canada). In 2002, Yzerman won an Olympic gold medal, making him one of few players to win an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup in the same year. Yzerman was the general manager of Team Canada for the 2007 IIHF World Championship, which they won. Yzerman was appointed Executive Director of Team Canada on October 7, 2008, for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Team Canada went on to win the gold medal by defeating Team USA.
- 1 Playing career
- 2 Front office
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Awards and achievements
- 5 NHL GM record
- 6 Career statistics
- 7 International play
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
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, the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League drafted him, and he played centre for the Petes from 1981 to 1983.
The 1983 NHL Entry Draft was the first for Mike and Marian Ilitch, who had purchased the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 1982. Jim Devellano, the Red Wings' then-general manager, wanted to draft Pat LaFontaine, who had grown up outside Detroit and played his junior hockey in the area; however, when the New York Islanders took LaFontaine third overall, Devellano settled on Yzerman, drafting him fourth.
The Red Wings were prepared to send Yzerman back to Peterborough for one more year, but "after one (training camp) season, 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. Yzerman tallied 39 goals and 87 points in his rookie season, and finished second in Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year) voting. That season, Yzerman also became the first 18-year old to play in an All-Star Game (18 years, 267 days) since the current format was adopted in 1969, which stood as an NHL record for 27 years until Jeff Skinner broke it by eight days.
Becoming a leader
Following the departure of the previous captain, Danny Gare, after the 1985-86 season, then-coach Jacques Demers named Yzerman captain of the team on October 7, 1986, 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." 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, 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 was not concentrating enough on defence; 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 then-moribund 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.
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. Before the start of the 1995–96 NHL season, Yzerman's leadership was called into question and soon he had to deal with rumors that he was about to be traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Mathieu Schneider and a first-round draft pick, a deal that was publicized in the Journal de Montreal as being pushed for hard by Yzerman's former coach Jacques Demers. Detroit finished the season with an NHL-record 62 regular season wins and were heavily favored to win the Stanley Cup. Yzerman scored perhaps the most memorable goal of his career in the 1996 playoffs, stealing the puck from Wayne Gretzky and 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 seven. However, the Red Wings fell short of their ultimate goal, losing in six games to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals.
The glory years
In 1997, Yzerman put to rest all doubts of his ability to lead a team to a championship as 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 and winning their second consecutive Stanley Cup title. Yzerman earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. He handed the Cup first to the wheelchair-bound Vladimir Konstantinov, who had been severely injured in a car accident just six days after the Cup victory in 1997.
In 2001–02, Yzerman re-aggravated a knee injury, forcing him to miss 30 regular season games. Yet, he still finished sixth in team scoring. Yzerman's knee greatly pained him during the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs, but this did not stop him from leading the Red Wings from an early 2-0 deficit in their opening round series to defeat the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues en route to Detroit's fifth playoff series with the Colorado Avalanche, and the third time the two teams had battled to decide the Western Conference Championship. Detroit defeated Colorado in a seven game series and moved on to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes to win their 10th Stanley Cup championship in their history. Rather than raising the Stanley Cup first, Yzerman passed the Cup to coach Scotty Bowman, who announced his retirement following the game.
On May 1, 2004, Yzerman was hit in the eye by a deflected slapshot by the Calgary Flames defenceman Rhett Warrener in a playoff game against the Calgary Flames, breaking his orbital bone and scratching his cornea. He underwent eye surgery following the incident, and was sidelined for the rest of the 2004 post-season. The eye injury also forced Yzerman to miss the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Fellow Canadians Joe Thornton (then of the Boston Bruins) and Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche), who each wore the number 19 for their respective NHL clubs and who were now eligible to wear it for team Canada due to Yzerman's enforced absence, both refused the number out of respect for their injured countryman. Yzerman returned in the 2005–06 season, following the lockout, wearing a face shield.
On August 2, 2005, Yzerman signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings; this was his last contract signed as a player. On March 31, 2006 he scored his 691st NHL career goal, passing Mario Lemieux for 8th place all-time. Yzerman's humility was evident in an interview regarding his achievement after the game when he was quoted saying "I don't really know the significance. If anything, it shows how good [Lemieux] is; he played almost five years less than I did." 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, and 1303 games wearing the "C") as the longest serving captain of a single team. 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 (1,687 games), Nicklas Lidström (1,564 games) and Alex Delvecchio (1,550 games) played more games as a Red Wing than Yzerman's 1,514.
On September 25, 2006, the Red Wings named Yzerman a team vice president and alternate governor.
On January 2, 2007, the Red Wings retired Yzerman's jersey #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 13 to win the Championship. Yzerman is one of the most powerful figures in Red Wings history and NHL 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. Yzerman received another honor when he was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame on February 11, 2008. Yzerman was voted as the NHL's greatest captain by the fans in the 2008–09 season.
On June 23, 2009, it was announced that Yzerman would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was honored during the November 6–9 induction weekend alongside his former Red Wings teammates Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille, as well as Brian Leetch.
