Roenick Back for Another Season
After what seemed like a season in Hell in Phoenix followed by an off-season where he announced his retirement in a text message to Tim Pannaccio of the Philadelphia Inquirer, I'm not sure I have a whole lot left to say about Roenick.
True, he's only 5 goals away from the magical #500 that seems to automatically open the gates to hockey immortality in Toronto, but I'm having a hard time believing that potting another five goals is going to change Roenick's place in the history of the game.
Then again, if there's anybody in the NHL who's got a half-way decent chance of lighting a fire under the 18-year NHL veteran, it's got to be San Jose head coach Ron Wilson, a man who developed the reputation of a master motivator after stops in Anaheim and Washington before taking over in San Jose. If anything, you'd think that Wilson is hoping that some of Roenick's famous grit -- if there's still any of it left -- will rub off on the rest of a San Jose squad that's long on young talent but short on veteran experience you only get by playing hockey games in May and June.
That's what this signing is really all about, at least when it comes to Roenick. Here's a young and talented team that's sure to be a contender out West, one that offers Roenick his one last best chance to get his name on the Stanley Cup. If he comes to camp in shape and committed, who's to say that J.R. can't clock quality minutes on San Jose's third or fourth line?
Ok, I take that back. It's pretty clear that Roenick has a lot to prove in training camp -- both to Wilson and his coaching staff as well as to any serious observer of the game. But if San Jose wants to give him one last shot, who am I to say no.
As for his inevitable move behind the microphone, that can wait another season.
Previously on FanHouse:
Video of the Day: Jeremy Roenick, Dancing Drama Queen
Is Brett Hull "One and Done" at NBC?
And the Loser Is ...
Last Goal For Jeremy Roenick?