Monday, 12 November 2012

A post that has nothing to do with Carbo

I hope the readership will forgive me for doing this, but I'm going to do an off-topic blog post.  Well, maybe it's sort of on-topic because it is about hockey.

There are very few current players that have managed to capture my imagination and my loyalty the way Guy has.  That is not to say that I don't love the current NHL (lockout aside), but I guess I just like the old guys.  One of the exceptions to this rule has been goaltender Pascal Leclaire.  Regulars to this blog will know that I am an Ottawa Senators fan, and Leclaire came to our team in 2009 when he was traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Antoine Vermette.  At the time I was furious -- Vermette was one of my favorites (and a player who I believe has a lot of parallels with Carbo).  But in time I warmed to the goalie.  I was struck by his personality and humility.  Those who have played with him have said that he's a great teammate.

Unfortunately, Leclaire battled injuries throughout his career and the expectations when he came to Ottawa were high.  The injury bug hit him again with the Senators and he never did live up to those expectations.  But I was still a fan anyway.  Being a goalie fan is tough -- goaltenders have so much responsibility and often are the first to get blamed after a loss.  I'll admit that I got into a few Twitter fights defending Leclaire.  

Tonight on L'Antichambre, Leclaire announced his retirement from hockey at the tender age of 30.  It's very sad -- he had such great potential, drafted 8th overall in 2001 by Columbus, but again, in the end the injuries were just too much.  As of last season (while rehabbing from hip surgery) he was working as a hockey analyst with Radio-Canada, the French language arm of the CBC.  I hope that he can continue his TV career, or perhaps even become a goaltending coach at some point.  (Edit:  per RDS, he is working as an agent, consulting with young players.)

Best of luck in your retirement, Pascal.  I'll miss you on the ice.

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