Today I started thinking about Tony Amonte and how we haven’t really heard anything out of him since Phoenix signed him over the summer. At first I thought the news blackout might be because he plays hockey in Phoenix, which has the same glamour and national impact as singing in the shower. But Amonte’s plight is actually worse than being in the southwest.
He’s only got five goals this season. Part of the problem is the pressure Amonte puts on himself. Part of the problem is that Amonte’s linemates don’t really know him yet. But the biggest problem is that as good as Amonte is (or was, to be more precise), he’s not worth $6 million a year. Very few current NHL players are, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But what the Coyotes have done is take an overpaid player, and made him overpaid and bad. Amonte is carrying the weight of a team on his shoulders and it’s a hard thing to skate with. Amonte chose to take more money from a bad team rather than less money from a good team, where he wouldn’t have been the focal point. Now he’s paying the price for his price. So are the seven hockey fans in Phoenix.