Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

The Focus Is On Steve Yzerman

10/03/2019 at 8:03pm EDT

from Mark Falkner of the Detroit News,

Former referee Paul Stewart paints a rather unflattering picture of Steve Yzerman's on-ice behavior during Yzerman's 22-year NHL career.

In Stewart's new book "You Wanna Go," Stewart said Yzerman was his least favorite player to deal with because the Red Wings' captain showed little respect for his officials.

"I made it my business to step up and defend the linesmen whom he treated the most poorly, in my opinion," Stewart wrote in the book. "In Minnesota, he berated a linesman to the point where I felt awful for this guy....

Ex-teammates of Yzerman disagree with Stewart's point of view.

"He's (Stewart) trying to sell a book, right?" said Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan, a former Red Wing and the only player in NHL history with 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes.

"Steve had that fire in the belly, that relentless, unyielding will to win, but you would be mistaken and it would be inaccurate to say he was disrespectful. He wasn't that kind of guy. He held everyone accountable on the ice, even the officials."


Also from Falkner,

Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Doug MacLean went to bed "scared to death," knowing that captain Steve Yzerman was about to be traded the next day.

It was the 1990-91 season, the underachieving Red Wings were struggling after missing the playoffs the year before and MacLean was told by GM Bryan Murray that Yzerman, the face of the franchise and the team's best hope of returning Detroit to the glory years of the Gordie Howe-led dynasty clubs in the 1950s, was headed to the New York Islanders for high-scoring center Pat Lafontaine (Waterford) and another player.

"When I woke up the next day, the deal was off," MacLean said. "Dare I say, I'm glad that trade didn't happen. It could've changed the course of Red Wings history."

The rest, of course, is history.


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