Steve Yzerman

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CanadaCanada  Steve Yzerman Ice hockey player
Hockey Hall of Fame , 2009
IIHF Hall of Fame , 2014
Steve Yzerman
Date of birth May 9, 1965
place of birth Cranbrook , British Columbia , Canada
Nickname The captain
size 180 cm
Weight 84 kg
position center
number # 19
Shot hand Right
NHL Entry Draft 1983 , 1st lap, 4th position
Detroit Red Wings
Career stations
1980-1981 Nepean Raiders
1981-1983 Peterborough Petes
1983-2006 Detroit Red Wings

Stephen Gregory "Steve" Yzerman (born May 9, 1965 in Cranbrook , British Columbia ) is a former Canadian ice hockey striker . From 1983 he played for the Detroit Red Wings in the National Hockey League and won the Stanley Cup three times , the 2002 Olympic gold medal and several individual awards in his 23-year career . Through his 20-year tenure as team captain in Detroit, the longest in NHL history, he was recognized throughout the league as a leader and was nicknamed "The Captain" . After his active career, he served as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2010 to 2018 before returning to the Detroit Red Wings in April 2019. Between 2006 and May 2010 he also served as Vice President of the Detroit Red Wings and also worked in various positions for the Canadian national team .


Steve Yzerman in the Detroit Red Wings jersey

The beginning

Steve Yzerman began his career in 1981 in the Canadian Junior League OHL with the Peterborough Petes . In his first season he scored 64 points in 58 games. The following year he was able to improve the mark to 91 points. Due to his good performance, he was pulled by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft in fourth place.

The Red Wings, which are part of the Original Six , were going through a difficult period at the time. In the past 17 years they only reached the playoffs twice and were far from the glamor of years gone by. That should change with Steve Yzerman.

He played his first NHL game on October 5, 1983, scoring his first goal. In his first season, he led the most assists (48) and points (87) categories for NHL rookies . He was named "Rookie of the Year" by Sporting News . After the Red Wings missed the playoffs five times in a row, they managed to return to Yzerman's debut season.

The climb

In 1986/87 , at the age of 21, Steve Yzerman became the youngest captain to date for the Detroit Red Wings. In the 1988/89 season , Yzerman set a personal record with 155 points (65 goals, 90 assists). For his great season performance he was awarded the Lester B. Pearson Award for best player in the NHL . But he still had to wait some time for a team success.

1993 Scotty Bowman took over the coaching position in Detroit. Bowman had already won six Stanley Cups with Montreal and Pittsburgh and should lead the Red Wings, again established in the playoffs, to win the Stanley Cup. Yzerman was frustrated in 1993 because he was the leader in Detroit, but the great success still failed to materialize, and as a result, the hopes of the fans and thus also the pressure weighed on him. Among other things, it was discussed whether he should be transferred to another team. Bowman eventually switched Yzerman's game over. While he was mainly on the offensive in the first ten years of his career and was one of the best scorers, Scotty Bowman made him play much more defensively. This reduced his point yield, but he developed into one of the best two-way strikers in the league and the team's game became more effective.

On the way to the Stanley Cup

In 1994/95 the Red Wings, led by Yzerman, reached out for the first time after the Stanley Cup when they clearly lost in four games in the final against the New Jersey Devils .

But in 1997 the time had finally come and "The Captain", as Yzerman was called, won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings for the first time in over 40 years. In the following season 1997/98 the Red Wings could repeat the success and Yzerman was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs . Yzerman had a significant share in the success with 24 points in 22 playoff games.

In 2000 he was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive striker .

Injury concerns and successes

In 2000/01 he was out at the end of the season because he broke his leg, but he fought his way back and was able to play a playoff game.

In 2002, Yzerman had injury concerns again. Among other things, it was diagnosed that there was hardly any cartilage left on one knee. Teammates watched him climb stairs with his sound leg first taking a step and then dragging the injured leg. Despite the pain, he was able to lift the Stanley Cup again in 2002 and was even one of the top scorers for the Red Wings in the playoffs with 23 points. In the same year he also won the gold medal with Team Canada at the Winter Olympics .

Due to the fact that he gave everything despite the injury and won the Stanley Cup practically on one leg, he was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2003, which is awarded to the player who has shown perseverance, dedication and fairness in and around ice hockey stood out.

