"I'm retiring; is that still news?"Somehow, after all of the over the top behavior during the course of his career, such a quiet exit on a day when virtually nobody South of the border is thinking of hockey seems strangely appropriate.
I don't know if there's much more to say about Roenick than I wrote back in April when he scored the 494th and next to last goal of his career. He was a good, and at times great player who gave as good as he got, both on the ice and with his mouth.
And for those of you who might be asking, no, Roenick will not be getting a phone call from Toronto telling him he's got a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame. For a time he looked like he was ticketed for it, but after leaving Chicago he never seemed to be able to recapture the form he achieved in the early 1990s when he was considered to be one of the best players in the game.
And while it might have been smarter to can some of the snappy patter toward the end of his career when his off-ice personality began to outshine his on-ice play, I guess that just wouldn't have suited him much at all. For good or ill, J.R. was always J.R. and he never pretended to be anything else.
We should all be so lucky to get to live a life like that.
So what's next? He owns a nightclub in Arizona as well as a t-shirt business he told Panaccio he wants to expand back to the East Coast. Oh, and he'd be up for giving sportscasting another shot. Something tells me NBC Sports might be listening.