Cam Janssen needed to apologize for his comments on the Thom and Jeff Show. They were terribly unprofessional, and as I was explaining to someone on Twitter last night, when you’re the representative of multi-million dollar businesses like the Devils and the NHL, you need to remember that everywhere you go. This, more so than the words said, is what bothered me. What he said though, wow. Hard to take back stuff like that. Good to see that he kind of didn’t. From the Devils’ website:
“Earlier this week, I participated in an internet-based radio show in which I used some poor judgment which I now regret. The New Jersey Devils were unaware of this interview, which I arranged myself.
“I would like to apologize for my poor choice of language. The tone of the interview was very casual and off-color, and I lost focus on what is and is not acceptable and professional. I am deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by my language. Moving forward, I hope to eliminate that type of language from my vocabulary. I would also like to take this chance to express my support for the work the You Can Play project is doing, and for the gay community in general.
“I apologize for the embarrassment my comments have caused to the New Jersey Devils management, as well as my teammates.”
Ok, yes, that was probably more than likely motivated by the ire that the Devils felt. He mentioned that it was unprofessional, and yes it was. But Janssen doesn’t apologize for what he said. He apologizes for how he said it. Granted he probably could have said “yeah, if I have something against a guy I’ll use it out there” instead of “Oh, if he’s sucking cock, he’s getting his ass kicked.” I also agree with Patrick Burke’s stance that if you don’t let Janssen learn from it it’s doing no good. You don’t learn lessons by being screamed at every time you goof, and the person doing the screaming isn’t getting any brownie points either.
What Janssen specifically should have apologized for was his in-depth analysis of why he’ll hit someone. As Ellen Etchingham so rightfully points out, what Janssen says just reinforces that players of his cloth are unnecessary. They’re more than that, though — they’re a detriment to their team. You have someone playing five minutes an evening and not contributing anything more than running people, or hits, or fights to pump up the crowd. Janssen doesn’t score. He’s not out there on the penalty kill… and now he admits that he’s basically looking to stir stuff up. Why? For the team? No. He comes across as though he’s doing it for fun, and that’s not the point.
The point is, an enforcer is supposed to make sure that the star players don’t get run, or they’re supposed to intimidate others into coughing the puck up so the other guys on the team can make a play. Janssen doesn’t do that. He doesn’t go out and take care of the guys who do run the star players. He goes out there, finds the other enforcer, and just fights. Chances are pretty good that he’ll lose, and then that’s that.
Now with his admission that he headhunts, he has a target painted on his back. His philosophy does nothing but undermine the Devils for employing him — for re-signing him. At the very least, if you’re going to keep an enforcer, at least keep the one with enough common sense to keep his mouth shut and his team out of the headlines. They probably should have held on to Eric Boulton, who understands his role and doesn’t view every game as hunting season.
What Janssen said was in direct contradiction to how the NHL feels on concussions and preventing them. What he said is what they’re trying to get out of the game. This is why the comments on his style of play should draw more attention than the stupid locker-room talk homophobic ones. They’re a lot more detrimental to the team on-ice, and now they’re something that Lou has to take care of.
And, as a woman, I honestly don’t care about the “banging a fat chick” simile. I’m still trying to figure that one out. How is sitting in the press box watching your team get drubbed 6-0 like banging a fat chick? He doesn’t have to apologize for that, I suppose, because no one understood it anyway.