15 December 2009

Counterpoint: Ward no Wing. If anything: Chelli.

Don't get me wrong. I love me some nostalgia. It is the same exact feeling that I had that wanted the Wings to sign Dandenault over the off-season. It's the same reason that drove me to obsess over the possibility of Shanny after the mule went down and the Devils released him. Hell, Slava Fetisov just started taking the ice again at 51 years young, and yes, I'd like for Kenny Holland to get on the horn and bring him back.

There's just one problem:
  • It's not 1997.
I'll admit, I haven't seen much of Ward outside of clips from The Brawl in the past few years. However, he was just released by the Carolina Hurricanes. We're not talking about the 'Canes of 05-06. Hell, we aren't even talking about the 'Canes that dominated into the Eastern Conference Finals last year. No. We're talking about these 'Canes:

30 out of 30. Eleven points out of 29th place. This is the team that has just released Aaron Ward. Also consider how the 'Canes received Mr. Ward. The Bruins traded Ward to immediately place the fruits of the trade on waivers so that they could relieve themselves of his cap-hit. (Granted, that young prospect, cast-off by the B's into Hockey pergutory, just so happenes to be the player on the Wings just one away from the +/- lead, and the guy who scored the shortie tonight... Patrick Eaves). There does not seem to be much of a vote of confidence for Aaron Ward on the blue line among NHL GM's.

That's not to say it would be a terrible idea. If Kenny made the call, I'd be completely on board. 1) Pure nostalgia, and 2) Kenny is brilliant, and I am very much not. I just don't see it happening. The Wings have themselves some options:
  • Jakob Kindl: Largely considered to be the Wings top prospect, Kindl is an offensive D-Man who responded to the challenge when called up recently in the face of a Rafalski injury. In fact, watching the games, Kindl seemed to make less stupid mistakes than Big E has this season. He'll be a full-time guy next season as his minor league options will wear out, why not now?
  • Doug Janik: Stay-at-home D-man. Sweet Bear Jesus, we could use one of those next to Lebda. Had a one-game callup at the beginning of the year and performed exceptionally well. Granted, my definition of 'exceptionally well' for Janik during that game was that I barely noticed that he ever played. That means no stupid turnovers, no idiotic penalties, no jumping the rush at every opportunity to leave his point open for odd man rushes in the other direction you son of a bitch I want to strangle you Lebda you rooten bastard piece of... ahem... he was good.
  • Sign another D-Man. In my mind, this has to go to Cheli. I'm not positive he'd be on the next Wolverine-line Amtrak to get back to Detroit if his cell phone were to ring, but if we're going to bring back a former-Wing, why not the one that really deserves it. Cheli played his heart out here. 10 years as a Wing with two cups and three finals appearances to show for it. One of the greatest American players of all time. The guy's got businesses and family in Detroit, and he certainly doesn't need to spend much time "learning the system." So offer the guy a 1 year contract and bring him back. And when Big E gets back? Trade Lebda. Or put #22 on waivers. Or stuff him in a burlap sack and drop him in the Rouge. However it works, I don't see how we're any worse off with #24 belonging to Chelli again. May's decided he's apparently done with fighting for now, even when key defensemen are injured - so I'm sure he'll get over losing his new number.
Ward though? While the kid who watched Stevie Y hoist the cup for the first time in '97 is totally behind that idea, the part of me in the here-and-now is not so sold.

Also, clearly Bear Jesus is upset that not enough of you fully converted after my last post... you'd better at least strongly consider it before anyone else goes down.

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