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  Yzerman Wins Conn Smythe Trophy
By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 17, 1998; Page C6

Oates Shoots on Osgood
Steve Yzerman may have earned himself a new nickname in winning the Conn Smythe Trophy.
(AP Photo)

Steve Yzerman, the Detroit Red Wings' longtime captain, added another honor to his lengthy resume last night when he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy given to the most valuable player in the playoffs.

Yzerman, 33, didn't have a point in last night's 4-1 clinching victory at MCI Center, but he had two goals and two assists in the finals. His two goals in Game 2, particularly his shorthanded goal in the third period, helped the Red Wings to a 5-4 overtime victory in the pivotal game of the series.

"What can you say about him?" teammate Kris Draper said. "He's unbelievable. He's the heart and soul of this hockey club. Conn Smythe — he just got himself a new nickname."

Yzerman was the leading scorer in the playoffs, with six goals and 18 assists in 22 games. He was the runner-up to teammate Mike Vernon in last season's Conn Smythe balloting, but was clearly the best player in this postseason.

"Stevie plays well at both ends of the rink, and my understanding is he's an outstanding leader," Capitals Coach Ron Wilson said. "He scored points, he kills penalties, he's on the power play. He is obviously their most consistent player and he deserves the award."

Yzerman said he hopes to skate around the ice with the Stanley Cup again next season.

"This was my 15th season," said Yzerman, who has been the Red Wings' captain since he was 21 years old. "I've thought about it, and I'd like to play seasons. I'm having the greatest time in hockey in my life. I'm looking forward to trying again next year."

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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