In his head.
Everyone plays “armchair general manager” once in a while, questioning the moves that their favorite teams make when things aren’t working out for the best. Heck, there’s even the “Be a GM” mode of gameplay on NHL11. Pundits commentate on the radio and television, tossing out their expertise. And no, I don’t expect a pundit has to be a former GM to give good advice. Look at Mike Milbury. I listen to him as much as I listen to techno-polka.
The look the dog has on his face is the exact same one that McGuire and Milbury get when Roenick goes on a rant.
Milbury’s NBC sparring partner Jeremy Roenick has a weekly radio show. It’s appropriate, because JR has a face for radio, and because he is one of the more opinionated guys in hockey. For some reason, this week he decided to take on the Thrashers’ organization and the decision to move Dustin Byfuglien to defense. Quoteth JR:
“That might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Dustin Byfuglien as a defenseman. I would love to play against Dustin Byfuglien as a defenseman. I would turn him inside out, left, right and center every single time. This kid, he made his living in front of the net scoring goals during the playoffs for the Chicago Blackhawks. Why on earth would you put him back as a defenseman? This kid is strong, he’s powerful, he’s a great skater. Put him in front of the net as a forward. That’s where you want him to do all his damage. Playing him as a defenseman? Maybe that’s why the Thrashers are 0-3 in preseason. Maybe that’s why nobody comes to watch their games. It’s crazy. What are they thinking? They already have a GM that doesn’t know the game whatsoever. But, hey, that’s just my opinion. Like me or hate me if you don’t [agree]. I’m not a big fan of Atlanta for a lot of reasons but the fact that they’re going to play Dustin Byfuglien [as a defenseman], my goodness gracious.”
Byfuglien was drafted in 2003 by the Blackhawks as a defenseman. That’s his natural position, and one that he has repeatedly said that he would like to return to – and scored 19 goals and 17 assists playing at. The Hawks moved him up to a forward because they were lacking that go to the net grit and size that wins you games in the Western Conference. It’s not all Ramsay and Dudley’s decision to move Buff to D. I’m sure that if Byfuglien hadn’t've expressed interest in returning to that position he wouldn’t've. We need someone like him playing forward, as well.
Roenick knows good and well that pre-season games do not depend on having one guy move from forward to defenseman. I know he’s insinuating that it’s decisions like this one that has caused the Thrashers to not play well, but choosing the shifting of Buff to highlight that is inane. It’s the preseason. They’re line-juggling nd working things out. And, as further proof that the pre-season doesn’t matter, the Blackhawks started last season 0-3 as well. The same Blackhawks who raised the Cup and made JR cry like a two year old wanting a candy bar.
Yeah, JR. There you go. Let it all out.
As far as him calling out the GM, he’s referring to Waddell, not to Rick Dudley. Roenick, who apparently can hate a team but not bother to know who’s in charge of it anymore, dislikes Don Waddell because DW didn’t choose him to participate in the 2006 Olympics. Roenick would have been thirty six at the time. I think that Waddell made the right decision concerning the Olympic roster, but JR holds a grudge, and has let his being upset at Waddell for some supposed slight four years ago color his opinion of the entire Thrashers franchise.
Quite frankly, as someone who has never won a Stanley Cup, I don’t see Roenick’s authority to second guess the Thrashers coming from anywhere except the confines of his delusions of grandeur.Maybe he just needs to keep taking his anger out on Milbury. At least that’s entertaining.