22 July 2011

Doin' Good: For the kids, for the jersey, and for the hate


Replace "write a musical" with "donate to charity" and it's pretty damn fitting

You know, donating for a good cause can have a lot of pretty awesome side effects. First, it can just make you feel all warm and tingly inside. It can make it that much easier to face yourself in the mirror each morning. It can give you confidence in yourself, and it can even prevent male pattern baldness. True story.

As if that were not enough, we sweetened the pot a bit last week for the Learning Through Giving Cause by throwing in the very good potential to win a Wings jersey signed by Henrik Zetterberg, and the opportunity to exert some creative control over this little shindig we call a hockey blog. Now, not only do you have the opportunity to earn some serious upgrades to the inner monologue that gets you out of bed in the morning during the offseason, but you've got the potential for some badass swag as well.

Oh, but that's not all folks.

I've always thought the one big drawback to charity is that you didn't really get to humiliate anyone with it. As fans of a competitive sport, we're certainly drawn to competition. And as terrible sports, we certainly enjoy mean-spirited trash talk and juvenile gamesmanship. Like pointed out in the above clip, I've always kind of wanted to respond to the idea of charitable acts with, "Yeah, but who versus? Who are we doing it versus!?"

Well, Hockeytown, I've got an answer. 

Recently, the enemy has jumped into this little charitable foray.
"Sounds pretty enticing, eh? Think about it. Your neighborhood bum in a Zetterburg jersey? Maybe laying the jersey out over a puddle for a young lady to step on so she doesn't ruin her shoes? Getting your say of what goes on the banner at a well-read Wings blog? A SONG? C'mon guys, let's get on this. If you'd like the full scoop,please visit the post at The Winged Wheel and please, be generous and open up your wallets and purses for this worthy cause."
Kelly Reardon via Blackhawks Down
And of course:  
"I know, you're thinking...I'm a Blackhawks' fan, why would I want any part of a jersey that represents that Jake Gyllenhaal-lookin' motherfucker?


That's because you're thinking short-game. Imagine the "Crackheads Wearing The Zetterberg Jersey" Tumblr page you could whip up. Or this Halloween you can go to a party as a Red Wings fan, yelling "400 wins! He's a Hall of Famer!", then throw things when people mention shootouts. Hilarity could ensue.


Plus, whoever raises the most dough gets to choose a new header for The Winged Wheel for 3 months. Who among us wouldn't love shirtless Patrick Kane on the header? Or even better, see if we can get pantsless Brent Sopel.


Plus they'll write a song to commemorate the winner. Hell, I can do that - just keep playing E-G-A-C, while singing "Detroit Sucks". Bam, done."
Forklift - via Hockeenight 
Now, I could take this moment to point out that these folks are outstanding human beings for getting behind such a worthy cause. I could note that their generosity of spirit and kindness of character shines through their team allegiance in spades. I could mention how outstanding it is that such a good cause could bring rivals together, like lions lying with lambs (shotgun lion! I get to be the lion!).

OR I could take the childish route. I could just point out that they're only interested in jumping on the bandwagon of this outstanding cause because old habits die hard. Or, I could suggest that the Blackhawks well deserved inferiority complex has created within them a natural impulse to want to be Wings fans, so they take whatever opportunity they can to inch closer to the dream.

Which do you think I'm going to go with?

  • Obviously the one where I'm an asshole, duh.

So what's it going to be, Hockeytown. Are you going to let a bunch of fans who don racist caricatures on their sweaters and actively root for Patrick "screw the working man" Kane out-class you in The Winged Wheel's Who's Got the Biggest Charity Boner Contest?

Or, are you going to rise to the occasion, and continue the tradition of absolutely humiliating the team down 94 by out-donating Chicagoans for a Chicago-based charity?

If I were a betting man, I'd go with the latter.

So, for all you Wings fans, tell your friends, relatives, and random strangers on the street. Donate what you can, and help save me from whatever soul-crushing humiliation that would accompany having to write a song dedicated to the glory of some team that has earned as many Stanley Cups in its 85 year history as Kris Draper has in his 17 year NHL career. Do it for the self-satisfaction. Do it for the Jersey. Do it for the hate.

