A stellar turn of events has unfolded for the “Hockey needs more personality” camp as Georges Laraque has announced via his Facebook page that he is planning on making a return to the NHL in 2012-13.
There are a few key points to be taken away from his motivations for trying to return here.
First and foremost, he was not happy with how things ended the first time around. Many will recall that Laraque’s family came to Canada by way of Haiti, and in January of 2010 the country was devastated by an earthquake. The event coincided with the Montreal Canadiens releasing Laraque and obviously signals a time of great personal turmoil for him. Nobody wants to go out like that.
The biggest reason thought, is because I didn’t like the way my career ended and I want to finish it on a better note if I got the chance. My last memory of my career is on January 21, 2010, couple days after the earthquake in Haiti, Bob Gainey calls me in his office to release me. That’s truly not the memory I want of my 13 year career. So I will do everything I can to play at least one more year so I can end things of my own term and have a better memory.
The more curious reasoning behind the move seems to be that Laraque feels he can be the guy who prevents further ‘incidents’ from happening in the NHL if he retains his old policeman role. He seems to feel that the teams who lack that intimidator on the roster are more prone to have their players at risk than those that do not. This is a point up for debate since there are plenty of teams with big, tough players on them which had other players exposed to injuries stemming from dirty plays, but if it’s a reason he wants to come back, it’s a reason he wants to come back.
We all saw the state of the game of hockey today, and I don’t think it would come as a surprise for you if I told you that the role of enforcer is still really valuable to a team this year and now more than ever. Look at all the incidents that happened in the last couple of years, I don’t see those incidents happens to team like Boston, Philly, Toronto… And why do you think? Isn’t it obvious? So some teams this summer will address their need and some of them will be toughness. Well me, I know my role, I did it for 13 years where I fought over 130 times, and to comeback, it’s exactly what I will have to do. I’m motivated, I feel like I have something to prove, and a man on a mission like this is a dangerous man and if I get the try-out I’m looking for, I wouldn’t want to be the guy standing in front of me…
The ultimate rationale behind the prospective comeback though appears to be a guy who just wants to see if he can give it another go and work his way on to a team. He feels as though he hasn’t gotten all he can out of the game and wants to keep going. He wants to compete and he wants to win. There’s a distinct energy that comes from how he concludes his message.
Just look at the fourth liner of your favorite team, then pick the tough guy on it, this is the guy I will have to compete against for a job, who do you rather have on your team…? At the end of the day, I have nothing to lose, at the end of the day, I’m just looking for a try-out, not a guarantee , a try-out, like my buddy Peter Sykora did last camp in New Jersey and he made the team. I understand that my role wouldn’t be the same as before, I might play every 2 games, my ice time average of 9 min. a game might go down quite a bit, but I’ll do and accept whatever it takes and if I get that chance, I guarantee you that I will make that team!
Thanks for your support!
P.S. About the critics, here’s what I have to say, if I was a person that listen and was affected by them, I would have never made it to the NHL, critics give me fuel to achieve my dreams! After all, criticism comes from jealous people period, when you can understand that, there’s no problem at all!
Regardless of whether or not Laraque’s comeback is successful, it’s hard not to root for a guy who was nothing but a top notch dude when he played. He is just more proof that hockey players can be interesting and professional at the same time. A quick resume rundown…
- He’s the deputy leader of Canada’s Green Party.
- He does charity work for numerous outlets
- He was funny in those phone commercials.
He says his prospective comeback is “not news worty” in his post but I couldn’t disagree more. He was a fan favorite everywhere he played, he’s a great ambassador for the game, and hockey needs more people like him.
Frankly, I can’t wait to have him back.