Belated Tribute #2

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

22 Sweet Yearz-man
Steve Yzerman's retirement in July ended 22 years of sheer greatness. Other than my father and 8 pound 9 oz. baby Jesus, Steve has been my role model since I can remember.

He ranks seventh on the all-time NHL list in goals (692), assists (1,063) and is sixth in total points (1,755). Steve not only was a great hockey player but was a good person too. He turned down hundreds of thousands of women every night because he is a family man. He also signed a hat for me on my birthday. The 10-time all-star also has his name engraved on four individual trophies, the Lester B. Person (1989), Conn Smythe (1998), Frank J. Selke (2000) and the Bill Masterton (2003).

Oh, and Mr. Lord Stanley Cup knows him pretty well too. His name appears on there 3 times (1997, 1998, 2002).

Yzerman will also go into the pages of history shoulder to shoulder with my buddy's neighbor, Gordie Howe, as the greatest Red Wings of all-time. And on top of all that, Yzerman holds the NHL record for longest serving captain of a team with 19 straight seasons.

I remember going outside to play roller blade hockey when I was growing up while wearing his jersey and pretend to be him. I would skate as fast as I could to try and fly like he would. I would imitate his goals the way I saw them on television the night before. The one I would always replay was the one he had versus St. Louis in double overtime of game 7.

Ahh... goosebumps like AC's game winning dinger this year. It's beautiful.

Ok. I'm composed. I'll go on.

I also remember kissing the cup when I got the chance when I was 12 in the same fashion I saw Steve kiss it. Hell, I even knocked my tooth out in the same exact location he lost his tooth. If it weren't for the restraining order I'd probably have a house next door to him and follow him around.

But, yea. It'll be hard watching Red Wings' games and not seeing #19 on the ice. The loyalty he had for the city of Detroit is the type of loyalty a human being can only imagine of having for someone or something. I respect him more than any other athlete in the Universe (yes, more than Georghe Muresean, even though he has great cologne and smells terrific for being such a freak of nature) and I will always cherish the memories made by our Captain.

Steve Yzerman will always be the captain of Detroit.

GO CATS


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