The Winter Classic Alumni Game at Comerica Park was going to feature a number of Detroit Red Wings greats. But it felt incomplete without one of the greatest: Steve Yzerman, the team’s captain from 1986-2006.
Yzerman original said he wouldn’t play in the game, telling the Detroit News on Feb. 9, 2012:
"At this time I don't plan on participating in the alumni game but hope to watch the Classic on TV."
One year later, he had been non-committal about appearing in the Dec. 31 game, telling DetroitRedWings.com in November:
“I haven’t given it really much thought,” said, Steve Yzerman, the general manager of both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Team Canada. “I’ve been pretty busy with our team and watching a lot of hockey games for the Olympics so I haven’t really looked that far ahead.”
… It’s been more than seven years since the former captain last skated in any kind of organized game.
“I’ve had skates on like three times to do something minor,” Yzerman said. “I’ve just kind of moved on a little bit. I don’t have time to skate and don’t really have a real desire to.”
Well, there was some desire there. If not to skate, then skate with some of his old teammates one more time. Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Lightning that he’ll be lacing up for the Alumni Game for the Red Wings.
So congratulations to Sergei Fedorov, whose participation in the game probably dragged Yzerman out of his general manager’s office and back on the ice to ensure he would eclipse him at the alumni game. (Just a theory …)
Adjust your goosebumps accordingly:
Can't wait to see Yzerman back on the ice in the Winged Wheel, even if he's limited physically.