August 30, 2006

Up with Stevie Y.: The Wings had to honor him in some way. I imagine this is just the start.

posted by roberts to hockey at 06:44 PM - 23 comments

It's a bummer we have to wait till January. But as everyone knows, he is the most deserving of this honor and I will have that date circled on my calendar.

posted by chriskartwheel at 07:00 PM on August 30

This is a great honor for Yzerman when you look at the other names up in the rafters, but it isn't unexpected. It would be a crime for the Wings to not to raise a banner in his honor.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:28 PM on August 30

I have a feeling that if they'd waited very long for this, there would have been a fan uprising that could have been U-G-L-Y!

posted by ctal1999 at 07:31 PM on August 30

No surprise really. I always assumed it was a given that his number would end up in the rafters. Sort of like retiring Kaline's number on the Tigers.

posted by commander cody at 10:18 PM on August 30

An honor fitting for such a humble man. Congrats.

posted by wingnut4life at 12:41 AM on August 31

I'll watch that for sure. I'll also be sure to man-up and cry like a little girl. Hockey always manages to get something in my eye. I used to think that he was a great player in an era of super-great players (Gretzky, Mario, Messier) but really he belongs in that group. For a guy who was one of the best defensive forwards the league for almost ten years - he's also the sixth highest point getter of all time. Think about that.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:08 AM on August 31

They wait until January because those are the "dog days" of hockey, when interest begins to wane (game 40 of the season), but before it picks up again for the playoff run. I saw that some other team was doing a "retired number" honour for one of their players a week before Stevie Y, so I assume that these sort of things are designed not to clash with each other (for maximum press attention). Yzerman falls into that "legendary great" category with ease, but doesn't quite reach that "name spoken in revered tones" category, like Gretzky, Howe, M.Richard, Orr and Lemieux. He's in the same level as Messier, Bourque, Beliveau and H.Richard, which is like being Lou Gehrig to Babe Ruth, Magic Johnson to Michael Jordan or John Elway to Joe Montana. No shame in that. During the Red Wing/Leaf clashes, he was the only Detroit player whose name did not start with "F*cking" when I spoke it aloud.

posted by grum@work at 10:30 AM on August 31

grum - all true, all true.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:54 AM on August 31

For a guy who was one of the best defensive forwards the league for almost ten years - he's also the sixth highest point getter of all time. Think about that. I do. And I think this is why Grum and I will be forever at odds on the subject of Yzerman. I think he is the best all around centers (centres?) who ever played. Just stating my opinion. I also think Bourque belongs on the same level as Orr. I guess I just have a more liberal view of what great is.

posted by HATER 187 at 11:05 AM on August 31

Hold up Hater, are u saying Yzerman is on the same leval as Gretzky. Thas insane. And Bourque is no where near Orr either.

posted by tupacalypse at 11:50 AM on August 31

I compare Orr to Gale Sayers, Hall of Fame careers cut down by injury, a lot of coulda, shoulda, woulda, but no denying their greatness when they were in the arena.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:52 AM on August 31

Yzerman falls into that "legendary great" category with ease, but doesn't quite reach that "name spoken in revered tones" category, Unless you're from Michigan. There his name is spoken with reverence not only because of how well he played, but for what he did for the sport of hockey there. He brought the game back to life and put the "Hockey" in "Hockeytown". For that he deserves more credit then any of his many, many, many accomplishments on the ice. Just as Yankee stadium is the house that Ruth built, Hockeytown is the house that Stevie Y. built.

posted by commander cody at 11:56 AM on August 31

Hold up Hater, are u saying Yzerman is on the same leval as Gretzky Thats exactly what I am saying. He may not have had the same scoring ability but he was no slouch when it came to offense (6th all time point getter) he was wicked good at face offs and was really damn on the defensive end of the puck. Stevie excelled in all of the areas that important to a centerman. That's what is meant by "best all around".

