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Former Detroit Red Wings star Steve Yzerman receives Lester Patrick Award

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Former Detroit Red Wings star Steve Yzerman receives Lester Patrick Award

The Canadian Press
By:

The award recognizes outstanding service to hockey in the United States and is named after NHL pioneer Lester Patrick, who was a player, coach, manager, owner and NHL governor. Patrick was the general manager of the New York Rangers in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.

Also receiving the award were Hall of Fame player Marcel Dionne, Michigan coach Red Berenson, former NHL defenceman Reed Larson and former coach Glen Sonmor.

Many credit Yzerman, who retired as a player in July, for reviving the Red Wings, who were a moribund franchise when he was drafted in 1983. Yzerman eventually led the team to Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998 and 2002. But he says he wasn't the main person responsible.

"I would look at (owners Mike and Marian Ilitch)," Yzerman said. "It was their passion and refusal to settle for anything less, getting the team to win a Stanley Cup. Me, I just participated over the course of time."

In 22 seasons in Detroit, Yzerman's 1,063 assists are the most in franchise history and his 692 goals and 1,755 points are second to only Gordie Howe. He also was the longest-serving captain in NHL history, from 1986-87 until his retirement.

Dionne, who played in Detroit his first four seasons (1971-72 to 1974-75) and played most of his career with the Los Angeles Kings, is one of only six players with more than 700 career goals. The others are Wayne Gretzky, Howe, Brett Hull, Phil Esposito and Mike Gartner.

Berenson has been Michigan's coach since 1984 and won NCAA titles in 1996 and 1998. He also played 17 seasons in the NHL, including a stint with Detroit from 1970-71 until 1974-75 and coached the St. Louis Blues, with whom he played on two separate occasions, after his playing career. He also played at Michigan from 1959-62.

Larson played 13 NHL seasons (1976-77 to 1988-89), the first 10 with the Red Wings. He was best known for having one of the league's hardest slapshots. The Minneapolis native was the first American-born player to score 200 career goals. He got 188 in Detroit, which is second to Nicklas Lidstrom for goals by a Red Wings defenceman. He reached 20 goals five times with Detroit and six overall. He then played five years in Italy and one in the now-defunct International Hockey League before retiring.

Sonmor coached in the NHL, the old World Hockey Association, and in the college ranks with Minnesota.

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Former Detroit Red Wings star Steve Yzerman receives Lester Patrick Award