November 07, 2009

All Eyes On Yzerman


There are lot of great memories of Steve Yzerman in his Hall of Fame career.

I will always remember the offensive one-man wizardry early in his career, and the transformation into the grizzled Stanley Cup champion later on in his career.

But for me, the 2002 season was the most amazing season in Yzerman's career. He was horribly hobbled by a bad knee that at season's end would have to go under major reconstruction, with no guarantee of success. Yet he put off that surgery to chase Olympic gold and Stanley Cup silver.

His NHL regular season was not great by his standards. He only played in 52 games, and scored just 13 goals. But at the Olympics and in Stanley Cup playoffs, when the games counted most, Yzerman came through brilliantly. Despite playing almost literally on just one leg and in obvious pain, he willed his teams to victory.

You could simply not watch Yzerman that year and not cheer him on. It was one of the most amazing displays of hockey in the history of the game.

It is that passion for hockey that earned him his spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame. It is that passion driving Yzerman to excel off the ice, too.

While everyone in Canada will be celebrating Yzerman this weekend, attention will quickly turn to focus on Yzerman's new role as Canada's general manager for the 2010 Olympic games. Enjoy this weekend Steve, as you will be in the Olympic hot seat again on Tuesday, with it getting hotter by the day.

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