Stevie Y The Classiest Ever?


Steve Yzerman decided last Sunday that he would not be playing for Team Canada in Turin. Given that the NHL’s longest serving Captain, who was guaranteed a roster spot, declined (as he did for the World Cup last year), this leaves an extra spot on the team for a younger player to join the ranks of Sakic, Iginla, etc. Will this spot go to a younger player like Crosby, Staal or Spezza, or will we see another veteran like Smyth?

There have been A LOT of people predicting teams in the recent past. There has also been a lot of discussion about who should be there and who shouldn’t. Personally, I think that the team that Gretzky, Kevin Lowe, Steve Tambellini, Marc Habscheid, Jacques Martin and Pat Quinn will be stacked in all three areas and will compete for the gold medal. In all honesty, there are enough quality players to make two Canadian teams and have both be good enough to be legitimate medal contenders.

As I have yet to add my $0.02 as to whom Canada will bring, I’ll make them here:


Jarome Iginla – Joe Sakic – Martin St. Louis

Dany Heatley РJason Spezza РSimon Gagn̩

Brad Richards – Vincent Lecavalier – Alex Tanguay

Ryan Smyth – Joe Thornton – Chris Draper


Chris Pronger – Rob Blake

Wade Redden – Scott Neidermayer

Ed Jovanovski – Robyn Regehr


Martin Brodeur

Curtis Joseph

Roberto Luongo

Extras (1 D-man, 1 Forward):

Forward: one of: Todd Bertuzzi, Sidney Crosby, Paul Kariya (depending on how well he’s playing at the time), Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash (depending on injury), Keith Primeau, Mark Recci, Eric Staal or Steve Sullivan

Defenseman: one of: Scott Hannan, Brian McCabe or Dion Phaneuf

In all honesty, think the extra D-man is a lot easier to go with, and I’d probably go with Phaneuf at this point. To Toronto fans that will respond with the likes of “How can you not take McCabe. He’s the best offensive defenseman in the league!”, well, here’s my pre-emptive response: Sure, he’s great offensively, but I just don’t think his style of defense is what it takes to win tournaments. To answer the +/- comments bound to arise: the fact that he’s leading the league in points (by defensemen) and that his +/- is near average is a testament to the fact that he’s not all that great defensively.

As for the extra forward, it’d likely be the one that is best performing by the end of the month (on that note, some of the extras might end up being shifted in to the actual lineup with these players being shifted out). It’s just so hard to predict who’ll make it when the talent pool is so DEEP!

43 Responses to Stevie Y The Classiest Ever?

  1. thinice987 says:

    I really don’t know what is classy about Steve Y. He is playing like a checking line player. Would he really deserve a spot on the team? NO.

    Now for a player like Mario Lemieux, he is not the player that he used to be, but he still has the talent and the leadership to bring gold to Canada.

    The one player who must be on the team is Sidney Crosby. He is the best young player in the league and is one of the finest players in the league. He is a MUST.

  2. simplyhabby says:

    I don’t see Mario pulling his name so you have to make a roster spot for Team Canada’s captain.

    Wayne said it perfectly after the Leaf’s game, what ever team they create, their will be controversy of who was left off or who made the team.

    As for Stevie, I am very sad to see his age and injuries finnaly starting to catch up on him. Detroit fans and Canadian hockey fans were blessed with a guy like Stevie. A top leader, player and gentleman. He will be missed.

    I think a great question to pose is who is likely to be the next Yzerman who displays leadership, great play and class? I can think of a player in the past such as Raymond Bourque but a player right now, its really tough to choose because they have to be playing for at least 10 + years to even compare.

  3. Wills says:

    Yzerman’s play was actually starting to pickup, but I agree he made the right decision by letting someone else take his spot. I read someone else’s post saying that Yzerman was just playing a checking role on a checking line, but guess what thats exactly what you need to win this tournament, you can’t just have all scorers. Last year at the World Championships the line of Thorton, Doan and Draper I thought was the best all around line. I would love to see a similar, if not the same, line put together again as well. I like the team you put together there, especially the D and goaltenders. The forwards will be the hard part to decide who makes it and who doesn’t. I would actually love to see a line of Staal, Spezza and Heatley, and also a line of Thorton, Draper and Doan for the checking line, then you have to keep your number one line of Sakic, Ignlia and Gagne, after that its between a whole host of players for that third line, one of which that I think should be Lecavalier and Smyth in there as the extra forward at the very least.

