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Around the NHL, Detroit is known as 'Hockeytown.' And Steve Yzerman is the reason why.
Twenty-two seasons - all with the Red Wings. Six hundred and ninety-two goals, seventeen hundred and fifty-five points - good for sixth of all time.
Stevie Y was the heart of the franchise. When he got to Detroit, he was only eighteen, and the team was so bad, they were nicknamed the 'Dead Things.' At twenty-one, Steve was named captain, and through the mid Eighties and early Nineties, Detroit became a top club - and Steve - an offensive machine.
But one thing was missing - a championship - and critics questioned Steve's leadership. So, midway through his career, he completely changed his style of play and became a two way star. Finally in 1997, fourteen years into his career, Steve led the Wings to the Stanley Cup, their first in 42 years.
The next season - another Cup. And then, in 2002 - a third Cup, plus a gold medal at the Olympics. But that year was especially painful. Steve played on a bad knee - so bad, he underwent surgery in the off-season to get his knee totally realigned. He wasn't supposed to play again, but he did, before calling it quits in 2006.
Now, Steve is out to win another Olympic gold in 2010 - as executive director of our men's hockey team.