If an NHL season is played in 2004-2005, Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman will be a part of it. The NHL's longest-serving captain signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings on Tuesday. As per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.
Yzerman, Detroit captain for the last 19 years, did not play in the team's final game last season as the Calgary Flames eliminated them from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Due to an eye injury suffered in Game Five of that series, Yzerman also declined his spot on the Canadian World Cup team, which claimed the championship on Tuesday night.
"We are all very pleased to have Steve back for one more year," Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. "He brings a great deal of dedication, skill and leadership abilities to our hockey club, and I feel his competitive nature will greatly help this team remain successful."
With most NHL followers expecting the owners to initiate a lockout when the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players' association expires at midnight on Wednesday, the status of the 2004-2005 season is in flux. The Red Wings still have three players left to sign - defensemen Chris Chelios and Mathieu Schneider and forward Pavel Datsyuk - before the deadline, otherwise they will have to wait until a new CBA is negotiated.