Alright snap out of it people. Yes , the San Jose Sharks did sign Jeremy Roenick. Many are asking Why ?, Where will he fit in ?, Can he still play ? The answers to those questions are.....
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Plain and simple, "Veteran Presence". This is something San Jose has lacked. Not to say they have not had quality vets on the team in the past, but a 9 time All Star, not quite. In the early 90's JR was one of the most lethal scorers in the league. At 5 goals shy of 500 how could a team pass up the chance to see one of the games greatest faces hit the 500 goal mark in there colors. JR can pass on a ton of wisdom to the youth of this team. Youngsters who thought they were locks at their given positions will have to work harder to not lose ice time to the seasoned vet. When this guy walks into San Jose's locker room the young kids will not see someone who is on his last leg in the NHL. Instead they will see a superstar that most of them grew up watching. Jeremy Roenick to them is still that star in some ways. Not many of these guys ever would have thought they would have a chance to play against him, let alone on a line with him. Now he may not be the 50 goal scorer he once was and he may be playing for a measly $500k this season, but the mentoring he will provide to the young men on this team is priceless.
Where will he fit in ?
This is a good question. San Jose for the most part is stacked up the middle. My guess is he will play the wing, where he has often played the last few seasons. He openly said he would gladly play 4th line center with only ten minutes of ice time, and be happy with that. However he said he is going to work his butt off to earn the most playing time he can. He will try to be a threat to the young guys over their positions, and battle them for ice time. That right there, is a guy who will fit in anywhere on this team. With the chance to play with some of the leagues best talent, JR is fired up for this season.
Can he still play ?
Well maybe not like he once could, but yes he can still keep up. Not having to play such a big role will give him a chance to concentrate on just playing his game. He does not have to be a leader or a superstar just a hockey player. He said he is making some changes this year, he will shut his mouth and just play, and he is going to prove he can still play the game at this level. He is highly motivated after receiving the call from Doug Wilson that changed his mind about retirement. With a chance to win the Stanley Cup he says he feels better than he has in the last couple of years. This season for JR is not about money or even the 500 goal mark, it is about winning the big prize that has eluded him through his career. He feels the Sharks give him his best chance at it !
All in all I am somewhat excited to see JR suit up and take the ice in the Shark Tank. There will be many non-believers who's minds will be changed I hope. No matter what, no one can take away the already brilliant career he has had. So here's wishing JR a great season on his way to scoring his 500th goal and a chance at raising Lord Stanley's Cup !
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