Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

On This Detroit Red Wings’ Off-Season So Far


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.

Mar 20, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Daniel Alfredsson (R) celebrates with center Gustav Nyquist (14) after scoring the game winning goal in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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:

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.”

Tags: 2014 Off-season Detroit Red Wings Featured NHL Popular

  • Dennis

    Sad to say, I share your sentiment 100%. As I am sure you are aware, there has been considerable debate about Holland and whether his shelf life has expired in Detroit. While the length of the Wing’s play-off run is noteworthy, much of the success has taken place with the likes of Bowman, Nill and Yzerman in the

  • Dennis

    Finishing thoughts from earlier. Bowman,Nill and Yzerman I the fold. The last two to three years under Holland have not been good and he seems unwilling to take a long hard look at why quality free agents avoid Detroit. That forces additions through trades (think Legwand) or signing free agents whose choices are limited(think Tootoo,Samuelson and the like). At the very least, I hope ownership takes a more pro-active role in the team and asks Holland some tough questions before any thought of re-signing him. What really scares me is Holland’s moves when he gets desperate. The Cleary mess was the final straw ..

  • R. A. Stankiewicz

    The current crop of Red Wings “fans” have my sympathy. I grew up listening to the Wings on the radio. I remember Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio and Roger Crozier. And I remember 42 years of playing without ever winning the Stanley Cup or even being close. Many years the Red Wings weren’t even in the playoffs. I remember when the Wings were a joke “the dead things”. And fans whine because the Wings haven’t won the Cup in six years? Things could be way better, but they could also be a whole lot worse.

  • Dustin

    You forgot Gustavsson! At least he’s still around. But if we sign a bunch of guys in one offseason, for every Chelios there’s a Wendel Clark. And I always joke about Andy Delmore, who we signed two times, who never played a game with us (maybe he was a GR depth guy, I don’t know.) It’s certainly not exciting when the only guys we’re signing are guys we’ve had, but I never expect a huge splash anymore.

    But maybe it’s telling that the written history on the official Red Wings site stops at 2008.

  • Darknut

    Some questionable signings. Mrazek is better than Gustavsson no doubt, but if Mrazek is our backup we have no goaltending depth at all. I’m okay with that. I like the Tomas Nosek signing, I like Alfie if he comes back. If not I’m fine with it. I liked letting Quincey go, until he was brought back. I would have preferred a rookie get a chance, we have 4 rookies right on the cusp of being NHL defenders, and at worst even if none of them grabs a spot we can rotate them in and out of the roster throughout the season. As of now we have no flexibility on the D-corps, until someone (inevitably???) gets injured. Cleary should not be given a chance to make the NHL team. He should get beat out in training camp and pre-season and sent to Grand Rapids (or healthy scratched all season). In case of injury, I would rather Mantha or someone else (Nosek, Jurco etc) get playing time, unless they’re all clearly in way over their heads (not likely). If I was GM, this is what my starting roster would look like. Of course this is assuming an ideal situation. I understand Holland has to plan for injuries and have insurance plans in place so he’s not forced to pull a Jarnkrok-Legwand again. I’m still upset about that. I’m okay with it, but I would have preferred it didnt happen.

    Zetterberg – Datsyuk – Franzen
    Nyquist – Weiss – Mantha
    Tatar – Sheahan – Jurco
    Abdelkader – Helm – Miller
    Anderson/Glendening/Cleary.

    How cool would a Tomas-Tomas-Tomas line be? As in Tatar – Nosek – Jurco. I’m looking forward to that one.

    Kronwall – Smith
    Dekeyser – Sproul/Ouellet
    Ericsson – Marchenko/Backman

    No idea where I fit under the roster limits with this, but whatever. I’m probably missing a couple of important guys, but who really cares. I’m just waiting for September at this point.