Monday, June 27, 2011

On professionalism and Jeff Carter

With new star center Jeff Carter is still licking his psychological wounds on the Jersey shore, the Columbus Blue Jackets apparently have dispatched team president Mike Priest (Oops.  Guess it's team owner John McConnell.), general manager Scott Howson and head coach Scott Arniel (or is it Rick Nash?) to track him down and make that elusive "first contact" with our newest Blue Jacket.  Whatever it takes in this star-driven world, I suppose.  [UPDATE: I now understand that it was Howson, Arniel and Nash who were on the jet.  Which makes the above cartoon that much less funny.  Ah well.]

This whole situation has me recalling the Twitter account of soon-to-be-ex-Blue Jacket Mike Commodore, of all people.  Commie's Twitter profile (you know, the 140 characters below your username) said something like, "Professional hockey player.  Works in Columbus.  Lives in California."  How simple.  How mature.   And what a reasonable perspective on work and life.  He wasn't looking to be the president of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce or Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus...he's just a hockey player whose job had him working in Columbus.

Carter could learn volumes from Commie's example.  Appreciating that there are hurt feelings at being traded so soon after signing the rest of his playing career away, Carter needs to man up and realize that he's a professional.  He plays hockey for a living, and that his hockey will now largely be played in Columbus.  Period.

Charter jets and publicity stunts aside, Carter doesn't need to say a thing to the world.  It would be nice to recognize that the community would appreciate a token, "Looking forward to playing for you," but that's not even necessary.  He DOES need to be a professional, though, and talk to the team that's going to be cutting his paycheck.  He needs to show up to camp on time and in shape to play.  And he needs to earn that $5.2 million dollar paycheck that he'll be making every season until I'm 51.

That all being said, I'm really looking forward to seeing Carter play for the Blue Jackets.  I hear that he's quite a talent.

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