Yzerman to call it quits: The HHOF awaits. Also, Pronger to wear one of those new Ducks uniforms.
posted by mkn to hockey at 11:46 AM - 33 comments
I think going out like this is in keeping with Yzerman's character -- I never imagined he was the type to have a victory lap/farwell tour season. Growing up in Michigan in the 80s and 90s, I always was proud to have him be the most visible long-term face in the Detroit sports scene. I imagine he will stick around the Red Wings in a consulting role and eventually be groomed to take over Ken Holland's job as GM. Class act all around and he will be sorely missed.
posted by holden at 12:43 PM on July 03
>I imagine he will stick around the Red Wings in a consulting role and eventually be groomed to take over Ken Holland's job as GM. I read an interview where Yzerman said he was interested in becoming a general manager and had followed trades for years as a hobby/professional interest. And egads, Anaheim with Niedermayer and Pronger...
posted by Philfromhavelock at 12:49 PM on July 03
Thank you Stevie Y. for 22 great years!! Would have loved to see him reach 700 goals.Who's going to be the captain now?
posted by furnaceman787 at 01:00 PM on July 03
And egads, Anaheim with Niedermayer and Pronger... Almost doesn't seem fair to the rest of the Western Conference, does it?
posted by MrFrisby at 01:12 PM on July 03
I must say that although I am not a hockey fan, I grew up in Detroit and I've never really heard or saw any bad press about Stevie Y! I take my hat off to a professional athlete who has been a professional human being for his entire career. Professional Sports need more guys like Mr. Yzerman! (sobbing internally)
posted by bkdet at 03:27 PM on July 03
I was afraid this day was coming. Stevie showed last season that he can still play, but if he's not sure the knee will hold up, he's doing the smart thing. No sense ending up crippled. I wonder if he didn't take the opportunity to sign more talent into consideration, too. If the Wings drop his salary, they have room to beef up the rest of the roster (although I don't see how they're going to come up with a top flight goalie, which is what they really need). Stevie Y. is, and always has been, a class act. He'll stay in the Wings organization, but he'll be missed on the ice.
posted by ctal1999 at 03:30 PM on July 03
I'm a blackhawk fan and they suck but good luck to yzerman during his glory years hope he doesn't fade away 100%
posted by luther70 at 03:31 PM on July 03
Agreed about the greatness of Yzerman. His place in the history of the sport is assured, and the magnitude of his legacy and importance to the identity of the Red Wings approaches that of Gordie Howe himself. Full props to him, and now that he's gone, I hope the Wings start sucking a little. It's been a while, and they're due. Now, I suspect the acquisition of Pronger is not the piece that will put the Ducks over the top, but they're contenders now, and this sure can't hurt.
posted by chicobangs at 05:12 PM on July 03
Goodbye Steve -- you made hockey more fun to watch and follow. Happy days for us Duck fans (or as one broadcaster said they dropped mighty from the name and put it on the ice!)
posted by 2bnamedl8r at 05:20 PM on July 03
Chico! Bite your tongue! Seriously though, I don't think the Dead Wings will be back anytime soon (Ilitch won't allow it). They'll be competitive, but they won't be dominant again until they find a beast to put between the pipes.
posted by ctal1999 at 06:27 PM on July 03
Ha! Though now that you mention it, the one thing the Wings have never really had is a dominant goalie. Vernon, Osgood, Cujo & Hasek (and even Legace) have all been capable, but none have set the league on fire (at least not in a Wings uniform), and the Wings have won pretty consistently anyways for the last decade-plus. I'm sure they're looking for one even as we speak (I'm assuming Legace isn't going to become a top-five goalie. A legitimate starter, sure, but not the dominant pipesman Wings fans can hang their squid-hats on), but they've proven that they don't need one to succeed in this league, and with Luongo off the market, who else would even fit the bill? (And somewhere, a Wings fan calls in to a sports station and asks the host, "Do you think the Devils would give up Marty Brodeur for, say, Shanny and a couple of draft picks?")
posted by chicobangs at 06:43 PM on July 03
The Wings have had a problem for the last several years of lacking a good pressure goalie. They win a lot of games and everything's peachy until they hit a team in the playoffs with a smokin' hot goalie at the other end. If you look at the last few playoff series that they've lost, they've always outshot their opponents, but their net minder can't keep up. For awhile, their D was so harrassing that they got away with roller coaster goalies. Now, not so much. Having said that, I'm surprised that they didn't renew Legace. It was his rookie season (even though he's 33) and the defense didn't give him much support once the playoffs rolled around. His save percentage was .917 or something like that, and I have a feeling that they may regret letting him get away when he's gotten a little more seasoning.
