Pretty good stuff. I liked Barnaby as a Ranger quite a lot--not so much when he was a Sabre, Penguin or whatever. He was a good player and tough and he never backed down. Remember him going with Peter Worrell who was at least 8 inches taller. Barnaby wouldn't back off but he couldn't reach Worrell either--somehow he managed to duck just about everything Worrell threw.
Toughness with at least some skill is a rare commodity these days. Rangers need to find more.
Darn, I should have tipped you to ask him about what he thinks about Nils Ekman lol.
It was a couple of years ago, but during the SC-finals a Swedish crew interviewed alot of personalities around the game (Yzerman, Cherry and guys like that) and Barnaby was one of them. They asked everyone who their most liked Swedish player was and who their least liked Swedish player was. Kind of like two of a handful standard questions they had for everyone. Cherry was like "I loved Salming, I never liked Sandström. Played with a visor." Yzerman "Obviously I really like all Swedes I played with, Lidström is really special. Someone I don't like? Gotta be Forsberg or Näslund, they scored so many goals on us. haha"
Barnaby really went of rails on Nils Ekman. He was like quite for a few seconds, said something like "maybe I shouldn't say this ... ehhh ... but when Nils Ekman came to NY he had a attitude in the lockerroom the first days of camp, and we, the other guys in the locker room, thought like we will never accept this guy on our team. He ruined his shot in NY before he even hit the ice. Its something younger players should learn about. Don't ruin your career before you even hit the ice" (I am pharaprasing here).
I never liked Nils Ekman. Always came across as a bit of a jerk/brat. But at the same time, I do wonder how bad it could have been. The kid was a rookie and the 03' team was completely full of very experienced big name NHLers. I doubt he was that loud lol. It says something about the attitude around the 03' team that we had. They seems to have been pretty darn full of themselves...
He is one unique personality but yes I said legend maybe to loosely
Barnaby is a great character!
A really special guy in a positive way. An Avery in a good way, that found a way to be accepted. He also had quite the journey during his career, and you just gotta love a player like him who managed to come out on top of it!
For those who don't remember, he entered the league for Buffalo as a young power forward who could play the game. He fought a -- ton -- but still played on the top line alot, or atleast on the top 2 lines. They had a very entertaining team with guys like Brad May, Barnaby, Peca, Rob Ray and co, along with a couple of super skilled players in LaFontaine and Mogilny (maybe AlMo left a bit before Matt established himself in Buffalo, but anyway).
Then Barnaby's game went downhill and it went downhill pretty darn fast. He was traded to Pittsburgh, stank up the joint. He was traded to Tampa, where he was nothing but a joke. People loved to tear him apart since he had a pretty big mouth etc. Kind of like people would have done with Avery if Avery had kept on playing and really lost his game and became a joke on the ice etc.
Barnaby basically couldn't skate when he played for Tampa. I never thought about it before, but when you hear about the concussion problems people have today, and knowing that "nobody" had concussion probelms almost in the NHL as late as 10-15 years ago, you wonder how the players felt back then when they just played through it. Barnaby around 99-03 seem like a prime candidate for someone who potentially could have felt like a wreck off the ice which hurt his game alot. I am just speculating.
But when he came to an extremely tired NY team, he started to step it up. He wasn't a good player in 02'. He came here after scoring 0 pts for Tampa in 30 games. But he brought an attitude to a team that had zero of it, and it was like that gave him some more energy.
And then he just rescued his career. He started to skate better. I don't know why, if he had been injured previously or if he had worked out between the 01/02 season and the 02/03 season. By the time he left NY in 04', he was skating well, constantly making good plays with the puck. Taking it to the net. I mean, he was definitely on par with a Brandon Prust in 04'. And this after being a player that came in to the league ona high note 7-8 years earlier, compltely lost it and was labled as one of the worst skating players in the game and one of the worst players, in the midst of his career.
Jagr was also a player like that. Really rescued his career. Turned it around. Its pretty darn rare.
He was a favorite player for me (obviously) when I joined this site back in the day. I'm glad to see he's doing well. I completely agree with his feelings on fighting in respect to the Ott's of the game today, also on the visor.
You get a different perspective of a player when he joins your team. When Baranaby was with the Rangers I thought he was a joke. Happy to lose almost every fight he was in. Did he try hard? Yes. Did he try to do the right thing? No.