I can sum up my feelings for this Detroit Red Wings’ off-season in one easy quote from The Simpsons:
“No, children, no! Your education is important! Roman numerals… et cetera… Whatever, I tried.”
Since the off-season of 2008 when the team signed Marian Hossa to a one-year deal, the Red Wings’ free agency frenzy is less of a frenzy and more of a… lengthy amount of time without hockey on my television.
Ever since Hossa bolted for the Chicago Blackhawks, this team has lost players like Brian Rafalski, Brad Stuart, and Nicklas Lidstrom. They have missed out on Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Dan Boyle, and Matt Niskanen to name a few.
They have signed the likes of Kyle Quincey (who no one liked when he was here before), Jordin Tootoo (who never fit with this iteration of the team), Mikael Samuelsson (who no one liked when he was here before), and traded for David Legwand (which played out as a desperation move due to injuries). The one signing that seems to be the ray of light in the dismal outcomes would be Daniel Alfredsson and the team is currently stringing him along, uncertain of whether they will sign him to another one-year deal for the 2014-15 season.
My Twitter feed sits in a constant state of mutiny. My new schtick on Twitter (mostly to keep myself sane) is to just post GIFs of Loki from the Marvel movies to describe either my feelings or what my timeline looks like.
Case in point, one I posted after one hour of free agency:
— Christina Roberts (@franzenmuth) July 1, 2014
It’s disheartening, really, seeing how fast someone’s back can turn. Heck, it’s not even that people are turning away; by this point, with the lack of playoff depth and few signings to write home about, fans don’t expect much anymore.
The biggest signing so far of this free agency has been the new assistant coach, Tony Granato, who was initially under fire in the Red Wings’ Twittersphere, though the rest of the hockey world tells me he’s not as bad as everyone paints him. And honestly, all I think of when I see his name is Homer Simpson asking Marge if Lisa is at Camp Granada*.
*Hint: Everything reminds me of The Simpsons
So I’m tired. I’m tired of the anger and the rage. I’m tired of attempting to explain this team and their faults and their decisions. I’m tired of being one of the few who tries to spin it in a positive light. You guys know me and my writing by now: I’m non-confrontational to a fault. I’m the one who tries to make you feel good after a tremendously horrible loss.
But I’m losing my will to do so.
I think it was the re-signing of Dan Cleary that broke my will to continue caring, at least in a positive way. And it was less about his signing than it was the reactions of Red Wings fans. What else can I say that hasn’t been said on blogs all around the hockey world? Does it matter who is to blame if everyone is attacking everyone?
No, I am not turning my back on this team. Yes, I still have some amount of faith in them. Will I continue to convince myself (and maybe others) that there’s a method behind what seems to be sheer, uncoordinated madness? Probably not.
So I have become Mrs. Krabappel. When the rest of my class follows Nelson Muntz to hear devastating news, I barely put up a fight to keep them focused and attentive. They run away to find their lemon tree missing while I smoke at my desk and say, “Whatever, I tried.”