I was really deeply saddened when I heard the announcement of Gary Roberts retiring. Don’t get me wrong, it was not the announcement per se, it was the way it came about. Meaning I would have liked Gary to go out on his terms, something he has earned. Being put on waivers without even warning him shows a lack of respect to him. Gary Roberts, being a warrior, should accumulate some respect, don’t you think? With how many years of service he has in the NHL he has earned the label of warrior. The Tampa Bay Lightning could have and should of handled this with class. Instead, they took the cowardly way out. Gary Roberts would never say how he truly feels; he is too classy to. So allow me this is total crap. The Tampa Bay Lightning are showing their Neanderthalism in their way of handling this issue. Yes, I know it's not a word, but bear with me.
I wanted to tell you of a memory that I have of Roberts. I cannot remember the year or day of the game, I just remember the game. Gary Roberts had been out for over an year when he made his debut back as a Flame. The team they were playing was the Sabres; the Flames beat the Sabres 3-1, with Roberts scoring all the goals. I will never forget telling my wife that Roberts got a hat trick that night. What was truly remarkable was that Roberts pretty much thought that he was going to have to retire after the neck injury. He showed an enormous amount of courage to his fans and more importantly, to himself. That night he taught me that we can do anything we put our minds to, if we just have faith in ourselves to do it. Roberts was and is a class act. I was hoping above hope that the Flames would have claimed him so he could retire as a Flame. But because of cap restrictions, that was not to come into being. So Gary, thanks for memories. I am sure you will be in the coaching ranks very soon.
In the GM meetings this week, they have decided to crack down on Neanderthalism (not a word, I know). They are trying to take out the stage fighting, goons standing up to fight for no real reason. I for one, applaud the rule. There is nothing sillier than watching two CLODS duking it out. The general consensuses is that stage fighting is become cumbersome or very awkward at times. I am so tired of the NHL trying to appease the nonhockey fans by doing these stage fights. They do it only for the fans. Now they do this nonsense just to get attention. It reminds me of two kids arguing over who dad is tougher.
The next issue I would like to tackle is this tank nation. I understand the reasoning, but in reality, players cannot tank. Sure enough, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been playing very well lately, being very competitive. The Leafs players have what we call pride. It’s something that you feel when you have that sweater on. Something takes over your blood , that is the pride of a hockey player. You cannot just tank on purpose. When you make it to the NHL, you are not designed to fail, only to succeed. So next times you hope your Leafs lose, just remember it’s not in the players' blood to lose.
The fans have to realize one thing, tank nation is not acceptable, and the moment we play to lose, we hurt the league. I love sports and the game of hockey specifically. Coaches need to be determined to win. Otherwise we lose the spirit of hockey, and that would be a total shame.
Another Coach gets fired so a General Manager can keep his job. The Habs have decided to let Mr. Gainey take over to end the season. The timing is really interesting, as the Habs do nothing. They stand pat and Gainey says he likes his teams. Next thing I know, Carbs is fired and Gainey takes over the coaching. I'm just saying it’s an interesting move. I will be doing a blog later on this subject.