After playing two years of Junior in
the OHL, Steve was ready for the big league. It's funny how Steve almost
didn't become a Red Wing.
1983, Mike Ilitch was trying to figure out if the Wings would be better
off with Pat Lafontaine. Jimmy Devellano then stepped in and said "Mike,
save your money." So, with the NYI picking third, they chose Pat Lafontaine,
and Detroit, picking 4th, went with Steve. They chose the right guy. Steve
went on to lead all rookies in points in the 1983-84 season tith 87 points(39/47.)
He was second in voting for the Calder trophy(best rookie) but was edged
out by then-Sabres phenom Tom Barrasso. The next year, Yzerman improved
his offense by 2 points, this time scoring 89 points in 80 games.
New York Islander
general manager Bill Torrey phoned Mike Ilitch asking if he still wanted
to trade Steve Yzerman-Pat Lafontaine, this time, it was Mike that nixed
the deal. With the Wings in the rebuilding process, Yzerman looked like
the perfect man to evolve as the Red Wings cornerstone for the future.
His early success
was delayed after an injury occured in the 1985-86 season, when he went
down after just 51 games. During that span, Stevie was only able to score
14 goals and 42 points. Stevie quickly recovered the next season and started
the 1986-87 season with a big bang, it turned out so successful the even
before Christmas came out that year(1986) Yzerman was appointed captain,
taking the honour away from longtime veteran Danny Gare. At 21 years of
age, Steve was the youngest captain in the NHL at that time. Here we saw
21 year old Steve Yzerman from a suburb of Ottawa lead the way for veterans
like Danny Gare. Then came the offensive years.