Thursday, June 29, 2006


Jeremy Roenick wants to invade Canada

Even though a certain asshole goaltender was elected to the Hall of Fame yesterday, the news item that seems to be grabbing the most attention is Jeremy Roenick's very public wish to play in Canada for cheap.

"It was a nightmare season from hell last year," Roenick said Wednesday from Los Angeles. "The embarrassment of the season I had last year is enormous. So I've totally re-arranged my summer and re-dedicated myself to the game of hockey.

"I'm working out and getting into the best shape possible that my body can get to. I want to make amends for a season lost. It was totally embarrassing."

The re-energized and re-focused Roenick will be an unrestricted free agent as of Saturday. And he knows where he wants to sign.

"I've always said I would like to play in Canada before my career is over," said the 36-year-old Boston native. "And it's one thing that I'm really anxious in doing. Don't be surprised if I end up on a Canadian team next week.

Roenick was awful last year with just 9 goals and 22 points with a -5 in 59 games. Even playing with Pavol Demitra couldn't lift Roenick to some respectable totals.

No more hanging out with his Hollywood buddies at clubs and living the life of a playboy athlete. He even changed his cellphone number to cut down on the temptations.

"Too many people are trying to get a hold of me and trying to get me to do things," he said. "It's time for me to take a step back."

When Roenick was traded to Los Angeles from Philadelphia last summer, it seemed like a match made in heaven. He's a natural in front of the camera and a great pitch man for the game.

With the NHL coming off a year-long lockout, Roenick did his best to sell the game. From appearances on Fox Sports TV's Best Damn Sports Show Period, to Carson Daly on NBC, to Party at the Palms with former Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy on the E! network, Roenick was everywhere.

It was too much.

"I've been worried about too much other stuff, too much entertaining, too much TV, instead of getting myself in proper condition," said Roenick. "It's not fair to me and it's not fair to the people that I work for.

"So I'm changing. I want to try and finish off this sucker the right way."
Of course the fact that he's now 36 years old and has knee problems had nothing to do with the fact that he sucked last year. Athletes don't get old, they just get disinterested *rolleyes*

Roenick may be very willing to take a paycut, but how about a playcut? Roenick whined about being left off of the Olympic roster for the USA. Do you really think he could slip into a role as a 3rd line checker or complimentary offensive player? Methinks not. Methinks JR still wants and will demand upwards of 17 minutes a night ala Mark Messier.

So, where in Canada could JR possibly end up?

Well, it won't be Vancouver, Edmonton, or Montreal for sure. GM Dave Nonis will certainly not want another basketcase on his hands when he's working hard to get rid of them. Edmonton has, and will always, get players with a team-first attitude (Mike Peca the exception). Montreal has lots of young forwards chomping at the bit for a spot and no room for JR.

Calgary? Roenick and Sutter? Hmmm... Well, Roenick is definitely a Sutter type of player with his crash-bang style. Sutter is also one of the few coaches would could probably put JR in line somewhat. Roenick needs a strict coach, as we saw with Mike Keenan and the Blackhawks when they actually didn't suck. Calgary needs the offence, but how does JR improve on that? They took a chance on Tony "The Stallion" Amonte and it was a so-so result.

Ottawa? That vanilla roster could certainly use some spice. The culture of the Sens seems to be that of conceit and a lack of real motivation. Having a guy like JR around might spur them to actually win a playoff series or two.

Craig Chris @ Hockey Country isn't enthused about the idea:

I think it would be foolish for the Sens to not at least talk to J.R., but at the end of the day, unless he has a time machine in his back pocket, it doesn't seem like a wise move. We tried the "I want a Cup bad so look past my age" veteran player last season. Didn't go so well.

Toronto? *ding**ding**ding*

I know what you are thinking: It's a match made in hockey heaven. The mouth from the south in the largest hockey media market would equal some entertainment. The Leafs seem to love their one-year projects with a troubled past (See Lindros, Eric and O'Neill, Jeff) and would probably be open to a cheap one-year deal. JFJ doesn't have a real clue how to construct a good roster, and the Ontario Teachers would love the return on their pension funds, so why the hell not?

The problem? TO offers many distractions for a guy like Roenick. You can bet he'd be on TSN's Off the Record every 2 weeks, and he'd been doing the rounds on the TO nightclubs on a regular basis. I'd love to see the Don Cherry vs. Jeremy Roenick catfights that would be bound to happen.

Yes, this is the kind of stupid signing JFJ would do. I hope it happens.

Maybe JR is the key to the Leafs 40th anniversary victory of winning Lord Stanley. ;-p
Oh JR, as much as I dislike him (he made Patrick Roy say something humourous years ago and I have yet to forgive him for that), I'd prefer to see him play for les Habs than the Leafs. I don't know, but ever since he graced the roster of my darling Flyers, I don't dislike him as much as I used to.

He's one of those pesky players you love to hate, unless they play for *your* team, then you cheer and defend them until the day they're traded, when you can go back to jeering them.

Oh god, did I just say something nice about JR? In my defense, it's 5am and I have a wicked case of insomnia...


ps - courtesy of a friend circa late 90s: "Why is it called 'Coyote Ugly' if it doesn't star Tkachuk and Roenick?"
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