After 1332 NHL games, 513 goals and countless memories made with his demeanor on and off the ice, former Flyer and all-time great Jeremy Roenick, appears to be riding off into the sunset. But he’s not quite ready to admit it yet.
“I’m really not on the fence,” Roenick told Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic. “I really know what I’m doing. I’m just not going to announce it yet.”
Roenick, who finished his 20th season in 2008-09 with the San Jose Sharks, will go down as one of the greatest players of all time. And not just for his accomplishments on the ice, but for the influence he had off it. Loud-mouthed and confident, Roenick, along with Mike Modano, helped put American hockey on the map in the early 90’s. He would eventually become just the third American-born player to score 500 goals.
But more important than his accolades, Roenick’s style of play and attitude introduced the game of hockey to fans all over the United States. Helping the NHL reach record popularity in the early 90’s, JR played an enormous part in the evolution and popularity of hockey video games. Roenick was always a top player in real life and in the gaming world. There is no better example o than in the 1996 comedy “Swingers,” in which Vince Vaughn, playing the legendary “NHL ’94,” against his friend Sue, played by Patrick Van Horn, touts the talents of Roenick versus Wayne Gretzky in the game. The scene remains a favorite among hockey fans and personifies the effect Roenick had not only on the ice, but in popular culture as well.
The nine-time All Star played three seasons with the Flyers, where he quickly became a fan favorite and is still beloved in the city.
Love him or hate him, the game will never be the same. Now if we can just get him on the Versus crew…