Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mix It Up or Stand Pat?

I have been pretty lazy about updating my blog this summer. During the school year it was a weekly task that I fulfilled with ease, but the combination of work, heat, and apathy has turned blogging regularity into blogging rarity. All of that will change when I leave for Cambridge soon because I plan to update Tea and Crumpets weekly at the very least. As long as I'm still in America though, the apathy has a hold of me. I've seen plenty of movies since I last blogged but I refuse to review them. I will give them grades, but I'll let the numbers speak for themselves.

Pan's Labyrinth: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The Big Lebowski: 4 out of 5 stars.
The Godfather: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Goodfellas: 5 out of 5 stars.
Heat: 5 out of 5 stars.
Chariots of Fire: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Definitely, Maybe: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

I still have yet to watch Reservoir Dogs and Fargo after borrowing them from a friend, but I will get to them by the end of the week. Basically, I'm catching up on my classic movies...and somehow saw Ryan Reynolds' recent romantic comedy somewhere in between. The real reason for writing this post though, apart from simply updating the blog, lies in the mystery of the NHL offseason. Yes, more hockey. I know that creates curiosity for some of you and serves as a stop button for others but I will continue because it draws my interest.

The NHL free agency period officially began about an hour ago and there is certainly some intrigue for Red Wings fans and hockey fans alike. There are plenty of players that will sign with other teams and all of the excitement of the next few days will create a whole new look for the upcoming NHL season.

First off, before I turn towards my hopes for the Red Wings' summer, I must say that the Tampa Bay Lightning are doing an incredible job of turning the franchise around in oh, about a week? I mean seriously, they were the worst team in the league last year and in the past week they have chosen the #1 overall prospect in the NHL draft (Steve Stamkos), hired Barry Melrose as their head coach, and lured Gary Roberts and Ryan Malone away from the Penguins. With Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis already anchoring that team, I see a playoff spot and maybe even a division title in their near future. What a turnaround. Way to go Tampa.

Moving on, I would like to address what has already happened and what I want to see Kenny Holland, the Red Wings' GM, do during the offseason.

What Has Already Happened
  • Dominik Hasek retired, leaving Detroit with an untested Jimmy Howard as their backup goaltender. Nice work Dom. You were a class act when Babs replaced you with Ozzie and you led the Wings to the Cup in 2002. I always enjoyed watching you play and you will be remembered as one of the best goalies in the modern era.
  • Andreas Lilja resigned with the Red Wings for the next two years for barely more than $1 million a year. This is like keeping the crazy cousin around the house when you know he's better off at a mental home. He could be bothering some other team with bumbling turnovers and poor skating skills but hell, let's keep him. The Red Wings love a good challenge. I will admit though, as much as I wouldn't mind Lilja leaving, the Detroit front office has a bit more knowledge than I do when it comes to these things, so I'll hold my tongue and hope for the best.
What I Would Like to See Happen
  • Sign Valtteri Filppula. He was a key contributor in the regular season and the playoffs in 2007-08 and he's only 24. His skills have been heralded by fellow Finn Teemu Selanne and I think that he will only get better. I want to see him back in a Detroit uniform.
  • Sign Brad Stuart, but only if it's at a reasonable cost. Stuart deserves about $3 million a year, even though that would be a slight pay cut for him. I think he may try the open market, but if he's smart, he'll take the smaller paycheck for some additional rings on his fingers. If he does want to test the market, let him go. But, other than game three of the Finals in Pittsburgh, I thought he was a great asset to the team in the stretch run to the Cup and I'd like to have him back with Kronner as part of the second defensive pairing.
  • Sign Brian Rolston. The man has a laser beam for a slapshot, comes from Michigan, and would be a great addition to the clubhouse. He's fun to watch and would be reasonably priced. I think that Dallas Drake will announce his retirement soon and we'll need another forward to take his place. Rolston is more offensively talented than Drake but also gritty enough to fit right in. Get on it, Kenny.
  • Forget about Sundin. Toronto's hero is getting older, he's expensive, and wouldn't be around for very long. I certainly wouldn't have a problem with Holland landing Sundin but with Zetterberg and Franzen needing new contracts next summer, I think taking a cap hit with Sundin could be a mistake.
  • Please leave Todd Bertuzzi alone. I've heard plenty of rumors of the Wings' interest in him and how he meshed so well with the clubhouse in 2006-07 but I don't like the move. I don't want him back. His actions on Steve Moore will forever haunt him in the NHL and I think he's more trouble than he's worth. Stay away from the 'Tuz.
  • Bring in an old veteran goalie who can back-up Ozzie. I'm still not sure about how well Osgood will do in the starter's role for the entire season but I embrace the idea of someone who can adequately share the load. Possibilities: Olaf Kolzig, Alex Auld, or Ty Conklin. All three guys would be able to play 15-20 games and keep the Wings in winning form. It would help keep Ozzie healthy for playoff time.
Overall, I'm excited to see what happens and how the rosters look when all the dust settles. Even if Detroit doesn't make a move and enters the season with the same lineup minus Hasek and Drake, I'm pretty confident. Holland has been a great general manager for so many years now and I know for a fact that the Red Wings would not be blessed with so many championships if not for a lot of his hard work. I'll be happy with whatever happens, I just have my preferences.

And here ends another post in the blogging world. I've got to get to bed...it's late and I have another day of work ahead of me tomorrow. I'll be relaxing in jolly old England in less than a week's time though, so there's that to look forward to. Hope you're all enjoying your summer! See you next time!

1 comment:

Garrett said...
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