Joe Nieuwendyk's Greed
Like most hockey stories, ours begins on a cold Canadian winter day on a pond in Whitby, Ontario. It was on this pond that that the dreams of hockey glory, and the attendant puck bunnies and keggers that come with it, first started to form in our young protagonists head. Skating with his friends and peers, Joe Nieuwendyk, and his insatiable Greed, started to believe that the dream of playing in the NHL was indeed possible.
"You could tell how good he was," childhood friend Joe Smith said. "He was always taking the most hot chocolate, taking all the orange slices and candy. Not a big passer, either. No, he wanted it all to himself. You could see it at an early age."
Joe and his Greed would develop into a highly touted prospect on the frozen ponds of Ontario. But Joe and his Greed would not be able to stay in the humble surroundings forever. A scholarship offering at Cornell University was offered, and Joe's Greed could not turn it down.
"I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I had turned it down and played in the OHL. An opportunity to learn how to operate from some of the biggest greeds in the game was one I could not pass up" Joe's Greed told Domebeers.com.
At Cornell, Joe and his Greed would excel. Twice named to the ECAC's first All-Star team, Joe was planning to finish his degree at the Ivy League school when his Greed would talk him out of it.
"We had been in that place for three years, and I don't know if you know this, but they don't pay you in college hockey. I was putting up all these numbers, putting seats in the stands, basically carrying the team on my back, and they refused to pay me a nickel," An animated Joe's Greed tells Domebeers.com "They basically told me that I was getting paid in a free scholarship to an Ivy League school. The Flames had already drafted me, so I told them where to stick that free scholarship, and I went off to get paid."
Joe and his Greed indeed had been drafted in the second round by the Calgary Flames. As a rookie coming into the league, Joe's Greed didn't have type of contract he craved, and he immediately went about trying to change that.
"I had some rookie, entry level contract. It wasn't nearly enough for me and Joe, so I had to get him to score some goals." said Joes Greed.
And score he did. In his first full rookie season, Joe would record 51 goals and 92 points. It was a masterful performance that he would duplicate one more time in his career, the next year. That year he scored 51 goals and 82 points, cementing his status as a National Hockey League player, and his allowing his greed to demand a contract that it felt was more in line with Joe's abilities.
"102 goals in two years? I should have asked for the whole team. I didn't even ask for a million dollars a year. I was young and foolish, and I let the the Flames off the hook. I wouldn't do that again." Said Joe's Greed.
Joe's career with the Flames would continue, with Joe assisting on Lanny McDonalds Stanley Cup winning goal. According to Lanny McDonalds Mustache, Joe's Greed would keep the historic puck for himself.
"He took my puck." Said Lanny McDonalds Mustache.
"It was my assist. The goal wouldn't have happened without me. None of it would have happened without me. It's my puck." Said Joe's Greed.
The growth of Joe's Greed would not go unnoticed. Its expanding size and girth would start to take a toll on Joe Nieuwendyk's body. Joe's Greed would get so big and heavy that it caused Joe chronic back and knee problems.
"It is funny, because we were making no money, Like in '92 we only made 400 grand, yet I was growing so large and so fast. They only got 22 goals outta me that year, by the way, because that is all they paid for. The following season, when they doubled my salary, which was half of what I was asking for, by the way, Joe responded by scoring 38 goals." Joe's Greed told Domebeers.com
Indeed, Joe did see his contract double to start the '92-'93 seasons. But it was not the raise that his Greed had been seeking, and he responded with a 38 goal, 75 point season for the Flames, and a 36 goal, 75 point campaign the following season. In light of his 90 point seasons a few years earlier, people questioned whether or not Joe was holding back a little.
"That's the people in that city," Said Joe's Greed "They want superstar production but would they pay me? No, they wouldn't. I was young and naive when I was getting 90 points. I didn't realize that I wouldn't be paid so early in my career due to the CBA. It was a mistake to waste those seasons on a team that didn't pay for them. It wasn't Joe that took the peddle off the metal, it was me."
During the season of 94-95, The size and scope of Joe's Greed would finally demand a resolution. Joe's Greed was getting so large by this point that It actually injured Joe, and he was sidelined with problems to his knees. His knees could not hold the weight of Joe's Greed any longer.
"My contract was ending, and I wanted what I was worth, not a penny less. Did I care that I was the Captain of the team? Hells no. I cared about one thing, and that's the bottom line." Joe's Greed tells Domebeers.com.
Ironically, at the end of the 95 season, Joe would win the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, an award given to hockey players who display exemplarily leadership qualities on and off the ice. Ironic, because after winning this award, Joe and his Greed would immediately hold out on the Flames organization for a new contract.
"I wanted 2 million dollars a year. That was probably 20% of the Flames budget, but you know what, I'm worth it. I scored 102 goals in my first two years in the league, which was only 7 years removed at the time. It wasn't like they had other stars to pay or anything. It's all about me, and I knew it." Joe's Greed tells Domebeers.com.
Joe's Greed made it clear to Joe that playing the 95 season was not going to happen unless he had a contract, and that It wouldn't accept a contract for anything less than 2 million dollars a season. The Flames were wary of giving Joe the money, due to the fact that they couldn't afford to and still ice a competitive team, but also due to the fact that Joe's Greed had wrecked Joe's knees and back, and the Flames were not sure he would hold up.
"Baseless. If there is a dollar on the table, I am playing, bad knees or no. They know how big I am. They had nothing to worry about." Said Joe's Greed.
Regardless of the assurances from Joe's Greed, the Flames would not accede to Joe and his Greeds demands for a new contract. Held over a barrel, they would try to negotiate with Joe and his greed for about 4 months. With the realization that Joe would not be back in a Flames jersey, the Flames traded Joe to Dallas, for a forgettable centre and one Jarome Iginla. It was the best thing that Joe ever did for the organization.
Man, was that the best first period or what? That is the type of urgency the Flames fans have been looking for the entire year. Hard to play that way for 82, but maybe they can do it for the handfull they have left. We remain optimists at Domebeers. Anyways, A sweet check and a new addition to the wall of tribute.
The Punch (And newest member of the Wall of Tribute):
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.