“And it would have been a great image to have me go against P.K. Subban,” Roenick told Greg Wyshynski, editor of Yahoo’s excellent Puck Daddy blog, in a great interview earlier this week. “He resembles me. Reminds me of myself as a young player.”
Make no mistake, Roenick, now an NBC Sports hockey analyst, LOVES Subban – his game, his attitude, and the entertainment value he brings to the NHL. Several hockey purists complain that Subban is too flashy, too front-and-center both on and off the ice. Roenick, one of hockey’s true characters and showmen, strongly disagrees.
“The NHL does a lot of different things. You’re almost like connected to strings. They want you to act a certain way, they want you to play a certain way, they want you to say certain things,” Roenick told Wyshynski. “Which is good, because I think the NHL has one of the best reputations of any of the other sports.”
He added: “But you need characters. You need (Washington Capitals forward Alexander) Ovechkin, guys like P.K. They bring that out. We just need more of it. And you can be outlandish and still be respectful. The NHL doesn’t like when someone rises above the head count. And guys are really respectful, too. You just have idiots like myself, because we knew it’s an entertainment sport.”
Roenick chided the Canadiens for taking Subban to the brink of arbitration over the summer before signing him to an eight-year, $72 million contract.
“If I was (New York Islanders General Manager) Garth Snow, who had nothing to lose, I would have offered him $10 million and made Montreal match it,” Roenick told Wyshynski. “You’re going into a new building (Brooklyn’s Barclays Center next season). You’re bringing in an ethnic kid that has so much pizzazz. It would have been the greatest thing.”
“P.K. in a Brooklyn jersey!” Roenick added. “It would have sold tickets.”