As you all know, Steve Yzerman spent his entire NHL career as a player with the Detroit Red Wings. But that was almost not the case as the Red Wings reportedly considered trading their captain on multiple occasions.
One of those occasions came in 1992 when the Red Wings considered trading Yzerman to the Buffalo Sabres straight up for Pat LaFontaine, who grew up in Waterford, MI. That trade did not go down because Red Wings’ owner Mike Ilitch nixed it.
The second time the Red Wings entertained trading Yzerman was in 1995 when Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman was in charge of things. When Bowman found out that the Ottawa Senators were interested in trading for Yzerman, he considered making a deal but ultimately did not pull the trigger. But by doing so, Bowman made it known across the NHL that he would consider trading the Red Wings’ long-time captain.
When Yzerman caught wind that he was being made available for trade, he was not thrilled at all and he ripped the Red Wings organization.
“I can’t say I’m upset about the possibility of being traded,” he said. “I just expected to be treated like an adult. I would have thought that at some time somebody would have come to me and said, ‘Here’s what we’re thinking. Here’s why we’re doing this.’ I guess they’re not adult enough to do that. I thought I knew people in the organization well enough. I’ve always tried to be upfront and honest and I thought I deserved that in return—the good or the bad. I love this city and I love this hockey team. But life goes on. Hockey goes on. Careers go on. We’ll just wait and see what happens.”
If you are interested in reading more stories about the Detroit Red Wings, please purchase the book The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings, by Detroit Free Press writer, Helene St. James by clicking here.
–Excerpt via The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings by Helene St. James–