Stevie Y bids adieu
I hadn't commented earlier on Steve Yzerman's retirement announcement yesterday, because, frankly, I couldn't think of anything to say. His 61 games this past season were awfully quiet, and given the lockout and his declining production in recent years, it's almost as if Stevie Y has been on an extended retirement swing since Scotty Bowman's retirement in 2002.
Now, I don't mean any disrespect to Yzerman by saying that: While I've never at any point found myself rooting for the Detroit Red Wings, I am a fan of the kid from the Kootenays. His numbers speak to his accomplishments, and the fact he's recorded the third-best single-season point total (155) behind Gretzky and Lemieux is impressive on its own. His time with the Canadian national team has also endeared him to hockey fans in his birth country.
Yzerman's one of the few players who's been an NHL star nearly my entire life, and certainly ever since I've been following the game closely. He's an icon in the game, and a great representative of what hockey is — or at least what it should be. Looking at the ridiculous player movement the past few seasons, you wonder if another Yzerman will ever grace this league.
Is it even possible for this league to have a player named captain at 21 and play his entire 1,514-game career with the team that drafted him?
For that alone, it's the end of an era.
So long, Stevie Y.