Well, we’re into the thick of hockey season, now, and last Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs came to town. I’ll explain why this is notable in a second, but first, a few words about Ed Belfour:
The Four Of You who read this page should know by now that I am a rampant San Jose Sharks fan. And the Sharks have seen some lean times in the eleven-plus years they have been in the NHL. Then, in 1997, the Sharks finally made The Move, we finally got our All-Star player, when we traded for goaltender Ed Belfour.
Now, Eds was in a contract year, so we knew we were running the risk of him leaving the team at the end of the season, leaving us completely empty handed in return for the players we had traded for him. But everyone was certain that Ed was going to re-sign, as Ed himself had repeatedly told the media how much he liked San Jose, how he thought the team was going places, and how he was looking forward to working out a contract so he could stay.
The season ends, and still no contract. Ed wants to see what he’s worth on the open market, but he’s still 99% sure that he’s going to re-sign with the Sharks. So the Sharks plan accordingly.
July 1 is the first day of free agency, the first day it’s even LEGAL for other teams to talk to players without contracts. And the sun had barely risen on the West Coast before we find out that Ed Belfour had signed a multi-year deal with the Dallas Stars for less than we were offering him. He obvioiusly never had any intention of staying, and had played the Sharks for fools.
Ed Belfour was, and continues to be for many Shark fans, the most hated player in the National Hockey League.
The following year, Ed managed to avoid both of Dallas’s trips into San Jose, and it turns out that the first time he had to face his former team (and the fans he had screwed) was Game Three of the first round of the playoffs. And the fans were not kind. We won that game :)
Over the years, Eds has come back to San Jose Arena, but not frequently…his ability to come up with an injury or illness the night of a game in San Jose against the Sharks has been uncanny. His fear of playing in this building is both obvious and laughable.
After his tenure in Dallas, he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team who had made a deal with the league that they wouldn’t have to go on West Coast road trips for several years in return for switching to the Eastern Conference. Which includes road games in San Jose. What a coincidence.
This brings us to Saturday night: after five years, the Leafs are finally playing in San Jose again. And the night before, in Los Angeles, Mikael Tellqvist was in net for Toronto. So there’s no excuse, we’re gonna get a shot at The Weasel.
Saturday comes, and it’s time for starting lineups. And who’s in goal for the Leafs? Mikael Tellqvist, again. Eddie supposively has the “flu”. Fans on hand have reported that he looked perfectly healthy to them during warmups. Unbelievable.
So, Ed Belfour, if you’re reading this: You’re a PUSSY. P-U-S-S-Y. A she-male. A man-gina. May you rot in hell.