"Yzerman is the greatest player I’ve ever coached, and I’ve
coached guys who are in the Hall of Fame."
–Jacques Demers, former coach of the Detroit Red Wings.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Skilled, determined, tireless and courageous, Steve Yzerman may be the most revered player in the NHL today. Drawing on the inisghts of coaches, teammates and league insiders, award-winning writer Douglas Hunter charts Yzerman's career as "the player's player," the emobodiment of skill, dedication, sacrifice and leadership. Yzerman went fourth overall to the Detroit Red Wings in the very strong 1983 NHL entry draft, which included such prospects as Tom Barasso, Cam Neely and Pat LaFontaine. He made an immediate impact in the NHL with his dazzling offensive skills. In 1986, having just turned 21, he was made the youngest captain in league history. Despite his individual success, including being one of the only three players in NHL history to record a 155-point season, Yzerman's team struggled and Detroit's devoted hockey fans wondered when he would reverse the Red Wings' fortunes. When Detroit was unexpectedly bumped from the playoffs in the '95 Stanley Cup final, many fingers, pointed at the captain. Determined to bring a championship back to Detroit, shrugging off persistent trade rumors, Yzerman continued to adjust his game for the good of the team. While his finesse as a playmaker and goal scorer remained in evidence, the gritty centerman blocked shots, drove to the net and worked tirelessly along the boards in the corners. He led by aggressive example on the ice and with quiet confidence in the dressing room. In 1997, when the Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup since 1955, Yzerman proved he was a winner. He proved it again the next season, when he raised the Cup for a second time and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs' most valuable player. In 2002 the team captured its third Stanley Cup in seven seasons and that same year Yzerman was pivotal in Team Canada's Olympic gold medal victory.