Docs Menu

Steve Yzerman

Born:May 9, 1965Draft:1983 Red Wings, #4 overall
Hometown:Cranbrook, BC, CANPosition:Center
Known For:The CaptainShoots:Right
National Team:Canada

Stephen Gregory Yzerman (born May 9, 1965) is a Canadian professional ice hockey executive and former player who spent his entire National Hockey League (NHL) playing career with the Detroit Red Wings and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. After his retirement as a player, he served in the front office of the Red Wings, and then as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, while also being executive director for Team Canada in two Olympics. He currently serves as the executive vice president and general manager of the Red Wings.

Prior to the 1986–87 season, at age 21, Yzerman was named captain of the Red Wings and continuously served for the next two decades (dressing as captain for over 1,300 games), retiring as the longest-serving captain of any team in North American major league sports history. Once voted to be the most popular athlete in Detroit sports history, locals often simply refer to Yzerman as “Stevie Y”, “Stevie Wonder”, or “The Captain”. Yzerman led the Wings to five first-place regular season finishes and three Stanley Cup championships (1997, 1998 and 2002).

Yzerman won numerous awards during his career, including the Lester B. Pearson Award (Most outstanding player) in the 1988–89 season, the Conn Smythe Trophy (Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup playoffs) in 1998, the Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward in 2000 and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance in 2003. He was a ten-time NHL All-Star, a First Team All-Star in 2000 and a member of the All-Rookie Team in 1984.

On July 3, 2006, Yzerman officially retired from professional hockey, finishing his career ranked as the sixth all-time leading scorer in NHL history, having scored a career-high 155 points (65 goals and 90 assists) in 1988–89, which has been bettered only by Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Yzerman’s #19 jersey was retired on January 2, 2007, during a pre-game ceremony at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. On November 4, 2008, he was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. He also became an honoured member of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility, inducted alongside 2001–02 Red Wing teammates Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille. In 2017, Yzerman was named one of the “100 Greatest NHL Players” in history. He is a Detroit sports icon, widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time.

On September 25, 2006, Yzerman was named as a vice president and alternate governor of the Red Wings, winning a fourth Stanley Cup championship as an executive in 2007–08. In May 2010, he left the Red Wings organization to become general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, serving in that capacity until September 2018. On April 19, 2019, Yzerman was named the general manager of the Red Wings.

Yzerman has represented his country in several international tournaments as a member of Canada’s national hockey team (Team Canada). In 2002, Yzerman won an Olympic gold medal, making him one of few players to win an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup in the same year. Yzerman was the general manager of Team Canada for the 2007 IIHF World Championship, which they won. Yzerman was appointed executive director of Team Canada on October 7, 2008, for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Team Canada went on to win the gold medal by defeating the United States. Yzerman was again appointed executive director of Team Canada on March 5, 2012, for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Canada went on to win their second-straight gold medal after defeating Sweden.

Steve Yzerman Red Wings
Steve Yzerman (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Steve Yzerman Stats

Deeper Dive

Awards

  • NHL All-Star Game Roster – 1984 (first 18-year old to be selected to the roster), 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000
  • NHL First Team All-Star – 2000
  • Lester B. Pearson Award – 1989
  • Conn Smythe Trophy – 1998
  • Frank J. Selke Trophy – 2000
  • Stanley Cup champion (as player) – 1997, 1998, 2002
  • Stanley Cup champion (as executive) – 2008
  • Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy – 2003
  • Lester Patrick Trophy – 2006
  • Seventh in NHL history in points, tenth in goals and ninth in assists
  • First in Red Wings history in assists; second in points and goals; fourth in games played; second all-time in seasons and seventh all-time in games played with only one NHL franchise
  • Longest-serving captain for a team in league history (19 seasons, 1,303 games)
  • Number (19) retired with Canadian Men’s National Team; (#19 later worn at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics by Joe Thornton)
  • Named vice-president of Detroit Red Wings – 2006
  • Detroit Red Wings #19 retired on January 2, 2007
  • Named general manager of Team Canada – 2008
  • Was ranked sixth in The Hockey News “The Top 60 Since 1967 – The Best Players of the Post Expansion Era”
  • Inducted into Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame – January 11, 2008
  • Inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame – February 11, 2008
  • Inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame – 2008
  • Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame – 2009
  • Named general manager and vice-president of the Tampa Bay Lightning – May 2010
  • Inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame – 2014
  • Named to the Order of Hockey in Canada by Hockey Canada – 2014
  • NHL General Manager of the Year Award – 2015
  • Named on the 100 Greatest NHL Players list for the NHL’s Centennial Anniversary – 2017
  • Named general manager and executive vice-president of the Detroit Red Wings – April 2019
YouTube player

Sources