If I was to classify Jeremy Roenick, I would say he is a fans player. As I found Roenick to have a very personable way about him growing up. Even to this day I still feel that way. In fact, during Roenick’s retirement speech, he would make mention of his childhood experience with former NHL player Gordie Howe. And how it would change his outlook on the fan experience, as he grew to become an NHL star himself.
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Impressively, Roenick would finish his hockey career having played two decades in the NHL with five teams. He would be selected to play on an incredible nine all-star teams. He would also have the distinct honor of becoming the third American player, to join the 500 goal club. During his international career with Team USA, Roenick played in six tournaments for the senior team and would post 23 points in 27 games. He has since been added to the USA Hockey Hall of Fame.
NHL Clubs: Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks.
Born: January 17, 1970, Boston Massachusetts
All-Star Appearances: 9
Drafted: 1st Round, Pick 8, Chicago Blackhawks
After a stellar tenure, with Thayer Academy, in which Roenick would in fact play on a line with future Chicago Blackhawk linemate Tony Amonte. He would end up catching the eye of former Blackhawks scout Jack Davison. And in that 1988 NHL Entry Draft, the Blackhawks indeed went onto select Roenick with the 8th overall pick. During his rookie season, Roenick would split time between both the Blackhawks and the Hull Olympiques. Although, he would never get another taste of the minors following his rookie campaign.
During his sophomore season, Roenick would produce 66 points in 78 games played. This would rank him 73rd in points. However, by his third season, Roenick would increase his points output by an impressive 28 points in just one more game played. He had finally arrived at that point, as he topped 100 points in each of the following three seasons. At the time, he was the only player in Blackhawks history to have ever, hit that milestone.
However, in the 1994-95 season, the NHL would be shut down for a time due to the player’s strike. During the lockout, Roenick would travel overseas after having signed on with the Kölner Haie. He would play just four games with the German club, scoring three points. Roenick would rejoin the Hawks, once the NHL had returned that season. And had not lost his touch, posting 33 points in 34 games.
Roenick would never return to the lofty point totals, he had racked up during those earlier seasons. He would play just one more season with the Blackhawks, before the NHL lockout season. In Roenick’s eight years in Chicago, he would rank just 40th in all-time games played. However, he would finish 11th on the Club in all-time points scored. Roenick also ranks ninth on the Blackhawks all-time goals list, with 267.
1992 Stanley Cup Finals
Roenick would have his lone Stanley Cup opportunity, during the summer of 1992. In which they would face the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins had just come off a dominating Cup win over the Minnesota North Stars the year prior. They would return with most of their key pieces from that 1991 title, led by offensive juggernaut Mario Lemieux. Lemieux had not appeared to be slowing down, as he had just finished the regular season, leader in points. The Hawks would lose the series in a 4-0 sweep, however, that’s not to say they didn’t give the Penguins a fair run for their money. Outside of game 2, the Blackhawks would not lose by more than a goal in any contest.
While you could say Roenick had a somewhat quiet series, he would play a key role in the game 4 elimination matchup. It was a game, in which both clubs would combine for 11 total goals. Roenick would score both of his cup goals in that game, including the Blackhawks fifth and final tally. With just under nine minutes remaining in the third and the Penguins up 6-4, he would cut the lead down to a single goal. Although they could not make anything come of it, he would certainly afford them the opportunity.
He would not return for a second title opportunity with the Blackhawks. The closest they would come during Roenick’s next four seasons in Chicago was during the 1994-95 season. In which, they would get as far as the Western Conference final versus the Detroit Red Wings. However, they would end up losing that series quite handily 4-1. Roenick would finish the series, with one point in five games played.
In the 2010 Cup final, Roenick would have the opportunity he was never afforded as a player. He would get to enjoy his former teams, first Cup in almost half a century. Roenick was not short of emotion, as he would have a lot to say about what this win meant to him as a former Blackhawk.
Trade To The Phoenix Coyotes
Roenick was a restricted free agent coming into 1996 offseason and was reportedly looking for in the range of a five year, four million per contract. Once, they could not work out a deal that would suit both sides. It was quite clear, that Roenick wouldn’t be sticking around. And in August of 1996, it was announced that he would be dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes. In exchange for forward Alexei Zhamnov, Craig Mills as well as a 1997 first-round selection. To this day, I’m sure many Hawks fans feel cheated with the loss of Roenick all those many years ago.
Roenick would settle right into his role with the Coyotes, as he would play a big role in getting them to their first-ever playoff berth. He would finish second on the club in scoring that first year, behind only Keith Tkachuk. Roenick in fact would go onto play six seasons in Phoenix, having played in 454 games. And has since been added to Coyotes ring of honor, opposite Tkachuk, Bobby Hull, Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen, Teppo Numminen, and the infamous Wayne Gretzky.
Roenick would finish out his last season with the San Jose Sharks. In which, he would play 42 games and produce 13 points. He would officially hang up his skates following the 2008-09 season. By the time Roenick had officially called it a career, he had accumulated 1,216 points. This ranks him tied with Larry Murphy, for 44th on the all-time scoring list. Following his retirement from the game, he has continued to keep himself busy. Back in 2010, Roenick would join NBC Sports as a Hockey Analyst. He would also appear on several television programs, including Ghost Whisperer, Shark Cage, and Bones (where he played himself). Roenick is an avid Golfer since childhood and has been involved in many celebrity Golf tournaments in his spare time. Including one hosted by NFL quarterback Drew Brees.
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