  4. Wills says:

    Since were talking about Yzerman being classy I just thought I would mention a story I know about him being in Ottawa one summer. When he brought the Cup a couple of years ago to Ottawa and had a huge party, he ended up out of nowhere bringing the Cup to the hospital for the sick kids to see, didn’t even plan it or anything just out of nowhere said hey guys lets bring the Cup to the kids in the hospital. Thats the kind of guys hockey players are, real class.

  5. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Now if we can just get that Defensive Liability Bryan McCabe to give up his spot. If this happens, we’ll really be in good shape to win gold.

  6. Bacon077 says:

    McCabe’s +/- isn’t high because he gets a lot of points on the powerplay.

  7. SDG says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Steve is classy, but lately I want to think otherwise. Yzerman is another classic example of an aging star playing way too far past his prime and, in turn, making himself look bad. He has even gone on to complain that this game is “not hockey” anymore.

    Well Steve, you should have retired a few years ago before all of your skill has eroded. I do believe that it is time for Canada’s younger stars to have their chance to play for team Canada.

  8. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    Yea if Crosby plays the people of Turin get to see Canada’s amazing Diving Team, being captained by Crosby.

  9. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    Canada would ALWAYS do better with Yzerman in the lineup, whether he has a bum knee, broken ankle, etc. Doesnt matter.

  10. Kraut182 says:

    A. I believe that athletes should be able to play as long as they can still be productive members of their teams. Stevie had 51 points in his last season, and 9 in 20 games this year playing a checking role. He is definitely still a contributing player. Should he be forced to retire the moment he can’t score at a PPG pace?

    B. The “not hockey anymore” comment was centered around things like 20 powerplay games, and penalties been given in non-penalty situations. If you ask me, that’s not hockey anymore either. I hate the games now where its a penalty every minute and the game has no flow.

  11. Wills says:

    I agree 100%. Yzerman is a leader on and off the ice. Maybe he doesn’t score like he use to, but he still brings his heart to every game. Those are the type of players that help jump start your team.

    Without a doubt, I agree about his comments. The refs are not making any judgement out there anymore. Whenever someone falls down its a penalty, and way too many players are diving because of this. This is not only the refs fault, but Campbells fault as well. Anyone caught diving should be given a 3 game suspension plus a fine, then we will see how many people are diving. Just last week I saw Selanne pull off a huge dive, and he got the call, and on that very same powerplay scored the game winning goal. What a disgrace to hockey. Not to say the game hasn’t improved, it has a lot, but they still have to fix this one problem.

  12. mtl_prince says:

    St. Louis and Draper, over Marleau, Crosby, Lemieux(if he goes), and even Stall,(still awfully young) and Bertuzzi,(If the Steve Moore incident hadn’t happened, he would be on the team 100%)…we shall see what happens….

  13. wingerxxx says:

    Yzerman is definitely one of the classiest players to play the game, but I don’t know if I would make him THE classiest. There are a lot of players who could lay claim to that throne. His comments earlier in the season about the game not being hockey anymore, were a tad on the ignorant side. A player like him, with attendance levels what they were, and all the other factors taken into consideration, should have known that changes had to be made. That said, he is a great leader and was a great two-way player in his prime. He did the right thing by bowing out of the Games.

    The plus/minus is a terrible barometer of a player’s offensive or defensive prowess. If you judge by that alone, you would have to assume that Scott Hannan is one of the worst defensive defensemen in the league right now. While McCabe isn’t the best in his own end, he’s certainly not awful by any means. I don’t see any way that McCabe gets left off the team. Toronto does not have a great defensive system, so that is another indicator. McCabe will play before Phaneuf does, for sure.

  14. enigmagnum says:

    Give it up already. As I recall, one of Forsberg’s nicknames seems to be ‘Floppa’ (not just hockey ~fans~ have mentioned this, either) . . . are you going to tell me that those who call him that are mistaken or what? It appears Mr. Forsberg would be a hyprcrite since he’s an expert on the subject according to so many hockey enthusiasts out there. I know I won’t get through to you, but I thought I would comment anyways.

    And yes, Crosby is a MUST for the team. His vision (which includes those eyes in the back of his head) is amazing and the stickhandling will just take everyone’s breath away … of course, we already know this. Turin would be lovin’ every minute of it.

