In the year and a half I worked with Bill Guerin, we didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but more than 95% of the time we did. He’ll always be one of players that I’ll look back to and remember him for teaching me a few things about the hockey community.
I’ll also remember Billy G. as a winner. Looking back, that other 5% that I spoke of before probably had to do with winning or lack thereof at that particular moment.
Billy would take every loss harder than most others and it would take him a little bit longer to get over one. Maybe a winner shouldn’t be judge on victories, but how he handles losing. And how Billy dealt with losing, showed what type a winner he is.
I have zero doubt that the Penguins would not have won the Cup if it were not for the Islanders’ former captain. The same could be said about Dan Bylsma and dozen other Penguins. But I’m positive Billy taught that team how to win and maybe even more importantly, what losing really means.
If you had asked me in December if this was Billy’s last season, I would have guessed yes. And I was surprised when he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he plans on playing next season. Who knows, this could all change.
But what I do know is that Bill Guerin in a winner on and off the ice. He did so in a small way with helping me (and I wasn't the only one like this) and he did so in a big way helping the Penguins.
Even if Billy doesn’t retire this summer, plays more hockey and doesn’t win another Cup before he hangs up his skates, he’ll go out a winner no matter how or when he decides to leave the game… whatever the circumstances are when he chooses to do so.
Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Penguins