On Sunday, current and former Detroit Red Wings players and their fans said goodbye to the Joe Louis Arena, which closed its doors for the final time following an emotional 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
After the final horn sounded and the Red Wings players saluted the fans and the arena that they have called home, it was time for the Farewell to the Joe ceremony. Included in the festivities was “The Captain” Steve Yzerman, who played his entire 22-year career in Detroit.
Yzerman was the first guest speaker in the ceremony and to say that the fans gave him a homecoming welcome would be an understatement. During his speech, the Hall of Famer gave the Red Wings and their fans credit for making the NHL Playoffs 25 consecutive seasons. He also thanked the Ilitch family and talked about his fondest memories of the Joe Louis Arena, including winning the Stanley Cup in 1997.
Check out the video for yourself and pay close attention towards the end as the JLA crowd in attendance starts chanting, “Come home Stevie!” over and over again.
— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) April 10, 2017
Yzerman was selected fourth overall by the Red Wings in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft and he went on to become one of the greatest players in franchise history. In 1514 regular season games with the Wings, he scored 692 goals and dished out 1063 assists before retiring from hockey following the 2005-2006 season.
In his 22 seasons in Detroit, Yzerman led the Red Wings to three Stanley Cups (1997, 1998, and 2002), made 10 NHL All-Star teams, and was given the Lester B. Pearson Award (now known as the Ted Lindsay Award) following the 1988-1989 season for being the most outstanding player in the regular season.
Yzerman is now the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he was named NHL General Manager of the Year in 2015.