San Jose experienced it most recently. Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Chicago did before that. Even Los Angeles had the pleasure of having legendary NHL center Jeremy Roenick as a part of their team over his twenty year hockey career.
Roenick was a fan favorite everywhere he played, in large part because of his hustle. From the time he first stepped on to the ice in 1988 for the Chicago Blackhawks, Jeremy Roenick gave his all every shift, until he decided to take off his skates for the final time as a San Jose Shark in 2009. Jeremy Roenick made an impact on American hockey that very few players have ever done.
For me, Roenick created the ultimate confused young hockey fan. Growing up as the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks fan, yes, both teams, Roenick was somewhat of the best of both worlds as a player you love to hate, and then learn to love. Roenick gave nightmares to the Avalanche in the years when their Colorado era began, and then became the face of the Sharks as his career came to an end. Living as a fan that experienced both dealing with Roenick as an opposing player, and then finding myself cheering for him years later, I can attest to how big he was to the sport of hockey in the United States. He brought a level of excitement that up-and-coming players should aim to bring to the game.
It was announced today that Jeremy Roenick will be honored and inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in Minnesota later this year.
Roenick’s legacy includes stats like being the third-highest US-born goal scorer (513) in NHL history behind only Mike Modano (557) and Keith Tkachuk (538). Jeremy Roenick’s career with Chicago, one of the Original Six, included 267 goals, leaving him seventh on the Blackhawks all-time goals list.
Over his twenty year career Jeremy Roenick scored 1,216 points in 1,363 games, scoring 513 goals and handing out 703 assists. He was voted onto the All Star team nine times in his career, and in International play, helped the USA National team win a Silver Medal in the 2002 Olympics.
Roenick’s commitment to the sport could be experienced this last season while he was announcing the Chicago Blackhawks ended their Stanley Cup drought, Roenick couldn’t hold back the tears, which once again showed his passion for the sport of hockey that he passed along to fans and aspiring players.
image via yahoo