Sunday, February 18, 2007
He's Been Everywhere, Man...He's Been Everywhere...
While it appears Jeremy Stevenson's NHL career might be over, it looks like hockey is still taking him places. All of us Jeremy Stevenson fans sighed when he signed with the Amarillo Gorillas of the WHL, but then we lost track of him. He was signed to some team in Canada in the NLAH or something, but back in January, he crossed the pond to Europe. Here is the article from the Copenhagen Post:
The Rødovre Mighty Bulls ice-hockey club signed former NHL winger Jeremy Stevenson to help take them to the Danish league championship
Jeremy Stevenson is not a goon. The Rødovre Bulls new forward wants to make that perfectly clear. He’s big, he’s strong and he’s duked it out with some of the biggest enforcers in the world’s best hockey league, the NHL. But that doesn’t mean he’s looking for a fight.
The Bulls’ signings of Stevenson and fellow Canadian Luke Sellars to short-term contracts has led to complaints from many of the league’s players and coaches, who believe that their physical style of play is having a negative impact on Danish hockey.
But while the 32 year-old Stevenson - who has formerly played with the NHL’s Minnestoa Wild, Nashville Predators and Anaheim Mighty Ducks - is used to a more physical version of ice hockey, he says that there is nothing dirty or illegal about his game. In fact, Stevenson has five points in only four games for the Bulls - along with 31 penalty minutes.
‘I used to be sort of the mucker and grinder when I was in the NHL,’ laughs Stevenson.
‘But I could also score goals, especially when I was in the minors. I had some good periods with Minnesota, too, where I was on the power play line and averaged about 17 minutes a game, which is quite a bit for an NHL player.’
Stevenson said the short-term contract in Denmark provided him a good opportunity to earn some quick money in a country he describes as a nice place to spend some time with his family.
‘I’ve been all over the map this year. I was offered a chance to come to Europe before, but the conditions weren’t right, and I’m not the type to want to live away from my family for a long period,’ said Stevenson.
‘Then the Bulls offer came up and it was the perfect scenario for the situation I wanted to be in. I’m here alone for four weeks, then my wife and two kids come over for at least another three, and then there’s the playoffs. So I can just play the game, make some money and I can head home again.’
Adjusting to the style of play in Denmark has been a problem for both Stevenson and Sellars, who believe they have been penalised an inordinate number of times. They claim there is disparate treatment from the league’s referees against the bigger, more physical players from abroad.
In Stevenson’s case, his reputation precedes him, as he has compiled 451 penalty minutes in 207 NHL games.
Stevenson received a one-game suspension last week after exchanging a few pushes and words with a couple of Esbjerg players, a scuffle that mostly took place on the outskirts of another brawl between two other players.
‘I don’t want to be too critical, but I touch one guy and they think, oh, this big Canadian guy, we’d better call a penalty.’
Sellars agreed with Stevenson’s assessment.
‘It’s ridiculous. It’s like they’re trying to make an example of us or something. For Jeremy to get a game suspension for what he did in the Esbjerg game, it’s pretty unfair.’
Rødovre’s general manager, Billy Adamson, defended his signing of Stevenson in an article in daily newspaper Politiken.
‘We’re talking about a guy who played 55 NHL games last season. Do you really think that describes someone who lacks ability, who can’t play ice hockey?’
Despite the animosity from referees and opposing hockey clubs, Stevenson likes what he has seen of Denmark so far, saying Copenhagen is a ‘great city’. His impression of Danes is that they are ‘friendly people’ who have made him feel ‘welcome and comfortable’ since arriving.
As far as Danish hockey goes, he believes that it can have a promising future, but the players and coaches need to concentrate more on the intangibles of the game.
‘Danish players generally have a pretty good skill level - they can skate like the wind, they can pass and shoot, but I think they’re lacking an overall understanding of the game - things like when to go after the puck, when to stay put, what side of the body to take on an opposing player, things like that. It’s probably more of a coaching issue than anything else.’
Stevenson and Sellars are two of a growing number of foreign players making up the Danish league rosters. In addition to the Canadians, Danish players find themselves facing off against Swedes, Finns, Czechs and Americans.
Stevenson said he hopes that the Mighty Bulls can make a strong run for the rest of the season and win the championship. After that, he doesn’t know what he’ll do.
‘Of course I’d play in the NHL again if someone wanted to sign me. But I’m not willing to do any more long stints in the minor leagues with 10-hour bus trips. I’m not 21 anymore, so I wouldn’t agree to anything unless I knew there’d be a good chance to be called up and get playing time.’
