Friday, November 13, 2009

The Night I Met Steve Yzerman...

These are going to be even less coherent than normal due to the fact that I’m still a little bit giddy, and I’m not entirely convinced that I didn’t just imagine this entire evening.

Post game snipes:
  • So, uh, tonight I got to watch the game from a suite at the Joe, hang out with a bunch of other crazy Wings fans who Twitter, and MEET STEVE YZERMAN. I don’t have a whole lot to say about the game, though, since I was so completely distracted by the overload of awesomeness that I experienced.
  • I wasn’t particularly impressed with the Wings’ play tonight, but let’s face it, from the first intermission on, I could not have cared less about the outcome of the game. Vancouver outplayed them for most of the game, and on any other night, I would’ve been sitting at home frustrated and yelling at my TV. But not this night.
  • I was a little surprised/disappointed at the lack of "Stevie! Stevie!" chants during the puck drop ceremony. Who would pass up an opportunity to rock the Joe with that old favorite one more time? You never know when you're going to get another chance to do it. Shame.
  • I got to bring one person with me to the game, so after much agonizing, I selected my dad. We ended up getting to the Joe right as the door opened, so after picking up our Yzerman plaques, we decided to take a leisurely stroll around the concourse before heading up to the suite. It turned out that if we had gone straight there, we would’ve been able to watch the first period from right behind the Wings’ bench. Oh well.
  • We stopped to enter a raffle for a signed plaque with the famous picture of Kronwall destroying Havlat. The woman working at the table kept yelling, “win an autographed Kronwall!” I asked her which one. She didn’t get it. Maybe the winner gets to choose.
  • The Stanley Cup (and the Conn Smythe and some other trophies that we don’t really care about here in Hockeytown) was on display in the concourse in all of its shiny glory. I knew then that it was going to be a good night.
  • While we were waiting outside the Joe, we saw Filppula pull into the lot (driving one-handed, of course). Then Larry Murphy showed up a couple of minutes later. After seeing his vehicle of choice, my dad disgustedly said, “He drives an Audi?!” It was a pretty good moment.
  • During the first intermission, I was standing kind of in the door between the suite and the seating area watching the kids do their shootout thing when my dad grabbed my shoulder and told me to turn around. Right there, not five feet away from me was my childhood hero Steve Yzerman. (I would also like to take this opportunity to not how immensely proud I am that I didn’t do anything completely embarrassing. It turns out that I’m occasionally capable of not acting like a psychopath after all.) The Wings’ PR staff that was there said we could only take one group shot that they would send to all of us so we were a little disappointed. However, after we posed for the picture, he said, “So…you guys want any autographs? I can stick around for a little while.” As if there was a chance in this universe that we would’ve turned down that offer. A mad scramble for autographable items ensued as people pretty much dove left and right trying to find stuff to get signed (I’m kidding. Everyone in the suite was incredibly nice and I think we all had a wonderful time together.). I shook Stevie’s hand, and he signed the back of my gorgeous old-school #19 jersey as well as the front of the old midget-sized one that I intend to get framed. He was incredibly gracious and I think there was a general consensus amongst the 12 of us there that we could all die happy right then and there.
  • After he left, one of the guys realized that he had walked out with his Sharpie. He said (and this is one of those things that doesn’t really translate well to text), “Steve Yzerman just stole my Sharpie……*realization dawning*……STEVE Yzerman just stole my Sharpie! :)” I’ve included the little smiley face there to aid you in your interpretation of the quote. I really can’t do it justice. It was a pretty awesome moment in all of our lives. I just wish he had stolen my Sharpie instead. I don’t even know what that says about me.
  • Okay, I am most definitely not the excitable type. I tend to be even-keel to the point that I’m often mistaken as being heartless. So it was absolutely bizarre to discover that my hands were still shaking a little at the end of the second period. All things considered, though, I think I handled it well. Prior to arriving at the game, I had wondered if a meeting might maybe be in store for us, and I had warned close friends that if they never heard from me again that it was safe to assume that I had had a heart attack and died. But it would’ve been okay because then when I got to the pearly gates (whether this would actually be my destination sparked some debate…) I would be able to say that Steve Yzerman was the last person that I saw on this earth. It turns out, though, that I didn’t die, which is probably evident by the fact that I’m typing this post.
  • He was wearing his shiny new Hall of Fame ring. I didn’t get a picture of it, but I noticed it when he was signing things for people. Way cool.
  • It’s now 3:30 AM. I’ve been up since 5:30 AM. I barely got 5 hours of sleep last night. I have absolutely no idea why I’m still typing. I definitely need to fix my priorities.
  • Shortly after Yzerman departed, Joey Kocur stopped by. He stuck around for a while and chatted with us. He was not familiar with the concept of Twitter, so we took it upon ourselves to explain it to him. I don’t think we converted him.
  • After we got done explaining things to him, he looked around the suite and said, “Hey, you guys got beer in here?” When he was informed that we did not, in fact, have any beer, he joked that he should’ve stopped by the Molson suite first.
  • He actually signed all of his pictures “To Soandso, all my best…” This led to some fun moments when he was trying to talk and write people’s names at the same time thus leading to a couple of inventive spellings.
  • All in all he was a pretty fun guy and I didn’t mind missing the first few minutes of the second period chatting with him. Still though, I felt a little bad. How do you walk into a room after Steve Yzerman has just left and expect to wow people? It’s got to be a little disheartening. Talk about a tough act to follow.
  • I really liked Zetterberg’s goal. A lot.
  • Jimmy Howard didn’t make me want to bang my head against the wall. Sure he gave up some juicy rebounds, but he came up with a few big saves, and he was tested a whole lot more than Luongo was.
  • Kronner’s empty netter (Make sure you watch until the very end as Z gives Nik what must be some sort of strange Swedish sign of affection.) was one of the two most amusing empty net goals I've seen. We could see that the puck was heading on the right trajectory toward the goal, the only question was whether or not it would cross the goal line before the Vancouver player caught up to it. As it inched closer (seemingly in slow motion), the whole arena started to go, “oooohhhh,” rising in pitch as it neared the line. It was pretty awesome and completely unexpected. (For those of you who are curious, this is the other most amusing one.)
  • I uploaded all of my pictures over here for your viewing pleasure. With any luck, I’ll have time to go through and actually label them tomorrow…and maybe even rearrange them so they’re in the right order. I might slap together another post about tonight if I think of anything else or bother going back to discover just how incoherent the rest of this post has been.
  • Overall, we were treated like royalty by the Wings staff. We had an amazing time, and I can’t say enough about getting this opportunity.
  • We made out like bandits. Obviously the two jerseys were mine before, but everything else was given to me.
Cookies and Cupcakes for Steve Yzerman.
Sure he wasn’t on the ice, but he made my life tonight. I’m never going to forget this game. The only reason I’m convinced that tonight actually happened is because there’s a big old signature adorning the 9 on the back of my jersey.

