Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Just Get This Day Over Quickly

Oh, you're feeling conflicted today. You're torn between being a Wing fan and a hockey fan. For me, it harkens back memories of last spring after The Punch In The Face when Grampa Pinhead used to pose that question to me, to all of us. Gramps, as you may recall, was referring to whether or not the hockey loyalists among us would continue to watch the playoffs after another first-round heartbreak. But, you're suffering similar inner turmoil today. Do you celebrate Patrick Roy's career and acknowledge his rightful entrance in the hockey's Hall of Fame?

Or do you fall back on what you know?  Let’s inject some relevance here.  If you’re a UM fan, do you grudgingly accept the fact that Woody Hayes was one of the greatest coaches of all time?  Or does your hatred for that senile bastard prevent you from admitting it? 

I’m sorry. Woody Hayes is long dead and I shouldn’t speak of him in that manner. Rephrase:  Does your dislike for that senile bastard prevent you from admitting it?

Me?  Screw Hayes. I hated him when he was alive. Hate him today.  Maybe this week has something to do with that. Not sure.

But Roy?  You know, for me, it’s always been about the Denver organization and the fans.  I’ll never like either.  But aside from Lemieux, I can’t say I really hate the players who were part of The Rivalry.  Forsberg, Sakic, Foote, Drury, Deadmarsh, Ricci.  I think it’s safe to say that while we loved to see them bleed, lose and suffer; we, or at least I, didn’t hate them.  We respected them.  Except for Mike Keane.  Punk ass.

But Roy?  Yeah, a few of us hated him.  We hated his arrogance, hated his Statue of Liberty…until Shanny shoved it back down his throat.  We hated his brilliance when he beat us and many of our fondest memories were of him skating back to the bench at the Joe after giving up six in ‘02.

You can hate Patrick Roy if you’d like.  But, just today, perhaps it’s time we acknowledge that he absolutely deserves his induction tonite.  There can be no doubt about that.  And while we consider that…we should also ackowledge his participation in a rivalry that energized this fan base.  Isn’t it fair to say that the loss in ‘96 was the catalyst for three titles in the next five years? 

Wasn’t the sight of a bloodied Roy in ‘97 one of the factors that spurred that Wing team to a Cup?  And while you remember that game, keep in mind that after Mac’s OT winner Roy reached in to his net, slid out the puck and sent it down the ice, down to Mike Vernon who had just won his 300th career game.

Here’s the deal with Roy.  It was fun to hate him.  It became instinct for us.  He was the poster child for us where that rivalry was concerned.  But there can be no doubt that his career is worthy of our respect and his induction today as automatic as anyone’s.

So congrats you twitchy, cocky SOB.

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com