posted by ctal1999 at 07:54 PM on July 03
Detroit made a big mistake in letting Manny Legace go.Now they have to find a number one i just say let Osgood have it and sign a good cheap back up for a year or so until Jimmy Howard is ready,but here are my top four picks that they i think they will go after starting with number 1 pick and that goes too GIGGY number two pick goes too NABOKOV number 3 goes too BIRON and number 4 goes too old timer ED BELFOUR but i dont think it will be BELFOUR he is up there in age and coming off back surgery but then again you never know they did part ways with MANNY LEGACE bad choice KEN HOLLAND.AS FOR STEVE Y THANKS FOR ALL THE YEARS IN DETROIT AND I HOPE YOU STAY IN THE FRONT OFFICE (MAYBE WILL YOU SAY STEVE FOR GM)
posted by sirtt22 at 08:15 PM on July 03
I think going out like this is in keeping with Yzerman's character -- I never imagined he was the type to have a victory lap/farwell tour season. Not to be the guy who ruins the fun, but let's be honest; last year WAS his "victory lap/farewell tour" season. He didn't announce it officially, but everyone pretty much knew he wasn't going to come back for another season. He is a shadow of his former self, and it showed last season. I even kind of wished he retired during the lockout (especially after the eye injury) so he wouldn't have one of "those" seasons, like this one was. That said, he's an easy choice to the Hall of Fame, even though he doesn't really have that many individual awards after a long and storied career. He never led the league in points, he never won the MVP, he never led the league in goals, he never led the league in assists, but you'd be hard pressed to suggest he wasn't one of the best players of his time. The list of his awards is quite small: 1988-89 Lester B. Pearson Trophy 1997-98 Conn Smythe Trophy 1999-00 Frank J. Selke Trophy 2002-03 Bill Masterton Trophy
posted by grum@work at 08:28 PM on July 03
Wow, I missed that news. I've been in the backwoods of Virginia for the last week, and so I didn't hear about Legace being let go. (Incidentally and for what it's worth, there are plenty of Canes fans up in them thar hills, although we were actually a little closer to DC. See what winning will do?) Well, Wings fans can hope there's a plan afoot (and Wings haters can hope not). Roloson re-signed with Edmonton, so that's another playoff-tested goalie off the market.
posted by chicobangs at 08:35 PM on July 03
Stevie has that special something that doesn't just show up in statistics or awards. He has heart. You can teach his kind of talent and determination, a player has to be born with it. Today I feel the same as I did when Al kaline retired. Sad to see him go, but filled with countless wonderful memories. Thanks for that Stevie.
posted by commander cody at 09:48 PM on July 03
Ha! Though now that you mention it, the one thing the Wings have never really had is a dominant goalie. Vernon, Osgood, Cujo & Hasek (and even Legace) have all been capable, but none have set the league on fire (at least not in a Wings uniform), and the Wings have won pretty consistently anyways for the last decade-plus. I'm sure they're looking for one even as we speak (I'm assuming Legace isn't going to become a top-five goalie. A legitimate starter, sure, but not the dominant pipesman Wings fans can hang their squid-hats on), but they've proven that they don't need one to succeed in this league, and with Luongo off the market, who else would even fit the bill? (And somewhere, a Wings fan calls in to a sports station and asks the host, "Do you think the Devils would give up Marty Brodeur for, say, Shanny and a couple of draft picks?") posted by chicobangs at 6:43 PM CDT on July 3 brodeur would look great in red and white!! oh and i believe Mr.hasek won detroit a cup! congrats to # 19 one of the top 10 of all time
posted by DADSQUEST at 09:58 PM on July 03
You can teach Ahem...actually I meant you can't. Damn typos
posted by commander cody at 09:59 PM on July 03
Would have loved to see him reach 700 goals.Who's going to be the captain now? I'm still hoping it's Pavel Datsyuk. Young, talented and making him Captain might keep him around another 15 or so years and give them someone new to build a team around.
posted by commander cody at 10:04 PM on July 03
brodeur would look great in red and white!! Really? What team's colors would he not look good in? (And since the joke may have been too subtle: I used Martin Brodeur as an example because as great as he is, he is not going anywhere. Not now, not ever.)
