Better Late Than Never?
Tardiness is the talk of the NHL today, but on two different fronts.
There's the late arrival, for starters, of Anaheim winger Teemu Selanne, who announced he was coming back to the Ducks on Monday. To be sure, Reijo Ruotsolainen used to show up a lot later in the NHL season than this, but many are suggesting Selanne's prolonged semi-retirement illustrates the need for the league to legislate on the matter by issuing a deadline by which players must commit to playing in the league.
Why? For starters, Selanne has earned the right to call his own shots, and if a team wants to go along, good for them. But its not like there's anything underhanded going on here, so rules for the sake of rules don't really make much of a difference.
And wouldn't you say the NHL is better with Selanne than without him? Of course, given the decisions of Selanne and Scott Niedermayer, the next prominent NHLer to announce his retirement is going to be created with a chorus of "Yeah, right."
In other lateness news, Ottawa goalie Ray Emery caused another mini-firestorm when he showed up four minutes late for practice on Monday.
Actually, given that players are supposed to be in the room 45 minutes before a scheduled workout, you could argue Emery was almost an hour late.
GM Bryan Murray told The Star this morning that he met with coach John Paddock last night and intends to chat with Emery today. Murray seemed intent on playing down the matter, but at the same time made it clear he's open to the possibility of moving Emery for another asset before the trade deadline or bringing in another goalie.
The Sens' payroll sits at $46 million, and given the prorated nature of salaries acquired this late in the year, they have lots of room to add athletes.
Any way you cut it, Emery is being portrayed as the bad boy of the NHL these days, what with Chris Simon still on enforced vacation. Being late a few times and scrapping with teammate Brian McGrattan seems to elevated Emery into the position of big-time troublemaker, which is probably a little unfair.
We'll see what the Sens decide to do later today, but the betting is once again Emery's indiscretion will be handled quietly and in-house.