In 2002/03 he had to undergo knee surgery and was therefore only able to play 16 games. The following year he suffered an eye injury during the playoffs.


He announced in autumn 2005 that he would not participate in the 2006 Winter Olympics . Thereupon Wayne Gretzky , team manager from Team Canada, stated that the number 19 of the Canadian team in honor of Steve Yzerman will no longer be awarded.

In the 2005/06 season , the Red Wings were the top favorites for the championship title when they finished the regular season as the best of the 30 teams. But already in the first round of the playoffs, the dream of the fourth Stanley Cup within ten years was over. Detroit lost to the Edmonton Oilers after six games with 2-4.

Steve Yzerman ended his impressive career on July 3, 2006 at the age of 41. For 20 years he captained the Detroit Red Wings on the ice, capturing a team longer than any other player in the history of the NHL.

No player can be associated with the rise of the Red Wings as closely as Steve Yzerman. He joined the Red Wings in 1983, who had just missed the playoffs for the fifth time in a row. With Steve Yzerman this only happened twice. Under his leadership, the team re-established itself at the top of the NHL in the nineties and was able to win the Stanley Cup again.

Honors after retirement

Steve Yzerman's banner with the number 19 and the "C" on the ceiling of the Joe Louis Arena next to the blocked numbers of other deserving Red Wings players

On November 6, 2006 Steve Yzerman received the Lester Patrick Trophy , which is awarded for special services to ice hockey in the USA and the NHL.

On January 2, 2007, before the Red Wings game against Anaheim, a banner with his number 19 was hung on the ceiling of the Joe Louis Arena in a ceremony in honor of Steve Yzerman . In addition to the number 19 and his name, there is also a "C" on the banner, as he was "The Captain" for many years. Former Red Wings players and ice hockey greats were also present at the ceremony, such as Gordie Howe , Mike Vernon , Larry Murphy , Brett Hull , Alex Delvecchio , Vladimir Konstantinov , Ted Lindsay , Bob Probert and Igor Larionov . The number 19 will no longer be given to any Red Wings player.

On January 13, 2007, before the game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Michigan's Governor Jennifer Granholm declared January 13 to be Steve Yzerman Day for all of Michigan at Joe Louis Arena. Further honors followed on January 12, 2008 with the induction into the Sports Hall of Fame in Yzerman's hometown Ottawa and on February 11, 2008 with the induction into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2009 he was honored with the induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame .

Activity in management

Yzerman on his induction into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame

From September 25, 2006, Steve Yzerman was Vice President of Detroit Red Wings, where he worked alongside General Manager Ken Holland .

On January 30, 2007, the Canadian ice hockey federation Hockey Canada announced that Yzerman will act as general manager of the national team at the World Cup in Russia . Team Canada only narrowly won the first game of the tournament against Germany at the end of April 3-2, played better and better in the following games and finally won the world title, which Yzerman could never win as a player. Steve Yzerman also took over the post of General Manager at the 2008 World Cup in Canada . He was assisted by his former teammate Luc Robitaille and Doug Armstrong . Again we managed to put together a good team and Team Canada made it to the finals, where they were, however, defeated by the Russian national team after extra time.

In October 2008, the Canadian Ice Hockey Federation decided that Yzerman should become Executive Director of the Canadian national team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in his own country. In this position he is responsible for the organization of the team as well as the selection of coaches and players for the Olympic tournament.

Steve Yzerman has been General Manager and Vice President of Tampa Bay Lightning since May 25, 2010 . After the 2014/15 season he was honored with the NHL General Manager of the Year Award . After eight years, he resigned as General Manager of the team in September 2018 and handed the position over to his assistant Julien BriseBois . For the time being, however, he stayed on as a consultant to Tampa before he was introduced as the new General Manager of Detroit Red Wings in April 2019 and thus returned to his long-standing workplace.