Vancouver 2010 Olympics
In 2009, he was named Executive Director for the Canadian men's hockey team at the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Canadian team he put together went on to win the gold, the first gold won by a home team in ice hockey since the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team. Yzerman said he would consider coming back as head of the Canadian team in 2014. Yzerman went on saying that “I loved it, but it was very stressful. Given the chance to represent Canada and be the guy in charge, if somebody offered it to me, I didn't hesitate the first time, I wouldn't hesitate again."
Leaving Detroit for Tampa Bay
Yzerman had expressed his desire to run a team while with the Red Wings front office since the latter part of his playing career, and had gained experience in running a team through his work with Hockey Canada, having assembled several rosters between 2007 and 2010 for Hockey Canada. However, after Red Wings general Ken Holland, the general manager of the team since 1997, was given a contract extension to continue in his role, and with his path to GM also blocked by assistant GM Jim Nill, who himself had been given another long-term deal, it became clear that it would not be with the Red Wings. Not long after Holland received his extension, Craig Leipold, owner of the Minnesota Wild, and Jeffrey Vinik, the then-new owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, sought to hire Yzerman as general manager. After turning down the Minnesota job before the 2009-10 season ended, Yzerman accepted the Lightning job, and was named the team's new vice-president and general manager on May 25, 2010. In the off-season, and early in his new reign, he re-signed Martin St. Louis; signed defenceman Pavel Kubina for his second tenure with the team; signed free agent goaltender Dan Ellis to a 2-year contract; signed defenceman Brett Clark; and brought in left-winger Simon Gagné in a trade that saw Matt Walker and a fourth-round pick in 2011 depart Tampa Bay. Mid-season he traded for Dwayne Roloson and the Tampa Bay Lightning reached the Eastern Conference Finals, a year after they hadn't even qualified for the playoffs. Yzerman was nominated for the NHL General Manager of the Year Award.
Yzerman and his wife Lisa Brennan have three daughters. They reside in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Yzerman has acquired naturalized United States' citizenship, due to his many years of residence in 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.
Awards and achievements
- NHL All-Star Game Roster - 1984 (first 18-year old to be selected to the roster), 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000
- NHL First Team All-Star - 2000
- Lester B. Pearson Award - 1989
- Conn Smythe Trophy - 1998
- Frank J. Selke Trophy - 2000
- Stanley Cup champion - 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008 (as 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; fourth in games played; second all-time in seasons and games played with only one NHL franchise
- Longest-serving captain for a team in league history (19 seasons/1,303 games)
- Detroit Red Wings #19 retired
- Number (19) retired with Canadian Men's National Team - 2005 (though #19 was worn at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics by Joe Thornton)
- 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
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame - 2009
- Named General Manager and Vice President of the Tampa Bay Lightning- May 2010
NHL GM record
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|TB||2010-11||46||25||11||.648||2nd in SE division||11||7||Lost in 3rd Round|
|TB||2011-12||38||36||8||.514||3rd in SE Division||-||-||Failed to Qualify|
|TB||2012-13||18||26||4||.409||4th in NE Division||-||-||Failed to Qualify|
|11||7||0 Stanley Cups|
|1983–84||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||80||39||48||87||33||4||3||3||6||0|
|1984–85||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||80||30||59||89||58||3||2||1||3||2|
|1985–86||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||51||14||28||42||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|1986–87||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||80||31||59||90||43||16||5||13||18||8|
|1987–88||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||64||50||52||102||44||3||1||3||4||6|
|1988–89||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||80||65||90||155||61||6||5||5||10||2|
|1989–90||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||79||62||65||127||79||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990–91||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||80||51||57||108||34||7||3||3||6||4|
|1991–92||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||79||45||58||103||64||11||3||5||8||12|
|1992–93||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||84||58||79||137||44||7||4||3||7||4|
|1993–94||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||58||24||58||82||36||3||1||3||4||0|
|1994–95||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||47||12||26||38||40||15||4||8||12||0|
|1995–96||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||80||36||59||95||64||18||8||12||20||4|
|1996–97*||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||81||22||63||85||78||20||7||6||13||4|
|1997–98*||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||75||24||45||69||46||22||6||18||24||22|
|1998–99||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||80||29||45||74||42||10||9||4||13||0|
|1999–00||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||78||35||44||79||34||8||0||4||4||0|
|2000–01||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||54||18||34||52||18||1||0||0||0||0|
|2001–02*||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||52||13||35||48||18||23||6||17||23||10|
|2002–03||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||16||2||6||8||8||4||0||1||1||2|
|2003–04||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||75||18||33||51||46||11||3||2||5||0|
|2004–05||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||season not played due to 2004–05 NHL lockout|
|2005–06||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||61||14||20||34||18||4||0||4||4||4|
- Boldface denotes career high in each statistics.
