Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Never mind

Looks like my support for Steve Yzerman's Olympic candidacy yesterday has been proved wrong and/or made moot by recent events. In short, I didn't know how bad his knee still was. Today Bob McKenzie is wondering if Stevie Y might just retire--like, right now.

I watched the Nov. 16 Wings-Flames game (without sound), and parts of the Nov. 17 Wings-Oilers game, and thought he looked pretty much like the Yzerman of the past 5 years. I didn't realize he was only playing about 12 minutes a game.

His ice time in the past 3 games: 6:17, 6:37, 9:28. Whether that's all his knee allows him to play, or the knee has harmed his play enough that that's all the time he deserves, it hardly matters. At that rate, I would expect him to retire shortly. If not, he will certainly beg off the Olympics for the rest.

Too bad, Steve - Canada can always use a guy like you.


A friend of mine is an orthopedic surgeon. He said him and some other doctors took a look at Yzerman's charts when he was in the hospital there for his last big surgery. The intention of the surgery was not to allow him to play hockey. It was to allow him to WALK for the rest of his life. Seriously arthritic.

I am not so fast to dismiss Yzerman, and content to let him dimiss himself.
His Ice time isdecided by 2 factors. In the new NHL his ice time is being cut because of all the special team situations and although Babcock certainly has shown respect for Stevie. The captain is still trying to earn Babcock's confidence in him. You wrote a nice piece, but failed to mention that Yzerman stepped in for an injured Lang halfway thru the LA game and did not look out of place.
Everyone that knows hockey is hoping it is not over yet for Yzerman. I would not be surprised if he decided to retire, but still hoping he will finish this year on top. There is an awful lot of sportswriters that were only 6-7 yrs old when Steve was drafted, and they are quick to dismiss anyone not about their own age.

As a Western Conference fan, I pray the Wings never succumb to cold calculation and substitute the great Stevie Y with some kid who can skate. There has to be a place for legendary veterans with diminished skills, and as far as I'm concerned that place is on the rosters of competing teams.

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