June 10, 2010
After the Chicago Blackhawks captured their first Stanley Cup championship since 1961 on Wednesday night, NBC hockey commentator and former Blackhawks star Jeremy Roenick(notes) couldn't contain his emotions during the postgame show with host Dan Patrick and analyst Mike Milbury.
Here's Roenick, getting teary-eyed about having never won the Stanley Cup:
Roenick was drafted by Chicago in 1988 and was a member of the Blackhawks until his 1996 trade to the Phoenix Coyotes. His best offensive seasons were with the 'Hawks; Roenick retired after last season having only been to the Stanley Cup Finals once.
After watching Roenick's lament, perhaps you feel one of two ways:
1. That Roenick's raw emotion, in recalling an upset fan from the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals his Chicago team lost, "brought to a national TV audience all of the pent up emotion that was flowing throughout the Blackhawks family and Chicagoans," as FanHouse noted. Also, the anguish in Roenick's reaction served as a reminder that winning the Stanley Cup is neither easy nor taken lightly by even the biggest names in the NHL.
2. That Roenick's sobbing "I didn't get to do that ..." managed to make Jeremy Roenick the story as the Blackhawks celebrated their win, with both Patrick (enabling the drama) and Milbury (awkwardly) consoling him on-air. It's a sports broadcasting sin when an announcer becomes bigger than the action he's announcing, and that's seemingly what Roenick did here, amplified by Milbury's brief therapy session. It all felt a little creepy.
Did Roenick's tear-filled reaction add to or detract from the Blackhawk's moment? Either way, it's a reminder of why Roenick's cherished by so many hockey fans: His honest, frequently unfiltered opinions and emotional connection to the game.