Today I want to focus on a man I’ve been a fan of for as long as I have been a fan of the sport that allowed him to show off his skill, but also his leadership and qualities that reveal his quality as a human being! “The Captain”. Yes, you may realize I am referring to Steve Yzerman. Steve Yzerman is a retired professional hockey player from the Detroit Red Wings. He went on to work in the front office before becoming the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010.
Steve Yzerman was drafted fourth in the 1983 NHL draft by the Detroit Red Wings. By the time he was 21 he had been named captain. He made a record for being the captain for over two decades. He led his team, the Detroit Red Wings, to five first-place regular season finishes and three Stanley Cup championships. He has represented team Canada, the country of his birth and the beginning of his career, in several international tournaments. In 2002 he won an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup championship. He has also been general manager or director of Team Canada in international tournaments and Olympics since retiring from playing.
Steve Yzerman worked through some initial issues with Scotty Bowman’s coaching and gave him the Stanley Cup to raise first upon the Red Wings 2002 win. It was the Red Wings tenth historic Stanley Cup championship and just before Scotty Bowman’s retirement. He had done this handoff of the Stanley Cup before. In 1998 he handed the cup to Vladimir Konstantinov, who had been injured in a car accident just days following their 1997 Cup championship.
Besides these classy moves Steve Yzerman has helped others. One of his biggest fans when he was playing was Braxton Davis. This is a young man that had two kinds of cancer and had to have a tumor removed before his first birthday. He grew up loving hockey, red, and anything with Steve Yzerman on it. Braxton’s father shared Braxton’s story hoping for some kind of response from his son’s idol. The response came from Steve Yzerman himself. Not only did he get to meet him, he got to attend practice in his home state. Yzerman did this again and invited him to attend playoffs in Detroit as well. The Red Wings put them up in a downtown hotel.
You may not have heard Braxton’s story before, however Steve Yzerman did this for Braxton. Steve Yzerman is private and does things because he wants to do them, not for attention. He acquired naturalized United States citizenship after living in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan with his wife and daughters. Be inspired to do something today that you want to do. Have a bright day!