RETURN OF “THE DUKE” DECADES OF DAMAGE, PART III – THE CHANCES
By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor – in – Chief
PHILADELPHIA (www.basnnewsroom.com) The most ominous issue in the wake of the Akim Aliu affair is that of a punk ass coach utilizing their skills working as part control freak/part sarcastic asshole and part sadistic bully to “motivate” their charges; with failure to do so leading to unfair scrutiny and repercussions.
Sometimes a player has to “get in where he fits in” – and more often or not, that’s the case; and early exposure doesn’t always lead to early success…
The case of one Anthony Duclair, winger for the Ottawa Senators, is a perfect example. A speed merchant who was a sniper in the goalie – notorious Quebec Junior Leaue (QMJHL) got his first Kodak moments in the 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, where he and teammate Max Domi were like Baileys & Cream – on ice.
After signing a three year contract with the New York Rangers, Duclair was sent back to the QMJHL and the Quebec Ramparts before being traded to the Arizona Coyotes before the 2015 season, where he would be reunited with Domi. The chemistry from their tournament was still in effect – and Domi and Duclair would become – “The Killer ‘D’s.”
After a full 20 goal, 44 point season, it was like the scoring tap was turned off. Duclair was demoted to the minors, returning in 2017, but still no spark. In 2018, Duclair was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, where he played sparingly over 23 games. Later that year, he signed a one year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets – and their abrasive head coach, John Tortorella.
I believe it was Bill Parcells who said when asked about managing various personalities, “there’s five guys you gotta kiss, five guys you gotta kick – and the rest fall somewhere in between.”
Well apparently, Tortorella seemed to enjoy “kicking” Duclair. He was highly critical of the winger, even going so far as saying, “He (Duclair) doesn’t know how to play!”
Tortorella, just like his punk colleague Bill Peters, went out of his way to put the poison tongue on Duclair. Once done it is very hard to purge that garbage – and bullies who do it like Tortorella – know it. Life playing in Blue Jack City was miserable; and chances were becoming fewer.
Fate would intervene as the Senators, coming off an abysmal season, picked up Duclair for $1.6 million as a free agent, hoping for a spark…
The shot was still there, the speed was still there – and then came this:
Duclair skates against his former tormentor and scores a “hat trick” with his third goal being the overtime winner; makin’ like Nino Brown in a 4-3 win over Blue Jack City!!
“I’m getting the opportunity to prove myself every shift,” said Duclair in a post – game interview with the Canadian Press. “Sometimes I don’t have a good shift or make a bad play or whatnot, but the big thing is I’m right back out there next shift and I can prove myself that it won’t happen again, compared to in the past sometimes if I make a mistake or whatnot I’m sometimes glued to the bench so just happy to continue to get opportunities.”
His current head coach, D.J. Smith, seems to appreciate Duclair’s effort. “What I’ve liked about him is that his work ethic has seriously improved,” said Smith. “He’s very responsive. He’s a good teammate, guys like him. He’s a team-first guy. It’s great when a guy like that has success and then other guys pull for him.”
The hat trick gives Duclair 18 goals for the season, leading the team and has him on a decent pace for at least 30 if healthy.
Ultimately, Karma may be late sometimes, but she never misses an appointment. Based on NHL Commissioner Bettman’s new Code of Conduct, things will change for the better; but people will always talk — especially when they’re butthurt!
The only way to deal with a bully is to swing first on their fucked-up ass; in this case, put pucks in the net! You may not win the fight, but as with all bullies, he will think twice about fuckin’ with you when you face him again!
So ‘he can’t play?’
Fuck you, Tortorella – and the ice cream truck you rolled in on.
Next time: On The Grind
Copyright (c) 2019 Michael – Louis Ingram all rights reserved.
Always outnumbered…never outgunned.