Adios Billy, it’s Been Fun
There has always been something about Bill Guerin that set him apart from the rest. He was American, yet played the game with the determination and will of a Canadian kid. He was cocky yet you couldnt help but like him. He could brood, while also smirking. Bill Guerin was truly an enigma, but he had an amazing career.
We learned today that after an 18 year career, the former first round pick of the New Jersey Devils back in 1989, announced his retirement. Not for lack of trying, he had attended the Philadelphia Flyers training camp this past year on a tryout basis, but alas didnt make it. This is another irony of Bill Guerins career, he would have made a perfect Flyer.
When i had heard that he had accepted a tryout with them i felt it was destiny in the making. Guerin always playewd with a bit of an edge and a chip on his shoulder, and that sums up a Flyer. Yet when the dust had settled, the game had changed too drastically for the 40 year old, thus his announcement today.
To me, Guerin was a guy i enjoyed watching (and not because im a Bruins fan) but because he exhibited a combination of skill, tenacity and f*** you in his play. He won two Stanley Cups, one at the beginning, one at the end of hsi career, and throughout his many stops in between he was always a centrepiece of the teams offence.
In 1, 263 games Guerin accomplished 856 points, not astonoshing numbers, but consider that the bulk of that was done mid career when he was a hot commodity. Maybe more amazing is his 1,660 PIMs proof that Guerin didnt take shit from anybody.
Through it all, he got to win 2 Cups, represent his country in the 2002 Olympics, played in 5 All Star games, earning MVP honours for the one in 2001, played in the World Cup of Hockey twice and also got to play in his hometown of Boston along the way.
All good things come to an end, but there is no question the NHL will miss Bill Guerin. His ability to always find the net was uncanny and his career journey allowed him to dsiplay his craft in eight different cities. The people of New Jersey, Edmonton, Boston,Dallas, St.Louis, San Jose,Long Island and Pittsbugh are thankful for the opportunity to have watched him up close and personal, even if they didnt know it.
Bill Guerin will undoubtedly get a spot in some organization in some capacity. His personality is surly enough to maybe be a GM one day. But for now, lets savour a career that was truly wonderful.
As a life long hockey fan, i must say, to one of my favourite players, adios Billy, its been fun