Yzerman commits to play for Red Wings in Alumni Showdown

As if Red Wings fans needed another reason to go to the Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown on New Year’s Eve.

But they got one when former longtime captain Steve Yzerman, currently the general manager for the Tampa Bay Lightning, announced Tuesday that he would participate in the festivities.

“Steve is one of the greatest Red Wings players ever,” Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Wings’ website. “His presence at the Alumni Showdown makes a great day even better.”

The Red Wings’ website already has a “Stevie Y Back in the D” advertisement when you visit.

Yzerman said that he had skated very rarely since his retirement but he will skate once again with former teammates who have already committed to the Alumni Showdown.

Those include Nick Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Dino Ciccarelli, Darren McCarty, Joe Kocur, Kris Draper, Igor Larionov, Kirk Maltby, Brendan Shanahan, Tomas Holmstrom, Larry Murphy, Slava Fetisov, Chris Chelios, Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon.

Scotty Bowman, Gordie Howe, Jacques Demers and Barry Smith are the coaches for the Wings.

Yzerman was the longest-serving captain in NHL history and won three Stanley Cups with the Wings, in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

Yzerman retired after the 2005-06 season as the sixth all-time leading scorer in league history.

The Wings retired his No. 19 jersey in January 2007 and Yzerman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

Tickets are available here or at 313-471-7575. Each ticket is good for both games of the Alumni Showdown doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.