Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ryan Smyth ruined my lousy life.

What's the matter they say?

The Trade Deadline happened that's what. And when it happened, I had the sensation of being thrown under a bus while a million shards of glass stabbed you ruthlessly in hopes of sticking it home.

And the night before this, I was out with some friends. I span around just as ESPN showed a happy smiling Ryan Smyth in flowing Islanders colours. Something punched me in my stomach and I felt that the only thing that could get rid of it was something priced a little more than free water.

However as I finished, I realised that I had been hit with a rather nasty cold (and in summer too! Who would've thought!?) and that I would be unable to take the cold medicine and treat myself to a good night's rest. I slept badly. And all because of Ryan Smyth.

Damn rat bastard.

While this has been exaggerated greatly to fit within the related topic of this week's hlog, I would like to swallow my pride and say that I still love him. It's not because of that soap opera press conference he gave, (I know it was sad and tears make me sad too but do you think anyone would've pulled him aside and gone "You know Smytty, you're not going to die are you?") but I have to say the whole matter has left my emotions confused. A lot.

Because the whole issue with the trade was that they didn't re-sign him because of an issue with money. I seem to forget that a lot with my players. I don't tell them that each punch they give or each goal they score is because of their salary. Everyone wants to feel it's because of their team. And when I think of what Ryan Smyth did for the Oilers. I want to fall apart and cry.

Because he's Captain Canada, and he's the guy with the golden mullet and you know he was hockey jesus with the extra z. And wherever he goes, I want to see him do it again. I want him to put in the garbage, and I want to see him bring to other teams what he brought to the Oilers. He was that valuable.

Yes I think that Ryan Smyth's departure made me a believer.

With that little maudlin prologue aside, I present to you the other half of my secret pleasures list.
  • Alexander Ovechkin
    He can be the big annoying Russian crazy man or he's the fun happy wodka dude. In my dear infant years, they gave me two choices - a man with bright cherry lips with the name of Crosby, or a funny lookin' guy named Ovie. Needless to say I ran to Ovechkin's side. Because here is the side of a man enjoying hockey for hockey, living the dream with no restraints of a PR crew sitting him aside and telling him that red leather pants aren't family friendly. Ovechkin is a man who clearly loves hockey (and dancing) and hockey loves Ovechkin very much as well.
  • Georges Laraque
    This should be on the top shouldn't he? I myself have slaved over the thought of Laraque as a Pen. I was very reluctant to swallow the bitter pill and I found myself back in no man's land again. Laraque is one of those guys you have to always mention if you talk about fights. That's all he does right? But you know, to me a sport isn't a sport without passion. And hearing this man's passion, his own individual story and struggles in order to conquer his demons, I fell in love with this player. I will always support him wherever he goes, because he is a man who is going to be told always that he isn't needed. And he will keep trying because he believes in it. Yes, Georges Laraque is a unique kind of secret but I won't try to hide it. Yes he is a Penguin, but damn he's my favourite hockey player.
  • Jussi Markkanen
    This seems to have fallen into being a very Oil-centric post hasn't it? Nonetheless Juice will be a UFA at the end of this season. Which is why I am declaring my support before anything has happened yet. Jussi Markkanen loves the Oilers, and to see him return would be a godsend. However in all seriousness, I don't think it will happen. And wherever he goes, I will still be his fan.
  • Vesa Toskala
    He won me over in the playoffs, his playing style, his cool nerves and his kickass mask. Vesa Toskala has made it all fun whether it's his hot dogs or his funny middle name. I always want to see him win or play hard in any situation. And with my apparent crush with the Sharks, Toskala trumps it all as being the player I watch most.
And let me stop right there. Because this is getting lengthy. What I want to say is that there are many more I want to add. Marty Biron for example can easily sit comfortably there because - oh - his character has become something that I have adored and enjoyed. I have yet to tell everyone about my apparent crush on Markus Naslund. I as well have the biggest soft spot for Donald Brashear who has always exuded a huge aura of cool.

And why? Because these bottom few are people I would not have spared a second glance if it weren't for this hlog. And I wouldn'tve cared about other teams, because I am a selfish fan. It seems that what made these players so appealing to me, so worthwhile and wholesome, was the work everyone put in rounding each and every one of them to me. I have said before that I love Ryan Smyth for his passion and his character. Marty Biron was a goalie with his quirks, and even Olaf Kolzig is amazing not just for his game leadership but as well his contributions to the community.

It is clear to see that everyone has picked their heroes for hockey and it was only a matter of time before we all got the inside scoop on it all. Because there are so many under-appreciated players who have yet to see much value beyond their team's fans.

1 comment:

Paige said...

No offense, but other than Marty B, you have a bad taste in players! Okay, it's not that bad, I just really, really, really dislike Ovechkin.

I like to think that hockey doesn't love Ovie back, only Sid.