Jeremy Roenick and Tony Amonte were two of the most beloved Blackhawks of the 1990s and ChicagoBlackhawks.com recently got J.R. to discuss the terrific but underrated career of his good friend in the newest edition of "Blood, Sweat and Cheers."
Roenick remembers pushing Hawks general manager Bob Pulford to pull the trigger on the 1994 trade that landed Amonte from the New York Rangers in exchange for Brian Noonan and Stephane Matteau.
"Ive played a lot of places with a lot of guys, but Tony was the best linemate I ever had. We got along great, we had that sixth sense about where each other would be and when he passed you the puck, it was right there on the button," Roenick said. "Very smart, and a great leader. Everybody in the locker room loved him."
Amonte would go on to play eight more years with the Blackhawks, scoring 268 of his 416 career goals.
"Tony really did it all in the NHL. He became captain of the Blackhawks, which was well-deserved. He played in two Olympics, 1998 and 2002, for the United States. He was in five NHL All-Star Games," Roenick said. "Considering his accomplishments, he could have been in more. But he wasnt the type of guy to call much attention to himself, and as a result, he was underrated, underappreciated. But he never complained."
Roenick also remembers a 1999 game at the United Center when he returned as a visitor with the Phoenix Coyotes and got into a scuffle with his good friend: "I was having some personal problems. I was frustrated and I swung my stick at Tony. He got real bloody, and I got a five-game suspension. Tony was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I just lost it. Weve stayed friends and we keep in touch."