For the third time in as many weeks, Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson has made San Jose the center of the hockey world. Wilson, who made waves the previous two weeks by signing Captain Patrick Marleau
and Milan Michalek to multi-year contract extensions, announced on Tuesday that the club has signed nine-time All-Star Jeremy Roenick to a one-year deal.
Roenick, who was a teammate of Wilson’s in 1988 with the Chicago Blackhawks, had admittedly contemplated retirement earlier in the summer before a simple phone call from Wilson had re-ignited the competitive spirit the fiery center.
“That was a very true feeling in my body and soul about retiring and I kind of lost a little luster for the game for the last couple years,” admitted Roenick. “Then I got a phone call from Doug Wilson. Immediately, from a phone call from a guy that I respect and probably one of the most respected guys that I’ve ever played with, my electricity and energy came back. When you love to play the game and a team (of this nature) comes along, it is very easy to get excited and motivated.”
The outspoken veteran joins the Sharks lineup with 495 goals and 1,170 career points over his illustrious 18-year career in stints with the Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes (twice), Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings. And although Roenick is on the verge of becoming just the third American-born player to reach the 500-goal plateau (Joe Mullen, 507; Mike Modano [active], 502), he insists that a chance at 500 did not factor into his decision.
“It’s not my motivation at all,” assured Roenick. “My motivation is to win a Cup, to try to gain my respectability as a hockey player back and to give the San Jose Sharks every ounce of Jeremy Roenick that I have in me.”
Wilson spoke highly of Roenick’s ability and ensured that the colorful forward is not here simply to serve as a mentor in the locker room.
“He can skate. In this game you’ve got to be able to skate,” said Wilson. “Physically he can keep up. He has that burning desire to win and take another swing at winning the Cup. The second you can’t skate under these new rules, you can’t play. And there’s no question that he can still skate.”
As for JR, he understands that he is joining a team with a solid foundation and is eager to contribute both on and off the ice while competing for hockey’s ultimate price.
"I'm going to go in there and just really enjoy being on a team that's run by two of the great players in the league in Patrick Marleau
and Joe Thornton
," he said. "I feel like I've gotten a second chance at life on a team where I can fit in and just go along with the flow and try to help as much as I can."
Roenick will join his teammates on September 14 when the San Jose Sharks open Training Camp at Sharks Ice at San Jose. A complete schedule of the club’s training camp exercises can be found by clicking here
For more information on Roenick and everything Sharks hockey, be sure to crash the net at sjsharks.com