10 March 2009

In Praise of the Old Guys

Gary Roberts, one of my favorite gritty, character players in the NHL, has retired. I'm sorry to see him go. I have been a fan for a long time of Roberts' leadership qualities and everything he brought to the game. You always knew when Roberts was playing that he was giving one hundred percent of his effort towards making sure his team won.

Let's see, with the retirement of Roberts, who is my current favorite old guy in the NHL? This is an easy question for me to answer: Brendan Shanahan. The Devils recently hired Shanahan and he scored a goal in his first game. I swear, the look on his face after he scored the goal was something like "see, kids, scoring goals is easy -- just like riding a bike!". There was clearly no rust on this old guy.

I think that one of my favorite incidents involving Shanahan occured a few years ago when Shanahan got sick of Donald Brashear's antics so Shanahan decided to do something about it. The thing that you need to understand here is that Brashear is one of the most fearsome enforcers in the NHL. He is VERY good at his job (he is also a very interesting person off-ice). So, when Shanahan dropped gloves with Brashear, this was immediately a very interesting event.

The best part of the whole incident occurred right before the fight, when Shanahan told Brashear to remove his helmet, as if he was saying:

Good Sir! I will be striking your head with my fists soon, and I would be grateful to you if you were to allow me to do so without marring your helmet.
Old guys are great.

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