directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Legein gets second chance

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Legein gets second chance

Apparently Legein's career in the food industry is coming to a close. According to the Dispatch Jackets 2007 2nd round pick Stephan Legein wants to play hockey again.

"I don't think anything has changed with Stefan other than he wants to play again," Woods said. "He misses the game."

Howson's statement:

"Stef might have some bridges to build with teammates," said Howson, who spoke with Legein about 10 days ago. "I've said all along -- to him and about him -- that if he doesn't have the desire or the passion, we're OK with that. This is a difficult profession. You can't go in half-interested.

"If he's ready to do this, and display the necessary passion, I have compassion for him, and we'll welcome him back. I'm sure his teammates would, too."

Hey its a free world and everyone has the option to change their minds but I think Howson is right in that there is some serious bridge building that needs to occur here.

For me this comes as no surprise. Its clear the kid needed a break for whatever it was he needed to do but most folks aren't going to walk away from a chance to be a professional athlete cold turkey. It just doesn't happen especially when they get a taste at the alternatives.

So what's next for Legein?

Take this for what its worth but according to a poster over on HF he's slated to join the Crunch in January. This was posted way before the news of his return was announced so I tend to believe it. Beyond that the timing makes sense... give the team a while to get used to the thought of Legein returning... start fresh in a new year after the holidays and this gives Legein a few weeks to get in hockey shape.

Make no mistake about it though this move sets Legein back. Its going to take a while to build up trust between he, his teammates and the organization. The road to the NHL is certainly longer than it was a few short months ago.

The Jackets will rightfully give this kid a second chance because after all he's just a kid and kids make bad judgement calls at times. We've all been there. They'll hope this little break was a nice wake-up call.

Well that and lets be honest here, he was a 2nd round pick and nobody wants to throw those away.

Now its up to Legein to work his way back up the ladder. There will be no coddling or special treatment. I would argue he's gotten all the special treatment he's going to receive by getting a second chance. Hopefully he's grown from his time off and matured as he's certainly got the skill to be a pro at the highest level but his head has got to be in it as well.

I will say that Legein will need to cash in on this chance and work hard because I don't see the Jackets giving him a third shot.

UPDATE: According to he will indeed return in January:

''I am planning to go to Columbus at the beginning of January and from there I hope to be going to Syracuse (of the American League),'' Legein told TSN. ''That's the plan. I am looking forward to it. It's time.''

I like this quote from Howson in the same story:

''That appears to be his intention,'' Columbus general manager Scott Howson told TSN. ''I got a phone call from Stef about 10 days ago and he told me wants to play again but he wants to get in shape first. We have no problem with that so long as he's fully committed. It's got to be all in for Stef. It can't be because he's running out of things to do with his time. It can't be because he's running out of money. It has to be because he wants to be a professional hockey player.''

Fire away - do you agree with the Jackets decision to give Legein a second chance?



Arenrbar said...

Do you agree?? of course you should agree and for every point you previously made: he's young he made a mistake, he's a second round pick... i was in canada while the juniors were going on and legien played off the chart, he litterally did everything, he hit everything that moved, played great D, scored timely goals, made great passes and had suprizingly great hands... if this kid was over 6' he'd already be a superstar

Lets face it, if we don't let him back someone is going to take him and he's going to be a top 6 forward somewhere else and he'll kick our ass everytime we play him

i understand the situation is way different but how many chances has foresburg gotten, he got huge money to come back and be a mediocure player at best

kirby said...

I am all for giving him a second chance. Everyone has been in a situation where they made a mistake and needed a second chance. Of course my mistakes don't cost nearly as much money...

That being said Howson is dead right and the Legein of Doom needs to show his "new" commitment to continuing with his hockey career. Hopefully he is doing for reasons other than just money.

Good luck to the kid.

Max said...

Yeah give the kid a second chance. He's still under contract. He made a mistake. It's no big deal. Of course he has a hard road ahead of him but if he's got any character he'll be able to handle it.

Dutchman said...

He certainly deserves a 2nd chance. He was being honest about not having the desire. Hopefully, he really does have a passion for the game, and takes advantage of this 2nd chance.

Anonymous said...

Heck no. He had his chance and screwed up. Now hes tired of making pizza so he is going to give the NHL a try. What happens when he ends up in the AHL and gets tired of long bus rides to old arenas without any of the lights and cameras? He needs to realize that - no matter what he chooses as his career - it won't all be fun and games, and he will have to do things he doesnt have any "passion" for.

xoggz22 said...

It's great talk what us fans think but the real people that will run the show will be his future teammates. He has to convince them he isn't a primadona and is willing to work for his ice time. I wouldn't doubt he isn't the extra forward in Syracuse or even sent to Johnstown to get started.

He obviously has(had?) the talent but look at Sean Avery. His head is what keeps him from being a bigger fixture (on the positive side) in the NHL.

I wish him luck and am very glad the CBJ are giving him a second chance. This won't be his last mistake either. The question will be how big and how often in the future.

Good luck to him.

JAL said...

He is still a kid, and a lot of pressure and expectations have been placed on him publicly, let alone the unknown pressures that have been placed on him privately.

Everyone is different, and handles these things in their own ways. Look at the craash and burn stories of Todd Marinovich, Tracy Austin and others. Better that Legein take some time now, honestly assess his desires, and move forward.

He will display soon enough what his heartfelt intentions are, through his attitude and his play. It will not be what he says that earns trust back, but what he does.

It will be great to see him succeed, but millions and millions of people live happy, purposeful lives without playing hockey. In the meantime, give the kid a shot.