I always cheer for the Richard Petiot’s of the world. In fact, one of the earliest players I ever followed was a fellow named Larry Mavety. He’d always be in the fall guides and magazines; he’d get maybe one sentence that went “Doug Barrie, Ray McKay and Larry Mavety are also in the mix.” The mix. Man, the mix didn’t treat Larry Mavety very well. The mix laughed at Larry Mavety. Passed on him every time, and then caused coaching staffs to forget his name all year long.
Even guys like Gerry Odrowski–once injured in a game playing for the Oakland Seals in NYC (against the Rangers) and forgotten by the team (he was released from the hospital and had to make his own way home. Good lord what an awful thing to do to a person)–enjoyed NHL careers.
Not Larry Mavety. Not one game. Not one minute. Oh sure, he played in the WHA (big whoop) but never played a game in the National Hockey League. He was close, by God. Larry Mavety knows it, and so do I. I followed him and cheered for him but it never came. Not one damn game.
I don’t have much to say about Richard Petiot’s two games with the Oilers this season. He looked fine to me, Gene Principe told a story about his getting to the rink just in time for warmups in his first game and he played pretty well to my eye that night.
I hope Richard Petiot is one of those guys who plays a lot in his late 20′s and 30′s. These players do exist, and I think they’re probably better than some of the prospects who come up to the NHL and look like a deer in the headlights. He’s a big guy, maybe lacks a step and doesn’t appear to be a mean prick–a decided disadvantage for his chosen field–but he’s certainly good enough to play pro hockey at a high level.
Just like Larry Mavety.