With Yzerman in the lineup, Wings fans knew we always had a chance to win a game. Now that security blanket has left us. July 3, 2006, the day Detroit Red Wings fans shed a tear or two.
We knew the day was coming and tried to convince ourselves to be prepared. But it hit us like a ton of bricks, took away our breath and left us stunned and dazed. #19 will never be seen on the ice again.
I joked with a fellow blogger a week or so ago the #19 is not worn by anyone in Detroit sports, both amateur and pro, but today I am not kidding. No more #19 for anyone in Detroit, we cannot look at someone else wearing it again. Besides, who could live up to it?
I have been lucky enough to watch Gordie Howe perform when he still was a dominant player. Yzerman was different, he did not control the game like Gordie would, but his determination and effort allows me to put Steve and Gordie in the same class. How can we forget the constant drive and professionalism Yzerman has showed us? Simple, we can't! But we can pass those valuable assets on to our children and even to ourselves. Be like Stevie when times our tough, your chances of working things out are better if you follow the examples he has passed on to all of us
Not only was Steve admired by Detroit fans, but by fans all over the world, especially Canada. How many times have I heard he was the inspiration for the Canadian National Teams. He lead the leaders, showed them how to handle themselves on and off the ice. Many of his fellow NHLers have mentioned Yzerman was their idol! Kids from B.C to N.S. list Stevie as the player they would most want to be like. Players who have retired from the NHL state Yzerman was the key to the Wings, without him they may have never won three cups in the last ten years.
The game of hockey says good-bye to one of the greatest of all time. He will be missed, remembered and mostly thanked for all he gave back to the game.
THE CAPTAIN leaves us wanting more and all we have now are the memories to hold on to.