Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
You have gone from one of the top players in hockey to nothing more than a hired gun over the past couple seasons. When you are healthy nobody can deny that you are one of the most feared in the game, but that “when” has been rare. It really isn’t a matter of if you will get injured, but teams now have to look at you thinking how many games will he play before he gets injured.
People say it is your style of play – rough and physical – that, to your credit, gets you injured. This is often cited as a positive thing because these people think it shows your willingness to sacrifice your body for the sake of your team. Let’s face it; you don’t do anything for the sake of your team.
Before the 2006 Olympic games in Torino you spent the weeks leading up to the Olympics in the injured reserve list at the expense of the Philadelphia Flyers. You then decided you could play in the Olympics, helping your native Sweden to the gold medal. Those actions alone speak volumes as to how much loyalty you show your team – the same team that is paying your salary.
Presently you are teetering back and forth trying to decide whether or not you are healthy enough to make a return to the NHL before the trading deadline. It has been reported that you are seeking a two-year deal averaging around $3 million. I can’t be the only one that sees the problem here. You want a two-year deal, yet you don’t even know if you’re healthy enough to play, nor is it at all likely that you will be able to stay healthy for two years even if you are miraculously healed now. That is ludicrous.
I would hope that the NHL teams would let you know where you can put your contract by refusing to sign you to anything. Unfortunately, both you and I know that that won’t be the case if you should announce that you are suddenly healthy enough to return.
You are a black mark to hockey – a team sport that doesn’t need players out for nobody but themselves. Do us all a favour and remain where you are now, in Sweden.