It was announced on the team’s website this afternoon that Detroit Red Wings alum best known as “The Captain” Steve Yzerman has committed to joining the Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park on January 31st. The announcement comes after months of speculation, with Yzerman feeling conflicted between his duties as General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Canada’s Olympic Team.
Watching Yzerman slowly break down from “I can’t go” to “Fine! I’ll go!” was like watching your mom being worn down from persistent begging. Since last year when he declared he had too many other obligations to this year when he claimed he didn’t own a pair of skates to finally committing to it, it’s like a gradual progress from No to Maybe to Yes. (By the way Stevie, if you wear a size 10R and like Grafs I’ve got you covered in the skate department).
I personally wouldn’t have held it against him if he didn’t go. If Ken Holland stepped away from his job for a day to go participate in something for another team, I might find it a little questionable. Yzerman was committed to his job with the Lightning and I respect him even more for it. Although I doubt many fans would hold it against him, I suspected ownership/management might, and I’m very relieved to see him finally get the chance to make this happen. After all, if Brendan Shanahan can do it, Yzerman should be able to as well.
I first started watching hockey in 2002 after injuring my knee playing football in high school. Watching Yzerman lift the city on his back that year despite a knee injury of his own was inspirational and to this day it’s the only NHL jersey I own. I never had the privilege of watching him play and I’m beyond excited for this chance. If you have the chance to go, this event just went from something that would be cool to an absolute must attend game. To see that many generations of Wings players (and Leafs I guess) from the past together in one place could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.