posted by chicobangs at 10:08 PM on July 03
grum -- I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on whether last year was a victory lap/farewell tour for Yzerman. Irrespective of whether there was a legitimate chance he would come back (and I think there was, as did the Detroit media, at least judging from stories in the Free Press and Detroit News as the season wound down and ultimately ended), he did not announce it and there was not the big brouhaha surrounding his last games at various visiting arenas ("Come see Yzerman for the last game against Team X!!!"), as there have been for a number of notable retirees across the professional sports landscape. I also disagree as to whether this was "one of those seasons." Yzerman knew his place and was a decent third line wing/center; it's not like the situation where a player clearly past his prime is seeking top billing or requiring that the game flow through him or that he get all kinds of time on special teams. In addition to whatever marginal impact he had on the ice, I also am hopeful that he imparted some leadership lessons/skills (whether by advice, example, etc.) on the next generation. And while I typically hate that intangibles crap in sports discussions, I think it does have some value (both symbolic and otherwise) in hockey, and particularly for the Red Wings, who, with the Canadiens (for obvious historical reasons), probably have most captured the public imagination as the team with that special Yankeesesque mystique. I think Lidstrom will take over as captain for the next two years (I believe he just signed a two year deal) and then my guess is it goes to Zetterberg, if they can lock him up.
posted by holden at 10:09 PM on July 03
holden: I don't think Yzerman would have wanted a brouhaha, so I doubt he would have informed anyone. But believe me when I say that I would have been VERY shocked if he was coming back in the 2006/07 season. I think the press were simply hyping the posibility because, well, it sells newspapers/radio-time/tv spots. I also disagree as to whether this was "one of those seasons." Yzerman knew his place and was a decent third line wing/center; it's not like the situation where a player clearly past his prime is seeking top billing or requiring that the game flow through him or that he get all kinds of time on special teams. Yzerman should not be relegated to a third line. To do so is to admit his skills had atrophied during the lockout, and that "3rd line" is the best he could handle. To be honest, watching Yzerman as a 3rd line player is like watching Bernie Williams as a DH/RF. Sure, he can still (sort of) make a contribution, but it's not the Bernie Williams everyone wants to see. And it's not a transformation because the team has a better option at the position (like when Ripken slid over to 3B for Bordick).
posted by grum@work at 11:11 PM on July 03
I don't think Yzerman would have wanted a brouhaha, so I doubt he would have informed anyone. But believe me when I say that I would have been VERY shocked if he was coming back in the 2006/07 season. I think the press were simply hyping the posibility because, well, it sells newspapers/radio-time/tv spots. I think our difference here is largely semantic. When I say "victory lap/farewell tour" I mean an orchestrated (and typically self-serving -- either for the team or the player himself) event-type of final season. I didn't think Yzerman was coming back either, but I don't think that changes the fact that he didn't have the classic send off we typically see for beloved sports figures who announce their retirements. Yzerman should not be relegated to a third line. To do so is to admit his skills had atrophied during the lockout, and that "3rd line" is the best he could handle. I don't see why there is any shame in admitting that his skills had atrophied over the lockout. I would expect the same for just about anyone over the age of 35, let alone 40. Yzerman's skills have been in a slow decline for at least the past five years, if not the past ten. Who are we to say that third line on a team that was a contender for the cup (or certainly looked that way throughout the season) is not worth it? Maybe us s fans would like to see top players go out as we would wish to remember them, but I am all for someone trying to go for that last cup/ring/etc. if it's meaningful to him/her, regardless of the role. Finally, I'm not sure whether the Bernie Williams analogy holds up. (Although I certainly can't question the fact that this is not the Bernie Williams that Yankees fan wants to see.) I'm not sure if hockey stats have evolved to the point where there is a concept analagous to replacement level in baseball, but I would bet that Yzerman was at or above replacement level for a third line wing/center this year. Bernie, on the other hand, is below replacement level for a DH/RF and therefore its more than just sad to see him in that role -- it's really hurting his team.
posted by holden at 11:36 PM on July 03
I used Martin Brodeur as an example because as great as he is, he is not going anywhere. Not now, not ever. Amen brother.
posted by MrFrisby at 01:33 AM on July 04
(And somewhere, a Wings fan calls in to a sports station and asks the host, "Do you think the Devils would give up Marty Brodeur for, say, Shanny and a couple of draft picks?") /Stares at the computer like a deer in headlights with a phone up to his ear. I find it a shame that Yzerman wasn't able to get to 700 goals, but there is no doubt that it is his time. He still showed some flash, but I would rather have him go out now then staying on another probably painful year. As for the captain situation, I agree with holden in the fact that it will probably go to Lindstrom if he wants it. He has been an assistant captain for quite a while, and with Shanahan not a certainty to come back he makes a very logical choice.
posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:55 AM on July 04
Sirt, I'm glad I'm not the only one to think that letting Legace go was a mistake. I was a little too easy on him when I called him a rookie in an earlier comment, but he'd been in and out of the NHL for years and prior to last season, the best he'd done was split time with an injury riddled Cujo in the '03-'04 season. Then came the lock out, so his NHL experience as a full time goalie is one season. He's got the skills. If he gets more accustomed to playoff pressure and can raise his game instead of getting shaky, the Wings will be sorry.
posted by ctal1999 at 08:51 AM on July 04
Yes - I too think the new captain is Lidstrom. I wouldn't give it to Datsyuk if he paid me. Two straight disappears in the playoffs. Maddening. I think Yzerman solidified his HoF credentials more than just points and totals when he decided to stop just being a scorer and became one of the best two-way forwards in the league. Three-time Stanley Cup captain, Conn Smythe winner (the most important individual award in hockey - Hart and Lester B. Pearson being close runner-ups) and 22-year veteran, being instrimental in raising that franchise from the dead. Plus that guy played near death at times - busted all to hell and still grinding. I think Stevie Y isn't in the same class as Gretzky, Orr, Howe, Richard and Messier, but he's in the one immediately after them. I also think he wanted to play again, but knew that his knee was just never going to get any better.
posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:57 AM on July 04
Wow, Weedy, you're on a roll this morning. You were right on the MLB All-Star game, and on Big Ben to the Bulls, and now you're dead on here, too. Stevie had as much drive and grit as any of the guys you listed, but not quite the talent level (which means he was in, what, the top 1% ever instead of the top 1/2%?). From everything he's said from the end of last season to the news conference yesterday, I think you're right about the knee, too. He knew he couldn't play at the level he wanted to and that he was taking a chance of ruining the knee for good this time. He also knew they needed spare cash to spend on a net minder, or at least to shore up the D so whoever ends up between the pipes doesn't get tested so badly. Maybe with Stevie out of the mix, they'll even get Shanny to stick around. If Yzerman could have made a big enough contribution, he'd have stayed regardless of the future of his knee. He just has a sharp enough hockey mind to do the math and realize that this is the best choice all the way around.
posted by ctal1999 at 09:36 AM on July 04
RE: Detroit Goalies The wing ran that 1-3-1 transition defense during those back to back cups wins. When you play a 1-3-1 you could have Glenn Healy playing net and still win a cup. RE: Stevie Y's place in history I think you could call him one of if not the best all around center in the game. Was he as good a scorer as a Gertzky or Lemieux, no but he was a rung below them and played much, much better D than either of them.
posted by HATER 187 at 08:35 AM on July 05
I think you could call him one of if not the best all around center in the game. Was he as good a scorer as a Gertzky or Lemieux, no but he was a rung below them and played much, much better D than either of them. I agree, but with a caveat: if Gretzky had decided to hang around for a couple more years, and played the role of 3rd line centre, he had such a sense for the game and how it was flowing that I feel he could have won a Selke Trophy. His ability to read plays and players was probably second to none, and if he converted that from offensive opportunities to defensive situations, I think he would have adapted quite well. However, he didn't do anything of the sort so it's strictly speculation. The only other centres that I can think of that had the same defensive prowess (and a similar offensive skill) would be Sakic, Trottier, and Beliveau, with Sakic being the best comparison of the three.
posted by grum@work at 11:13 AM on July 05
on the topic of captain no one mentioned zetterberg i believe he is detroit's future
posted by DADSQUEST at 09:35 PM on July 05
So long Wiser-Man, I'll miss ya! My heart is sad, but my head is happy for him. I'm very glad that he hung up his skates while he was still effective. Sorry it took me so long to post, I've been campin' and fishin' for the past week. And grum, I would have to say that Stevie did not mind the third line at all. He'd probably be the first one to tell you that the team comes first, not the player. That's why he was (hurts to say 'was' and not 'is') the longest running captain in NHL history. If Shanny comes back, I think that he'll have the 'C.' If not him then Lidstrom.
posted by wingnut4life at 07:34 AM on July 06
'If Shanny comes back, I think that he'll have the 'C.' Too bad he is in New York...I'm sure he will help the Rangers out plenty. Poor Red Wings
posted by tru_blue1881 at 11:42 AM on July 19
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