On Thursday, the NHL will lose one of its all time notorious characters. Jeremy Roenick, at 39, will finally retire his skates but probably not the outrageous personality they carried. Outspoken, charismatic, and never too far from a microphone, he once told fans to “kiss my ass” following the 2004-05 lockout season (StayClassy won’t forgive you for that, Gary Bettman!) when commenting about overpaid hockey players. He recently told reporters that he has been asked to try out for Dancing With The Stars. Oh boy.
Controversy seemed to follow him. Or vice versa.
“NHL, WAKE UP!…The National Hockey League has to step in and tell (the referees) to open up their eyes”
- January 13, 2004, following a 6-2 Flyer loss to Buffalo, with Roenick receiving a gross misconduct and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalties with less than six minutes to go
“Because wives and girlfriends aren’t on the road….All of our wives and girlfriends are wonderful people. They’re wonderful people. They just have to know to leave their guys alone on game days. No grocery shopping. No cleaning up the house. Just let ‘em sleep and get their rest.”
- January 31, 2008, when asked why the Sharks have a much better road record than a home record
“He goes and puts his stick down and, you know, he is hot. He is hot. He’s telling everybody that he’s red hot, and his stick is hot, he’s … letting everybody in the world know that he knows that he’s good and that he’s hot.”
- March 30, 2009, when asked about Alexander Ovechkin and his over-the-top 50th goal celebration
“You see him [expletive], whining and crying. He’s supposed to be the poster boy of our league and yet every time he gets hit, he’s grimacing and complaining to the referees.”
- January 23, 2009, talking about Crosby
“I fought Dion (Phaneuf) three times and I came out three for three. I don’t know how realistic that is, but I’ll take three for three with Dion any time.”
- September 22, 2008, speaking about his likeness in EA Sports NHL 09
“My in-game character is a little slower now in NHL 09. I think that’s because I’m almost 39 years old, so they’re trying to make it as real as they can in terms of my speed. But I’m still very strong and I still hit a lot in the game, which is very real.”
- September 22, 2008, explaining why he is not so quick in EA Sports NHL 09
“(Bettman) forgot that the NHL merged with the WWF and we hide razor blades in our pockets and cut ourselves so we can get calls…I’m just surprised that you can get fined $91,000 for throwing a water bottle on the ice. It’s like fining Gary Bettman for all those lies about the collective bargaining agreement coming. He throws those around like they’re candy. The NHLPA should fine him for those.”
- January 15, 2004, teeing off on Bettman following his one-game suspension for throwing a water bottle at an official who missed a high-stick on Roenick’s face. One tooth and seven stitches later.
“Our sport still is great. It’s just ruled by Neanderthal people”
- January 15, 2004, still talking about Bettman
And probably the best exchange involving Roenick, trading jabs with Patrick Roy. After Roenick is tripped on a breakaway (no penalty called), Roy says “I would have saved it anyway”. Later, Roenick shot back, “I’d like to know where Patrick was in Game 3…probably up trying to get his jock out of the rafters”. In that game, Roenick had scored on Patrick Roy on a very similar looking breakaway. Roy countered with his most famous line, “I cannot really hear what Jeremy says because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ear”.
Gotta love it.
Be good, JR. We’ll miss you.