I think some journalists get silly kicks by launching mindless rumours just to see how far they'll fly! The past week has featured a batch of silly hockey related stories, each one getting dumber than the preceding one.
But this one is the epitome of stupid.
The following comment was posted by Spector at his Fox Sports blog: "Speculation has Lindros considering training camp invites from several teams, including the Montreal Canadiens, although he's also believed to be mulling retirement."
Now everyone including myself likes Spector, a fairly level headed rumour mongerer and buster. He often brings perspective to rumours, dispelling them from the get go. I tend to doubt that this one is of his launching, but hey, it's printed under his name.
In fairness, I'll spare Mr. Richardson of my opinion of rumour spitters on this one and concentrate on the heart of the matter - the nonsensicalness of Lindros in the bleu, blanc, rouge.
Lindros in Montreal is ridiculous notion for a multitude of reasons having to do with performance, perception and personality.
First off, as a player, Lindros is a spent entity with nothing to offer even the worst of desperate teams. He is finished, finito, kaput, and crapped. Last season, after the Leafs sensibly walked away from a cheapie deal with him, he literally went on a tour to shop himself to potential suitors. Why a sound organization like Dallas took a flyer on him still puzzles me.
The battered one time "next one" is a constant concussion waiting to happen. He plays with eggs in his pockets and comes out of corners with them unbroken. He scored a total of 5 goals for the Stars in a season spent jumping on and off the injured list. He may have actually hurt himself jumping off the injured list!
Some may say the Habs needs a big offensive center. Well Lindros is big, but he has left his offense somewhere in 1997. He is more known now to be a big something else. More on that in a bit.
Cross out performance. Grade it nil.
The perception of Lindros is a trickier one. The skeleton of the 1991 entry draft has followed him throughout his whole career, more often than not in unfair fashion. He has in fact, through miserably bad advice, created for himself a sullen and maligned persona he has never been able to shake. He has the world's most idiotic hockey parents to blame for his bad public perception.
Considering how the entire Lindros / Nordiques fiasco evolved and tainted him 16 years ago, it is imperceivable even at this late stage that the province of Quebec forgives him. It will be the opinion of many that being willing to play in Montreal in 2007 does not absolve him of his crimes of yore.
(Just for the record, I never blamed Lindros for turning his nose up at the greasy Nordiques and their unscrupulous owner Marcel Aubut. I've never seen a team conspire so blatanly to finish in last place in order to draft first three years running. I've also never witnessed a team negotiate with a player in such bad faith. The Lindros clan, weasels one and all as well, were onto the Nordiques motives from the outset. The Nords did all they could to slander the player and family once it was seen that they wouldn't play nice. The coup de grace was hurling out the despised language card to paint them racially and make them hated. There were no headlines when Lindros unequivocally stated that he would play for the Habs in a second. It's doubtful anyone recalls the words, the story was burried so well amidst hated words. Lindros was not the lone villain in entire escapade - to say the least. I feel on the verge of an entirely different post here - suffice to say that Lindros is hardly the devil he has been made out to be.)
Cross out perception and use 3 lines!
Personality is a trait that Lindros wears best in the eyes of many. Lindros, according to those who know him closest, is actually a very intelligent man, who seems to be on perimeter of a good second career in the NHLPA.
But on the other hand, and in my opinion, how he has reacted to his own situations over the course of his career color him dumb as a bag of hammers. Playing with concussions and then blaming doctors wasn't a bright move. Pointing out team officials while a captain in Philly was ill advised. Demanding a trade to ony one potential suitor and losing a years salary in a no win battle was as dumb as dumb gets. Stating that he "considering" retirement when 30 disinterested teams yawn is beyond vain.
In the knocked up cranium that conceals the Lindros brain, one could suggest that the wheel may still be spinning, but the hamster is dead!
Lastly, the Canadiens angle on it, even if it made a notion of sense, still doesn't add up.
The rumour is simply fodder and I'm surprised it hasn't first appeared in La Presse. It may well make it there eventually, who knows. I no longer have any usefullness for La Presse since my dog died.
Damn these headaches!
I can't buy into the Habs even thinking of inviting him. Bob Gainey has smartly and cautiously prevented himself from remotely dipping his little toe into the Yashin or Bertuzzi waters, so why would he be tempted with a player twice as wasted.
A GM cannot, on one hand, brag of the bountiful youth the organization has stockpiled, while retreading the tires with has beens like Brisebois and Lindros.
Gainey would be setting himself up for doubters and he knows it.
So Habs fan relax, this one's just too "out there" to swallow!
In fact, if Lindros signs with the Habs, I'll dance with his jock-strap clamped to my head in front of 1260 De la Gauchetière Ouest at noon wearing a Maple Leafs Tutu!