Former teammates, coaches praise Roenick

Thursday, 08.06.2009 / 2:00 PM / 2009 NHL Offseason News

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Here is a sampling of what some of the people spoke to had to say about Jeremy Roenick, who on Thursday announced his retirement from the NHL after a 20-year career:
Ken Hitchcock, current coach in Columbus and Roenick's coach in Philadelphia
"At the end of the day you were left with a feeling that he was a really good friend to everybody. Everybody liked him, and that's all you can ask. He was a guy that brought camaraderie to the team. The team had more fun when he was around."
Keith Primeau, a teammate of Roenick's in Philadelphia
"He was a colorful guy. I remember playing in the All-Star Game with him in Minnesota and it was just before he and I got hurt in '04 with concussions. He was going on the ice between periods introducing rock bands and throwing T-shirts in the stands. He was great for the game and great for the League because of his personality and his approach to the game and the people."
Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes captain and a teammate of Roenick's
"He'll do anything for anybody. My father-in-law came down to Phoenix when I was a younger guy on the team and he was a big golf person and wanted to golf. I was about 21 years old and I was like, 'J.R., my father-in-law is coming down and I was wondering if you could give him tips on any courses?' That day he called me back and said he got four courses set up for my father-in-law and his friend. The next day he was asking if everything worked out OK and if he could do anything else. He didn't have to do that, but he'd be willing to do anything for any one of his teammates. He's still that way."
Tony Amonte, former high school and NHL teammate
"When you're around J.R., there is never a dull moment. He's got people everywhere, friends in every city, and that electric personality. It doesn't matter where you, go people are drawn to him. He made himself a star."
Doug Wilson, San Jose GM and Roenick's teammate in Chicago
"All we did was give him the opportunity. He deserves all the credit for going and doing the work necessary to play in this League at this time. It's one thing to say you want to play, but to commit to it. ... You see how he plays, with his passion. He's got skill, but he's got grit. He'll go around you. He'll go through you. He'll take a hit. He'll block a shot. I think that all relays to the fan in seeing a guy who truly loves to play the game."

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For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday
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