Monday, November 9, 2009

Congratulations, Steve Yzerman!

It's OK to be a diehard, spittin' nails fan of your club and enemy of the other.  Nearly every night, we as Columbus Blue Jackets fans take that approach with the Detroit Red Wings.

Tonight's not one of those nights.

Tonight, Steve Yzerman caps off his incredible NHL career with his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.  This is a man who devoted his heart, soul and considerable talent to his team, steering them to three Stanley Cups as the captain of the Red Wings.

Regardless of what you think about the Wings, you have to appreciate Yzerman, a player who gave his all to achieve success, didn't cut corners, stayed out of trouble, and led some of the most amazing hockey talent from around the world by his work ethic and example.

As Blue Jacket fans, Steve Yzerman is an example that we should look to in our own leader.  In fact, CBJ general manager Scott Howson used Yzerman as an example of what he hoped captain Rick Nash would be(come) in making the pitch for Nash to sign a long-term deal with the Blue Jackets this summer:
"One of the things that Scott (Howson, Blue Jackets general manager) mentioned repeatedly during this process is that the organization sees me as their Steve Yzerman," Nash said, "a guy who is loyal to the organization and a longtime leader. That appealed to me, too, obviously.

"When you look at the championship teams they always seem to have (a consistent) captain, whether it's Sidney Crosby, Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman or Joe Sakic. I think it's especially important for the homegrown talent to be that guy."
So let's put our sticks down for the night and congratulate one of the greatest hockey players of the modern age on this ultimate recognition of lifetime achievement.

And then let's all Carry The Flag as the Columbus Blue Jackets kick the Detroit Red Wings' butts on Wednesday night.  

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