It's always a good thing when Jeremy Roenick's jaw opens and sound comes out in the form of words. The San Jose Sharks center (and impending unrestricted free agent) joined Steve Cofield and Dave Cokin on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas to help pimp the NHL Awards next week. As usual, fun was had and news was made:
The highlights ...
The Raul Ibanez/blogger/steroid accusation story (see Bangin' Panger for a hockey-centric take) was sports radio fodder all day yesterday, so Roenick was asked about steroids in hockey. And he managed to stick his foot in his mouth:
"[Hockey has] never had a problem. Our League is squeaky clean. We had one guy that tested positive that was Bryan McCabe, but he was taking a steroid because he was blind in one eye, and the doctors were giving him some kind of aid to help him see a little bit out of his eye. And the other guy was the goaltender who put Propecia in his hair ... so he'd look better for the ladies."
The Jose Theodore/Propecia situation is the stuff of legend, of course. But while most of Nevada now thinks Florida Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe is on steroids, Roenick obviously meant Bryan Berard, who was given a two-year ban from the IIHF and never used the "eye medicine" excuse while expressing remorse for the positive test.
(In Roenick World, Sean Hill never played in the NHL apparently.)
• Roenick went on to say that steroids don't help a hockey player. "We can't get too big in hockey," he said, "our agility breaks down."
• Roenick was asked about MLB pitcher Randy Johnson and steroids by the hosts (for shame!), and it turns out Johnson's a friend of Roenick's. JR's not buying any of that speculation: "You talk about steroids with him, and he's a couple of toothpicks with a bowling ball on top of his head."
• Back to hockey, Roenick was asked about the San Jose Sharks' first-round loss, and seemed genuinely overjoyed that one of the hosts mentioned Jonas Hiller was a hot goalie for the Anaheim Ducks: "I've been apologizing for a month and a half straight," he said. "Yeah, we feel really bad. But we lost to a team that was playing well."
• For the Stanley Cup Final between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Roenick said "I think it's going to be really hard to beat Detroit in their own building" but praised the maturity from one year to the next for Pittsburgh.
• Finally, he admitted that it's been hard to watch playoff hockey after getting eliminated. "I'll watch a period, and then I'll leave, and then I'll come back," he said. "It irks me too much."
In particular, it's hard for Roenick to watch the Stanley Cup getting raised, something he's never done. "I was there for it one night, and I was on the losing end of it."
He's made no decision on his future. Here's hoping he gets another shot at a ring from someone next season. Or he gets his ass on Versus. One of the two.