Thursday, September 14, 2006

Primeau Retires

Another great career cut short by injuries. Sure, Primeau isnt on the same level as a Bobby Orr or Mario Lemueix (the first retirement) but its a shame nonetheless.

I for one, will always fondly remember Primeau, and his retirement reminds me of my own age. I remember when I opened a pack of Upper Deck cards and Primeau was a 'top 10 pick' member way back in '90. He was within a 1st round class that included Owen Nolan, Mike Ricci, Petr Nedved and Martin Broduer, all of whom are now in their 'twilight years.' Sure Broduer and Jagr still have great years left in them, but the majority of guys picked in that year have gone past their best for sure.

Two memories of Primeau stick out amongst the rest. Number 1 obviously, is his game 6 performance vs Tampa Bay in the 04 playoffs. The guy was unstoppable. He was as good that night as any other player has ever been in the history of the NHL. Gretzky always said his best game was game 7 vs the Leafs in '93. That game versus the Flyers was undoubtly Primeau's best, and it was a thing to behold.

Secondly, Primeau was a standout performer during the whole 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano for team Canada. He was a late pick on the team, supposed to be a grinder. He was one of our best, along with Theoren Fluery, game in and game out. If everyone on that team played like Primeau, Canada would have won that tournament, easily. It was an early glimpse of the great leader Primeau would turn out to be.

Thats the Keith Primeau I will remember.

Now that Primeau is gone, 3 guys will be at the top of the list to recieve the C. It is Gagne's if he wants it, he was offered it once already and turned it down, claiming that he felt Primeau was still the captain. The other two possible appointees are Forsberg (Team Sweden's inspirational leader in the last Olympics) and Hatcher, former Stars captain and the only non Canadian captain to ever win the cup.

edit: Forsberg was officailly named Captain today, with Gagne and Hatcher the assitants.

Keith Primeau 2004 Playoffs Highlight Video


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