You know, I never really disliked Cam Janssen while he was on the Blues. Did I think some of his hits could have been a bit cleaner? Duh. Do I think that he's a meathead? Sure, but the sound clips that the Blues fans were treated to were those of the "lovable meathead" variety. Just a goofy guy playing hockey, right? Pride of Eureka, MO and all of that.
Is he a good hockey player? No. Did he always know his place? Sure, even if by default because there wasn't any room to not know it. He's not Ryan Reaves. He's not a fourth liner capable of creating chances. He has minimal hockey sense... and it appears that he has minimal sense, period.
From an interview with Thom and Jeff comes the Devils' enforcer's private thoughts on his role on the ice, amongst other things. It doesn't paint the best image.
This is certainly not FoxSports Midwest material. For the video-deprived, the main highlights are these quotes:
"You wanna be scary. You wanna put the fear of fucking God in people's eyes and not just 'Ooh, I'm gonna beat you up.' No, I'm gonna catch you with your fucking head down and hurt you, because you're not gonna know I'm coming."
Classy. Intentional head hunting! Hitting someone with their head down while you're not noticing it's one thing -- is it bad? Damn straight. Does the other player have a responsibility to keep their head up? Of course -- but you have that responsibility to be aware that their head's down and not hurt them when they're in a vulnerable position. You never do that kind of stuff on purpose.
Wait, though - it gets better:
"Oh, if he's sucking cock, he's getting his ass kicked."
Really? Really Cam? In the day and age of the outstanding and groundbreaking You Can Play Project, where hockey players and other athletes are working to make the room and the rink a better place for LGBT athletes, you go and say something stupid like that. I know that there are a lot of good ol' boys who say stuff like that then turn around to say "oh, but I'm not homophobic." Well, if you're not, then where does a comment like that come from? Who the hell cares what someone does off of the ice if it doesn't interfere with what he does on it? What Janssen said interferes with what he does on the ice via other players' perception of him. You think he won't be looked at a little differently after admitting he goes for guys with their heads down?
Janssen should keep his mouth shut, no ifs, ands, or buts. I'm not a particularly PC person, but I'm also very much not in favor of discrimination and not in favor of what Janssen said. I believe in judging players by what they've accomplished as a player, and frankly, for Janssen, that's not much.
Thank God he didn't say this while he was wearing a Blue Note, I guess. Not like that makes any difference -- he shouldn't've said that anyway. But I wouldn't want this kind of embarrassment on my team, and I'm pretty sure a lot of Devils fans are feeling the same way right now.
EDIT: As Wysh pointed out, and I missed because I was too irritated by everything else, Janssen also mentioned that the Kings were "fat broads that you regret banging." Thank you for whittling down what exactly you look for in women, especially since you're engaged. That's a little bit of a classless metaphor, don't you think? Of course, we're past the point there.
More EDIT: Here're a couple of tweets from Patrick Burke after the Janssen kerfluffle hit Twitter. I really appreciate his approach:
Speaking for @YouCanPlayTeam, we're aware of Cam's interview and certainly are opposed to his choice of language and attempts at humor.— Patrick Burke (@BurkieYCP) July 12, 2012
We'll be trying to reach out to Cam and the Devils over the next couple days to get a chance to educate Cam on what we do.— Patrick Burke (@BurkieYCP) July 12, 2012