Skeptics will view this as nothing more than athletes using it as a way to control their own PR.
The Players Tribune website, founded by Derek Jeter (I assume he is kicking off a year long publicity tour as we speak), is a website dedicated to”present[ing] the unfiltered voices of professional athletes, bringing fans closer to the games they love than ever before.” Basically they promise to give you the views of the athletes that haven’t been spun, washed, or skinned and made into a lamp by the media.
People filled with eternal optimism and fairy dust will see it was a unique way to hear from the athletes themselves, well outside the boundary of typical scrum questions like “Do you guys feel you gave it 110% tonight or 120%?”
While we wait to see what the future of the website holds, today’s post had a very interesting story from Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks. In it he talked about elite centers, such as Ryan Getzlaf, Pavel Datsyuk, Sidney Crosby, and amongst others, Henrik Sedin.
One thing Logan observed about the Twins?
“They aren’t that fast, but their technique is very good and they protect the puck so well that they can slow the game down to the speed they want to play.”
It’s not exactly mind blowing insight being brought to the forefront here for Vancouver fans, but it’s always nice to see someone inside the room viewing the Sedins the same way others outside the sport have for years. Duncan Keith can angrily question reporters if they even play hockey all he wants, but sometimes things in sports are obvious to all.
It also gives Canucks fans some glimmer of hope that even some young NHL players find slow Sedins a daunting task to stop on some nights. When Henrik and Daniel eventually coast their final year into retirement, they will still possibly crank out a few shifts where they make the opposition look silly, committing them to a life time of being shown on YouTube videos with titles that could also double as adult film titles such as “Sedins Dirty Dangles”, “Sedins double team Couture” or “Henrik takes a metaphorical poop all over McDavid”.
One of the neat things about the website, though, is actually seeing Couture break down centers he’s played against and actually complimenting them. He uses specific plays he remembers seeing in person, and explains what about their game he finds hard to defend. Again, not all of his insight is something new that will shock hockey fans, but it is nice to have confirmation from the players themselves that “yes, those are the tangible skills of “player X” and this is why you should fear them.”
In that sense, it is indeed a bit of an unfiltered view point from the players, as it is a few steps above the “we know he’s a dangerous player, we can’t let him beat us” we normally hear when a player breaks down the opposition. Usually we have to wait for a player to retire and show up on TSN before we hear real insight instead of the usual generic lip service.
Also, just in case you didn’t think Logan was funny, fear not:
“Just to show you I have a sense of humor, here’s an example that my teammates will probably never let me live down.”
Although that’s the equivalent of explaining your joke to somebody, thus ruining the joke, you have to give him credit for trying.
Feature Image: Don Smith/NHL