Monday, July 03, 2006

Future Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman Retires

Today, Steve Yzerman has announced his retirement from professional hockey. He is the second Hall of Fame worthy player to retire this off season joining Luc Robitaille.

Steve Yzerman was born May 9th, 1965 in Cranbrook, British Columbia, but spent most of his childhood in the Ottawa, Ontario suburb of Nepean. At age 16, he left Nepean to play for the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League. In his rookie year in the OHL, he scored at slightly better than point per game rate and made the OHL Scholastic All Star team. In his second year, he scored 91 points in 56 games and was a part of the bronze medal winning Canadian World Junior Team. He was selected fourth overall in the draft by the Detroit Red Wings.

At age 18, Yzerman immediately made the Red Wings. In his rookie year, he appeared in the NHL all star game (his first of 9), made the all rookie team and was runner up he the Calder Trophy. By 1986, he was made captain of the rebuilding Red Wings. In 1987/88, he scored 102 points. This was his first 100 point season of his career. It was his first of six 100 point years in a row. He followed that up with a tremendous 155 point year, where he won the Lester Pearson Award as NHL MVP as voted by the players. That wasn't enough hockey for him, so he played with Canada in the World Championships and made the all star team. Afer another all star 62 goal, 127 point season, Yzerman once again played for Canada in the World Championships. he once again made all star in the tournament. He scored a pheonomenal 10 goals and 10 assists in only 10 games. He was named the best forward in the tournament.

Yzerman had great year after great year for Detroit, but since Detroit had not won the Stanley Cup (yet), unreasonable people questioned his leadership blaming it on the captain. Perhaps this unreasonable criticism got loudest in 1995 when Detroit lost in the Stanley Cup finals to New Jersey. Nevertheless, Yzerman continued his great career. He represented Canada in their second place effort in the 1996 World Cup. In 1997, he finally won his first Stanley Cup when Detroit defeated Philadelphia in the finals. In 1998, they won a second cup. This time they defeated Washington. Yerman was the top assist and point scorer in the playoffs and won the Conn Smythe trophy. Yzerman was chosen to select Canada in the 1998 Olympics. Yzerman broke into the NHL as a scorer. Over the years he learned to concentrate more and more on his defensive work. In 1999/2000 he was rewarded for this effort. He won the Frank J Selke trophy as best defensive forward in the NHL and was for the first and only time in his career named to the first team all star (he was hidden behind Gretzky and Lemieux in the voting at center for much of his career). This was a season where he scored 97 points in 78 games (almost half the scoring rate in his best offensive year). In 2002, he was a part of Canada's gold medal winning effort in the Olympics and won his third Stanley Cup in the NHL. After returning from knee surgery at the end of the 2002/03 season, he was awarded the Bill Masterton trophy. His final chance to play internationally for Canada came in the 2004 World Cup. After playing the 2005/06 season after the lockout, he has retired.

Yzerman is the longest serving captain in the NHL. He played the tenth most games all time (1514). He was the eighth highest goal scorer of all time with 692. He is seventh in assists with 1063 and sixth in points with 1755. In the playoffs, he is the eighth highest point scorer with 185 points. Yzerman has had a long dominant career for the Red Wings. Steve Yzerman will remain with the Detroit Red Wings organization, but it is not clear in which role.

Here is the TSN story on his retirement.

Yzerman's retirement leaves the NHL with one less player who is currently active who is worthy of Hall of Fame induction regardless of what happens for the rest of his career.

Here is the list of players who are still active who I think are hall of famers no matter what happens for the rest of their careers:

Dave Andreychuk
Ed Belfour
Rob Blake
Martin Brodeur
Chris Chelios
Peter Forsberg
Dominik Hasek
Jaromir Jagr
Brian Leetch
Nicklas Lidstrom
Scott Niedermayer
Joe Nieuwendyk
Chris Pronger
Joe Sakic
Brendan Shanahan

This list may shrink a little more over the summer with another retirement or two.

I for one would never want to see Chris Pronger in the hall. There are better D man that are not in. The shabby way he treated the Oiler organization. He has no cups, long time on injury rolls, after his last issue with the Oilers no class. So no Hall for CP. Call me bitter but I actually think you have to be special and a winner to be in the Hall.

CP could learn a thing or two from Stevie Y. Even though I am Oiler fan I was happy for Stevie Y for his cup wins and his loyalty to the Wing organization. When he 1st got there it was a cesspool.
Swabuba. Name one defenceman better than Chris Pronger who is not in the Hall of Fame (who is eligible).

Best defenceman I can find is Mark Howe. And Pronger is definitely better.

I understand your anger with him as an Oiler fan, but Pronger is special and he is a winner in as much as one player can be. He has won Olympic Gold. If every Oiler player played as hard as he did, they would have won the Stanley Cup.
Where is Doug Gilmour?

And Dave Andreychuk? Why?
I disagree
Doug Gilmour retired. So he's not on any list of active players. He should be in the Hall of Fame. They should have inducted him this year.

Andreychuk. He is (among other things) the highest power play goal scorer of all time, 11th highest goal scorer of all time, 2nd highest scoring left wing of all time, captain of a Stanley Cup winner. That is more than enough qualification to make the Hall of Fame.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You just helped my daughter with her report on Steve Yzerman.
Wow it seems the like the list of potential hall of fame abductees keeps getting larger, especially now with the retirement of the players from the high scoring 80’s/ early 90’s. Looking at this year you have to think Messier is a lock leaving Gilmour, Oats, McInnis, Francis, Stevens, Hull (not sure if he is eligible or not), Housley, Ciccarelli, and Bure as some of the top players fighting for three other spots. The waiting list isn’t getting any shorter with Robitaille, Lemieux, and Yzerman soon becoming eligible. On this list I’d say all but Nieuwendyk, Pronger, Forsberg and Andreychuk are locks. As far as they go Nieuwendyk’s career numbers are not elite, Pronger and Forsberg are still too early to call, and Andreychuk was never the best forward on his team. Not a psycho leafs fan either but I think Sundin has earned his spot on that list. It is amazing how a player like Dick Duff gets in. I mean come on he was a second line winger during his prime for god's sake, A Roberts or a Glen Murray by comparison. Good maybe even great, but not Hall of fame.
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