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Yzerman timeline: from Red Wings legend to general manager

Hall of Famer returns to Detroit to run team he helped win three Stanley Cup titles

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Steve Yzerman was named the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.  

Yzerman, a Hall of Fame center and three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Red Wings, has spent the past nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the first eight as GM. 

Here are some of Yzerman's most memorable moments as a player and executive:

June 8, 1983 -- Yzerman, a center with Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League, is taken by the Red Wings at No. 4 in the 1983 NHL Draft at the Montreal Forum.

Oct. 5, 1983 -- Yzerman scores a goal and has one assist in his NHL debut against the Winnipeg Jets. He scores his first NHL goal at 14:46 of the first period, and his assist comes on a goal by Eddie Johnstone at 9:11 of the third period of Detroit's 6-6 tie at Winnipeg Arena.

Feb. 8, 1983 -- At 18 years, 267 days, Yzerman becomes the youngest player to play in the NHL All-Star Game (under the format adopted in 1969) when he represents Campbell Conference at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He has an assist in a 7-6 loss. Yzerman remains the youngest All-Star Game participant until Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes (18 years, 259 days) plays in the 2011 game.

June 1983 -- After finishing his first NHL season with 87 points (39 goals, 48 assists) in 80 games and helping the Red Wings qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a five-year absence, Yzerman finishes second to Buffalo Sabres goalie Tom Barrasso in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.

Oct. 7, 1986 -- At age 21, Yzerman is named captain of the Red Wings. He retains the role until he retires in 2006, becoming the longest-serving captain in NHL history in terms of years (20) and games (1,303). The Red Wings finish second in the Norris Division and get to the Campbell Conference Final before losing to the Edmonton Oilers.

Feb. 27, 1988 -- Yzerman reaches the 100-point mark for the first time in his NHL career when he scores a goal and has an assist in a 6-5 road loss to the Quebec Nordiques. He becomes a 50-goal scorer for the first time three days later in a 4-0 home win against the Buffalo Sabres but injures his knee during the game when he crashes into a goal post. Though Yzerman misses the rest of the regular season, the Red Wings win their first division title since 1964-65. He returns after they win two rounds of the playoffs and has four points in three games during a five-game conference final loss to the Oilers.

April 2, 1989 -- Scores a Red Wings-record 65th goal in a 4-2 season-ending loss at the St. Louis Blues and finishes the season with 155 points, also a team record. He finishes third in the NHL in scoring behind Mario Lemieux (199 points) and Wayne Gretzky (168), is a Hart Trophy finalist and wins the Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award) as the NHL's most outstanding player as voted by members of the NHL Players' Association. His 65 goals, 90 assists and 155 points remain Detroit single-season records.

April 15, 1993 -- Yzerman scores his 58th goal of the season and gets his 137th point in Detroit's season-ending 5-2 win against the Minnesota North Stars at Joe Louis Arena. It's the fifth time in six seasons that he scores at least 50 goals; the 137 points are fourth in the NHL and the second-highest total of his career. He also scores four goals and has seven points in the playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the Red Wings lose in the first round.

June 17, 1995 -- The Red Wings reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1966 when they host the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 at Joe Louis Arena. Yzerman scores a goal in Game 3 but the Red Wings are swept.

May 16, 1996 -- After helping Detroit set the NHL single-season record for victories (62) during the regular season, Yzerman scores one of the most famous playoff goals in Red Wings history. With Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals tied 0-0 early in the second overtime, Yzerman takes the puck from Wayne Gretzky, crosses the blue line and takes a slap shot that beats St. Louis Blues goaltender Jon Casey for a 1-0 win. The Red Wings would lose to the Colorado Avalanche in the conference final.

Video: 1996 Round 2, Gm 7: Steve Yzerman's 2OT goal

June 7, 1997 -- Yzerman accepts the Stanley Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman after the Red Wings defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 at Joe Louis Arena to complete a four-game sweep in the Final and win their first championship since 1955. Yzerman has an assist in the Cup-winning game after scoring goals in each of the first three games.

Video: 1997 Cup Final, Gm4: Wings end 42-year Cup drought

June 16, 1998 -- The Red Wings give Yzerman a second chance to accept the Cup by completing a four-game sweep in the Final with a 4-1 win at the Washington Capitals. Yzerman wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after leading all players with 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) in 22 games.

Video: 1998 Cup Final, Gm4: Honoring Vladimir Konstantinov

Nov. 26, 1999 -- Yzerman becomes the 11th player in NHL history to score 600 goals in his career. The milestone comes when he scores 12:30 into the first period of a 4-2 win against the Oilers at Joe Louis Arena.

Feb. 24, 2002 -- Yzerman has a third-period assist to help Canada win the Olympic gold medal for the first time in 50 years by defeating the United States 5-2 at Salt Lake City. He finishes the tournament with six points (two goals, four assists) in six games.

June 13, 2002 -- The Red Wings win the Stanley Cup for the third time with Yzerman as captain when they defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 at Joe Louis Arena in Game 5. Yzerman misses 30 games during the regular season with a knee injury; the knee continues to bother him during the playoffs, but he ignores the pain. Rather than being the first to skate with the Cup, Yzerman hands it to coach Scotty Bowman, who announces his retirement after the game.

Video: 2002 Cup Final, Gm 5: Bowman's 9th Cup passes Blake

March 31, 2006 -- Yzerman scores his 691st NHL goal, passing Lemieux for eighth on the all-time list. He scores his 692nd and final goal three days later against the Calgary Flames. His final game with the Red Wings comes on May 1, when they are eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

July 3, 2006 -- Yzerman announces his retirement as a player, finishing his career with 1,755 points (692 goals, 1,063 assists). He's second in Red Wings history in goals and points (behind Gordie Howe, 786, 1809) and No. 1 in assists. On Sept. 25, he's named a vice president and alternate governor of the Red Wings, who retire his No. 19 on Jan. 2, 2007.

Nov. 9, 2009 -- The Hockey Hall of Fame inducts Yzerman as part of the Class of 2009, along with former teammates Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull, longtime New York Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch and NHL executive Lou Lamoriello.

May 25, 2010 -- Yzerman leaves the only NHL team he's ever worked for when he is hired as vice president and general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. In Yzerman's first season, the Lightning reach Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. 

Feb. 23, 2014 -- With Yzerman serving as executive director, Canada defeats Sweden 3-0 to win the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. It's the second straight Olympic gold for an Yzerman-built team, coming four years after Canada's 3-2 overtime victory against the United States at the 2010 final in Vancouver. 

June 3, 2015 -- The Lightning return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since winning the championship in 2004 when they host the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1. Though the Lightning lose in six games, Yzerman wins the NHL General Manager of the Year award after Tampa Bay sets a team record with 50 wins and 108 points during the regular season.

Sept. 11, 2018 -- With one year remaining on his contract, Yzerman announces that he's stepping down as GM of the Lightning and will serve as an adviser to his successor, Julien BriseBois. The Lightning go on to tie the 1995-96 Red Wings' NHL single-season record with 62 wins but are swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

April 19, 2019 -- Yzerman rejoins the Red Wings when he's hired as general manager, with longtime GM Ken Holland becoming a senior vice president. 

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