    As for Dion Phaneuf, I only saw him in the Flames win over Pittsburgh but I liked his strong presence and that he seems to be quite persistent. He’s also pretty tough, to boot. Another awesome young player that should be on the team, too.

  15. PuckMucker says:

    If you don’t know what is classy about Stevie Y then you are simply devoid of class yourself.

  16. PuckMucker says:

    when will YOU retire from your armchair?

  17. elite89 says:

    It’s impossible to say Stevie is the classiest ever cuz we have not been exposed to all the other great leaders of the game. But what can be said WITHOUT A DOUBT is that he is the classiest and greatest modern day leader. In the NHL over the past 20 years or so there have been very little players with the heart, desire, leadership, loyalty, and class which Stevie has shown. Stevie is and always will be my fav player ever and how can this be desputed? Players playing with one team for their career, through hard and good times, is UNHEARD of in todays hockey and todays sports in general.

    In 2002 he played for team Canada with one knee. He then went on to play for the wings in the playoffs, where he could hardly get up after going down and had trouble walking out of the building after games, and in the early struggles of those playoffs was the heart and soul of the team. the big goals he scored and pain he played through. How dare anyone debate this guys heart, class and desire!

    In this modern day of salary arbitration, trade requests, Terrell Owens’, and a fascination with selfishness, we can only look at guys like Yzerman and be reminded of the classy and great leaders of not only hockey but of all sports; things which are becoming extinct.

  18. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    What is with all these idiots thinking that Yzerman would have kept Spezza off the team. And Smyth… pff…. he IS hockey Canada.

    My team looks like this













    Every other shift Richards and Heatley will switch. Same goes for Foote and Phaneuf.

    I’m being pretty nice to Richards here, his spot could be taken by alot of guys easily. What was with that vote on who would be the 13th forward on team Canada, Kariya, Staal, Spezza, Lemieux, or Yzerman. I’d put Spezza, and Lemieux on before that. And Staal and Kariya could easily take Richards spot.

  19. habswinthecup-again says:

    Jean Beliveau

  20. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    ohhhh great…. another hype-loving Crosby d*** rider

  21. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    he’s good….. not SPECTACULAR… eyes in the back of his head blah blah blah…. get over the hype… he’ll be a Paul Kariya AT BEST

  22. thinice987 says:

    He is better at the age of 18 than Paul Kariya could ever dream to be.


  23. thinice987 says:

    I’ll take Mario Lemieux as a checking line forward over Steve Y anyday!

  24. thinice987 says:

    You didn’t mention Sidney Crosby. He should be a must to be on the team.

  25. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    that is a good lineup the only change i would make though is gagne switches with st louis. sakic and iginla dominated the olympics together with gagne.

  26. thinice987 says:

    Imagine how much that would sell for on E-bay. LOL His jersey sold for $21,000.

  27. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    sakic will be the first line center more then likely if not center he will be on either wing. him and iginla and either gagne or lemieux. thats pretty much a guarntee look what sakic and iginla did in 02 together.

  28. dcz28 says:

    Your right to pick Mario over Stevie Y for a checking line forward since Mario has won the Selke lol not…you are either young or stupid if you don’t see what a classy player Yzerman is and how valuable he is to any team and all you have to do is look at 2002 when he played for Canada on one leg then led the Wings to the cup…that being said as a huge Wings and Yzerman fan i agree but still disappointed about his decision not to go play for Canada but with the way Mario has been playing and his heart condition i think he should and will take himself out of the roster

  29. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    LOL… please. Instead of adding fuel to the fire, just agree to disagree.

  30. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    I would put Sakic as first line centre, I guess I always like to put the captain at number one.

    It would be Iginla-Sakic-Lemieux, Gagne belongs with Thornton and Nash, they were dynamite in the World Champs.

  31. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Gagne is playing with Nash and Thornton, Iginla-Sakic-Lemieux was a good line in the World Cup, they should run with that.