When it comes to life after hockey, Stevensen is calmly philosophical.
‘I’m proud of the 14 years I played. I mean, not a lot of guys can say that they’ve played in the NHL and it’s something that means a lot to me - something I can tell my kids about,’ he said.
‘Otherwise I’ll probably hang up my skates and become a fireman, hopefully give my family some stability and keep my kids in one city for once. But like I said, if another NHL assignment came up, I’d certainly have to consider it.’
While I won't be making the trek to the rinks of Denmark to see you, I wish you all the best and hope to hear from you at some point. I will try to keep up with the goings on of the league.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Thanks for an Amazing Season, and thanks for taking a chance on Jeremy Stevenson!!!
Dallas Loses in 5
The Stars lost to the Lance, ending their postseason. It was a huge disappointment, but you know, from the darkest days can come some amazing things. The Stars will regroup, they will analyze, and they will be back next year, better than ever. To all the Dallas fans who may pass this way, don't hang your heads. The team is good, the organization is solid, and they have some of the best fans in the league. Keep your head up. Colorado is just riding a wave, a wave that will be crushed next round. I really hate that team, I really do. For the little they have done in their entire history as a franchise, they swagger a lot. Let's hope they fall before they get to the finals.
Anyway, thanks, Stars fans, one and all, stop by anytime, and make sure to demand that the Stars re-sign Jeremy! :)
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Dallas Loses 5-2 to evil Lanche, Jeremy Loses Hair
I wonder What Mrs. Stevenson Had to Say About this...
The Stars must have misplaced their collective games with some of their shorn hair, as the Avalanche beat them 5-2. In interesting sidenote is the hair. Woowee! Definately a new look for Jeremy....will take some getting used to, but who cares?
GO STARS! GO JEREMY! LET'S SWEEP THE NEXT FOUR GAMES AND GET READY FOR ROUND 2!!!!
Friday, April 21, 2006
Catching Up With Jeremy in Columbus...AGAIN...
The Continuing Conversations
The Gang and I attended the last game of the season, April 18th, in Columbus, BlueJackets. vs. Stars. Missed Stevenson from the hotel on the way to practice, but caught up with him on his way back to the hotel. He was on the phone, so I waited patiently. He told whoever it was (if it was the wife, I am sorry!) he would call back in a few minutes. Here is how the conversation went (wished I would have recorded):
JS: Hey, how's it going? (puts out the hand)
ME: Just fine, catching up with our fav player. So how does it feel to be playing with the fabled Stars?
JS: Awesome! I feel so great playing with these guys. This is a better situation than the one I left (in Nashville). They really take care of you here.
ME: So, I guess the fan support is pretty good, eh?
JS: It is awesome! Sellouts, playoffs sold out.
ME: So no chances of me snagging a ticket, then? Heh.
ME: Well, keep up the good work. You playin' tonight?
JS: Yep, should be in the lineup most of the playoffs.
Me: Sweet! Give em hell, man! Any word on next year?
JS: Nope, they told us we won't talk about that stuff til after the season, which is smart, keeps our focus on now.
Me: Alright, well, good luck and break someone up tonight!
JS: See ya. Thanks for everything.
We talked about some other things, but that was off the record and personal.
Jeremy is a great guy. He doesn't forget where he comes from, and the fans he left behind. Dallas, you have got to keep this guy. He is just the type of roleplayer you all need. Sure, he doesn't score a lot but he works his ass off. That type of effort needs rewarded.
Columbus won the game in overtime, on an awesome shot by Sergei Fedorov less than a minute into overtime. Seeing Jeremy in the Stars colors was great, and it was good to see him get so much ice time, even in a losing effort.
Well, we will keep you up to date on his exploits in the playoffs! Go Stars! Sweep up the 'lanche!
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Stevenson Catching On With Stars and Fans
Hat Tip to the Dallas Stars Message Board:
From the Dallas Morning News:
Stevenson a unique addition
02:25 AM CDT on Friday, April 7, 2006
By GERRY FRALEY / The Dallas Morning News
ANAHEIM, Calif. — For the Stars, the NHL playoffs begin two weeks from tonight. In the second season, defenseman Willie Mitchell said, it will become clearer that "the Stars are lucky to have a player like Jeremy Stevenson.’’
When the Stars picked up Stevenson from Nashville on a waiver claim during the Olympic break, they added an unusual role player. Stevenson also has the experience of being a first-line left winger during a long playoff run.
