From NYI Point Blank:
I just got off the phone with Brandon Sugden and have reached a conclusion. It’s time for the commissioner’s office of the National Hockey League to review the case of his attempt to attend Islanders training camp next week as a tryout.
If you don’t know the Sugden saga, here’s a good rundown from The Hockey News. To attend the Islanders’ camp, Sugden needed to be cleared by all 30 NHL teams because he had officially “retired” from pro hockey in 2006. League rules state that if you retire, you must sit out one year before you can be reinstated. The rule makes sense because you could have guys retiring all over the place the moment they don’t like their current fates.
But the Sugden case has its exceptions, and its merits. If you haven’t caught him on You Tube, Sugden is a fighter – one of the best on-ice pugilists of the last decade. He played four seasons with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL but became disheartened when the NHL came out of the lockout looking to cleanse the enforcers out of the league. He left “pro hockey” to sign a deal with the St. Jean Chiefs of the LNAH, a Quebec-based league where every team has a half-dozen players with at least 200 penalty minutes a season. For more money than he was making with the Crunch, Sugden flew in for games on Fridays and Saturdays with St. Jean and worked all week in his family’s label-manufacturing business in Toronto.
Read the entire entry here.
I agree with Botta. At least listen to Sugden’s story before making a final decision.