And for you Hawks fans (all 12 of you), bring it on. Emulate that team you so love to adore and try your damnedest, just to fall into the shadow of Detroit. Donate away. Just know, it's going to take Tallon-esque expenditures to out-charity the Greatest Fanbase in Human Existence. Oh, and if you need a bit of motivation to get those gears grinding, I've put together a short list of some of the super mean things I've said about you in the past.

And oh, there's more. Hopefully that gets you riled up enough to open that pocketbook and furiously throw money at some kids who really need it like Ken Holland in the Ericsson household. 

Bring it on, Bandwagon. And who knows, maybe some brave, adventurous blogger will have the stones to throw his or her own potential humiliation into the deal to sweeten the pot. The gauntlet's been thrown my friends.

This should be a good way to pass the time until October. 

As a refresher:
 


How Can I Demonstrate My Throbbing Charity Boner?
  • Go to the Learning Through Giving Cause Page, join the cause through Facebook, and donate to your heart's content. As the administrator, Mike will record your donation, and secure your entry.
  • If you aren't all hip with the Facebooks, or you just don't want to use it for some reason, you can make a direct donation through the Learning Through Giving Cause Page, without signing in. If you do that, however, you'll need to send your information and the amount you donated to me at wingedwheelblog@gmail.com so that we can record your entry.
  • You can also send a check made out to Genesis Therapy Center (put Schools Program in the Memo line) at the following address:
Genesis Therapy Center
6006 W. 159th St, Bldg. C
Oak Forest, IL 60452
(Again, if you choose to donate this way, send me an email to confirm your entry)

All payments are completely secure, and all donations are Tax Deductible. If you'd like a receipt, just email me and I'll make sure that happens for you. 

All entries before puck drop for the Wings season opener on October 7th against Paul MacLean's moustache will be entered into the contest. 

Email me or inquire on the twitters (@captnorris5) if you have any questions. Also, if you've got something to donate to raffle off as well to sweeten the pot and help entice even more good deeds, shoot me an email and we can put it up.

Also, while you're at it, go ahead and "Like" this shindig on the book of faces by clicking here.

19 July 2011

Calling it Quits: All hail the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz!

If you've watched any Red Wing hockey over the last decade, you can relate. There have been few events as utterly awesome as being at a live playoff game, watching the opposing team on an odd-man rush (very likely Brett Lebda's fault), holding your breath as they wind up and fire a shot at the net...

And then being part of 20,000 rabid hockey fans to collectively, instantaneously, without any prompting to erupt:

  • OZ-ZIE! OZ-ZIE! OZ-ZIE!
Over the PA: "Do not arouse the wrath of the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz!"

Chills. Every time.

Today, Chris Osgood officially announced his retirement. Interestingly enough, at the exact same moment it became instantly unacceptable for anyone calling themselves a Wings fan to continue motherfucking the guy like it was going out of style. There is absolutely no question about it: today Hockeytown lost one of the best goaltenders to ever don the winged wheel to retirement. 

Of course, when a guy who has taken so much shit from his own fanbase decides to retire, a debate will be sparked about whether  the Hall of Fame is the proper destination for the 10th winningest goaltender of all time, one of the best playoff netminders in history, a dude with 3 cups who is EASILY the most mentally tough goaltender to ever play the position. Today isn't the day to jump into that debate. Suffice it to say - fucking right he deserves it.

There have been some damn impressive moments over Ozzie's career. Take a minute with me for a nice stroll down memory lane. 
  • The Fight
Oh yes. 01 April 1998. In the middle of the absolute blood lust of a rivalry between the Wings and the Avs, everyone on the ice grabbed a sweater of opposite color and started throwing punches. No surprise. This was a common occurrence between these teams, as it was the best rivalry in sports. However, it wasn't that often that the goalies got into it. The previous season, during The Brawl, Vernon cleaned Roy's clock in the second coolest thing to happen that night. Almost exactly a year later?
Roy was clearly embarrassed that his huge gaping vagina was plastered all over national television the year before, and was hoping to show the world his new testicular implants. When he saw the inevitable line brawl, he started making his move to the blue line, removing his mask and challenging The Wizard on the other end of the ice. Osgood, a Red Wing through and through, answered the bell.

