Dear fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning,
Today you have received a gift.
His name is Stephen Gregory Yzerman. He comes with 3 Stanley Cups as a player, 1 more as an executive, 692 career goals, 1063 career assists, an Olympic gold medal as a player and another as the GM of Team Canada. He has a Selke, Pearson, Masterton, and Conn Smythe trophy. He is a Hall of Famer.
He’s Stevie Y, and for the past 27 years he’s been ours. He is The Captain and the definition of a leader. He built Hockeytown. He took the Dead Things on his shoulders and raised them up to the hockey club they are today. In return we raised his #19 to the rafters forever.
We love Stevie, and he’s belonged to Red Wings Nation and to Detroit and to Michigan for the last 27 years. We’ve been spoiled to have him all to ourselves so for long. And now we’re trying to learn how to share.
We understand that you’ve had a rough past few seasons. You won the Cup in 2004, but where have you gone since then? You’ve had a circus act of an ownership, had Barry Melrose behind your bench, and finished towards the bottom of your conference again. You need someone who is unwavering and who will lead you. Stevie can do that. He will do that for you. He gave his heart to Detroit, and we have no doubt that he will give what he has left to you. Please be gentle with it.
We’re willing to share, but you have to promise us something. Promise you’ll be patient. Promise you’ll understand that he’s inheriting a mess of contracts and salaries. Promise you won’t get angry with him over the mistakes of others. Promise you won’t expect him to turn the Lightning around tomorrow. Promise that you’ll believe he’s doing his best.
We want him to succeed, and to further cement his legacy. If it takes 27 years in Tampa to build a perennial contender, so be it. We love him and only want to see him excel, even if that means he’s no longer in Detroit.
After 27 years we are carefully handing him over to you, for now.
Take care of him for us.
Fans of the Detroit Red Wings