NHL GMs Go Hollywood and Embrace the Reboot

Spider Man shows himself during the Carolina Hurricanes game versus the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, FL.

Here in the United States, we seem to be in a period where we’re enthralled by the idea of a reboot, with reboot defined as the reconceptualization of a previously developed idea.

The Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies were popular but to breathe new life into the character, the franchise is getting rebooted, giving a slightly different take on Spider-Man than seen in the Sam Raimi-directed films of the 2000s.

The same thing happens with TV shows being rebooted on TV and TV shows being rebooted into films. We’ve even figured out how to reboot board games into films, which is the last step before being able to turn lead into gold.

Some might say that reboot is a euphemism for “lazily recycle an old idea.” Whatever your perspective on the idea of the reboot, they seem to be catching on in the NHL.

The Chicago Blackhawks invited goalie Ray Emery to camp, trying to reboot the previously troubled goalie who’s spent a lot of time bouncing from franchise to franchise (even across the Atlantic) into a steadying veteran for young Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.

Emery was solid in a few appearances for Anaheim last season, but does Chicago really want Emery to be their top goalie if something goes wrong with Crawford? Could Emery handle the pressure of being the starting goalie for a competitive NHL club?

The Blues signed Jonathan Cheechoo to a one-year deal, trying to reboot a once-strong, goal-scoring forward who mysteriously imploded back into an everyday NHL player. Dallas had similar reboot plans last summer but Cheechoo didn’t catch on with the Stars.

The Islanders are reportedly interested in bringing back Alexei Yashin, trying to reboot one of the worst contracts in NHL history into a bold experiment that might have been ahead of its time. Even though current Isles GM Garth Snow didn’t give Yashin that notoriously awful 10-year deal, I think the organization itself is still embarrassed by it and would love the chance to get some kind of return on Yashin, even through a second, presumably smaller, contract. With Brian Rolston’s trade to the Islanders yesterday, I’m not sure where that leaves the Yashin reboot.

I can see why GMs are attracted to the reboot concept. You’re taking something old and making it new. And in terms of salary, older usually means cheaper, and cheaper is always good under a salary cap.

Of course, every GM wants their reboot to turn into something like Christopher Nolan’s Batman, but the reality is, it seems most reboots are more like Wonder Woman than Batman.