Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Hill's return

The Wild are looking into signing veteran defenseman Sean Hill, but complications surrounding his 20-game suspension have made it a slow process. Hill tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance late last season and still has to sit out 19 games.
This has been a story going around the Minnesota press over the past few days, and the first thing that came to my mind was, 'why?'

Why bring in a player with such a cloud of uncertainty hanging over him, a guy who won't be able to play until late November and who at age 37 is likely on the downside of his career?

Hill's a Minnesota native, so that likely plays a part here, as does the fact the Wild could use another cheap veteran defender who has a bit of grit.

I, for one, thought Hill would choose this opportunity to fade from view, retire from the league and avoid confronting the ugly connotations that are sure to follow him all season once he's cleared to play.

I talked to Hill briefly on email immediately after the announcement of his suspension, and at that time he said 'thanks but no thanks' to a request for any comments, something he's apparently kept up ever since:
The only person associated with the league who has truly addressed the situation was Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro. After the Islanders were eliminated by the Sabres, DiPietro revealed to reporters that Hill addressed his teammates earlier that day and pronounced his innocence.

Which is fine, but why did he never do that publicly, specifically to the Islanders fans.

Hill was spotted the next day at Nassau Coliseum and he told reporters he planned to speak in the next day or two in a more formal setting. Of course we're still waiting for that day to come, more than two months after the fact.
Soon enough, he'll have to talk, and we'll get some sort of indication as to how a player "rehabilitates" after being blacklisted by the league's new steroid policy.

In the meantime, you wonder if the Wild just might opt to go with a more, shall we say, popular choice.



At 1:13 p.m., July 04, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

He was garbage anyway. How do guys like that stay in the league? Seriously. He can't even skate. All he does is cross-check better players in the back. It seems that's all it takes.

At 4:03 p.m., July 04, 2007, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

Hill probably doesn't give a rat's ass about any dark cloud surrounding him. Honestly, there wasn't that much of a public outcry against the guy.

The real question is why the Wild would bother with him. Hill was horrid down the stretch, and he's only getting older and slower.


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