Several reports indicate that former Philadelphia Flyer Jeremy Roenick is expected to announce his retirement on Thursday. Roenick, who has played 20 seasons in the NHL, spent his last two seasons with the San Jose Sharks.
The Boston native was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks with the eighth overall pick in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, and he would spend his next eight seasons with the team before six years in Phoenix, three years in Philadelphia, one year with Los Angeles.
Roenick, 39, was a nine-time All-Star, three of which came during his playing time with the Flyers. He has played in 1,363 games, tallying 513 goals and posted 703 assists in his 20-year NHL career.
J.R. is one of four Americans who have scored 500 goals, with the other three being Joe Mullen, Mike Modano, and Keith Tkachuk. He has the most points recorded, and the second most goals scored by a Massachusetts-born player.
Roenick scored 50 goals twice in his career, tallied 40 or more goals four times, and recorded 100 points or more three times in his career. In 154 playoff games, he has scored 53 goals and posted 69 assists for 122 points.
One of the most vocal players in the game's history, Roenick battled a lot of injuries in his career, including 11 concussions, a broken jaw, and some serious knee issues. Yet he didn't let that get in the way of playing the game he loved.
In the 2004 NHL Skills Competition, J.R. went a perfect 4-for-4 in the shooting accuracy—shared with Ray Bourque, Mark Messier, Tomas Kaberle, Evgeni Malkin, and Dany Heatley.
Roenick scored one of the most memorable goals in Flyers fans' memories when he won Game Six of the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals after Darcy Tucker annihilated Sami Kapanen with a bruising hit.
J.R. always liked to stir up the pot with his vocal cords both on and off the ice. One of my all-time favorite J.R. moments was the controversy between Patrick Roy and Roenick.
While with the Blackhawks in 1996, Roenick was tripped on a breakaway by a Colorado Avalanche during a Western Conference semifinals game, but it didn't result in a penalty shot like it should have been.
Roy said that he would have saved it (the penalty shot) anyway in an interview, and J.R. replied with the following: "I'd like to know where Patrick was in Game Three; probably up trying to get his jock out of the rafters."
And then came the best response by any player when Roy said, "I cannot really hear what Jeremy says because I've got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ear."
Just a little bit of friendly trash talk, and it never gets old.
He had several other controversies in his career on and off the ice, including being named one of the players implicated Operation Slapshot—created with the intent to uncover a nationwide gambling ring in 2006.
Roenick was one of my favorite players of all time, and he'll go down in my book as a Hall Of Famer. I, as well as others, consider him to be one of the best Americans to ever play the game, if not the best.
J.R.'s future is, without a doubt, in television. The mix of his personality and sense of humor makes him a perfect fit for television, and it wouldn't shock anyone if he ended up working with ESPN, NHL Network, or any other sports related networks such as TSN.
Until he finds his niche on the tube, Jeremy Roenick will be missed in the hockey world.