Jeremy Roenick is at it again.
Its OK if you thought who??? I pretty much forgot about Roenick too. Afterall, he last played hockey on April 28th. And yet, a month later, I’m still talking about him, despite the fact he and the San Jose Sharks chocked. Again.
I’m told one of the first rules in journalism is to never let your personal feelings mix with your writing. But whatever, I’m still bitter the Sharks didn’t and can’t make it past the first round of the NHL playoffs. And I’m not even a real writer anyways.
Back to Roenick. In a interview with Comcast on Thursday, JR claimed the following reasons for iron man Chris Chelios’ lack of ice time this season:
- Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock doesn’t like American born players
- Babcock especially dislikes Chelios
- … plus a lot of other crap like “you should hear the things [Babcock] says to Chelios …”
Riiiight. First of all, I don’t really get the timing on this. Secondly, on a Red Wings defense roster that features Nick Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Nicklas Kronwall, Brett Lebda and Brad Stuart, Chelios is lucky to get his season average of 11 minutes per game.
Let’s remove the personal feelings Roenick may have here. Chris Chelios’ career is amazing… and older than Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby! And that’s the point: Chelios is a 47 year old man playing in the highest level of hockey in the world. A level where most players peak at 28 years old. It’s completely unreasonable to think a 47 year old can compete with a 21 year old kid in a 3 hour hockey game, 82 times per season, plus playoffs.
We’ve all watched the turnover’s Chelios has been laying this playoffs. And these Cheli-overs were costly against the Anaheim Ducks last round. Frankly, I question if Chelios can handle the 11 minutes he currently averages.
Furthermore, I find Roenick’s comments about Babcock disliking Americans a little off-base. It’s not like fellow American defenseman Brian Raflski has trouble getting ice time.
Putting it bluntly, Chelios has seen better days in his career. He can barely keep up with the NHL pace at his current ice time load. Why should he get additional ice time when he can’t handle what he gets now?
Jeremy Roenick is off base on this one. Fact is, the Red Wings have better players that they can rely on more. As far as the rude things Babcock says to Chelios that Roenick actually claims, that’s part of sports, isn’t it? Performance and results do the talking and when those aren’t good, you don’t play. It’s pretty simple and guys like Chelios and Roenick have been around hockey long enough to know that.
Stay classy, Chris Chelios … but tell JR to actually win a Stanley Cup before opening his mouth during playoffs.
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