By: Jeff Riger
I have to admit that I’m shocked! I didn’t think there was even a small chance that Steve Yzerman would take part in the New Year’s Eve Alumni game but I was wrong. Yzerman announced Tuesday that he would be at the game and it seems like he’ll even try to play too.
“It’s a big event and I really feel it’s a great celebration of the history of not only the Red Wings but the Maple Leafs as well and obviously playing in Detroit for such a long time, I thought it was appropriate to be a part of it” Yzerman said yesterday.
I have longed believed it was Yzerman’s responsibility to be at the event. Even if he didn’t skate, as long as he was there to wave, shake hands and address the masses, it would have been good enough for me. But, it does seem like he’ll actually try to lace ‘em up. Yzerman told the media a couple of weeks ago that he doesn’t even own a pair of skates anymore and has only been on the ice 2 to 3 times since retiring, but it doesn’t sound like that will stop him from actually participating in the game
“I haven’t been skating and I don’t really foresee myself skating a lot so we’ll battle through it” Yzerman said.
Despite being an exhibition contest between a bunch of guys who are past their primes, the Alumni game is special. It’s the last chance for fans of the Wings to see their hockey hero’s on the ice all together and a game without #19 just doesn’t seem right.
Fans get the shaft all the time! Ticket prices are ridiculous, concession costs continue to go up and up and I have always believed that losses affect the people a heck of a lot more than the players and coaches. So, for Yzerman to show up, play and complete a much anticipated event, despite all that’s going on in his life is truly a class act!
I spend so much time writing blogs and doing radio shows criticizing people and teams and usually they deserve it. But this time, I need to be positive! It needs to be pointed out that the fans got what they really wanted and it was Yzerman that has once again come through for this organization and city.
There aren’t that many places that would make this big of a deal of a hockey alumni game and there were many people that were just fine with Yzerman not showing up. But, it is a huge deal and that fact alone is pretty awesome! The fact that Yzerman will be in attendance, makes it even more awesome!
Kudo’s Captain you made the right decision!