Steve Yzerman retires

In today’s press conference, captain Steve Yzerman announced his retirement. After 23 years in the NHL (19 spent as captain), No. 19 has finally decided to hang up his skates. Below my initial reaction are quotes said by Yzerman, Holland, Lindsay, and Lewis during and following the press conference.

Initial Reaction
Unfortunately, I am up north on holiday with my family. My internet is incredibly slow and I have to share our sole connection with my family (my brothers and I “fight” over the connection). Thus, my initial reaction will be brief. I’ll write a tribute of sorts today and post it later when I can go online once more. I promise that I will have a tribute post of quotes, photos, audio, and video clips of Yzerman’s career once I return from up north (July 5th). I wish that I could post it now, but it will take years to upload photographs from my connection.

I am deeply saddened that Steve Yzerman decided to retire. He became captain half a year before I was born. To me, he is the face of the organization and I will miss his presence on the ice. Little did I know that Game #2 of the Edmonton-Wings series would be Yzerman’s last game at Joe Louis Arena. I remember sitting there in the upper bowl with the clock counting towards zero thinking, “This could be the last game I see of Yzerman at the Joe.” I’ve had so many happy moments following Yzerman’s career and I look forward to seeing him in management. He will always be my favorite athlete of all time and I can’t think of a better role model for any hockey player growing up.

I promise to work on some sort of tribute today and will hopefully post it later tonight. But until then, here are some quotes from today’s press conference at JLA.

Press Conference
Ted Lindsay, Gordie Howe, Kris Draper, Mike Babcock, Ken Holland, Mike Ilitch, Jimmy D, Larry Murphy, and more sat in the Olympia Room during the press conference. While Yzerman was speaking, it really looked like Ilitch was about to cry. And Holland had his moment or two.

Quotes from Steve Yzerman during his announcement…

  • “It’s a day of mixed emotions.”

  • “I’ve enjoyed my career immensely in Detroit.”

  • “I’ve finally made a definite decision on my future.”

  • “My intention throughout the season was to retire.”

  • “It [this season] ended in disappointment.”

  • “I feel like a little boy trying to please his parents when I step on the ice.”

  • “It’s been a wonderful era of hockey for me.”

  • “School was just filling time til I got to play hockey again.”

  • “The Ilitches will do whatever they have to do.”

  • “I want to thank Kenny for his support particularly in the past few years.”

  • “There are very few cities that have the history and following that this city has.”

  • “It’s been a pleasure to play for an Original 6 team.”

  • “I look forward to a lot more time with my wife Lisa and my daughters.”

  • “The best thing that could’ve happened to my career was my family because they gave me perspective.”

    At the end of his “speech,” No. 19 started getting choked up. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to crying over hockey.

    Yzerman answers questions from the media…

  • “Because of the condition of my knee, I’ve become a part time player.”

  • “It’s too difficult on my knee.”

  • “I’ve been really proud to be captain of this team. Not for the number of years, but for the things we accomplished.”

  • “Even at the age of 41, I’d go out on the ice thinking, ‘I’m going to be the best player on the ice.’”

  • “I question my own ability to be effective out there.”

  • “At 41, I think I’ve given up on improvement.”

  • “Obviously, the opportunity to raise three Cups stands out.”

  • “Some of the disappointments we can chuckle about.”

  • “Winning never gets old.”

  • “I’ve enjoyed coming to the rink every single day of my career.”

  • “It’s the right time to retire…my health is the number one reason.”

  • “It’s a great city for athletes to play in.”

  • “Joe Louis Arena is a special place to play.”

  • “There’s something special about being a Red Wing.”

  • “Looking back at it all, I tried to do the best thing for my team.”

  • “I retire feeling like there’s nothing left in the tank.”

    Ted Lindsay
    “I think he’s the greatest example of what an athlete should be. How can you give advice to someone as good as he was or is?”

    GM Ken Holland
    “He’s got a great passion…I’ve been very lucky to develop a relationship with him…He’s going to become part of the management team.”

    Kris Draper
    “He made us better players and people.”

    Dave Lewis
    “You knew whenever he went on the ice that he was going to do his best to win that game…Most of the time [in the 2002 playoffs], he couldn’t even take one step on a time [up the airplane]…I saw the agony of rehab…[rough quote] The trainers never knew if he’d play that game even during warm ups.”

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    2 Responses to “Steve Yzerman retires”

    1. [...] More Yzerman posts Want to check out more posts I made in the past about Steve Yzerman? You can check out the following… – Steve Yzerman retires – Steve Yzerman: Heart of a Champion – Tribute to Steve Yzerman – Tribute to Steve Yzerman (Part Two) – Steve Yzerman Quote Sheet – Behind the Jersey: No. 19 [...]

    2. [...] More Yzerman posts Want to check out more posts I made in the past about Steve Yzerman? You can check out the following… – Steve Yzerman retires – Steve Yzerman: Heart of a Champion – Tribute to Steve Yzerman – Tribute to Steve Yzerman (Part Two) – Steve Yzerman Quote Sheet – Behind the Jersey: No. 19 [...]

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