15 September, 2005

Farewell, Mr. Whaler.

Ron Francis announces his retirement

And so it has come to pass--Ronnie Franchise has made the decision to walk away from the game.

I am sad, but at the same time not sad.

Like I've said before--I'm personally neutral about Ron Francis, but I've always respected the hell out of him and his skills. He was hockey's equivalent of Edwin Moses, in that he wasn't the fastest guy out there or best pure scorer--but he was one of the greatest students of his sport, and that's what made him so good. It always pissed me off to see people dissing the guy--especially some of the more rednecky types down here who bashed him because he was slow and didn't score umpty-ump goals--because that was just a gross display of ignorance on their part. The guy had 20+ seasons of 20+ goals, and that was even while playing on some truly abysmal teams in Hartford and Carolina.

The man's always been one of the most--if not THE most--underrated player in hockey. He's also always been one of the best, and I consider it a privilege and an honor to have had him on my team.

Fair winds and following seas, Mr. Whaler.