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Yzerman finishes ahead of Sakic, Trottier for greatest player to wear No. 19

The Detroit News
Former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman was voted the greatest player in NHL history to wear No. 19, according to a poll of nhl.com writers and editors.

Former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman finished ahead of Joe Sakic of the Avalanche and Bryan Trottier of the Islanders as the greatest player in NHL history to wear No. 19, according to a poll of nhl.com writers and editors.

Yzerman, who wore No. 19 in honor of Trottier, finished with 50 points (12 first-place votes, seven second-place votes), 14 more points than Sakic and 33 more than Trottier in a contest which picked the best player to wear numbers 1-99.

Colorado Avalanche center Joe Sakic looks to the bench during the second period of Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings in Denver May 1, 2008.

"Stevie Y is one of the greatest leaders in hockey history," said Dave Stubbs, nhl.com columnist and historian. "He was a selfless centerman who under coach Scotty Bowman transformed himself from a great offensive talent into a tremendous two-way player." 

Yzerman, whose No. 19 was retired by the Red Wings on Jan. 2, 2007, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009 and ranks 10th in NHL history in goals (692), ninth in assists (1,063) and seventh in points (1,755).

He won the Stanley Cup three times as a player (1997, 1998 and 2002), including winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player in the playoffs in 1998. He was a member of the Detroit front office for his fourth championship (2008).

Thirteen other Red Wings who played all or part of their careers in Detroit were selected as the greatest player to wear the following numbers:

►5: Nicklas LIdstrom

►9: Gordie Howe

►13: Pavel Datsyuk

►16: Brett Hull

►20: Luc Robitaille

►24: Chris Chelios

►39: Dominik Hasek

►40: Henrik Zetterberg

►55: Larry Murphy

►81: Marian Hossa

►85: Petr Klima

►91: Sergei Fedorov

►96: Tomas Holmstrom