Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Other Brother: A Letter to Wayne Primeau

Dear Wayne Primeau,

I’m sorry for ever doubting your value to the Bruins. When the B’s traded Joe Thornton for Brad Stuart and Marco Sturm—both first-round picks—I figured you were the throw-in guy. You were a lowly 17th-round pick and have been a minus player on most of the 11 NHL teams you’ve played for, including a minus–17 on the 2000–01 Lightning (last place in the Southeast Division) and a minus–30 on the 2002–03 Penguins (a terrible team if ever there was one).

For the record, I was for a trade because the Bruins had lost nine of ten games leading up to the November 30th. If you’ve read my earlier blogs, you’d know I thought this trade was worth the risk, your career plus/minus not withstanding.

A lot of Bruins fans have wished you were your brother Keith because he’s more of an offensive force. Now that I’ve seen you play, however, I take back my doubts about you.

Your highlight-reel goal against the Flyers last Thursday got my attention. You kept it with two goals against the Capitals on Monday night. And last night against the Thrashers, well, you, Brad Isbister, and P.J. Axelsson were dominant in the Thrashers’ zone, where you kept would-be defenders away from the puck along the boards so you could dish off the disc to teammates. I applaud you for the results—especially the assist on Axelsson’s game-winning goal, but, more importantly, I congratulate you on your effort, which is marked by your bloodied right brow.

Yet as happy as I am with your emerging offense, I’m more proud of your dedication to defense. Your plus/minus is rising as a Bruin (up to a minus-2) and so is your stock as you continue to epitomize the essence of an on-ice leader. I believe in you, Wayne.