The two met at center ice and exchanged blows. Now, Roy didn't receive the public Vaginoplasty that he did the year before, but as far as I'm concerned, Ozzie won that fight. Might have been close to a draw, but from where I'm sitting, most of Roy's flailing swings didn't land, and Ozzie stayed in it, eventually taking that little overrated piece of shit we chased out of Montreal down.
  • The Goal
06 March 1996 - The Hartford Whalers had pulled their netminder, and Ozzie thought - eh, what the fuck. Why not? He fired a puck down the ice and it found it's way straight to the cage. Chris Osgood became the second goalie in NHL history to score a goal off his own shot. Not a common occurrence by any stretch of the imagination, but our guy pulled it off.
  • The Cup
The summer of 1997 was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions for Wings fans. We had just won our first cup since 1955 - elation. The tragic accident that took Vladdy's career - depression. Trading away the Conn Smythe winning goaltender, Mike Vernon, for draft picks - confusion?

It was that summer that the fate of the team had been put purely and squarely in Osgood's hands. He had a hefty workload in front of him, and a task as daunting as any other: Repeat. 

Repeat for those who think this is just a one-and-done type performance. Repeat for those rabid fans who haven't quite been satiated by just one cup full of victory after a 42 year drought. Repeat for Vladdy.

That spring, the Wings found themselves in the playoffs again. This wasn't Ozzie's first go-round in post-season action. A few years earlier, he played 15 games in the disappointing 95 playoffs. This time, however, he was tougher - stronger. He posted a 2.12 GAA and a .918 SV%, winning 16 games - allowing Stevie to place Lord Stanley's chalice in Vladdy's lap that June. 
  • The Replacement
During the 2007-08 season, the Wings had themselves a full blown goalie controversy. Well, kinda. Dom Hasek, that coke-head, was playing pretty solidly. Osgood, slightly better. When it came time for April in the D, Babcock chose to go with the big name, and put Hasek in the cage.

Where he promptly shit the bed.

After a couple of terrible performances in games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Predators, Babcock did the right thing and yanked Hasek in favor of The Wizard. And hot damn did he deliver.

1.55 GAA. .930 SV%., 14 wins. 

If it weren't for Zetterberg's absolute lights out performance in the finals against the Pens, there is no doubt in my mind the Wizard would have had a Conn Smythe to his name. The same rings true for the following post-season run. Had the offense just not stayed at home for Game 7, Ozzie was the clear choice for MVP. The man solidified himself as the best playoff goaltender to take the ice in the last couple of decades. Make no mistake - it's not an easy thing to be given the reins only a few games into a Cup run in Detroit. It certainly doesn't make it any easier that you're replacing one of the best goalies of all time, who just happens to be a lunatic. It takes focus and drive to perform even decently under those kinds of circumstances. But Ozzie? He was lights out. 
  • The Passing of the Torch
Now, we've got young Jimmy Howard in net. He's played amazingly solid over the last two seasons. But lets not forget his overall capability when he first took the ice in Detroit. 

He was shit.

That's no knock on Super-Jimmah. It's just facts. He had quite the rough start, and who could blame him? Detroit is an intimidating place to play and he was but a rookie. But he figured it out. He got his mental faculties together and started to continue the tradition of mental toughness in goaltenders?

Coincidence?

Fuck no. Everyone, everyone, from Bedard to Babcock, to Super Jimmah himself have credited Chris Osgood with being an amazing mentor. When we rely on Howard down the stretch, we've got The Wizard to at least partially thank for passing on his best quality to the next guy. A few years from now, when Hockeytown turns on Jimmah, and spends all their time bitching about how he's just not good enough, we'll have Ozzie to thank for his ability to block it all out, and just focus on stopping pucks.

Now, Ozzie's riding off into the wild blue yonder, but he isn't going far. He'll be working with Bedard, helping to mentor the young prospects. Considering some of Bedard's recent comments about McCollum - how his struggles seem to be all in his head - that's exciting.

Ozzie - thank you. Thank you for persevering through tough times year after year. Thank you for putting up with the bullshit, from the fans who somehow found ways to bitch about everything, including somehow the desire to push through injury (fucking bizarre),  all the way to the coach who treated you like garbage throughout 09/10. Thank you for stopping more shots than any other Red Wings goaltender, ever. Thank you for being The Wizard.

Join me. One last time:
  • OZ-ZIE! OZ-ZIE! OZ-ZIE!

