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CAPTAIN HAS LEFT BUILDING: Hockeytown icon gets a cover-up

BY SALINA ALI, FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

First, Detroiters were taunted with the prospect of a delayed hockey season.

Then there was no hockey season.

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Now, no Yzerman!

The mural that inspired Red Wings fans to keep hope alive is coming down, and it may be a new game of wait and see to find out who, if anyone, is going up.

The 170-by-100-foot wall mural of Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman that graced the side of the Cadillac Tower building for two years is slowly being covered with plain white paint.

Coverage of the mural began earlier this week when painters attached a platform, scaled the tower and began erasing the hockey icon, foot by foot.

Steve Grossbauer of North Branch said he noticed workers painting over the mural Monday.

"I seen them yesterday painting and thought 'Well, there goes Steve.' I think it's sad to see him go. He's done the city good. I hate to see him go," Grossbauer said Tuesday.

The mural, painted in 2003 by artists Art Patusak and Jason Coatney of Portland, Ore., made hockey fans proud to call Detroit Hockeytown.

Nextel, a Red Wings sponsor, purchased the rights to advertise on the wall and wished to have the mural serve as a tribute to Yzerman and hockey's greatest fans. Company officials couldn't be reached Tuesday. Neither could the building's owner nor Yzerman.

The portrait showed a uniformed Yzerman bent at the waist resting his hockey stick on his thighs and said in big bold letters "Born: Cranbrook, BC, 1965. Adopted: Detroit, MI 1983."

In smaller print at the bottom was written: "Steve Yzerman, Over 600 goals. 3 Stanley Cup Championships. And more than 16 years as captain."

Red Wings fans could proudly point to the Stanley Cup on the wall after the team won the trophy in 1997, 1998 and then again in 2002.

"It's bad enough we don't have hockey. Don't take that down," said Roseville resident and downtown worker Linda Heath.

"I think it's kind of a letdown. There's not enough words to say what he's done for the Red Wings."

Prior to Yzerman, former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders graced the side of the Cadillac Tower.

So, who will be next to rule supreme over downtown Detroit? Big Ben Wallace? Chauncey (Mr. Big Shot) Billups? Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez? It's anybody's guess.

Contact SALINA ALI at 313-223-4554 or ali@freepress.com.

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meh, what can you say about it. interesting none the less.

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Good, I hate the Redwings. Though I have much respect for Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan.

They could always put up a mural proclaiming the greatest feat of all time......The Detroit Shock winning the WNBA..........

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BIG BEN! That'd be a sight to see.

I too have a deep dislike of the Wings--I'm a Blues fan, after all. But, I have mad respect for Yzerman, because he's a great player and leader, and has stayed with the same team for so long through some dark periods before the Wings became the successful team they are now.

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Joey Harrington :blink:, no seriously maybe Prince should go up there, kid is one of the rising stars in Detroit. But I do like the possibility of a Tiger going up there as well

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Kinda sucks to see the big Stevie Y going by the waysides there in downtown...then again, I didn't wander over towards where that was when I was there last weekend..

As for the replacement, I can think of a few...

Big Ben

Rip Hamilton

Chauncey

Teyshawn Prince

Da Meat Hook

Pudge

If they're thinking of a Lion, it'd probably be either Kevin Jones or Roy Williams, IMO...I'd say Charles Rogers, but he'd have to play more than 2 games a year :lol:<_<

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Joey Harrington :blink:, no seriously maybe Prince should go up there, kid is one of the rising stars in Detroit. But I do like the possibility of a Tiger going up there as well

What about big sexy man........ Dimitri Young!!!!!!!!!! :D

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Sad I remeber in the late 80s there was great mural of Dwight Gooden as soon as you entered Manahattan through the Lincoln tunnel you could see it. Then in 1994 it was taken down, now the whole building is gone too. FOr a brief time they had some Knick add but nothing specific.

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73.jpg

pre-retirement barry mural

barry2.jpg

this is the best that was up there....it simply says "gone to canton"

DSCF0035.JPG

there's the cap'n

grant.jpg

and the grant hill one that was up for a bit....it says 'he's fighting for you!"

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