Monday, July 12, 2010

Still Not October?

So, okay, that was a longer break than I expected. Apparently combining the end of the season with buying my first house, and packing up and moving into said house, made me even lazier than I had anticipated. Never fear, though. I might have been hiding under a rock for the last 4-6 weeks, but I did have internet access under there. I've been keeping up with the Wings' news. The earthworms and I had some interesting discussions about Bertuzzi's new contract. They know quite a lot about Ol' Bert, it turns out. (Okay, cheap shot, but it was easy, and we've already established that I'm a lazy bitch.)

First, we did resign The Perfect Human (for what I tearfully feel will be his last season) just before I went to ground, and of course, I rejoiced appropriately over that, as well as our ability to retain Homer for another two. Go, Kenny! Then we had the lull of "beginning talks" with the rest of the current roster, punctuated by the excitement of officially booting Williams and Lebda to the curb. God help Toronto. And recently, we secured Drew Miller, followed quickly by Patrick Eaves, for another year each. Both solid signings, in my mind. I was impressed with both of the new additions this past season, with Eaves especially, and I'm hoping that he, at least, will be sticking around for a bit. So, that leaves Kenny hopefully hard at work lassoing Helmer and Abby into new contracts. I can't imagine him letting either of those young whippersnappers get away, not given their solid efforts on behalf of the Wings. Not to mention the fact that Herm would likely elect to wear Queen Victoria's mourning costume were Helm ever to leave Detroit. I have a feeling more than one of us is counting on #43 to become the Wings' next franchise player. Anyway, that's the big news I personally am waiting for from the front office.

I hear rumors, though, that some people have been talking about the possibility of picking up some old guy to center the third line. Anyone else hear about this? Some geezer named Mandato? Or maybe it was Mandano? Mandingo? Whatever.

Oh, Modano? Mike Modano? Huh. I thought he was the Stars' franchise player. He started with them way back in Minnesota, played 20 years for their team, followed them to the hell-hole that is Dallas, Texas, and managed what is likely a Hall of Fame career along the way. Then when he turned 40, they handed him his hat and let the door hit his ass on the way out. Is that the guy we're talking about?

Honestly, I've got mixed feelings about this whole thing. I mean, don't get me wrong, he's Mike Modano. He's a hell of a hockey player, even at 40, and I'm a little disgusted by Dallas treating him the way they have, but then again, they're Dallas. They obviously can't come close to having the class of Detroit when it comes to dealing with the players who practically define their franchise. And when I first heard that Kenny was courting him, I got excited. I was always impressed by Modano as a class act, a talented player who conducted himself like a hockey player and not a thug or a diva like so many others out there. In fact, he almost conducted himself like a Wing, so I agreed that he might make a good fit in Detroit. Especially when he told the Detroit News that he believed he would either play for Detroit next year, or he would retire. I mean, that's an attitude I can get behind.

But that was Wednesday. By Friday, Modano's quote was more along the lines of, "well, the Wings aren't the only option." And rabid loyalist that I am, that kind of about-face is the sort of thing guaranteed to yank my chain a little. Now, it's not that I don't understand. From a certain point of view. If I'd been treated the way Modano has been treated by Dallas, I might be wary, too. If I'd had my captaincy stripped away despite all I'd done for my team, I might wonder if loyalty had any place in the NHL. And if I'd been promised that I'd get to chose when I was ready to leave the team and retire, only to be informed later that my contract wouldn't be renewed whether I was ready or not, I might think that words don't mean anything until they're typed up in triplicate, signed, dated, and notarized. Since all those things happened to Modano, I can understand why he might think that way.

But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter all that much. Whether we sign Modano or not may come down to the money on the table and the wife in the corner. Minnesota and San Jose are both reportedly courting the forward now, because where Kenny goes, the smart money follows. Each makes a certain amount of sense--Minnesota has to have some sentimental ties after all the years he spent up there on the frozen tundra, and San Jose has the advantage of being a heck of a lot closer to his wife's potential workplace that Detroit. A man has to weigh those kinds of things when making this sort of decision. If Modano make the choice to become a Shark or a... whatever you call a Wild player... (insert Mad Libs-style insulting noun or noun-phrase here) you can't really blame him, especially if they make him a substantially better offer than the $800k-$1mil that is all Kenny will have to play with. And if that does happen, I, for one, am perfectly comfortable seeing the 3rd line center spot go to Helm or Abdelkader, players with the potential to stay with the team a lot longer than Modano, no matter how talented he might be.

Which I suppose is my long winded way of saying that I'll be happy if we get Modano, and happy if we don't. It's a novel sort of situation for me. I'm kind of enjoying it.

In any case, following the situation is keeping my attention on hockey during the summer, so it's serving its purpose. Of course, I'm also waiting rabidly for news on Helmer and Abby, rolling my eyes at Meech for filing for arbitration, and squirming nervously over the blue line, but that last one is big enough for a post all its own, so I'll leave it for now.

And I'm also taking my hat off over the loss of Bob Probert, who also deserves a post of his own, along with a whole lot more. I'll give him his due in a little bit, but gathering my thoughts on Probie has taken longer than I expected. What I'll say for now, though, is that the world will never be the same without him, and he's already missed by many.

So I'll wrap up this behemoth now, knowing I've still got more to say during this long, not-so-hot summer. You poor fools. You should have gotten out while you still had the chance...

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