Monday, July 03, 2006

Farewell to The Captain

While I hate to blog at work, I just couldn't pass this one by without saying something.

Steve Yzerman has retired.

I think that most Wings fans knew that this was coming, but it is hard to take all the same. The biggest let down is that the team couldn't get him one more cup this season when he was clearly in the best shape of the last three years or so.

Still, Yzerman walks into history as the quintessential Red Wing and the greatest leader in the history of professional sports. He is a lock to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot.

Growing up a Detroit sports fan in the late 80's and 90's, the big four were always Yzerman, Barry Sanders, Alan Trammell and Joe Dumars (and later Grant Hill). Yzerman's retirement brings an end to the era of the big star in Detroit sports. With both the Pistons and the Tigers embracing the team-first dynamic, the Red Wings now in salary-cap purgatory and the Lions run by Matt Millen (who can't seem to attract or draft a big name star), I suspect that it will be a long, long time before Detroit can once again boast a superstar in any sport, let alone every sport.

My greatest hope is that Yzerman will transition smoothly into the front office and remain a fixture in the Detroit sports scene, as did Joe Dumars and Al Kaline before him. To Yzerman, I say thank you for your years of dedication to professional sports in the city of Detroit, and the best of luck in all your future endeavors, you will be missed.


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