Petrella has a solid piece on Brett Lebda out today that’s a definite must-read. There’s no denying Lebda’s become a running joke around the League, but Petrella offers a nice check to taking that too far.
I always tried to be fair to Brett, taking the stance that he was screwed by having to babysit a player far more worthless: Jonathan Ericsson. He was looking like a decent enough hockey player while under Chelios’ wing, if you remember. But being the guy shoehorned into a role holding Jonny’s hand (rather than, say, a more experienced guy, as is traditional) set him up to fail big-time. And guess what? He failed and became a punchline in the ‘base.
Going to the pressure cooker-slash-fishbowl in Toronto was good for his bottom line, but not so great for his, you know, actual hockey playing. But it did offer him the chance to become a joke to fans across the League. That was hard to watch, as Megan and I always liked him.
I thought ending up in Nashville would be good for him, that he’d be sheltered some by their system and have some room to grow.
Then he got bought out. I feel bad for the guy. It’s not a great way for a career to go.
That said, he got to wear two of the most storied uniforms in hockey and won a Cup. And he still has a chance to make a comeback. Maybe he’ll find the right place for his skating ability and have a bit of a reset on his career.
In the meantime, maybe there’ll be fewer Lebda cracks around the hockey intarwebs?