Last night a quiet leader was finally honored in Joe Lewis Arena. Steve Yzerman's number 19 was hoisted to the rafters, being only the 6th player in the over 80 year history of the detroit redwings to have the honor destowed upon them. the number 19 will never play for the Detroit Redwings ever again.
Yzerman served his whole professional career, 22 seasons, with the redwings. of those 22 seasons, for the past 19 fans at "The Joe" sawe the captain "C" on Yzermans jersey. He was not only the youngest captain, but the longest serving captain the NHL's long history.
Even on the night that was all about him, he was the same old captain. He did everything possible to take the spotlight off of him and onto others.
"My jersey is going to go up there and I hope as you watch it go up, and when you come back and see it, you give yourself a pat on the back because you're a big reason why that jersey is up there," he said. "It doesn't represent what I did, but what we did as an organization."
Steve Yzerman has always been a hero of mine, when I realize all that I have seen yzerman in the past 9-10 seasons I realize that I jsut caught the tail end of his career, that he has been the captain of the Redwings longer than I have been alive. When Hall of fame coach Scotty Bowman spoke of Yzerman he said that at the start of the 2002 play-offs he was sure in his mind of Yzerman was in any shape to play. that thought was put to rest when yzerman played in every game and led by example his he and the wings won the Stanley Cup.
to people who dont follow hockey or watch the redwings he may seem like just another captain who retired after a long career, but to those who watched and knew, he was much more. Yzerman was the type of prefessional athlete that we need mroe of these days. He is one of the most modest people you will ever meet. as a captain he leads by example, not by yelling, or scare tactics. He is the type of man boys want to grow up to be and the type of person parents want their children to be.
When I look back at my high school career I wish I could have been more of a leader like him. as I look back i realize that I could have made more of an impact if I just would have payed attention to the leader right in front of me, if I would have just led like Yzerman. I apologize to all whom I was the leader to for not doing my best.
Steve Yzerman has made a profound impact on my life in a very positive way, he has shown me the kind of man I want to be and the kind of man we should all want to be like. Thank you Steve, for showing me the right way to do things, you are indeed my captain.