J.R. north of the border?

On a slow news day (I'm waiting for that Wade Redden signing, John), the latest on the Jeremy Roenick interests me.

Roenick had some intriguing things to say:

"It was a nightmare season from hell last year," Roenick said Wednesday from Los Angeles. "The embarrassment of the season I had last year is enormous. So I've totally re-arranged my summer and re-dedicated myself to the game of hockey.

"I'm working out and getting into the best shape possible that my body can get to. I want to make amends for a season lost. It was totally embarrassing...

I've always said I would like to play in Canada before my career is over," said the 36-year-old Boston native. "And it's one thing that I'm really anxious in doing. Don't be surprised if I end up on a Canadian team next week

That's something that's high on my list...

It's not going to take much to sign me," said Roenick. "I'm not looking for the $2.5-million to $3-million deals, I'd like to go for a deal for less money and get some bonuses, which I can do at my age. I'd like my play to do the talking, get paid as to how I'm going to perform."

How sincere is this? Was Roenick pandering to the Canadian media (it was a CP story after all) or does he have legitimate interest? And if so, where?

Toronto is always an attractive landing point for veterans, because they like the idea of playing in such a large hockey market (that is, until the first time they're reemed out by the media, at which point it becomes a detrament), but you have to think Roenick wants to win a Cup and the Leafs appear to be moving away from that.

Montreal has a lot of the same appeal, what with all the tradition, but it seems as if some free agents are scared of the whole French language thing (J.R. did play in the Q for a season though).

Calgary and Edmonton are both coming off terrific seasons but, apparently, it sucks living in Alberta. Does JR have a cunty wife who has him by the balls?

If quality of life would keep him out of Alberta, then perhaps Vancouver is the destination. It's a pretty awesome place to live, I hear, and the acquisition of probably the best goalie on the planet has to make them an attractive team to play on.

And what about Ottawa? We're still considered a favorite to win the Cup, or at least Las Vegas thinks so, but Ottawa has never been very good at luring veterans here. It was hoped Dominik Hasek's signing two summers ago would sent a message to the rest of the league, but besides that, most of our UFA action saw players leaving.

Roenick's no stranger to the area, having played for the then-Hull Olympiques for the aforementioned season he played in the QMJHL.

The bigger question may be, do we want him?

There can be no denying that we have a huge, gaping hole at center in terms of the second line. Try as they might to make him such, Bryan Smolinski is no longer fit for that role, if he ever was. Mike Fisher might be, but I like him more on the third line. Antoine Vermette's an extremely talented kid, but every time the coaching staff tried to give him an increased role over the spot he occupied on the fourth line, he failed miserably, including such an opportunity in the playoffs.

However, at age 36, does Roenick have what it takes still? He's saying the right things, and I'm sure he thinks them to be true, but for every Teemu Selanne in Anaheim last season, there was a Tony Amonte in Calgary.

Last summer, the question was how would these aged vets respond to the year off. Roenick was one of those question marks and the answer we got was a depressing one. He was not nearly the impact player he had been previously.

I think it would be foolish for the Sens to not at least talk to J.R., but at the end of the day, unless he has a time machine in his back pocket, it doesn't seem like a wise move. We tried the "I want a Cup bad so look past my age" veteran player last season. Didn't go so well.