Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/16/05 at 03:25 PM ET
You want another reason that the NHL's lockout was the worst thing to happen to sports since Terrell Owens developed his own line of motivational-speaking tapes? Try this: It just killed nearly a century's worth of hockey greatness. Oh, that's not the company line, at least not exactly. On the surface, most people would probably look at the retirements of Ron Francis, Mark Messier, Scott Stevens and Al MacInnis and say, "Old school. It was time." No argument there -- on the surface. On the surface, these are four hockey dinosaurs coming to a well-earned rest after years of classic service. Between Francis, Messier, Stevens and MacInnis are a dozen Stanley Cup championships, some of the most prolific scoring totals in NHL history and defensive excellence that essentially set the standard for a generation to meet. Good stuff. And yet not one of these four guys felt fully ready to leave the sport. Until the lockout, that is.
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