posted by HATER 187 at 12:17 PM on August 31

He may not have had the same scoring ability Well, to be fair that's a bit of an understatement. I don't think winning a few more face-offs can overcome 1100 more points. I think he's a superstar, but Gretzky is sorta on another planet. For whatever reason, it seems to me that we're getting a little complacent when thinking about the Great One. (I blame the Ford Commercials - just stop, please) It's usually "sure he scored a lot, and had a lot of assists" - but it should be more like "He has more assists than anyone else has points. All-time. In less games" All-round is good, and Stevie is one of the top four centremen of his generation (Mario, Messier and Gretzky are all ahead I think) but it's no substitute for being considered one of the best all-time. Of course, Yzerman's play on the ice was not the only facet of his impact. In the dressing room and in the city - he counts for so much more.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:07 PM on August 31

Yeah, well, that's like your opinon man.

posted by HATER 187 at 01:38 PM on August 31

Yeah, well, that's like your opinon man.Um, isn't that what Spofi is all about?

posted by tommytrump at 01:49 PM on August 31

I don't think Yzerman is on Gretzky's level, but he is above the level grum has placed him. He is hands down one of the top ten players ever. However, no one can be compared to Gretzky because it isn't possible. He was the best ever and everyone else is at least a whole level or two below him.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:19 PM on August 31

Ahhhhh - hockey talk. How I missed you. This is the best thing about listing the hockey greats. There is simply no way to be wrong or right. Numbers don't mean enough, eras were staggeringly different and connections are often emotional. I can totally understand why Hater would pick Stevie Y before all others. I just can't possibly do the same. To wit: If these "new" rules were in place in Gretzky's prime - he'd have 275+ points every year for 8-10 years. I feel comfortable making that outlandishly unsubstainable claim.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:34 PM on August 31

Numbers don't mean enough, eras were staggeringly different and connections are often emotional. Fucking beautiful. This is what I love about hockey. It's not as easily broken down by stats as baseball. You have to watch the game, really watch the game to understand the tiny nuainces that make a player who doesn't nessecarily score 50 goals a season a good player. At times this place may seem like it's going to shit but the hockey threads are always top notch. Tommytrump-go rent the Big Lebowski, right now!

posted by HATER 187 at 04:05 PM on August 31

During the Red Wing/Leaf clashes, he was the only Detroit player whose name did not start with "F*cking" when I spoke it aloud. F*cking Nikolai Borschevsky Oh how I miss the days when those teams were in the same conference.

posted by holden at 05:30 PM on August 31

Yzerman falls into that "legendary great" category with ease, but doesn't quite reach that "name spoken in revered tones" category, Unless you're from Michigan. There his name is spoken with reverence not only because of how well he played, but for what he did for the sport of hockey there. He brought the game back to life and put the "Hockey" in "Hockeytown". For that he deserves more credit then any of his many, many, many accomplishments on the ice. Just as Yankee stadium is the house that Ruth built, Hockeytown is the house that Stevie Y. built. I will definitely concede that point. Players in local markets are definitely going to be rated higher than players from outside the local market. A prime example would be how Maple Leaf fans would rate Doug Gilmour, Darryl Sittler and Borje Salming, compared to how someone in the Chicago/Detroit/Montreal market would rate them. To me, there are only 5 NHL players that completely surpass regional "bias": Wayne Gretzky - records Bobby Orr - changed the nature of the game Gordie Howe - Mr. Hockey Mario Lemieux - the greatest pure talent Maurice Richard - the greatest goal scorer I cannot possibly produce a convincing argument in opposition to someone making a claim for ANY of those 5 as the "greatest of all time". The question I have for the Detroit fans: are you willing to say that Steve Yzerman is a "greater" player than Gordie Howe?

posted by grum@work at 06:02 PM on August 31

The question I have for the Detroit fans: are you willing to say that Steve Yzerman is a "greater" player than Gordie Howe? No.

posted by holden at 06:07 PM on August 31

Nope. A prime example would be how Maple Leaf fans would rate Doug Gilmour, Darryl Sittler and Borje Salming, compared to how someone in the Chicago/Detroit/Montreal market would rate them. Ouch. Too true.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:14 AM on September 01

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.