13 July 2011

Doin' Good: Do it for the kids and a jersey signed by Henrik Zetterberg


Want this Wings Jersey, signed by Hank Zetterberg? Read on.


Well folks, I'm in the midst of an epic battle with the Bar Examination (how cruel is it that it's named after the place you'd so much rather be than in a dark room studying?), but had to come out of a bit of this hiatus for a good cause.

It is a long and storied tradition, here at The Winged Wheel, to do everything we can to demoralize the Bandwagon who calls the wrong side of Michigan Ave home. Our anti-Blackhawks vitriol is well documented, as is our overall distain for the City of Chicago. This is especially so considering the fact that I've been residing here, dealing with the brunt of the bandwagon for some time. I've enjoyed the Shellacking at Wrigley of 2009, suffered through the Great Flash in the Pan of 2010, and rejoiced as the Wings regained their rightful places atop the Central Division in 2011. All of this experience has led to much distain and resentment, causing me to truly abhor all things Chicagoan that aren't hot dogs or pizza.

There is also a long and storied tradition here of absolute juvenile behavior. It's clear to anyone who reads anything written that I'm an absolute immature mess of man-child - a terrible sport who takes this game a bit too seriously and very much enjoys the excessive use of colorful language. Putting things aside and acting reasonably is just not my forte. It's how I am, and I'm not going to change. Not now, not ever.

Ok, well maybe just this once.

In a Winged Wheel first, we're officially putting aside our hatred for all things Chicago to embrace an outstanding local cause. A good friend of mine has started a very good cause to help some underprivileged children in Chicago schools. I'll let him explain:
My name is Michael Anton and I am a fourth-year student at Argosy University where I am working towards a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology.  For the last year, I served as a Therapy Intern at The Genesis Therapy Center, a non-profit organization based in the suburbs of Chicago.  During my time as a Genesis Intern, I was given the opportunity to serve as a Title IV Representative in some of Chicago's underserved parochial schools.  This involved making classrooms presentations and activities in order to raise the students' awareness of the importance of avoiding drug and alcohol use and the imperative nature of reducing instances of bullying while also working to increase problem-solving skills.

During this experience, my fellow Interns and I had our hearts broken as we witnessed children going to school at facilities that could not provide for the students' most basic of needs.  It was rare to come across a classroom where every child had a textbook, notebook, and writing utensil.  The deficits got so severe, in fact, that staff had to ration out how much toilet paper or bathroom soap each child could use in a day.  These deficits have only been hurt by the government's decision to cut Title IV funding.

Because of this experience, I have decided that I am tired of just talking about the need for change.  The time has come for me to move beyond wanting to help so that I could make the notion of helping a reality.  My goal, therefore, is to raise $10,000 so that these kids can have the school supplies and hygiene products they all deserve and so that Genesis can continue funding such a beneficial, in-class program.  Please join this cause and, together, we can make a tremendous difference in the lives of so many children.

Hockeytown, you've got a hell of a track record when it comes to charity. In the last two years, you've raised over $19,000 for the Children's Hospital in two epic events. You've answered the bell when it's been rung, and despite what Mr. Lambert may think, you've proven yourselves the most generous fanbase in sports. You're also all very attractive, and your genitals are significantly above average in both length and girth.

So what am I asking? Simple. Keep it up.

Here and at the bottom of this post is a link to the Learning Through Giving Cause from causes.com. Go there. At the absolute very least, join the cause and post it to your Twitters and Facebooks, Google Plusses and LinkedIns and Yelps, Tumblrs, Diggs, Reddits, and AOL "Fans of Wilford Brimley" Message Boards. You crazy kids and your internets.

But, if you can, do a bit more than that. Toss a donation their way. The money will be put to great use helping kids get their learning on in an environment where they won't have to worry about toilet paper rationing. Don't hold it against them that they're from Chicago. Look, if I can put that aside - you sure as hell can.

Hockeytown, I am absurdly confident that you are more than capable of rising to this challenge. Mike's got a goal of $10,000 by the time the Wings have brought home the 2012 Stanley Cup. It's going to require everyone to pitch it to get there, so please, give whatever you can spare.

However, that does not mean that there's nothing in it for you. As an added bonus, introducing:

The Winged Wheel's "Who's Got the Biggest Charity Boner" Contest 

You know, or whatever else you want to call it, in the interest of appropriateness.

