Tuesday, September 13, 2005

And They Just Keep Dropping Like Flies

As I said in an earlier post, the older hockey players are finding they can't get back into NHL game-shape. 44-Year old Mark Messier called it quits today, meaning that five of the six most experienced players in terms of games played through 2004 will not be back.

Net savings to the owners? 20+ million. Maybe baseball can take a hint and shut down for a year, so some of these 43-year old relievers can finally go away. But then, of course, Tony LaRussa wouldn't know what to do with himself.

Monday, 14-year vet Trent Klatt, never a star but a veteran of nearly 800 NHL games, also called it quits.

Expect more retirements once camps open and 35+ year old players find out how much they lost sitting out almost 18 months. Add to that the list of European players who will decided not to return to North America, and many roster spots will be wide open this year. Good for AHL'ers from last year, and good for ECHL'ers from last year to move up to the AHL.


Angry Jolietan said...

I am here at the suggestion of Peoria Pundit. Ron Francis played for the Hartford Whalers. I loved their green away uniforms. sad that they moved to Carolina.

BJ Stone said...

Thanks for stopping by!

It is sad The Whale moved South. I felt the same way when the Minnesota North Stars were hijacked to Dallas.

At least Minnesota has a team back. How silly was it that for 10 years the NHL had teams in Dallas, San Jose, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami, but did not have a team in Minnesota? That was the single most ridiculous league alignment in the history of not only hockey, but of professional team sports in this country.

The state that produced 11 of the 20 guys who changed an entire country's attitude in the 1980 Winter Olympics didn't have a team in that sport, but San Jose did.

At least with the Wild, that has been corrected. I hope Hartford gets another team soon...maybe they can get Carolina back as the interest there is waning.

Josh Harris said...

Major sports in general needs to learn the phrase "If you build it, they will come", isn't totally true. Look at the Marlins, they win a World Series and still can't get people to show up to games.