The Yzerman fan club

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

"He's not the kind of guy who wants a year-long goodbye. That's not Steve Yzerman. But, when I look at this guy, I think he's been one of the best players this game has ever seen. I really believe that when Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman were in their prime, they were the top three players in their time." -- Detroit GM Ken Holland

"I believe winning the Stanley Cup and the gold medal the same year was something Steve Yzerman will look back on and be proud about. He was struggling with the knee and some thought that might be the end of his career. It might have been for somebody else. He fought his way back. He wanted to compete."

-- ESPN analyst Darren Pang, a close friend of Yzerman's since childhood

"Steve Yzerman doesn't want to have to go into a rink and pick up a rocking chair before he says goodbye. That's not the type of guy he is."

-- Former Detroit coach Jacques Demers

"I saw him and I just thought he had great skills. Some of the people in Peterborough didn't think we should take him because he was too small. I just told them to watch him play. He competed hard and he wanted it. He was a big-time talent."

-- Florida Panthers coach Jacques Martin, who was scouting for the Petes when Yzerman was selected No. 3 overall at the OHL draft in 1981

"He's still the same guy who left Nepean. He's quiet, doesn't like the publicity and hasn't changed one bit. He's just a great guy."

-- Former Nepean Raiders coach Mike Goddard

"I really would like to see him play again. I wouldn't want to see it end this way. It's almost like there's unfinished business. That's the way I would describe it. To have his career end because of a labour dispute is not something I would like to see. Everybody wants to retire the right way. To me, it would be anti-climactic if he doesn't get to play again."

-- Ron Yzerman, Steve's dad

"You just hope Steve Yzerman gets the chance to play again. He's such a class individual. You wouldn't want to see a career like his end this way. He's given so much to the game. You'd like the chance to give him a proper sendoff and to hear the crowd roar at Joe Louis Arena."

-- Ottawa lawyer Larry Kelly, Yzerman's agent


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