Steve Yzerman

Team: Detroit Red Wings
Born: May 9, 1965, Cranbrook, BC, CANADA
Age: 32
Height: 5-11
Weight: 185 lbs
Position: Center
Shoots: Right
Last Amateur Club: Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Aquired: 1st Round (4th Overall 1983 Draft)

Home: Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Favorite TV Show: Law & Order (NYPD Blue)
Favorite Movie: Schindler's List
Favorite Musical Group: U2
Favorite Athlete: Muhammed Ali
Pet Peeve: Duckhooks (bad golf shot)
Marital Status: Happily married w/ 3 daughters

Steve Yzerman was born May 9, 1965, in Cranbrook, British Columbia (which is a few hours from where I live). He first picked up hockey at the age of seven, a fairly late start by hockey standards. He lived in Cranbrook until he was nine when his father, Ron Yzerman, moved the family to Nepean, Ontario. In this suburb of Ottawa, he continued to develop his skills as a hockey player and at 16, joined the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League.

After two years in junior, and putting up fairly impressive numbers, Yzerman was drafted into the NHL by the Detroit Red Wings in 1983. The Wings had missed the playoffs 11 of the last 13 seasons and looked to this quiet, relatively small center as a cornerstone around which to build a new team and a new future. Steve himself was determined to improve his team and to fill the empty seats at Joe Louis Arena.

Steve's first game was played on October 5, 1983, where he had a goal and an assist and he kept up his production throughout his rookie year. He became the youngest player ever to play in an All-Star game and was runner up for the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year honors. He went on to lead the team in points and took the team to the playoffs in his first two seasons.

Since then, Yzerman has produced six 100-plus point seasons and five 50-plus goal seasons. He became the youngest captain in Red Wings history at the age of 21 and has led the team to the playoffs in 12 of his 14 seasons. Steve is currently the longest serving captain among active players and is set to break the record for the longest consecutive term in history.

There is also, of course, the Stanley Cup he won last year which is the result of the blood, sweat and tears he's poured into his 14 seasons as a member of the Wings. Yzerman has seen the team through thick and thin and go through numerous changes in his career, but he's always remained the one constant in the Red Wings organization and will continue to be so for as long as he plays hockey.

Yzerman is set to finish his career in Detroit and has agreed to stay on with the club in a different capacity after his retirement. Steve currently lives in Grosse Pointe, a suburb of Detroit, with Lisa, his wife of eight years and his daughter, Isabella. Detroit loves their Captain, and he seems to love it there too.

Before you leave, here's a portion of an article about autograph vendors in the Detroit News which sums up what Stevie's all about:

[Mike Ramsey]: "We were all on the bus in Chicago when I saw Yzerman trying to get on with two bags on his shoulders, and they're all jamming paper in his face," he said. "But just as he's about to get on, he sees a little girl in the crowd with a Wings jersey on, and he stops to sign it. That's when it means something." Of course, the vendors around her were outraged -- thinking how come she gets one and not us? -- but the little girl ran off into the night, hugging her signature.

One more bit of trivia: Steve chose the number "19" for his jersey number fifteen years ago because his favorite player growing up was Bryan Trottier. Ironically, there are now hundreds of future NHLer's wearing the number 19 not for Mr. Trottier but because they idolize Steve Yzerman

Steve Yzerman, longtime captain of the Detroit Red Wings, is perhaps one of the greatest players ever to strap on a pair of skates. He's also considered one of the most underrated players in the game. Stevie's been through much adversity in his career, but as the eleven year captain of the Wings, he's proven over and over to fans and detractors alike that he deserves every bit of admiration and respect he has garnered over the years. Steve is extremely gifted as an athlete, but it is his incredible character and humble, unassuming manner that maintains the loyalty of his legions of fans. Off the ice, he's well known for his modesty and his kindness towards his fans and caring towards those less fortunate. He's always been more than happy to take time out and to sign something for a fan.