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No. of Recommendations: 18

those of you who read any of my posts frequently know 2 things:

1) I watch hockey for the joy of hockey.
2) I'm a Wings fan, which occasionally conflicts with #1. and frankly, despite my loyalties to the Wings, I'm a hockey fan overall.

But what you may, or may not, know, is that I'm first and foremost a Steve Yzerman fan. (OK, maybe it's secondary to being a hockey fan -- I certainly appreciate other hockey players, other brilliant moves...)

I grew up in an academic, book-oriented family -- just not sports people. I started watching hockey in '87-88, when I was laid up with knee surgery and there was "nothing else on". In March of that season, Yzerman ripped his knee open on the goal post (back before the goal posts were movable), tearing things apart and probably causing his long-term knee problems. He was "out for the season, maybe his career".

Well, the season ends in early April, when the playoffs start. And Yzerman was there. The trainer, John Wharton, said he'd never seen a player with such determination to get back out there.

And in 2002, with bone-grinding-on-bone in the Olympics, the late regular-season, the playoffs, Yzerman was there.

and tonight, in the second of back-to-back games (when the coaching staff said he wouldn't be playing 2 games on consecutive nights this season), where's Yzerman? there. scoring the tying goal.

he's a player with heart, with dedication, and

An example. Of heart triumphing over pain (and possibly over common sense). of a love of the game. He's made enough money over the years that he doesn't need to keep playing. Except, he does. Because he loves the game, because the Wings still seem to need his leadership.

15+ years ago, Yzerman became a hero of mine. For his perservance and his dedication. He still is, all these years later.

So there you have it, Hilary's not-so-secret Steve-Yzerman worship.

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