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Yzerman: The Making of a Champion Hardcover – September 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157243676X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572436763
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #818,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brian Abbott on October 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The book does have some interesting interviews that make it worth skimming. Gerard Gallant's and Bob Errey's comments are good examples of this.

Overall, though, the book is disjointed in its structure. Even worse, it contains too many factual inconsistencies or outright errors to count. Some necessary corrections that I can think of off the top of my head:

* Kevin Stevens never played for the New Jersey Devils and he certainly never was a "key figure" in their "Stanley Cup success."

* Steve Yzerman did not miss the first 23 games of the 1993-94 season because of a herniated disc in his neck. The injury occurred eight games into the season, and he missed 26 games.

* Steve Yzerman has, in fact, been a postseason NHL All-Star. He was named the first-team center after the 1999-2000 season.

* While the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche have participated in a fair number of brawl-filled games, they never have been involved in a "bench-clearing" brawl.

This is just a taste of some of the errors in the book. It's difficult to go more than 10-20 pages without coming across such errors.

Overall, this could have been a much better book had the author done a more thorough job with his reporting and if the book had been placed in the hands of far more skilled and knowledgeable editors.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on October 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I really want to give this book five stars, but I can't.

Overall this book is not bad, but there are far too many inexcusable errors. In addition to the ones the other reviewrer listed, here are some I found -

*Steve Yzerman did not become an American citizen in 1991, but in May of 2001

*Game 5 of the 2004 Calgary series, in which Steve took a puck to the eye, took place in Detroit, not Calgary

*The Wings swept Anaheim in the second round of the 1997 playoffs, not San Jose

These are very simple facts to check - a quick internet search and/or a few phone calls could get the details right. These glaring errors are too obvious to overlook. Even though Hunter didn't talk to Steve himself for the book, he talked to enought people who know Steve and have played on various teams with him over the years, so that cannot be used as an excuse for not checking his facts.

One of the things I did like about the book is how Hunter goes into great detail (almost too much so) outlining all the wheels that had to be set in motion in order to bring Steve Yzerman to the Red Wings, and then keep him here.

Which brings me to another issue. I was expecting more of a straightforward biography. I understand the book is about how Steve Yzerman was made into the three-time Stanley Cup champion, Olympic Gold Medal winner and great team captain he is today. And I understand that in order to present this story, background information about how certain aspects of the NHL work is necessary. But Hunter goes off on tangents that last for pages and while they give you a good sense of hockey history, I believe he could have said what he wanted with far fewer pages.

Also, Steve's family is barely mentioned.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christopher S. Han on January 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Let's see, what can I say that might actually be helpful. Let me preface this by saying that I'm a die-hard Detroit sports fan, and have been ever since I moved to Michigan in 1984. I love the Tigers more than anything, but Yzerman is my favorite athlete of all time.

In doing research for any book, a competent author would usually have pages and pages of notes. Through careful editing, only the most important and relevant details would actually be placed in the book itself. However, in this book, Hunter's laziness is evident. It looks as if he conducted maybe 7 or 8 interviews for this book, and in order to fill space, inserted every mundane detail of every interview into this book. The bibliography is shamefully short. Hunter even has the audacity to use information from his book about Tim Horton and insert it into this book to try and fill space. What does Tim Horton have to do with Steve Yzerman? Nothing. I'm not even going to start on the factual inaccuracies.

In addition, the narrative is lost and directionless. Hunter keeps the narrative jumping around in time, going off on tangents that don't contribute anything but waste the reader's time. Hunter also fails to provide details of Yzerman's on ice career, aside from cumulative season statistics. This makes me think that Hunter did not watch Yzerman play much, because anyone who saw Yzerman in his prime would want to describe Yzerman's electrifying play. There isn't even any satisfactory mention of Yzerman's Game 7 overtime winner against St. Louis.

Bottom line, it looks like Hunter was churning this out to try and fill the vacuum in the market for Yzerman books. Do a couple interviews, surf a couple websites, write a crappy book, make a quick buck. This book is very poorly and lazily written; it might be the worst thing I've ever read. And I read a lot. It is a disgrace to Yzerman, books, authors, and humanity. Do not buy this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Kelly on October 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was ecstatic when I saw a book based solely on Steve Yzerman was finally being published. I was completely misguided. This book wasn't about Steve Yzerman the person/hockey all-star, this book was about all the things that happened around Yzerman over the last 3 decades. I was also horrified that the author never even interviewed Yzerman. Makes me think I should write a book. I know Gerard Gallant would talk to me and I know that I would remember that he coached the Summerside Hemphill Pontiac Western Capitals who won the Royal Bank Cup in 1997. Which leads me to the comment that not only was this book a huge disappointment because it gave us nothing about the real Yzerman, but it was replete with errors. Essentially it is wrong to have this book in the non-fiction section of the bookstore because most of the information is so inaccurate that the novel is fictional. Don't waste your money.
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