Comments from players with concussions are always a treat!
Last week it was Keith Primeau stating that he would "try to skate". This week, comes to us this gem from Eric Lindros, newly signed to the Dallas Stars. "If I'm healthy I can play. I know that in my heart. I don't think there's a question about that."
Nice to see a player with multi-concussions doing his deepest thinking with his heart. Notice the last sentence starting with "I don't think" and not "I think".
That's Lindros for you. He is well known for his "I don't thinking".
It's hard to feel sorry for him. Most people have never liked him. From the moment he came on the scene, he projected a self-serving singular attitude. He bucked the OHL draft. Then the NHL draft. He got his way, of course, being used to it, the Mommy's boy!
He makes it to the Stanley Cup final as captain of a damn good team and quarrels openly with his coach. His health and dedication come under question. Unable to play due to concussions, he lays the blame on team doctors, infuriating his GM. Much of how a concussion is diagnosed has to do with the sufferers information as to clarity, memory, and consciousness. He wanted to play and held back crucial information as to his condition. After receiving medical clearance, he is coldcocked in a hit at the blue line. Rather than take responsability, he lays blame.
He demands a trade. In true Lindros style, he uses the media to facilitate his exit. He names all of the teams he wishes to play for. They include Toronto, Toronto, and Toronto. He kills his GM's trade leverage. Toronto attempts to levy a deal and low ball his team. It doesn't work of course. He sits out a season for a second time in his career.
Finally that sucker for marquee names, the New York Rangers step up and overpay for the overhyped headcase. He signs an incentive laden deal. A second and third year automatically kick into the contract if he plays 70 games. He is injured down the stretch but returns to play in the teams final week. There is no desperation. He has had a good year but his team is far from a playoff birth. He totals 72 games.
He plays two more seasons in New York, a shadow of his former self. He plays to not get injured, it seems.
The wrecking ball has become a cottonball.
Finally he realizes his dream of playing with his hometown Leafs. He signs for a bargain basement salary having painted himself into that cornner three years prior. He gets off to a decent start and keeps his team in early contention. A wrist injury sidelines him for a good spell and his teams fortunes plummet. He declares himself fit to play - too soon. After one game, the reinjured wrist sidelines him for the year and his team misses the post season. At least this time he didn't blame the medical staff.
He becomes a free agent for a second time. Little interest is shown in him. It must have been humiliating. He takes himself on a tour of NHL front offices. After three teams pass he finds a taker in Dallas.
Given his history, is there any reason to believe it will be different this time around.
"If I'm healthy..." Isn't that what you always want to hear your players say!
"I don't think...." Obviously!
Eric Lindros is the first of my TOOL DU JOUR recipients. I could name this honor after him!