"I have something called Osteogenesis Imperfecta. It's a genetic disorder. I don't make a particular protein very well and it makes my bones very low in density... very easy to break."
-Samuel L. Jackson in Unbreakable
"Tangle with me, and I'll crush you like a paper cup."
Are you there, Martin Havlat? It's me, Mike.
I'm really, really sorry to do this to you. You're a really great guy and I'm sure you'll find a team that makes you happy. But we have to break up. It's just not working out between us.
The skill. The hands. The shiftiness. The manly facial hair.
Most importantly, the 78 games-played in Minnesota prior to coming to San Jose. "62 points in 78 games...for Jacques Lemaire," we thought, "what could he do with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle and..."
Alas, things didn't work out, and you know what? It's not like you didn't try. Last season, in 39 games, you had 27 points -- perfectly respectable for a second-liner with a freak knee injury in the middle of the season. This season, the points weren't there (an ugly 18 points in 40 games played), but hell, the entire team took a dump for 2013's middle act, so we can't blame you there.
However, there were times that it just felt right. I recall one particular shift early in the lockout-shortened season when you took the puck at the blueline, then circled the entire offensive zone TWICE and no defending player could catch you. You were just that gosh darn shifty, and it was magnificent to see. But pretty much every part of your lower body has been injured at one point or another: knees, groin, ankles, hamstrings. Heck, I'm sure you even lament that you were a top-line forward once but you took an arrow to the knee. And the problem with those injuries -- particularly groin injuries -- is that they never heal 100%. You're always susceptible to aggravating them.
Ah, yes, the groin injury. It wasn't just one of the best jokes to come out of the classic sitcom Cheers, it's also what killed your playoff run. And given your history of groin problems, I just can't see things getting better. At age 32, it's not likely that you'll get more durable for your salary.
Some things look fantastic on paper, like Scott Bakula starring in a Star Trek prequel series. You were the right fit at the right time -- faster, cheaper, and more creative than Dany Heatley, you seemed primed for all sorts of possibilities in teal. Alas, the sensible way I can see this ending is with an amnesty buyout, and with your salary cap money being used to re-sign Raffi Torres and finding a support scoring winger to get that third line rolling.
If we lived in the Metal Gear universe, we could rebuild you as a badass cyborg ninja filled with nanomachines, allowing your natural hockey awesomeness to be indestructible. Alas, our mundane world makes that impossible, and while you gave us some nice memories and flashes of skill, it's time we touched and went our separate ways:
Journey - Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (via journeyVEVO)