During the 2003 playoffs, Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire put Stevenson on a line with scorers Wes Walz and Marian Gaborik. Stevenson did the grunt work along the boards, allowing Walz and Gaborik the freedom to do their things. The Wild unexpectedly reached the Western Conference finals.
"He brought a lot of enthusiasm and passion,’’ said Mitchell, a teammate of Stevenson with Minnesota. "He works his butt off and competes every day. In the playoffs, you want to have guys like that.’’
For the same reasons, Stevenson has grown on Stars coach Dave Tippett.
Stevenson had only one point and an even rating in 13 games with the Stars. Stevenson’s contributions will not light up a stat sheet.
Tippett sees Stevenson as a forward who can win contests for the puck along the boards and take on one-on-one battles. Tippett likes Stevenson’s involvement in games despite his limited role.
Stevenson has a refined sense of how to play the game, Tippett said. That is the result of more than good coaching.
"A lot of players are well-coached, but the player has to be willing to take it into the game,’’ Tippett said. "He does that. He knows how to apply himself."
Tippett did not use Stevenson in Thursday’s 5-3 win over Anaheim, which clinched the club’s seventh Pacific Division title in the last nine seasons. The physical nature of play at the Arrowhead Pond served as a reminder that Stevenson could become more important if these teams meet in the playoffs.
There is no chance of Stevenson being thrown in with Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen on the top line. Stevenson is more likely to be used on a crasher fourth line along with Steve Ott and probably Stu Barnes, if Bill Guerin reclaims his spot on the second line.
Stevenson readily embraces the role, because it brings another shot at the playoffs.
"I want to be there again,’’ Stevenson said. "It depends on how they call it, but I don’t think it’s going to change. The playoffs probably will still be physical, and you have to play with grit. That’s the kind of game I can play.’’
In two weeks, Jeremy Stevenson gets the chance.
Jeremy did great for the Wild in the playoffs. He would have done well for Nashville, if they would have let him. I think he could be an X-factor for the Stars. I am hoping to see Jeremy come the 18th in Columbus.
That Last Time Jeremy Was in Town...
Right before Nashville made the mistake of their lives, Jeremy was in town with the Preds and the club was there. We stayed in the same hotel as the teams, coming up to see Minnesota and Nashville in Columbus. We got to hang with Jeremy a little, and he even put his wife on hold a couple of times to talk to us. Jeremy did not play, but we enjoyed talking to him and catching up with him. As usual, he was his gracious self. However, one could see and think that things were coming to a head, as he sounded aggravated about not playing, and seemed a little down. A few days later, the jerks put him on waivers. Oh well, he is on a division champ now!!!!
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
New Home for Jeremy
Realizing that Jordin Tootoo and Scottie Upshall were not the answer, the lamebrain Predators tried to call him back up through waivers. The Dallas Stars, one of the best teams in the league, and a team noted for making savvy moves, picked up the Stunner and brought him to a potentially long playoff run. I am sure Stevenson is sad because he had established roots in nashville, but looked at how management and the trolls on their own message board treated him. Hopefully the great fans in Texas will treat him better. He has already had a few scraps in Dallas you can check out by clicking on the link to his fightlog over at hockeyfights.com. Jeremy, I hope you continue to play well and hope you make a big impact with Dallas! Go Stars!
Friday, February 10, 2006
NASHVILLE CAN GO TO HELL FOR ALL I CARE!
Stevenson Sent DownAfter visiting the Stunner in Columbus the last week in January, Jeremy was unceremoniously sent down to Milwaukee. "The club wanted to go in a different direction, and I guess I wasn't in its plans...hopefully someone will pick me up..." he said upon receiving the news.
Fan reaction in Nashville was mixed. In their message board, there was so much friggin manlove for Jordin Tootoo it was ridiculous. This guy has little game beyond taking stupid penalties. Yet, they think he is a better fit for Nashville than Stevenson. There were a bunch of obvious inbreds who said Jeremy is not a good player, that he is not as good as (Jordin Wears a)Tootoo. Give me a break. Stevenson was a key cog in Minnesota's playoff run, stabilizing the line of bouchard and gaborik, a couple of years ago. He brings solid punch to what is a pretty enforcer deficient and power forward deficient nashville club. And, he sets up in front of the net and waits for deflections, something else sorely lacking on this team.
And, he has karma....since his demotion Nashville has not won a game, and Tootoo's little line has sucked ass. So, Nashville fans, bite me!
I hope he goes back to Minnesota and takes them to the playoffs.
Visit with Jeremy
On the Weekend of January 27-28, we travelled to Columbus to watch the Wild and the Preds take on the Bluejackets....more on this later...I need to turn in....