Unless you're a Canadian juniors fan or a Columbus Blue Jackets admirer with more than a passing interest in the team's prospects, the name Stefan Legein probably didn't mean much before Tuesday. In fact, we knew him best as the guy with an athletic tape mustache interviewing John Tavares (video).
Yesterday, he became the guy who may have just retired at 19.
Follow the bouncing puck: Bethany Porter of Bethany's Hockey Rants, a Blue Jackets blog, gets an anonymous e-mail telling her that Legein -- a 2007 second-round pick and a rising pest in the BJ's system -- had decided to quit hockey.
Bethany passes this along to Aaron Portzline of the Dispatch, who called around until Jackets GM Scott Howson confirmed the news. Later in the day, Legein's father tells Portzline that "until Sept. 20 (when training camp starts), he hasn't quit anything." (The Canadian Press and TSN picked up this story without mentioning it was broken by a hockey blogger. Shocking, isn't it?)
Last night, The Two-Line Pass put forth an interesting theory: That Legein, a noted goofball, was having some fun at the expense of everyone. This is of course a player who once "tricked a rookie into thinking he had been traded." Eric McErlain didn't dismiss the prank angle last night on FanHouse, but points out that when agents and general managers get involved, the chances that this is a practical joke slightly decrease.
Today, Portzline offers another theory: Legein came back from a shoulder injury last season and wasn't the same guy, either as a player or a person. He wasn't in great shape at Columbus developmental camp, and didn't stand out there either. "Right now, they've been told only that he's 'lost the passion' needed to play the game," writes Portzline.
He also gets this quote from Howson: "We knew there were issues with Stefan going back to last spring. We've talked through it with him and we haven't had any success."
Strange story indeed. It reminded us, as it did Portzline, of Dan Ryder's situation earlier this year. Ryder was a Flames prospect, and Michael Ryder's brother, who flaked out and left hockey. Now he's back with the team.
Before he left the Flames, we hadn't heard his name before, either.
Now we know him, just like we know Stefan Legein. And maybe that's the point.