Thursday, July 30, 2009

Calder Winner?

The Hockey News has listed the top five Calder Trophy candidates for the 2009-10 season and Ville Leino is listed as number 4.

"Ville Leino is the most mature among our top crop and will be counted on to provide offense in Detroit."

It's nice to see him getting recognition for his talent, however, this can backfire as well. Some players can't handle the pressure, but I don't think--okay, I HOPE--that it isn't a problem for Leino. He is, after all, older than most rookies and was a star in Finland before coming here, so he knows what pressure is all about. He showed a maturity when he stayed in Grand Rapids last year instead of taking the option of returning to Finland when he didn't get to stay in Detroit. He has some work to do, but should do well this year. Calder winner? We can only hope.

The other four in the top five are: 1) Cody Hodgson, 2) John Tavares, 3) Nikita Filatov, 5) Simeon Varlamov.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Smile Is Getting Bigger

When I read yesterday that Hossa had a small tear of the rotator cuff, I smiled. Not that I want him to be hurt, mind you, just that this seemed to be a small bit of payback for the way Chicago screwed the Wings. Today the smile definitely got bigger when it was announced that he would, after all, have surgery to repair the damage and would miss the first two months of the season. Whoa! Let the imploding begin?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Huh? has several stories about Hudler's move/non-move to Russia today--and I STILL don't understand what the hell is going on. It seems as if the more it is explained, the more confusing it is. At one point in my reading, I got the understanding that Hudler WILL be staying in the States--with the Wings or through a trade to another team. At another point, it seemed as if he will be going to Russia. As George Malik said, 'something's getting lost in the translation.' Hopefully all of this will be resolved sooner rather than later--and Hudler will be allowed to go to Russia.

Just For Laughs

(Off The Mark by Mark Parisi)


I TOTALLY understand this woman--I'd be upset if a Wings' game was interrupted, too. (From Not Always Right.)


Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry for the inconvenience. We have no control over the emergency alerts.”


Me: “Again, ma’am, unfortunately the emergency alert will broadcast during an emergency situation; we have no control over when that will happen.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Next Season Schedule

The schedule was announced today and there really isn't much to talk about--they play, that's about it. The home opener will be against Chicago, so that should produce a lot of interest and, possibly, venom to start the year. Pitts and Detroit will play twice again this year and Washington will play in Detroit. While they will play on my birthday, they won't be at home, so no going to the Joe as a birthday gift for me. The Hubby says we WILL get to see a game this year, but I've heard that one before--I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


So, what exactly does it mean to the Wings that Stan Bowman is the new GM for Chicago? Hard to say, but I certainly see Scotty's hand in all of the changes going on there. Despite the fact that Scotty lead the Wings to the Cup, he rubs me the wrong way. I really don't think I would like the guy in real life. Just saying. This season is going to be interesting, to say the least.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Little Gary HAS To Be Thrilled

I can imagine Little Gary sitting behind a very large desk--well, considering what a very small man he is, it wouldn't have to be THAT big--rubbing his hands together and cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West. Since 1 July, he has seen five of the Wings leave and the Hudler situation just made everything a bit more uncomfortable. Losing five players should have been the prize for Red Wing haters, but the league decided it wasn't enough. Despite the Wings NOT arguing Hudler's decision to go to Russia to play, the NHL has stepped in and said he's not allowed to do so--that he is still under contract to the Wings and he can't leave. And so the situation just gets worse for the Wings.

First, if Hudler is forced to come back to Detroit, just how effective of a player will he be? He WANTED to leave and the team he was going to was giving him BIG bucks to play for them. Now, we're talking about $2 mil more per year TAX FREE to play in Russia. THAT is quite an incentive, for sure. And something NO ONE wants to have taken away from them. Would he be able to put aside his disappointment and play as well as he is able if he is forced to stay in Detroit? And would he be satisfied with his role on the team? He said that playing in Russia would increase his on-ice minutes--something ALL players crave--and that he would have a leadership role on the team--something that wouldn't happen on the Wings. NOT a good situation for the team, at all.

And now, with this whole league-contesting-Hudler's-Russian-contract deal going on, Holand's hands are tied when it comes to adding anyone to the team. Without knowing if he has to work in Hudler's salary, Holland can't sign anyone because he has no idea how much money he has to work with. The Wings were willing to let Hudler go, so why should the league make a big deal out of it? (Yeah, yeah, there is the whole bit about future players, etc, etc, etc. Whatever.) It seems as if this is just one more thing that the conspiracy theorists can point to when they talk about the hate Bettman and the league have for the Wings.

For the amount that the Wings would probably have to pay Hudler--in the $3 mil per year area, I would imagine--I say "Let him go!" Filppula is getting $3 mil a year and Cleary is getting $2.8 mil--and Hudler is NOT worth as much as either one of them. Too much money for too little talent. And despite VF's and Cleary's not-as-good-as-hoped season last year, I think both will step it up a lot with Hossa being gone. They both will add minutes and be expected to do better. Hudler is not needed--especially a Hudler that doesn't want to be on the team.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NOT Fast Enough

Time is moving so slowly--I can't wait till October. HOWEVER, the first pre-season game is on 16 September! Happy, happy days!

