Steve Yzerman Quote Sheet
I had promised a Behind the Jersey feature on Steve Yzerman and you will get it sometime this week. However, it’s taking much longer than anticipated because of all the research needed and all. It’s currently a little over 2000 words and I still have much to write. So please keep an eye out for that feature, it is coming soon. To hold you over until then, here is a collection of quotes from Steve Yzerman and others about him. Have a quote that should be on this page? Leave a comment or drop me an email!
Steve Yzerman Speaks
“As long as I could remember, since I was 5 years old, I watched the Stanley Cup. I stayed up, made a point of watching it presented, watched the celebration in the locker room, and always dreamed that maybe I’d get there.”
“The only thing the doctors say for sure is that I can’t hurt it any more. They would have to carry me off on a stretcher to keep me from playing at this time of the year.”
“I mean, the best thing for my knee, for anyone’s knee, is to never play again and retire. But I’m not going to do that.”
“I consider the Detroit Red Wings one of the greatest franchises in any sport. For a player to come in and play, it’s so special to wear the jersey.”
“Good teams win one, outstanding teams win two, and a few truly great teams win three.”
Visit Detroit [Magazine]: What would you tell a player who is considering joining the Red Wings?
Yzerman: Iâ€™d tell him the same thing I tell a new guy whenever he comes in: This is a great area to live. There are excellent schools, and itâ€™s especially a great area to live if you have children who are into sports. The minor hockey community here is as good as anywhere. I always use the example of Chris Chelios â€“ he and his family came here from Chicago, and his kids are very active in sports and they really enjoy it here.
Visit Detroit: What are some of your favorite moments from playing hockey?
Yzerman: Iâ€™m fortunate to have quite a few now. Winning the Stanley Cup in â€™97 was fantastic, and then we won it again in â€™98, and in 2002. Those three, and then being part of the Canadian Team at the Salt Lake Winter Games that won the Olympic gold medal.
Visit Detroit: How about Steve Yzerman, Red Wings general manager, then?
Yzerman: Iâ€™d like to stay in the organization and work in management in some position. I enjoy the game of hockey outside of playing it, and Iâ€™d be happy to stay in it after I retire from playing. Iâ€™ve always said I donâ€™t want to be a coach, but these days being a general manager is a 12 â€“ month job, so I might lean in the coaching direction just so Iâ€™d get some time off to play golf.
Others’ Thoughts on Yzerman
“He’s proven (the media) right so often, and he’s proven them wrong so often,” said Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier, Yzerman’s boyhood idol. “For me, it’s so much fun to see a great player like Stevie do that because I had to do it, too. It’s fun to do that.”
“He deserves it all,” Darren McCarty said. “It’s all perseverance. He’s stuck through some tough times — tough times when Scotty (Bowman) first came here, trade rumors, some 20-win seasons — he’s been through a lot. He’s all about the team, and he proves that the way he plays and the way he carries himself. I’m proud of him as a player. Just from watching him, he’s taught us younger guys about being a professional athlete, playing in the NHL and being a good role model. He’s getting everything he deserves.”
“It’s all been said about him,” Brett Hull said. “And everything you’ve heard is true. He’s an extraordinary player. I’ve considered it a very big privilege to have played with him.”
“If there was a trophy for courage, he would have already won it,” Dave Lewis said. “I’m going to be thrilled to see him back out there. Just to be able to say, ‘Yzerman, your line is up,’ is going to be some of the greatest words I’ve ever said.”
“It’s easy to go out there and follow his example and play as hard as you can,” said Kirk Maltby. “You see him going out and blocking shots and playing through pain, you can’t help but try and do the same thing.”
“The big thing with Steve is that he always goes out and leads by example,” Brendan Shanahan said. “There are a lot of guys who know what needs to be done, who will say what needs to be done, but Steve goes out and does it.”
“Like a fine wine, he seems to get better with age,” says GM Ken Holland. “Even in the last couple of years he has looked faster and quicker. He makes us go both in practice and in the games. Steve Yzerman has accomplished so much in this league and when the younger players see how committed he is to working on his game and working on his conditioning, they’d better follow suit. Steve sets the pace for everything we do and he makes us go.”
“I know now he’s a very considerate athlete,” Scotty Bowman says. “He tries to be a good role model. They say athletes shouldn’t be role models, but I don’t agree with that. He’s conscious that he’s a good athlete. He does a lot of things that people don’t know about, and that’s the way you want to keep it. People ask a lot of his time. He gives it.”
“He’s not the kind of guy who wants a year-long goodbye. That’s not Steve Yzerman. But, when I look at this guy, I think he’s been one of the best players this game has ever seen. I really believe that when Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman were in their prime, they were the top three players in their time.” – Detroit GM Ken Holland
“I believe winning the Stanley Cup and the gold medal the same year was something Steve Yzerman will look back on and be proud about. He was struggling with the knee and some thought that might be the end of his career. It might have been for somebody else. He fought his way back. He wanted to compete,” ESPN analyst Darren Pang [Yzerman's childhood friend] said.
“Some nights you’d see him try to climb up the stairs to get on an airplane and wonder, ‘How can he be ready for a game in 24 hours?â€™ But that’s part of the package you see every day when you are around Steve Yzerman. I always thought I knew how much it took to win a Stanley Cup, but I didn’t really get it until I sat in that locker room and on that bench and watched Steve,” Luc Robitaille said.
“Trade Steve Yzerman? That’s like asking me if I want to trade my son Jason for the kid next door,” former Wings coach Jacques Demer said.
“Yzerman is not the youngest, the strongest, nor the fastest, and he was never the biggest. But make no mistake, he is the maximus of gladiators, the man who fights wounded and bleeding, with a heart as large as any lion they spring on him,” Mitch Albom said.
“Steve Yzerman is one of the greats to ever play the game. He’s 38 years old, and playing on one leg. He’s the second greatest Red Wings in franchise history, only behind the greatest hockey player to ever play, Gordie Howe. He’s the greatest leader in all of team sports, and he’s the entire team. It’s his team, it’s his city.”
“He leads on the ice,” says former teammate Mike Ramsey, now an assistant coach with the Minnesota Wild. “Steve is not a guy who rants and raves. He leads by example with his play on the ice. It’s something special when your captain has such a high talent level that when he elevates his game he can make a difference in the outcome. Steve Yzerman is one of those guys.”
“It begins and ends with Steve,” Hull says. “People like him don’t come along very often. The way he carries himself, in this town, there’s almost an onus on the rest of us to be like him.”
“With affection, having watched him since he was a teenager, a heartthrob with high cheekbones, they called him “Stevie” or “Stevie Y.” With respect, having watched him grow into a man, a father of 3 daughters, with a scarred, striking face, they called him “The Captain.” â€“ The book, Hockey Gods
“There’s one thing you can’t defend against, and that is courage. Steve Yzerman just keeps laying it on the line every shift,” ESPN analyst Bill Clement said in 2002.
“Chris Pronger tried to hit Steve Yzerman. Now we all know that Yzerman has a bum right knee. Well, Pronger tries to hit him and gets a bum right knee himself- a torn ACL. The St. Louis Blues need Pronger like humans need oxygen.”
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