* = Stanley Cup Winner
|Men's ice hockey|
|Gold||2002 Salt Lake City||Ice Hockey|
|World Cup of Hockey|
|Silver||1996 Canada||Ice hockey|
|Silver||1989 Sweden||Ice hockey|
|Silver||1985 Czechoslovakia||Ice hockey|
|Gold||1984 Canada||Ice hockey|
|World Junior Championships|
|Bronze||1983 Soviet Union||Ice hockey|
Played for Canada in:
- 1983 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
- 1984 Canada Cup
- 1985 World Ice Hockey Championships
- 1989 World Ice Hockey Championships
- 1990 World Ice Hockey Championships
- 1996 World Cup of Hockey
- 1998 Winter Olympics
- 2002 Winter Olympics
|Junior int'l totals||7||2||3||5||2|
|Senior int'l totals||50||23||27||50||28|
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 be allowed to wear jersey #19 for Team Canada for the 2006 Olympics, in Yzerman's honor (#19 was later unretired by Yzerman when he managed Team Canada for the 2010 Olympics).
- List of NHL statistical leaders
- Captain (ice hockey)
- List of NHL players with 1000 points
- List of NHL players with 500 goals
- List of NHL players with 1000 games played
- Steve Yzerman #19 C (1965-05-09). "ESPN - Steve Yzerman Stats, News, Photos - Detroit Red Wings". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
- "Steve Yzerman – Stats". National Hockey League.
- Detroit Free Press (2006). The Captain: Steve Yzerman: 22 Seasons, 3 Cups, 1 Team. Triumph Books (IL). ISBN 1-57243-935-1.
- [dead link]
- "Red Wings bring Yzerman into front office". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-25.
- "Yzerman named executive director of Canada's men's team". Tsn.ca. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
- Free Press staff, "The Captain: 22 Seasons, 3 Cups, 1 Team," page 15. Detroit Free Press, 2006
- Shelley Lazarus, "Hockeytown Hero: The Steve Yzerman Story." appendix pages xiii and xv. Proctor Publications, 2000
- "Never again? Liut pitched an All-Star shutout". Retrieved 2008-08-11.[dead link]
- Detroit Free Press (2006). "Captain, My Captain". The Captain. Detroit Free Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-57243-935-1. "Red Wings coach Jacques Demers named Steve Yzerman team captain on October 7, 1986."
- DetroitRedWings.com, Wings Of Legend: Steve Yzerman
- Duhatschek, Eric et al. (2001). Hockey Chronicles. New York City: Checkmark Books. ISBN 0-8160-4697-2.
- Steve Yzerman scores in 2nd OT! on YouTube
- The Detroit Red Wings, "The Detroit Red Wings 2005-06 Media Guide", page 86, The Detroit Blue Wings, 2005
- ESPN.com (March 27, 2006). "Yzerman's 690th goal ties Lemieux for eighth on all-time list". ESPN. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- Yzerman played his last professional hockey game on May 1, 2006, a loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs. "Yzerman passes Lemieux on goals list". CBC Sports. 2006-03-31. Retrieved 2006-08-06.
- Free Press staff, "The Captain: 22 Seasons, 3 Cups, 1 Team.", page 11. Detroit Free Press, 2006
- "Yzerman at home in Hall". Ottawa Senators. January 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
- "Hockey Hall of Fame Announces 2009 Inductees". Legends of Hockey. Hockey Hall of Fame. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- Chris Stevenson (1 March 2010). "Yzerman may return in 2014". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2010-03-03.
- Bonnano, Rocky (NHL.com). "Yzerman, Red Wings icon, named Lightning GM". Retrieved 2010-09-09.
- Albom, Mitch (Detroit Free Press) (2010-05-25). "Yzerman's leaving tough on Wings' family". Retrieved 2010-11-15.
- "ESPN: Steve Yzerman to be named GM". Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- Pupello, Peter (2010-07-20). "Gagne Acquisition Helps Bolts in the Short Term, Gives Yzerman More Long Term Flexibility". NHL.com. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- Cole, Cam (2009-02-12). "Yzerman on Canada's prospects in 2010". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-07-22.[dead link]
- "Report: Yzerman's No. 19 untouchable". TSN. 2005-12-14. Retrieved 2006-08-06.[dead link]
- 2008 MICHIGAN SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Steve Yzerman warmly inducted into Hall | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press[dead link]
- "Yzerman, Lewis among Canada's Sports Hall of Fame inductees". The Sports Network. 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2008-05-13.
- "Steve Yzerman NHL & WHA Statistics". Hockey-Reference.com. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
- Douglas Hunter (8 November 2005). Yzerman: The Making of a Champion. Doubleday Canada. ISBN 978-0-7704-2982-9.
- Shelley Lazarus (April 2001). Hockeytown Hero: The Steve Yzerman Story. Nelson Publishing&Marketing. ISBN 978-1-933916-68-2.
- Steve Yzerman's player profile at NHL.com
- Steve Yzerman's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Stevie Y.net
- Steve Yzerman at Hockey-Reference.com
|Detroit Red Wings first round draft pick
|Detroit Red Wings captain
|Winner of the Lester B. Pearson Award
|Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy
|Winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy
|Winner of the Bill Masterton Trophy
|General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning