29 June 2010

Free Agency: Wish lists, pipe dreams, and perspectives

At Noon O'Clock Eastern Standard Time this Thursday, the most exciting thing all summer will occur: Free Agent Day. It's a day of ups and downs, intrigue and excitement, anguish and glory. This year it's also a day of hilarity, as we get to watch a parade of free agents march out of Chicago.

Last year, free agent day for the Wings started with a few key players jumping ship. Eventually Mikael "petition the league to replace nets with soccer goals" Samuelsson took off to Vancouver, and Happy Hudler bailed for the KHL.

Of course, the biggest splash came on day one with the most sought after name on the free agent market: Tomas Kopecky. He signed on 01 July, just after the clock started ticking, with division rival Chicago Blackhawks. Of course, he could only be lured there so long as his good friend, Marian "drag my ass to the promised land, please" Hossa was offered a deal as well. So yeah, that happened too.

Overall though, the Wings didn't make much happen on the free agent market. They made their splashes during the season when they worked to retain The Mule and Z. They made a few moves late in free agency, signing Patrick Eaves, Todd "hey, die in a housefire" Bertuzzi, and who could forget Brad May.

This year, our impact on free agency will be basically the same. Though, With Homer and Bert having put ink to paper and our RFAs receiving qualifying offers, we won't have to worry about players marching out of town like last year, so that's good.

But hey, its fun to imagine wild-ass scenarios. In that spirit we're throwing logic and reason to the wayside (ha! Like we've ever bothered with that garbage anyway) and developing The Winged Wheel Wishlist of Wonderful Wacky ... um... Fwee-Agents.

Without further ado:

  • Ilya Kovalchuk

Okay, okay. Just hear me out. I know he's the biggest name on the market, and is certain to command a huge salary, but this could totally happen. Only a few things would need to fall into place.  First, Ilya would have to take a pay cut. Not a huge one, just something small. You know, something like a 98% cut to make the minimum. Now, I know a big star like Kovy won't want to play for nothing, so perhaps we can get Capologist Ryan Martin to find a loophole or two. Namely, I'm figuring getting Mr. I to guarantee free Hot N Ready's for life, and maybe just giving a Little Caesar's franchise or three to some of Ilya's closest family members back in mother Russia.

Oh, and to make room, we'd definitely need to axe Bertuzzi. Also, I don't mean "axe" in terms of firing. I think we'd actually have to take an axe to him, so that we wouldn't have to worry about a residual cap hit.

  • Slava Kozlov
Oh you know we love our nostalgia here at The Winged Wheel. And how much more nostalgic can you get than an original member of The Russian Five. Now, lets be clear, in order to truly make this have an impact, we'll need to reunite as much of that group as possible. Does anyone else remember the story of Fetisov taking the ice in Russia for a couple of games this season at the ripe old age of 51? Research be damned, I haven't bothered to follow up. Though I think it's entirely reasonable to assume that he managed to be a +19, playing 30 minutes a game and scoring at a 2 points per game pace. So why not offer him a contract to come back to the D.

While we're at it, apparently Sergei Fedorov is having money troubles because he's having his homes foreclosed on. Why don't we promise to buy his property at auction and let him and his family live there as long as he skates for the winged wheel once again?

Now, as for The Professor. Apparently, according to the ever reliable source Wikipedia, Larionov is currently a professional wine merchant. Well, I bet we can get him back on skates as long as Olympia Entertainment agrees to sell his wines at the Joe during games. Now, I'm sure "Hattrick" wine isn't quite as refreshing as a cold Molson, but people will get used to it as long as The Professor is on the ice again.

The only missing piece would be Vladdy, but obviously that won't work. So, in his honor, I suggest that every time the Russians take the ice, we elect to only go with four skaters. They can all skate in missing man formation, refusing to break form in the interest of either defensive or offensive opportunities. Opponents will be in such awe that these guys should be able to score at will.

Of course, in order to make this work, someone will need to murder Todd Bertuzzi. Obviously.

  • Marty Turco
Now this kind of signing would really be beneficiahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Yeah. No.

  • Kim Johnsson, John Madden, Nick Boynton, Adam Burish, Kyle Greentree, Danny Richmond, Joey Crabb, Mark Cullen, Danny Bois, Jassen Cullimore, Richard Petoit
Two words: Fighting Practice. Kenny is on record saying that he'd like to maybe get an enforcer this offseason. Well, why go out and try and find something that isn't there when we can just develop what we have. I propose we sign the entire contingent of Blackhawk UFAs and use them to develop our teams pugilistic nature. Now, in order to fit all of these guys under the cap, we'll need to be sure that they're all on LTIR before the end of camp. So our guys are going to really have to wail on them.

Also, for this to work we'll have to ship Bertuzzi to Siberia to live in the Gulag. Hey, at least Moore's attorneys can't touch him there.

  • Mike Modano
Ok, this one is not a joke. The Stars have cut ties with Mike, and he feels like he's got some hockey left in him. Now, he's a bit of an injury risk, but when he's healthy is a plenty serviceable third line center. With a bit of a hometown discount, Modano could fit under the cap and contend for another cup. He'd fit well with our system, playing defensively and adding a scoring touch. He could sub in on the second power play and provide some extra veteran leadership and playoff motivation. I'm into it.

Oh and I forgot to mention that in oder to land Modano we'd probably have to agree to shove Bertuzzi through a woodchipper. Completely and totally worth it.

Of course, because I've now written it on this blog, it will never fucking happen. But hey, a guy can dream.