"He was the face of the Detroit Red Wings for the past 20 years and will be remembered as one of the best players and leaders that ever played the game of hockey. (He has been the face of the Detroit Red Wings for the past 20 years and will be remembered as one of the best players and leaders ever in ice hockey) "

- Wayne Gretzky on Steve Yzerman after his retirement in July 2006

Achievements and Awards

As a player


As a functionary


Career statistics

Regular season Playoffs
season team league Sp T V Pt SM Sp T V Pt SM
1981/82 Peterborough Petes OHL 58 21st 43 64 65 6th 0 1 1 16
1982/83 Peterborough Petes OHL 56 42 49 91 33 4th 1 4th 5 0
1983/84 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 39 48 87 33 4th 3 3 6th 0
1984/85 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 30th 59 89 58 3 2 1 3 2
1985/86 Detroit Red Wings NHL 51 14th 28 42 16 - - - - -
1986/87 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 31 59 90 43 16 5 13 18th 8th
1987/88 Detroit Red Wings NHL 64 50 52 102 44 3 1 3 4th 6th
1988/89 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 65 90 155 61 6th 5 5 10 2
1989/90 Detroit Red Wings NHL 79 62 65 127 79 - - - - -
1990/91 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 51 57 108 34 7th 3 3 6th 4th
1991/92 Detroit Red Wings NHL 79 45 58 103 64 11 3 5 8th 12
1992/93 Detroit Red Wings NHL 84 58 79 137 44 7th 4th 3 7th 4th
1993/94 Detroit Red Wings NHL 58 24 58 82 36 3 1 3 4th 0
1994/95 Detroit Red Wings NHL 47 12 26th 38 40 15th 4th 8th 12 0
1995/96 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 36 59 95 64 18th 8th 12 20th 4th
1996/97 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81 22nd 63 85 78 20th 7th 6th 13 4th
1997/98 Detroit Red Wings NHL 75 24 45 69 46 22nd 6th 18th 24 22nd
1998/99 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 29 45 74 42 10 9 4th 13 0
1999/00 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 35 44 79 34 8th 0 4th 4th 0
2000/01 Detroit Red Wings NHL 54 18th 34 52 18th 1 0 0 0 0
2001/02 Detroit Red Wings NHL 52 13 35 48 18th 23 6th 17th 23 10
2002/03 Detroit Red Wings NHL 16 2 6th 8th 8th 4th 0 1 1 2
2003/04 Detroit Red Wings NHL 75 18th 33 51 46 11 3 2 5 0
2004/05 Detroit Red Wings NHL not played because of lockout
2005/06 Detroit Red Wings NHL 61 14th 20th 34 18th 4th 0 4th 4th 4th
OHL total 114 63 92 145 98 10 1 5 6th 16
NHL overall 1514 692 1063 1755 924 196 70 115 185 84


Represented Canada to:

year team event result Sp T V Pt SM
1983 Canada June World Cup 3rd place, bronze 7th 2 3 5 2
1984 Canada Canada Cup 1st place, gold 4th 0 0 0 0
1985 Canada WM 2nd place, silver 10 3 4th 7th 6th
1989 Canada WM 2nd place, silver 8th 5 7th 12 2
1990 Canada WM 4th Place 10 10 10 20th 8th
1996 Canada World cup 2nd place 6th 2 1 3 0
1998 Canada Olympia 4th Place 6th 1 1 2 10
2002 Canada Olympia 1st place, gold 6th 2 4th 6th 2
Juniors overall 7th 2 3 5 2
Men overall 50 23 27 50 28

( Legend for player statistics: Sp or GP = games played; T or G = goals scored; V or A = assists scored ; Pkt or Pts = scorer points scored ; SM or PIM = penalty minutes received ; +/− = plus / minus balance; PP = overpaid goals scored ; SH = underpaid goals scored ; GW = winning goals scored; 1  play-downs / relegation )



  • 6th place as the best scorer (season) of all time with 1755 points
  • 8th place as the best scorer (playoff) of all time with 185 points
  • 8th place as top scorer (season) of all time with 692 goals
  • 7th place as the best assists (season) of all time with 1063 assists
  • Longest-serving team captain in NHL history (1986-2006)

Detroit Red Wings

  • Best assists (season) of all time with 1063 assists
  • Best scorer (playoff) of all time with 185 points
  • All-time best scorer (playoff) with 70 goals
  • Most goals in a season with 65 goals
  • Most assists in a season with 90 assists
  • Most points in a season with 155 points
  • Most points as a rookie with 87 points

Web links

Individual evidence

  1., Governor declares Yzerman Day
  2., 'Humble' Yzerman enshrined in Ottawa hall
  3., Another stop in Yzerman's hall tour
  4., Yzerman named Executive Director of Canada's men's team
  5. Legend Yzerman returns to Detroit. In: April 19, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2019 .