Yzerman looking forward to Red Wings alumni game
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman admits he's a bit "apprehensive" about playing in Tuesday's Red Wings-Maple Leafs Alumni game, having not put on skates since the summer.
But Yzerman, 48, a former Red Wings captain and franchise icon, is looking forward to being an active participant in the event itself, which he labels a "celebration of the history of the organization." About 100 former players will play in two outdoor games Tuesday afternoon at Comerica Park, preceding the Winter Classic on New Year's Day.
Several other members of the Lightning organization, Dave Andrychuk, Steve Thomas and Pat Verbeek will also play, with games at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
"There's going to be a lot of former Red Wings players, guys that I've played with and played for me," Yzerman said. "I look at it as a celebration of the history of the organization. I'm looking forward to that with the players and the fans."
Yzerman hasn't played much at all since retiring in 2006, with the Hall of Famer saying the last time he skated was for a "few minutes" during the summer. He said he's bought skates but hasn't had time to put them on, hoping to get on the ice Monday.
Yzerman reiterated he didn't feel any pressure to play in the game, but it was the right thing to do.
"I just felt like it was appropriate to be there," Yzerman said. "Obviously not skating at all, you're a little apprehensive. But I wanted to be there for the event and around, so it seemed to make sense. I'd rather be there in uniform I guess than street clothes."
More so than playing, Yzerman relishes the rare chance to catch up with many former teammates, including the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan and Sergei Fedorov.
"A lot of the guys, I haven't seen them since I retired or going back to our 97-98 teams," Yzerman said. "So there will be a lot of guys that I haven't seen in a while, so I look forward to that."
As for how much Yzerman plays, that remains to be seen.
"We'll see how the game goes," he said, smiling.