Saturday, July 22, 2006

Please say it isn't so....

Thanks go out to insomnia and DC Sports Chick for tipping me off to this blurb from the AJC:


"After earlier saying he thought Bondra would retire, Waddell said he was informed by his agent that Bondra hopes to sign in Washington, where he played parts of 14 seasons. "

Please Mommy, make the bad man stop....

Look, I was as much a Bondra fan as anybody else was. However, his actions last summer totally destroyed what respect I had left for him. I felt sorry that he was traded from the Caps allegedly against his wishes. It was great watching him on the ice as you could often tell he was having the most fun of any player out there.

But what always lurked in the back of my mind was the holdouts. The insistence on being the highest paid player on the team. Now, there were certainly times that he had a valid point. However, it always seemed to me to be $$$$$ above all else.

Last summer when the Caps offered to make him the highest paid forward and guaranteeing him a job in the franchise after his playing days ended, he ended up begging the Atalanta Thrashers for a contract. He took less money in an incentive laden contract in order to play for Atlanta. He felt that the Thrashers were a contender and wanted to play for them after talking all summer about returning to Washington. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed watching the Capitals elminate the Thrashers from the playoffs last April. I also relished that Peter Bondra was in the Penalty Box when the game winning goal was scored. To this day I can't help but think that was sweet justice coming through.

When Bondra broke Mike Gartner's Caps scoring record, I felt a small sense of sorrow. Growing up, I idolized Gartner and cried when he was traded to Minnesota (I was in 7th grade). But that sorrow was tempered by Bondra breaking the record because at least you could tell that he was enjoying himself. However, A.O. shows even more excitement, even more joy, and even more exuberance than Bondra ever did. When A.O. obliterates Bondra's records, I will not feel any sorrow at all.

In a perfect world, Bondra would have never left Washington, he would have retired as a Cap, his number 12 would have been retired, and he would have joined the Capitals in some other capacity. However, it did not turn out that way. Yes, Uncle Ted and that Incompetent Boob McPhee have some blame, but Bondra was the one who burned bridges when he denied the Caps attempts to patch things up. If I am not mistaken, a player who retires still has his contract count against the salary cap. So under this circumstance, I don't want the Caps to sign Bondra even for only a day so he could officially retire as a Cap. Quite frankly, I don't believe he deserves that honor.

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