Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 05/23/09 at 10:43 AM ET
The Hockey News
ran a letter to the editor signed by Jack Johnson Sr. The letter was entitled “You Don’t Know Jack” and states that the only reason JJ refused to play or even sign for Carolina is that he wanted to pursue “his dream at his pace”. He goes on to say:
I’m simply tired of hearing him getting slammed without all the facts.
Jack wishes nothing but the best to all the Hurricanes and the organization.
I, as his father, only ask that all fans simply research the facts and respect him for being a man of principle beyond all else.
The letter doesn’t indicate why JJ was adamant about pursuing his dream of playing at University of Michigan and remained steadfast only until Carolina traded his rights to the LA Kings. He wasted little time, signing a contract and joining the Kings before his sophomore season was over.
Now that there are rumors that the Kings want to deal Jack Johnson to Tampa as part of a package for Vincent Lecavalier (story), JJ Sr has apparently decided that his son wants to play in Russia. That, of course, isn’t mentioned in the letter.
There’s this really creepy story about Jim Rutherford having dinner with Jack Johnson while the former was trying to convince the latter to forgo his college career to play for the Hurricanes. After some period of time, JJ revealed that his father was sitting in the parking lot of the restaurant, and had been out there the whole time. Rutherford, taken aback by that news, suggested that JJ bring his father in, but the Johnsons preferred to work it their own way. Their own, creepy way. Even then, Canes fans thought it was a little like Carl Lindros.
Now, this crazy man has written a letter on behalf of his 22 year old son. This is just weird. This whole thing is downright bizarre.
At the end of the day, most Hurricanes fans are happy about the trade. Carolina ended up with a very dependable (regular season, anyway) defenseman in Tim Gleason, they were able to shed some salary in Oleg Tverdovsky, and they got rid of a bad situation with JJ.
Before this letter ran, Luke Decock wrote a little about the whole JJ to Russia thing, and he ended it with this one-liner:
Meanwhile, in completely unrelated news, Gleason’s dad has been taking time off from his job to follow the Hurricanes in the playoffs.
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David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.