Just before the All-Star break San Jose Shark GM and former Norris Trophy winner Doug Wilson waived goaltender Antero Niittymaki for the purposes of demotion. In doing so, he addressed a sparsely attended press conference bemoaning the loss of such a critical roll as the third-string goaltender. "I do wonder where our game is going," he decried before strangely adding, "I know the Greenpeace folks will be happy with this."
Wilson went on, "The fear is we don't have a readily available goaltender if and when both other goalies get injured in warm-up. That's my fear. My admiration for this kid just knows no limits." adding that he had a tough time sleeping knowing he had to potentially end the career of a character player like Niittymaki.
"I mean, in my day I'm not sure what we would have done without an Alain Chevrier, Greg Millen or Jarmo Myllys on the squad. Jeez my first year in San Jose we had five goalies for crying out loud, those were the days. " Wilson continued. "Look at 1981, Montreal had three goalies share the Vezina! Where would they have been without those 6 wins in 25 games from Dennis Herron? Nowhere I tell ya." When reminded that was also the season the Canadiens were swept in the first round of the playoffs by Edmonton Wilson bellowed, "It sure as heck wasn't Dennis Herron's fault!"
As the press conference continued, Wilson ranted about the many other things he fears have been lost from the NHL forever including moulded Lange skates, bench-clearing brawls and white guys with Afro-Mullets.