I have to be honest, I'm not easily surprised. I'm not jumpy by nature and have an attitude of "it's all meant to be", but when I heard that Kyle Quincey had signed a deal with the Denver Cutthroats, I was surprised. Big time. Let's ignore for a moment Kyle's exit interview and cover all the other stuff first, shall we?
Kyle is 27 years old, grew up in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it town and was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. He played for them, even making a playoff appearance - but he didn't get The Ring once the Wings hoisted the Cup. It was a team decision, and he was left out in the cold. He did get to spend the day with the Cup, however.
October 2008 Kyle was picked up off waivers by the Los Angeles Kings. While a King, Quincey helped Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson with his skating abilities for the Tooth Fairy movie. He even shot a scene in the movie. During the summer Kyle became an Avalanche. Once here, a lot of people liked his defensive play. Until his last season in Colorado.
He got is a fist fight with Daniel Winnik during training camp. He lost an edge to his play. A lot of fans questioned his every move. He had moments of brilliance and then moments that the only plausible reaction was "Ugh, what?" Then, it happened. He crashed awkwardly into the boards. Holding his shoulder, most thought he had separated it. It was much worse. So much worse. The doctors told him he may have to retire. He couldn't have surgery without building up strength in his arm and he couldn't do that very easily. At one point he had trouble lifting a 1 pound weight. That is the size of the dumbbell he exercised with.
When the inevitable trade happened in February 2012, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lighting for Steve Downie and within moments he was a Detroit Red Wing once again. He was thrilled. During his exit interview he said some questionable things about the team. I, for one, assumed that he had just burned the Colorado bridge - just like Alex Tanguay - but now he is back in Denver.
Some of his comments included:
"I truly believe, if you have confidence in a player, then give it to them, show it to them," Quincey said. "When there’s so much uncertainty if those guys are going to be there next year, it would be nice for guys to get extensions. But that’s their policy, and that’s what they do."
Quincey paused, then added: "Confidence, it comes and goes, and when it goes, it’s pretty tough to get it back."
It seemed to imply that after his injury Colorado didn't support him, the team was on a winning streak and didn't insert him immediately into the lineup. Instead he had a nacho duty until the team lost, and he got in a few more practices to get more "Game-shape ready". He did later recant::
"The last thing I wanted to do was throw Colorado under the bus, an organization that was great to me, and I loved Colorado. I shouldn’t have said what I said and I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to come out like that. It wasn’t meant to be ‘Colorado-specific.’ I was talking about the trade deadline in general and it came out wrong. I don’t want any of the teammates I went to war with in Colorado to think I don’t think and wish anything but for the best for them."
The Fish have a just been able to increase the strength of their defensive core, we don't know yet who he's replacing. All the guys currently on the Fish have worked their butts off to get into training camp. It's happening worldwide, a guy with a more experience - a higher skill level - is bumping guys off a team. Some of these guys - it's their last chance at playing at an elite level. Cheryl followed Jay through his struggles, and eventual success, to get on the Fish. He might have had the most struggles mentally to get his game back, but physically the stress was on each of the guys. If the lockout ends, let's say, mid-November then the guy he bumped off the team will have missed a month and a half of games - if he's still part of the team! We get to a core issue of should NHL'ers who have been locked out get to play in another league? There are pros and cons. You want the NHL'ers to be "game-shape" and ready to drop the puck the instant the lockout is over. But the cost of that is someones livelihood.
Cutthroat fans will have NHL talent to cheer for this season. So, what say you? Are you happy to see him back in the Denver area? Will you cheer him on? Boo him like you did Brad May?