I have seen the future, and it says that Donald S. Cherry will be around for a few more years. But when he does retire (get fired?) by Canada's national broadcaster, his spot will go to Jeremy Roenick.
Roenick officially signed his million-dollar deal to continue his career with the San Jose Sharks yesterday. He proved to be quite a competitor last year with the Sharks, after almost retiring last summer. Picking his spots, Roenick certainly earned the money San Jose paid him, if only in game-winning goals. He had an uncanny ability to pot one when it was important. And he proved to be a good teammate, a leader and a mentor.
There was a time when that didn't look like Roenick's role in life. Frankly, he was often immature and had all the self-control of a three-year old at his birthday party. But he's matured, while still demonstrating a killer sense of humour and a willingness to let himself be the butt of jokes. The American broadcaster, whoever it might be at the time of his retirement, would be absolutely nuts not to have him fill the role Brett Hull used to have. Irreverent and enthusiastic. It's a role Cherry's filled for years up here.
The trick with Roenick, will be getting him to commit to coming north for his post-playing career. He's the kind of guy who COULD pull a Fred Dryer and move into acting when it's all said and done. But I truly think his passion for hockey might save him the humiliation of casting calls (that and an ego, unhappy at being told you're not good enough). He's absolutely the hottest hockey broadcast property the minute he announces his retirement from playing.
But that's at least a year off. In the meantime, Roenick's refining a bit more out in California wine country.