Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day Two-Hundred Seven: J.R. and Teppo

This week, hockey is losing two of this generation's best: one of this generation's most electrifying players, and one of this generation's best hockey names. (Though I suppose it's about time to start calling the guys who're close to hitting 40 "last" generation as opposed to "this")

Jeremy Roenick is calling it quits tomorrow. Again. For real. He's one of the very best modern players to never win a Cup. Came pretty close a couple of times, but just never quite there. He's a loony tune, which means he'll probably go into broadcasting, though he's had a couple of bit parts on network television crime dramas before, so maybe he'll be an actor instead. Everybody thought him going to LA was going to be the perfect fit, like French fries with chicken mcnuggets. Instead, the only thing anyone remembers about that year is Dancin' Jeremy. Which, truth be told, is pretty awesome and worth remembering.

Nevertheless: early-to-mid-1990s Jeremy Roenick = awesome. Best of luck, J.R.

Hockey is also losing 40-year-old defensamen Teppo Numminen. Seriously. Teppo. Teppo!

Okay, I don't want to make fun of Teppo's name too much, because it's a perfectly common name overseas, and because he was a steady, serviceable NHL d-man for something like 20 years. The last player from the 1986 draft to retire from the NHL. Also noteworthy: the guy's courage. In 2007, Numminen went under the knife: open-heart surgery to repair a faulty valve. I remember when this happened, it was pretty scary. Numminen fought all the way back through rehab to play the last game of the year and one more complete season with Buffalo before calling it quits. All class, all heart, all work, all at once.

Stick taps to both JR and Teppo. (That sounds like a great children's series... JR and Teppo Go Exploring. JR and Teppo Go to the Circus. JR and Teppo's Bogus Journey. JR and Teppo Try Out for a Play. And for some reason, I'm seeing JR and Teppo as fish...meh. We'll look into this later)

*tap tap tap*