Brett Lebda gets the Golden Facepalm
It was only a matter of time before he ended up with one of these. I’m going to admit that this is more of a reputation call than anything else. He made a couple of pretty bad defensive zone turnovers that really stand out in my mind though, and I’m almost positive that he was one of the D-men on the ice during that long stretch in the third period when the Wings were hemmed into their own zone and unable to clear the puck despite having numerous chances to do so.

What I learned:
That meeting The Captain makes me giddy like a schoolgirl. Not that that should come as a surprise to anyone who has ever met me before.

One final note:
For one of my classes at school, I got assigned to live blog an event of my choosing. Obviously, it didn't take a whole lot of thought to decide to do a Wings game. As such, two of my classmates and I will be setting up shop at a bar on Saturday night and live blogging the game against Anaheim. (Yeah, we're going to be sitting in a bar on a Saturday night with our laptops doing homework. I'm pretty sure it's going to be the ultimate college moment ever.) I'll post the live blog here and send some reminders on Twitter over the next couple of days too.


  1. incredibly jealous, but glad you had a great time

  2. Amazing. Congratulations, Kris.

  3. Wow, that is the best thing ever! I've never been more jealous of someone than I am right now. Haha I'm glad Stevie didn't give you a heartattack.

  4. It was really cool that you tweeted the whole thing. I was really excited for you. Dying with jealousy, yes. Knowing how much this meant to you, I'm glad that you got chosen and got to have this experience. Totally awesome. Congratulations.

  5. Good luck finding another life event to look forward to! *JEALOUS* *yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition, let the snark begin*

  6. Nids, I'm less concerned about the preposition than I am about the structure of your last sentence. :)

  7. I can deal with that. Why am I up so early?

  8. So glad you enjoyed yourself at the game, thanks for sending us the link to your blog as well. Hope to see you again soon!

    Nicole (With DRW)

  9. Kris - please DM DRW on Twitter - I have questions/ideas for you

    - Nicole (DRW)