Before I tell you my experience with the Sens, I want you to please not judge me for my opinion. I know that Ottawa fans are still fuming over what happened in 2000 but please hear me out! When Alexei was still with the Senators, I sent a letter to the team's administration office, requesting Yash's autograph because I live in Western Canada and don't ever make it to Ontario for any reason whatsoever. (This has been done before my by brother, who ended up getting Patrick Roy's autograph out of it when he was still with the Habs) They sent me a reply letter, telling me that my letter would be sent to him and that I would get an autograph from him. I waited a few months (as in 4 months, not 1 or 2) and needless to say, I GOT NOTHING!!! Months later, Alexei was traded to the Islanders. At that time, I immediately contacted the Islanders' hockey club and requested the whereabouts of my letter. I also sent them personal information they could use to track it down easily. Well, I got a reply from them, explaining that fan mail gets sent with the player when he goes to a different team. They also had an interesting bit of information for me: ALEXEI NEVER GOT MY LETTER AND IT WASN'T SENT WITH HIM WHEN HE GOT TRADED!! Either the Sens' hockey club destroyed it upon opening, or they simply didn't forward it on.

I understand the bad blood that is probably still between Senators fans and Alexei but please don't make him look like a villain. He's not the first and only hockey player to sit out. Ryan Smyth is a prime example (I'm saying this as an Edmontonian, not as an Islanders' fan. I'm pissed that the Oilers sent Ryan Smyth to play for the Isles.) Year after year, Ryan has gone to Kevin Lowe to beg for a better contract, despite the fact that he isn't earning every penny of what he thinks he deserves. Ask around Edmonton and you'll find that it's true. And, contrary to what almost every Senators fan thinks of Yash, Ryan Smyth really is a goon. He only does charity work and public appearances when he's slumping in performance. When a child goes up to him for an autograph, he glares at them and walks away, whereas Alexei signs autographs all the time unless he's really busy. When Alexei went to court, he was signing autographs for people crowded on the street. Would a goon do that? Would a goon invite children from Harlem to come to the Islanders' home games? Hell no!

I know it's hard to forgive and forget, but Senators fans, please forgive Alexei. I know it's not right to sit out a whole season for any reason at all, but he doesn't deserve to be treated like a villain either. Treat those who deserve it like villains.

Hosting by WebRing.