Monday, September 6, 2010

The Cheechoo Train

Let the record show I've never liked Jonathan Cheechoo.  Ever.  Ok, that's not true.  For a brief millisecond his between the legs goal versus Colorado made me believe that maybe he wasn't just the luckiest person in the world, but actually did have some talent.  I always laughed at the person who drafted him any year after his 56 goal miracle season.  Last year, sadly, that person was me.  I figured with the trade to Ottawa and a desperate need for goal scoring on my fantasy team, that I could take a 17th round chance on the guy.  For those unclear on how that story ends, he lasted less than 2 weeks on my team, and I finished 5th overall in goal scoring.

You'll imagine my surprise, and horror, when I read on TSN, that the Dallas Stars had extended an offer for Mr. Cheechoo to attend their training camp.  I was even more horrified, no, worse...mortified, when I was checking Yahoo! for this post and stumbled across this:

Dear Yahoo!, please don't give me unnecessary heart palpitations. It's just an invite, not a contract. (source: Yahoo!)

No offense to Mr. Cheechoo, but I pray this is some kind of sick joke by Nieuwendyk to bring him in and show the rest of the team what a flash in the pan looks like.  I mean sure the Stars got first hand looks at Patrik Stefan (thank you for a moment none of us will ever forget), Valeri Kamensky, Ladislav Nagy, Janne Niinimaa (oh God, make the pain go away), Junior Lessard (former Hobey Baker winner for the NCAA followers), and Valeri Bure (definitely not Pavel) among others, but remember that most of this team is really young, so they've yet to see a massive full blown poster child of an NHL failure on their team.

To make matters worse, I actually see the team extending a contract to the guy for something more than the league minimum.  Sorry, but if Mike Comrie is playing for $500K, then Cheechoo should pay us to let him on the team.  I also don't see how he would fit on this team.  Or where for that matter.  The only reason he played well at all was because he had some guy named Joe Thornton passing him the puck (I think that's right, I've never seen that name come playoff time).  I'm sure Brad Richards could help force Cheechoo to break Gretzky's single season record of 92 goals, but why on earth would you take Neal and Eriksson off his wings to take a risk like that.  The top 6 is set barring some ridiculous play from some players or major injuries.

All this being said, I see Joe being a dumb ass and offering some insane incentive laden contract that could make him in the $1 to 1.5 million range.  Which leaves me with one final question.  Why couldn't they afford a hometown discount contract for Modano again?


  1. Okay, I'm with you on Cheechoo being somewhat lucky, don't get me wrong. The Rocket Richard Trophy on his mantlepiece taunts him regularly, I'm sure. But, I think this *could* be a great move by the Stars.

    They're going to get the Cheechoo Train at a *severe* discount. There's no way his base salary goes above 900k. Incentives could bring it higher, sure, but if it's based on points and goals, I'm all for it.

    While I, like many Stars fans, would have loved to see Mike Modano retire as a Star, he plays a position the Stars are deep at - Center. Giving him a spot on the 3rd line takes up minutes from developing centers like Toby Petersen and Jamie Benn. They didn't want to do that. Cheechoo is a right-hand shot from the Right Wing, just like Lehtinen. And it's looking more and more with each day that Lehtinen won't be there to start the season, if he joins the Stars at all. So, it's a nice insurance policy.

    This is, of course, assuming he makes the team. Joe has stressed he wants to develop the young players, but if the right guy with the right scoring touch shows up? Why not give him a shot.

    Anyway - I love your article, though. It's good stuff. It's always fun to read other passionate Stars fans stuff. Check out mine if you get a chance, over at Big D Hockey.

  2. While I agree that Cheechoo is an insurance policy, why give up so soon on Brandon Segal? Also a right shot, also a right wing. 5 goals and 5 points in 19 games playing on the 3rd and 4th line. It just doesn't make sense to bring in yet another body to this organization when it's obviously a rebuilding year.

    Plus, if they do sign him to a max of $900K base salary, where is that money coming from? Did Nieuwendyk rummage through the couch cushions looking for loose change? It just doesn't make sense that they have some young talent coming up, more young talent on the team, and even more talent they picked up via waivers/free agency and they already want to bring in "aging" veterans to replace them with.