Yzerman: I am not ready to retire

Updated: May 7, 2004, 1:55 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Detroit captain Steve Yzerman wants to keep playing despite recent surgery for a scratched cornea and a broken bone below his left eye.

"I don't know what the final point is going to be when I say that's it," Yzerman said Friday. "But I'm not there."

It was the first public comment from Yzerman since the surgery last weekend.

Yzerman, who was hurt during a Game 5 loss to Calgary in the conference semifinals, still has bruising, swelling and stitches under his bloodshot left eye.

The Red Wings forward, who will turn 39 on Sunday, has a franchise-record 70 playoff goals and 181 points in his 20 seasons with the Red Wings. In regular-season games, he's the sixth-leading scorer in NHL history.

The injury came midway through the second period after a shot by Red Wings defenseman Mathieu Schneider ricocheted off someone in front of the Calgary net and hit Yzerman squarely in the face as he stood to the left of the goal.

Yzerman, who doesn't wear a face shield, immediately dropped to the ice. He kicked his legs in pain as he was sprawled out.

After being down for a couple minutes, with the crowd watching in stunned silence, Yzerman was helped to the dressing room as a towel was held near his left eye. He didn't return to the game.

Yzerman has blurry vision now and said he could not see out of his left eye until he got into the dressing room. He said he regrets not wearing a visor but will do so in the future.

The Red Wings were eliminated in a 1-0 overtime loss in Game 6.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press