Like many CBJ fans, I liked Pascal LeClaire when he was here in Columbus. He had his moments, good and bad, but in general he gave a fantastic effort most nights...but his body just couldn't keep up with the demands of his heart.
I was looking forward to his return this year, so we could give him a proper salute for his time in Columbus, rather than the last game he played in Union Blue, leaving with one hand on a trainer's shoulder as he headed down the tunnel to the dressing room. I know I'm not alone in that, either.
Unfortunately, Pazzy is...well...still Pazzy. After the jump, we'll take a look at some of his NHL history.
- June, 2001 - Drafted 8th overall by Columbus, the first goaltender taken in that year's draft, LeClaire seemed like a sure fire franchise goaltender...despite shattering six metacarpal bones in his right hand attempting to eat a Double Meat Charburger at the Char Hut the following afternoon.
- October 26, 2006 - Records his first NHL shutout against the LA Kings, but his season is tragically cut short due to a post-game incident involving a Honey Badger when he appeared on Wall To Wall Sports at the same time as Jack Hanna.
- April, 2008 - Returns to the lineup for the 2007-2008 season and records a Western Conference leading 9 shutouts and GAA, despite being snubbed for the all star game by Mike Babcock. Tragically, fractures both clavicles trying on a Money Hat constructed of his new 3 year, 14 million dollar contract.
- February, 2009 - Traded to Ottawa for Antoine Vermette while recovering from ankle surgery, but looking forward to a new team and a chance to shake some of his bad injury luck, Pazzy remained positive.
- November, 2009 - While sitting on the bench and reflecting on how nice it was to be back in Canada during a practice, struck in the jaw by an "errant" Daniel Alfredsson shot as part of his official Senators initiation. The frat hazing backfires when the puck destroys LeClaire's jaw, cheekbone, orbital socket, and the temporal lobe of his brain. (Oddly enough, the last is considered a "helpful" injury for goaltenders constantly being asked to forget the last goal, last game, or the fact that they play for the New York Islanders. Neurosurgeons are considering offering it as hockey's equivalent to Tommy Johns surgery.)
- January, 2010 - After an extensive therapy regimen and cybernetic reconstruction courtesy of the Canadian Ministry of Defence, Pazzy returned to the lineup, and was "accidentally" drilled in the forehead by Mike Fisher, sending him back to Department H for repairs.
- October, 2010 - Suffered "groin strain" in a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Injury actually caused by attempting to take up traditional kazakhchok dancing as a hobby.
- December, 2010 - Unspecified injury described only as "Entire Body" by the Senators training staff. Considering taking up a position as a for-profit supervillain once his contract expires - is believed to have written to Samuel L. Jackson for suggestions.
Anyhow - I'll be at the game tonight, so I hope to see you there (along with a Blue Jackets victory), and all of us at The Cannon thank you for your readership and support in 2010. Here's to more fun (and more on-ice success!) in 2011!