  32. paul_dc10 says:

    I really think if it is stall spezza or crosby it will be stall becuase of this one thing, crosby and spezz have amzing future hall of famers helping them, corsby: lemeuix recchi gonchar palfy and leclair(some arnt on his lines but sees them on the power play) and spezza as we all know had heatly and alfredson and on the power play he has redden havlat and chara and stall pretty much jsut has stillman and he is still doing amazing

    After that i think brian mccabe may have a shot to make it, he arguably has the best piont shot in the leauge and as we all knoew has the most pionts by a fare margin. and i think his +/- could be better but he does play on the penetly kill so that could afect it and anyways that is my piont.

  33. paul_dc10 says:

    since when is nash making it hes bin out all season and has done abosolutely nothing at all

  34. Freeze says:

    Can you ever imagine Mark Messier showing the kind of class that Steve Yzerman just showed?

  35. enigmagnum says:

    I think not. I’m not about the hype and I sure as heck didn’t join the bandwagon or anything either. The kid is a great player and definitely shines more since his teammates haven’t done much themselves so far. And the eyes in the back of his head comment was made because he always makes great plays behind himself to someone else (of course, a lot of the other guys don’t capitalize) and when it does work, it’s so cool.

    Don’t be so bitter.

  36. Kraut182 says:

    I’m not exactly sure who’s on Staal’s line (Stillman and Cole?), but its not like these are bad players on Carolina’s top group. Stillman scored 80 last season, and is consistently a 20 goal guy who’s assists will fluctuate with who he has to pass to. Cole is a young, talented powerforward, who has struggled with injuries and the fact that he was playing for the fairly untalented Hurricanes. Ray Whitney is a proven veteran scorer, as is Brind’Amour.

    These players may not be at the level of Alfie/Heatley (though close), but I would definitely match them against the Pens supporting cast … especially now that age has started to take a toll on some.

  37. SDG says:

    Detroit would still be in first and doing good if Yzerman was there or not. His days have past him by. If Canada takes Crosby, Staal or Spezza it really makes no difference. They will do as much, if not more than Yzerman.

    And, by the way, its a desk chair at work.

  38. Gretzkin says:

    I don’t think class has anything to do with any of this.

    More upholding obligation than anything.

    I’m not knocking Stevie at all. He is a classy guy, with all the respect he deserves from the fans and players alike.

    But this was a predicted event that just occured.

    We all knew he wasn’t going to be playing, didn’t we?

    And although he would have been a lock, likely.

    He couldn’t have made the team on a tryout basis.

    A person being lame and withdrawing from Team Canada because of it has nothing to do with class. He would have humiliated himself, and Canada, had he played.

    And to do it when Wayne, Steve and Kevin are touring the NHL to scout players. That just makes sense. They are obviously making their decisions more solid with this tour, so no more procrastinating for the old boys. TIme to fess up.

    Mario’s about to do the same thing.

    Does it have anything to do with class and the willingness to put forth the youth in his place to give them a chance?

    NO! It’s a Health/Age issue.

    Neither of these guys can compete at the Olympic level any longer. That’s it.

    All you monkeys out there tooting the horns of Stevie and Mario (to come)regarding “Classy” decisions are off your rockers.

    They are old and lame.

    No offence, as I LOVE them, but that’s just the facts…

  39. Gretzkin says:

    Yes, easily.

  40. Gretzkin says:

    And because he’s a huge defensive liability…

  41. Gretzkin says:

    Don’t worry. McCabe doesn’t have a spot.

    Will not have a spot.

    Maybe next time, but not this time around.

  42. Freeze says:

    Maybe being honest with one self and others is a better description here. Unlike former NHLer Mark Messier, who played 5 years too long, he’s not asking for a free ride based on his past accomplishments. That’s class.

    “They (Steve and Mario) are old and lame.” So was Messier, but he didn’t have the class and integrity and honesty to own up to it. He hung on way too long.

    That’s preciseley the difference here. You just don’t get it.

  43. Gretzkin says:

    Messier played as long as he wanted, and he did it in good health. He could have come back for another year or two if he wanted.

    And what were the people saying when he retired?

    That he was one of the greatest leaders in NHL history.

    Yeah, Dude, sounds like a real chump!

    The end of his career was at the right time.

    He didn’t make us suffer through watching him try to rehabilitate himself so that he could go out on a good note.

    Which we all know is not going to happen Stevie.

    Yzerman should have given up after the knee that won us the Gold. Let alone the puck in the face…

    Shouldn’t have come back.

    Of Course he was going to call Gretzky and let him know that he wasn’t playing!?!?!

Leave a Reply