The Burgundy Letter
by Martin Krantz on 10/06/11 at 06:27 PM ET
The pre-season has ended, and I’m very much looking forward to Avalanche - Red Wings this saturday. Not only because of Peter Forsberg’s jersey retirement ceremony before the game, but also because my daughter will be baptized at the same time. Oh, and my fiancée will celebrate her 30th birthday at the same time. So there will be a lot of reasons to rejoice, which leads me to suspect that I will have to watch the game on sunday on Gamecenter.
During the game, the Avs will not only honour Peter Forsberg. They will also honour the three former Avs players that passed away during the summer - Wade Belak, Karlis Skrastins and Ruslan Salei. As saddened as I am by the losses of the three players, I think the Avs would have made a better choice in honouring them on any other night. Or by moving Forsberg’s retirement ceremony.
Ruslan Salei was a member of both the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche during his career, so I can definitely see how it’d be fitting to hold a memorial service during the Wings game. But am I the only one who feels that with three players lost during one summer, it would have been more fitting to give them a night of their own instead of honouring them during “Forsberg’s night”?
What were the Avalanche thinking when they scheduled these two things together? I can’t see a scenario where the Avs manage to pull off these two arrangements on the same day. One will definitely overshadow the other. Whether it’s Forsberg’s jersey ceremony overshadowing the mourning of three lost players, or the other way around, remains to be seen. But I’m having a hard time seeing how you can incorporate both things on the same night.
My suggestion would’ve been to separate them. Have the jersey ceremony on opening night, and why not give the players a night of their own each? Surely they’ve deserved to be honoured as individuals?
The Avs play Dallas Stars at home November 18th, Red Wings at home again December 4th and the Predators at home January 10th. I’d like to see Skrastins, Salei and Belak respectively get their own memorial night when the Avs face teams those players belonged to as well during their careers (Avs don’t face the Maple Leafs on home ice during the 11-12 season, so you can’t honour Belak then).
I can see why you’d want to forget about this summer’s horrors and focus on the game of hockey, but at least give the three deceased players a night of their own. Even if you don’t give them individual nights, I think it would be more suiting to honour them on a night that is dedicated and focused solely on them.
What do you think about the Avs way of handling this? Am I way off base on this issue or do you agree?
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