Emotion does weird things to fans. It blinds you and makes you ignore the greater good.
Fans attach themselves to certain players, sometimes players who weren’t even with the team that long. Every does it. Like the Days of Y’Orr man crush on Shawn Thornton. Sometimes a fan base’s love, or strong like, for certain players causes some very irrational thinking.
Sometimes there’s just something about a player that you love, even if they kind of suck. Your love for that player blinds you to the fact that they really just are not a good fit for the team anymore.
Take for instance Aaron Ward’s recent retirement and Bill Guerin parting ways with the Penguins.
A large contingent of Bruins fans immediately ran to their computers, saying the Bruins should bring back former Bruins Ward and Guerin.
The Days of Y’Orr staff had one simple question. Why?
After the jump, a useless summer time rant…..
This is one of those situations where it seems fans are letting their emotions drive rather than logic.
Ward was loved in Boston. He was outspoken and had no problem calling people out. He had hilarious Ward Wednesdays on Toucher and Rich. And he wasn’t terrible on the ice.
But he wasn’t great either. And now he’s even worse.
Guerin helped guide the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in 2009 while playing along side Sidney Crosby but his play in the 2009-2010 season clearly showed Guerin’s career is winding down.
Pens fans seem to love him more for his personality than his play. And personality doesn’t win games.
This picture is fairly awesome….
Guerin did score 129 points in this two seasons with the Bruins… you know, back in the early 2000s.
Fans and writers site the “veteran leadership” aspect. Okay fine. We get that. But what are the Bruins supposed to do, sign a bunch of old guys who have lost eight steps with the hopes they can teach the younger guys some good lessons?
Some team will get Guerin to sign and will benefit from it greatly, even if he doesn’t score much this coming season.
But more older players past their prime means less room for the younger guys to grow and develop.
Oh and the Bruins have some guy named Mark Recchi on the team. Chances are he can provide some great lessons and veteran leadership. Some fans have come out and said the team still collapsed with Recchi’s influence on the team.
Recchi can’t make a guy play better if they don’t care. Recchi brought it every night. Not like some other vet is going to come to the B’s and suddenly make Michael Ryder care. Oh and how far did the Bruins get with Ward during his tenure? How about Guerin? We’re not saying Ward or Guerin are bad players now. Well, at least not Guerin. But grabbing either one of them is not going to increase the Bruins chances for a Cup.
Signing older vets past their prime doesn’t win Cups. Ask the Rangers.
The Bruins have tried moves like this in the past with players of a much higher pedigree than Ward. Remember Paul Coffey’s tenure with the Bruins? How about Brian Leetch? How’d those turn out?
We’re not saying we didn’t appreciate what Ward and Guerin did while they were here. What little time they were here. And at his age Guerin is still better than a lot of forwards in the league. But he doesn’t fit with the Bruins now.
One of the Bruins biggest problems the past couple seasons has been matching the speed of their opposition. How is signing Guerin and Ward going to help that?
Are there fans out there that seriously want to see Ward on the ice against a team like the Capitals? They’ll use the argument “well he doesn’t have to be on the ice when the other team’s best players are out there, that’s what line changes are for!” Yeah, in a perfect world.
Sometimes you don’t have a choice. Picture a playoff game with Ward and Guerin on the ice at the same time. Now picture Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin and Mike Green on a furious attack with the Bruins pinned in their own end, unable to get a line change. How good are Ward and Guerin going to look at that point?
We imagine it would look something like this:
Maybe Peter Chiarelli can get the Devils on the phone and re-acquire Brian Rolston. Hell, why not call Byron Dafoe. We loved Byron Dafoe. Maybe he can back up Rask/Thomas if one of the two is injured!
We loved Shane Hnidy while he was here. Do we want the Bruins to try to get him back? Hell no. Why? Because he really just isn’t that good now. Fans need to learn to put their personal feelings aside when evaluating the usefulness of a player.
We don’t underestimate the value and importance of veteran leadership. We really don’t. But those of you clamoring for the Bruins to get Ward out of retirement or call up Guerin’s agent and get him in here reek of desperation.
We’re hungry for a Cup too. But this strategy only works if its 1998 again.
Love for your team blinds you. We get that. We’ve experienced it ourselves. But just because a player is one of your favorites doesn’t mean he’s any good today, no matter how good he used to be.
Having mentors to younger players is great. But again, Boston has Recchi. Recchi is a great role model on the ice. Never quits, not afraid of anyone, etc. Why turn Boston into an NHL retirement home by bring in Guerin and Ward.
Did we like Ward while he was here? Yes. Did we like Guerin when he was here? Yes. Do we want them back now? Not a chance. Their time has passed.