May 29, 2000
In ancient mythology, there is a tale. A tale of a man, he was held by his heal, and dipped into a liquid. Where this liquid touched, he would be invincible. The liquid touched all of this man, all except the heal he was held by. That heal would be his weakness, his demise.
In modern day history, there is the story of a man. He was foreshadowed to be a God. He would be big, strong, swift and potent. His skill and presence would be a force to be reckoned with. Except, those who dipped this man in that a fore mentioned liquid, held him by his chin.
Eric, like Achilles held the promise of glory. And on many levels, they each achieved a level of that glory. Each will have their names remembered. Achilles for his heal, Eric, for his name not on the Stanley Cup.
Eric was a warrior. A tragic hero. The one would could, the one who should, the one who didn't. His Beginnings were promising, and expensive. He achieved a 6 All Stars, 1 MVP, a lot of fans, enormous recognition, and 6 concussions. With all of that, he will be remembered for the controversy. Looking back though. What really went wrong?
Oh the injuries you say. Granted he did miss around 100 games to injury. That's more than an entire season to aches, pains, and hospital visits. This would be a valid complaint, a great excuse, to explain why he didn't achieve what he was destined, the cup. A great excuse, if he had procured these injuries off the ice. But they weren't. He worked hard day in and day out for the game. He was banged, bruised, hit, drilled, and injured, all on the ice. He did it for the team. He also paid for it too.
So what went wrong?
His father as an agent, internal strife in the organization? Let's not pour salt in that wound. Except to say that, if things were that bad, Eric would have successfully been traded a long, long time ago.
So what went wrong?
Timing. That's all I can come up with. Timing. The wrong place, the wrong time. Timing. Eric entered the game at a time that wouldn't afford a young talent to really grow to maturity in the time that was needed. He was young, talented, attractive, the star. He was expected to achieve, maybe too much too soon. Maybe. He was not afforded the luxury of many other NHL stars had, breathing room. Maybe it was the timing, or maybe just the chin.
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