The Invincible M.A.E. (harleymae) wrote,
The Invincible M.A.E.
harleymae

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Seriya spam

Mostly about Paul, but Seriya-ness. Because really, they are one. Be warned, this says nice things about Paul and his decision to sign with the Avs.


Guest View: Far from a traitor, Kariya's a loyal guy

By Lyle Spencer, The (Riverside, Calif.) Press-Enterprise
July 11, 2003

Class clearly doesn't carry the cachet and clout it once did.

Joe DiMaggio was a legend, an icon. Joltin' Joe could do no wrong. His life was a red carpet.

Pete Sampras? Too vanilla, a bore. Who cares if he retires? Same guys, nearly identical personalities. Different times.

Paul Kariya has a lot of Sampras and DiMaggio in him. Kariya brought nothing but dignity and distinction to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for nine seasons. He played hurt, played through concussions, played always with great style and grace. He carried the franchise through rough times, drawing fans to cheer bad teams.

Then, without warning, the most amazing thing happens: Hockey's gods smile on Orange County, Calif., and its captain, Kariya. Jean-Sebastien Giguere emerges as a force in goal like none other. Rookie coach Mike Babcock's "greasy" hockey clicks as GM Bryan Murray makes inspired moves. The Ducks, no longer a punch line, shock the hockey world and make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Before Game 7 goes to the Devils in New Jersey, Anaheim delivers one of the special moments in the history of the ice game in the Sunbelt.

Kariya, coming back from a brutal hit by Scott Stevens that seemingly stripped him of his senses, drills a goal past Martin Brodeur that will not be forgotten by those who felt the Pond rock as never before.

A month later, the Disney bean counters conclude that they can't justify renewing Kariya at $10 million. They gamble he'll accept less. It is the same enlightened thinking that led the Angels, years ago, to determine they could replace Nolan Ryan, the greatest name in franchise history, with a pair of 8-7 pitchers.

So off goes free agent Kariya to Colorado, smiling all the way, for an astonishingly low fee of $1.2 million. It's a package deal. Paul tells us he wants to have fun with best buddy Teemu Selanne on a great team. Kariya is relocating to a wide-open hockey environment more suited to his skills than the defense-first style brought to the Ducks by Babcock.

Avalanche coach Tony Granato, the ex-King, embraces the Wayne Gretzky up-tempo game with the same passion as Kariya and Selanne. Showtime is back in the NHL, in the Rockies.

This is a remarkable decision based almost entirely on the opportunity, perceived by Kariya, to play the game the way it was meant to be played, and with his best pal. Yet the perception exists in Orange County that Kariya is a traitor, an ingrate for bailing on his team and fans.

Once the faithful get past the anger of rejection, they should see this more clearly, for what it really is. Kariya's decision reflects a rare and endearing loyalty to his best friend. What's wrong with that? Paul never got over the Ducks' heartless shipping of Selanne to San Jose in 2001. It had to be galling for Kariya, watching Jeff Friesen torment the Ducks in the Finals. Friesen came from the Sharks in the Selanne swap and was dealt to Jersey after flopping in Anaheim. Friesen never got comfortable as a Duck, knowing he couldn't possibly replace Selanne, on the ice or in the hearts of fans.

During the finals, I got Kariya aside after a game and asked about Teemu. I was looking for a comment that would help with a column I had in mind about how the Ducks now had the resources to reunite their two greatest names, Selanne having gained free agency in San Jose.

Kariya's response was puzzling. He said he'd heard from Teemu, then turned to his locker for a moment, looked back and excused himself. That column never made it into print.

What Kariya was thinking as he turned away into his locker, I can't say.

Perhaps I struck a nerve, causing Paul to flash momentarily on his friend and alter ego sitting at home watching. Teemu, Kariya probably was thinking, should have been there enjoying this, scoring goals on the big stage.

Next spring, they can make magic together again in Denver, centered by the great Joe Sakic.

The Ducks won't be the same without their captain. Kariya occupied the defense every moment he was on the ice. There are only a handful of players like that in the NHL. Selanne is one of them, too.

And the Ducks will struggle to make the playoffs.


First of all, this article is written by a man. Unless some parents made the cruel decision to name their daughter "Lyle".

Once the faithful get past the anger of rejection, they should see this more clearly, for what it really is. Kariya's decision reflects a rare and endearing loyalty to his best friend. What's wrong with that? Paul never got over the Ducks' heartless shipping of Selanne to San Jose in 2001.
In other words, he just wanted to be reunited with his true love.

During the finals, I got Kariya aside after a game and asked about Teemu. ... Kariya's response was puzzling. He said he'd heard from Teemu, then turned to his locker for a moment, looked back and excused himself.
*squeals* This so fits in with my Seriya fic!

Perhaps I struck a nerve, causing Paul to flash momentarily on his friend and alter ego sitting at home watching.
What does this mean? Paul exposed himself on TV because he knew Teemu was watching?

Next spring, they can make magic together again in Denver, centered by the great Joe Sakic.
*chokes and dies*

Mush signed with the Leafs. Making him probably more hated than even before and making me love that team even more. *grin*
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