The start of free agency period tends to get people - let's say - riled up. The season is over, the Cup has been presented, and the awards have been handed out. With no hockey on the air, we start to get a bit fidgety. Hell, we're in hockey limbo - that nebulous period between the end of the previous season, and the start of a new.
All of this fidgeting gets us a little crazy. We start suggesting crazy things, like "we should trade all of our draft picks for the next six years for a dman,"or, "lets give a forward $70 billion," or, "we should offer Jaromir Jagr a contract."
Luckily, this haste to do insane things separates us from the men at the helm of our beloved teams. Well... for most of us.
See, there are probably about five or six Panthers fans out there (I know, I'm being generous) that are amazed that somehow, some way, their GM has found a way to out-crazy them. Yes, we're talking about none other than the postally inept jagoff himself - Dale "suck my way to success" Tallon.
See, Dale worked for Chicago for some time as the general manager. Then, he got a job as GM in Florida. Unfortunately, Dale forgot he was fired by Chicago, and decided to keep on working for the Windy City.
See, we were all kind of surprised during the draft when it was announced that some how, some way, the Hawks managed to unload Brian Campbell's contract. This, the man who was being paid $7m to cough it up in the neutral zone more than a pack-a-day smoker with pertussis on the 38th parallel. (ba-dum-chik) Yes. Tallon took that contract... again. Not only that, but he then traded for the rights to Tomas "I suggest you use a 9 iron on this shot, Sir Marian, sir" Kopecky. He then promptly engaged in cashkake all over his face.
- Well... it was.
See... apparently, lunacy is contagious. There at the draft, GM's were all in one room, huddling together - talking about possible trades. I assume the epidemic may have started with Paul Holmgren, who thought it was a great idea to trade away his best two players for nothing so he could sign Ilya "Parks and Recreation" Bryzgolov, apparently because... he wanted to do better in the playoffs? Still, wherever it may have started, it spread. Our ol' buddy Dale is obviously genetically disposed to the disease, as he seems to contract it every year. But the epidemic didn't stop there.
No. No it did not.
Yesterday evening, it was announced that the Detroit Red Wings have come to terms with one of their targeted unrestricted free agents. After Rafalski announced his retirement, the Wings had a hole to fill on defense. With keeping pucks out of their net a major concern, this UFA's carreer -11 really spoke to them. His 15 points in 74 regular season games during the 10-11 season really showed how valuable he is. Most of all, they were impresssed with his ability to completely forget he is a defenseman, join the rush with a bunch of 3 liners that aren't much of a scoring threat, lose the puck, and bail on his assignment. Having watched this tactic work out wonderful for years with superstar Brett Lebda, who could let this talent get away?
So, what a relief when after weeks, months(!), of negotiating, the Wings were able to hammer out a contract at the eleventh hour, before Brian Burke could offer him sixty-jillion dollars and thrice weekly old-fashioneds.
- That's right, the Red Wings have resigned Jonathan "dicknose" Ericsson.
- For $9.75 MILLION dollars.
- Over THREE Years.
- With an annual cap hit of $3.25 MILLION dollars - $250,000 more than Nicklas "actually has talent and ability" Kronwall.
That's right. On the eve of the first opening day of free agency where we've had some actual cap space, in a year before our three best D-men are headed toward unrestricted free agency, in a cap world where saving money and geting values are essential to contending for a cup, Ken Holland, formerly known as the best GM in sports, signed an absolute, shit-for-brains dipshit of a defensive liability to a near TEN MILLION DOLLAR contract.
- I miss Stevie Y.
I hope that the second after I publish this, it's released that Ericsson has been traded to the Kings for Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar. I hope that some how, some way, this isn't the dumbest move the Red Wings have have made this side of un-retiring Aurie's number 6.
I just don't see how that's going to work.
The above picture was the saddest I've ever been while photoshopping something for this silly space for me to rant and procrastinate. I really really hate to disparage a guy like Ken Holland. But holy hot damn tiddlywinks - what the hell?
Kenny, you're letting me down. First, you refuse a promotion that could have kept The Captain in the motor city. Fine. Whatever. I get that you're a GM, and you like being GM, and you don't want to not be GM. I guess we can go five years without Stevie Y... (you dick). But to turn around and do something I simply cannot wrap my mind around? To not only sign a guy who sucks as long and hard as a Binford Shop-Vac that Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor got his hands on, but to do it for so much damn money? I'm so pissed off I could write a list:
The Winged Wheel's List of Shit That's All Fucked Up Now
- First and foremost, Jonathan Ericsson is going to be on our blue line for three more years. In a major role. You don't put three million dollars in the press box. Unless it's attached to Jiri Hudler's dumb ass and your taser is out of juice.
- Our amazing amount of cap space just became kind of decent. We had all kinds of millions of dollars to toss all over whoever we wanted. We could have made it rain like Chuck Gaidica on an April day in Bouzouki's on a game changer - someone who could come in and provide the extra spark to bring home #12, as soon as possible. Now? Now we're all kind of hoping Jaromir's little dog and pony show lands in the D. That's scary.
- Also, Jonathan Ericsson will be playing defense for the Red Wings.
- Way to set the bar. Really. $3.25 million for a guy who puts up 15 points and sucks at defense. Nick Kronwall's about to be a UFA next season. Kenny's gotta work on that extension pretty soon. If I'm Kronwall's agent, I'm thinking his 37 points last year must be worth 2.46 times as much cash and I'm asking for eight million dollars. Also in the category of "guys who don't suck at defense,"Brad Stuart's contract is up. Oh, and Lidstrom might retire. So any of that money that maybe we could have spent... gone. It's all now floating in hypothetical land, waiting to be gobbled up by guys who have a real easy contract to point to when they want to play hardball.
- Oh, yeah, and Jonathan Ericsson is going to be on the fucking blueline for the Red Wings!
That, my friends, would be found in an article entitled "Wanted: Dead or alive, get him off this team." Son of a bitch.
Free agency starts tomorrow. I was excited. Now I'm just sad and confused. Like Mrs. Tallon after sex.
...is it October yet?