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Courageous postseason

Yzerman will miss start of 2002-03 season after knee surgery

Posted: Friday June 14, 2002 3:40 AM
Updated: Friday June 14, 2002 4:00 AM
  Gary Bettman, Steve Yzerman, Isabella Yzerman Many believe team captain Steve Yzerman was instrumental in building Red Wings team chemistry. Dave Sandford/Getty Images/NHLI

DETROIT (AP) -- Steve Yzerman plans to have reconstructive surgery on his right knee within a month and will be sidelined for the start of next season.

The 37-year-old Detroit captain had two assists Thursday night in a 3-1 victory over Carolina, giving the Red Wings their third Stanley Cup in six seasons.

"It's been hard to skate, so I've got to get my knee fixed," Yzerman said. "I'll miss the start of next year.

"I'm not sure how long, then I'll be back trying to help us repeat," he added. "I'll be retiring at some point, but definitely not before next year."

Yzerman, who has a year left on his contract, finished second in playoff scoring to Colorado's Peter Forsberg. Yzerman had been playing on a knee so banged up that he needed his stick to assist him in standing upright after he was knocked off his skates.

And Yzerman had to contend with teams routinely going to great lengths to be physical with him throughout the playoffs. He sat out stretches of the second half of the regular season because of the injury.

Yzerman, who starred for Canada's goal medal-winning team at the Olympics, surpassed the number of Cups won by many of his superstar peers, notably Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic and Scott Stevens.

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