The hockey interwebs this morning are abuzz with news that Phoenix Coyotes centreman Mike Ricci has decided it’s time to hang up the skates. The news originally broke over the weekend at the Peterborough Professional Hockey Alumni charity golf tournament (the PPHACGT, for short), as Ricci confessed to what ESPN has learned just this morning. (Ever since the NHL left the WWL, lead-footed ESPN has become the Kjell Samuelsson of hockey news reporting.) Look, the retirement of a player who had a career of more than 1,100 games is always news ticker-worthy, and it should be announced with a formal declaration that should be celebrated. (Not via a text message to a former city’s hockey beat writer, JR.)
However, we here at MYFO have checked with Ricci, and it turns out that the AP junior writer assigned to this Ontario philanthropic event has screwed the pooch with his breaking news. This is a direct quote that Mike Ricci may or may not have e-mailed me this morning:
It seems that reports of my retirement from the NHL are greatly exaggerated. Despite playing only 7 games last year, I have plenty of jump left. I’m also intimidating as ever. Last season, Ryan Whitney looked directly at my glorious visage and broke into tears for the remainder of the 3rd period. Wusspants.
What I said over the weekend was that I, Mike Ricci, will play no more charity golf tournaments forever.
It’s not that I don’t like to play golf; it’s that I don’t like to help people with worthy causes in the process. When I hole a 23-footer for birdie, I want to know that the only thing I’m benefitting is my handicap, not cancer or lupus or some scary hybrid of lupuscancer. As for hockey, I still want to play.
Meanwhile, his agent is waiting patiently by the phone for donations to the Mike Ricci Feeds His Family Fund.