Jeremy Roenick Ring of Honor introduction
I dare say there isn’t anything we don’t already know about Jeremy. His life and times are an open book.
But before we bring JR to this podium, before we pull back that curtain …
There is something missing here.
There’s something that should be up in the Ring of Honor alongside your name, although it might be a little awkward looking.
It all stems from a night in March of ’99 when you physically erased Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars from a game, and the payback that came your way in mid-April.
The reverberation of that hit from Derian Hatcher nearly crippled one of the best Phoenix Coyotes teams ever assembled.
You were hurt. Severely. And the playoffs were mere days away.
Inevitably, it seemed, your team arrived at Game 7 against the St. Louis Blues.
But, a 3-1 series lead had evaporated. Injuries had depleted the roster.
Drastic times called for drastic measures.
The rumors started a day before and began to build to and after the morning skate of Game 7. It was the talk of the town.
Would you? Could you? Should you?
With the song “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam rocking the house, you hit the ice.
Those who were there will never, ever forget warmups in front of the White Out that night at America West Arena.
You were on the ice for three periods-plus with a jaw broken in three pieces, titanium plates and screws at every fracture, eight broken teeth and a goofy-looking piece of hardware protecting it all.
Forgotten in all of this? You broke your thumb on the same hit.
Every shift was your own personal minefield.
You put your personal health and well-being on the back burner in defense of your team.
I would argue it was the greatest hockey game, the most tension-filled game, most dramatic game, ever played in that building.
How do you top 1-0, overtime, Game 7.
It was an iconic moment in Phoenix sports history, and Jeremy, you and that hardware will be forever linked to it.
I thought it was only fitting tonight that with the help of Stan Wilson, who helped make the mask for you, and who found it just the other day in storage, that we reunite you.
It represents your will and desire to flat-out compete at any and all cost.
That’s the essence of you and this great game, Jeremy. You can’t hide from it.
You have the scars to prove it.
Your time here will be remembered for a variety of reasons.
But first and foremost, it will be remembered for what you did on that night of Tuesday, May 4, 1999.
It might not fit up in the Ring of Honor, but there is plenty of room in our collective memory banks.
This protective mask — and what it represents — belongs to you, from all of us who remember that night … and remember YOU.
Tonight, we honor you.
Editor’s note: This introduction from the Ring of Honor ceremony, delivered by Todd Walsh at Jobing.com Arena, was rewritten after Jeremy Roenick’s mask was discovered in storage. Click here to read the previous version that was scheduled to be delivered.