For all those who donate, join the cause, or recruit others, you'll be entered into a raffle for a Red Wings Jersey, signed by Henrik Zetterberg shown at the top of this post.

A couple of years ago, at H2H, I was lucky enough to win this bad lad as a raffle prize. It's made its appearance at one exhibition game, but has otherwise sat in a revered corner of my closet. Well, I'm confident it can be put to better use, and what better use than this? 

Everyone who joins and passes along the information to others will get an entry into the raffle. PLUS, you'll also get an entry for every dollar you so generously choose to contribute. By following the links below, you can donate any amount.

AS AN ADDED BONUS: For the individual who donates the highest amount, I'll throw in the following:
  • The Winged Wheel will change it's banner to one of your design for three months. You can have it proclaim your glory, honor your favorite player, or hell - if you're a fan of a rival team that would like revenge for all the mean things I say about you - you can even have it pay tribute to your inferior, crappy excuse for a hockey program. The only limitations are that I won't mock Stevie or Vladdy. Everyone else is fair game.
  • I'll also do my damndest to write and record a Winged Wheel original song, based on the topic of your choice. Same idea as above - it can be about anything. It should be noted, that I make absolutely no guarantee that the song itself will consist of anything resembling talent or ability - but hell, I'll try my best.


.How Can I Donate?
  • Go to the Learning Through Giving Cause Page, join the cause through Facebook, and donate to your heart's content. As the administrator, Mike will record your donation, and secure your entry.
  • If you aren't all hip with the Facebooks, or you just don't want to use it for some reason, you can make a direct donation through the Learning Through Giving Cause Page, without signing in. If you do that, however, you'll need to send your information and the amount you donated to me at wingedwheelblog@gmail.com so that we can record your entry.
  • You can also send a check made out to Genesis Therapy Center (put Schools Program in the Memo line) at the following address:
Genesis Therapy Center
6006 W. 159th St, Bldg. C
Oak Forest, IL 60452
(Again, if you choose to donate this way, send me an email to confirm your entry)

All payments are completely secure, and all donations are Tax Deductible. If you'd like a receipt, just email me and I'll make sure that happens for you. 

All entries before puck drop for the Wings season opener on October 7th against Paul MacLean's moustache will be entered into the contest. 

Email me or inquire on the twitters (@captnorris5) if you have any questions. Also, if you've got something to donate to raffle off as well to sweeten the pot and help entice even more good deeds, shoot me an email and we can put it up.

Also, while you're at it, go ahead and "Like" this shindig on the book of faces by clicking here.

Folks, if Puck Daddy can raise over $6k for a dumb little joke on the back of a sweater, then we can make big things happen here. You've blown me away more than once in the past, lets do it again. Thanks so much for all your support for this cause, and Go Wings!

*For clarity sake, nobody associated with this site is affiliated with Genesis Therapy Center. The representations above are mine and mine alone. All donations given as a result of this little shindig are just those - donative gifts. In the unlikely event that the jersey is destroyed or damaged before the end of the contest, I reserve the right to cancel the raffle. In such an event, the donations will not be refunded. Plus, what kind of jackwad would ask for a charitable gift back anyway? I just had to throw that in there because I spent three years and way too much of my future earnings on a stupid law degree, and I figured I'd get my money's worth. Anyway... back to the nightmare that is studying for the bar.

01 July 2011

Holy Insanity, Battman: Apparently it's contagious

Edit: Just so we're clear - I still revere Ken Holland as the best GM in sports. Frustration over an absurd contract aside, the guy is a superhero. Hyperbole is fun.

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. 

Hilarious, right?
  • 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.
WHAT?!

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.
For the record, I hope I'm wrong. I really really hope I'm wrong. I hope that soon we'll be looking back at this thinking, "see, we really do have the best GM in sports. He saw an opportunity that literally nobody else in the world saw in the potential of Big E. He looked past his shitty performance and hinderance to our success, and knew what the hell he was doing. He probably wasn't on crystal meth at all!"

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!
I mentioned that the above picture was the saddest I've been to mock someone through photoshop. Interestingly enough... care to know the angriest I've been while mocking someone through photoshop? It'd be this little primitive number here:



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?