Before I get read the riot act, I want to let everyone know that I think Rod has had himself an amazing career. One that has spanned three decades. His career achievements of 1173 points is a testament to just how good he has been. He was never a superstar in this league, but he has always been a crowd favorite. He should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame someday. All that being said, he needs to retire, he needs to do it before the season ends.
I started to see him break down towards the end stretch of last season. He couldn’t skate as fast, he couldn’t cut on the ice like he used to, he was just a step slower than everyone else on the ice. It was clear during the playoffs, that his body had already quit on him. Everyone knows that the Canes are really captained by Eric Staal and Ray Whitney. They are the glue that holds the team together. Rod’s desire to go out on his own terms is not just hurting the team, but also his image.
A lot of great players don’t know when to retire. Just look at Ken Griffey Jr., once a feared hitter with one of the fastest swings and reaction times in the league, now relegated to a part-time DH on a very bad Mariner team. His average continues to drop and even though you know he would like to get to 660+ homers, but after hitting a career low 0.214 last season, I don’t even think he is going to finish the season next year. Rod is in the same situation, after having solid seasons for the past 20 years, this season has been abysmal scoring just 2 goals and 6 assists in 39 games.
He still wears the “C” on his jersey but it’s just out of respect. He now serves the Canes on the 4th line. Averaging a career low in minutes per game, this season has been an embarrassment to him. There was a stretch where he missed a few games and the Canes who have a league low 27 points won the games. It’s just that they play better without him in the lineup. He simply doesn’t have the speed or endurance to do more than win face-offs. There comes a time when a player must realize that he can’t help his team anymore. Now is that time for Rod. The local area has embraced him as the face of the franchise for years. He is guaranteed a job with the Canes after his career is over (possibly as a coach). It is just time he steps down.
As far as the hobby goes, Roddy has been embraced by collectors for years. His cards though, have taken a beating. When you consider the card below can be had for $2.50, you know it’s really bad. Most of his autographs are going for just a dollar and at that price it’s a must buy. Even though he is at the end of his career and his numbers are suffering, he deserves to be in any puckhead’s collection.