Here's the pre-season schedule:

Sept. 16 vs. Philadelphia at Joe Louis Arena, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 18 vs. New York Rangers at Joe Louis Arena, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 19 vs. Buffalo at Joe Louis Arena 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 at Philadelphia, TBD
Sept. 25 vs. Toronto at Joe Louis Arena, 7:30
Sept. 26 at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 vs. Pittsburgh at Joe Louis Arena, 5 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Farjestads (Karlstad, Sweden), TBD

The regular season schedule should be announced be the NHL next week.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Much Going On

No one will be able to watch hockey this season without a program, that's for sure. With all of the players being moved, it will be hard to know exactly WHAT team is playing.

The Grand Rapids guys will be a big part of the Wings this year--which we all were pretty sure was going to happen, anyway. It is time for Helm and Leino and Ericsson to move up. Last year they could have been in Detroit, but the salary cap prevented that. It will be a much younger team than we've seen in a while, but good nonetheless.

Now with the probable move to Russia by Hudler, it looks like there will be a need for even more new faces on the team. Holland is going to sign someone, cause it doesn't look like there will be enough guys in GR ready to move up. With the exception of Abdelkator, I'm not sure who is next in line. Especially with the way the Wings like to give prospects the time to grow in the AHL. Interesting.


So, Sakic is retiring. The only player that I could actually like on the Avalanche. He was as classy as a player could be--a good guy. Too bad he played for Colorado.


Pronger extended his time in Philly by another seven years. And the Flyers continue to get themselves back into the Broadstreet Bullies way of thinking--if they ever were out of it. Their season might be mighty interesting, considering they signed Emery, too. I'm still waiting to see what this team can do against Pitts--I'm hoping for some bloodshed, actually.


Just some of the interesting things going on: Anaheim signed Saku Koivu. The Islanders are hoping that Tavares will lead them out of the cellar. The Blackhawks signed all of their RFA's, so they will stay out of trouble over the 'oops, the mail was slow' 'mistake' that was made over the qualifying offers not getting to the players as per the rules. Surprise! {dripping sarcasm in that} And life goes on in the NHL. Isn't it October yet?

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Blue Jacket For Life?

The Wings will have Rick Nash in their nightmares for the next eight years: He just signed an eight year extension with Columbus to the tune of $62.4 million. And some people actually had the thought that Detroit could try to sign him next summer.

There Goes Another One

It was just reported that Mikael Samuelsson signed a three year deal with Vancouver.

Ville Leino is close to signing a two year deal with the Wings and Jiri Hudler will most likely be filing for arbitration before the weekend. The team this year will definitely have a different look to it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

On Further Thought

Quite the day and so much to think about. Next season will be interesting, to say the least.

I didn't think that Hossa would re-sign with the Wings--and I was perfectly okay with that. My one regret is that I would have liked to have seen Hossa and Filppula on the same line for all of last season. I think those two could have developed a chemistry that would have been unbelievable. But, Babcock is so insistent on separating Datsyuk and Zetterberg--it is a blind spot with the man. Oh, well, that is something that didn't and won't happen, so I must move on. And I was okay with all of this--until Hossa signed with Chicago. I still find it hard to absorb that news. This really takes away most of the 'good luck, been nice knowing you' feelings that I had for him.

Even though the Wings have lost three players--so far--they aren't that much different from the team that won the Cup on '08. I know that in an intellectual way. But, in my heart I am not too confident about next season. I'm sure I will feel differently about a month in, but until then I will do a lot of worrying. The depth is there and it was apparent during the playoffs that the guys from Grand Rapids ARE ready to make the jump, but still I worry. With Conklin gone, I worry about the goal tending. He really helped save the team while Ozzie was having his problems--I wish he would have stayed. Kopecky leaving doesn't bother me at all--if nothing else, I think Abdelkator could replace him. But it won't matter that much if he stays in GR for another year.

Now we just sit and wait to see how many more will leave--and IF Holland signs anyone new. At least, there should be some salary relief with Hossa leaving. I'm hoping that the wheeling and dealing that Bettman has done over the years to cause the Wings to fall, isn't finally going to become a reality.

I wonder if I actually could live with myself if I ever became an optimist?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Baby Boy

I have an extremely inappropriate crush on Valtteri Filppula. I have named him my Baby Boy because he is a couple of weeks younger than my Youngest. 8 April 2006, was the date I first noticed VF--the Wings played Columbus and he had 11:37 on-ice time. The next day, I told The Hubby that I saw a player who could very easily become a star.

As a second generation Finnish-American, I was proud to see VF as the first Finn to ever play for the Wings--and it didn't hurt that he actually was a good player. His is the first jersey that I purchased and I refuse to wear it until I get to the Joe to see him play in person. Unfortunately, I may never get to wear it. (I have to convince The Hubby to go there--something I haven't been able to do. YET.)

I have had many people ask if I would change teams if VF was ever to be traded. Obviously, these people don't know how loyal Wing fans are. I would always follow his career, but never change teams--not going to happen. I believe he has much to offer the Wings in the years to come--I don't in any way believe he has peaked. I see him as becoming Datsyuk-lite. He does quite a few things like Datsyuk, but there will never be another Pavel--even VF won't come close. But, I think he will become much better than he is now.

So, why do I even post this? Well, it is to let anyone who might read this blog know just how I feel about my Baby Boy. While I will criticize any bone-headed mistakes he makes, he is ALWAYS my Baby Boy first and I don't tolerate any nasty bashing of him. Now you can go and discuss the crazy lady who writes this blog. ;)