Entries with the tag: Chris Chelios
There seems to be a lot of anti-Wendel Clark sentiment floating around both the written press and other media outlets as the Toronto Maple Leafs get ready to honor Clark’s #17 (if you recall, the Leafs don’t retire numbers, they honor the player and the jersey in the rafters instead). The argument is that Clark was a very good player but not one of the greats; his heart and courage are to be admired and his skills were certainly noteworthy but nothing that’s worth cementing into history.
While I agree that Clark doesn’t have Mario Lemieux-like numbers (or awards), to me the whole notion of retiring a number comes down to what the player meant to the organization and the fans. And in the case of Clark, he was a heart-and-soul player that played a tough, respectful game while putting up pretty good numbers on some truly awful teams. Leafs fans love the guy because he busted his butt and he urged his teammates to do the same.
Every franchise has its own history and it’s unfair for someone in, say, Denver to criticize a jersey honor/retirement in, say, Montreal because unless you live there, you’re not going to fully understand the how and why this happened. Here are some players that could easily be head scratchers but they make sense for the team: