Several reasons why the Detroit Red Wings should avoid trading Jonatan Berggren

Amid the chaos of the approaching trade deadline, the Detroit Red Wings would be wise to hold on to their dancing king, Jonatan Berggren.

Detroit Red Wings, Red Wings, Jonatan Berggren
Detroit Red Wings, Red Wings, Jonatan Berggren / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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As nervous people come, I’m usually at the top of the list. The previous version of me wasn’t so anxious. My first day of kindergarten began with me walking up to a girl (whom I didn’t know at the time) and asked her if she wanted to be best friends. Some of my fondest memories growing up are with this same friend.

Somehow, I lost that part of me in the years that followed. I tend to overthink things and get anxious and nervous at just about anything life throws my way.

Last year, I had the privilege of getting a puppy. Taro, a mainly Bernese mountain dog and mini poodle, has helped me overcome the ever-present anxiety that I face. For that, I am forever grateful.

When the Grand Rapids Griffins, the affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings in the American Hockey League (AHL), held their autograph session I was excited. Also, terribly nervous.

Although many fans think Jonatan Berggren’s time in the Detroit Red Wings organization is coming to an end, and l were dying to get his John Hancock before he leaves, I firmly believe he should stay.

The Detroit Red Wings should not trade Jonatan Berggren.

Years ago, I attended an AHL event with a different AHL team. It had a couple of incredible players on them, the likes of Eriah Hayes and former Grand Rapids Griffins player Harri Säteri, who were lovely. On the other hand, there were some that were not so kind.

With the Grand Rapids Griffins and Red Wings, I built these players up to be the best of the best (on and off the ice). In part, it’s my blind optimism. The other part is the sentiment that the general manager, Steve Yzerman, of the Red Wings, only wants high-character, players in his organization.

Mix together my anxiety with the former experience, I was hesitant that my high hopes would shatter. 

We talked to some friendly, tenured season ticket holders while waiting for the first Grand Rapids Griffins players. 

The players walked by, and I quaked in my boots. 

Seemingly disinterested in the big lineup of fans, I had flashbacks to the previous AHL team that I interacted within the fear rose once more. 

Twenty minutes fly, and we reach our first casualty. 

With his flowing golden locks, a perplexed Simon Edvinsson asks where he should sign my sister’s hat. She gives him free rein, anywhere he thinks is good.

Meanwhile, I’m ensuring that one of my all-time favorite shirts is facing the right way. Next, I contemplated if I should be extra and ask that he sign in the gold marker that I brought.

Since it went better with my 007 Golden Eye-inspired shirt, I stuck with the gold and being a little extra. 

Back in the day, my cousins and I played 007 on the Nintendo 64. My cousin was lethal with that game, as with every game he ever picked up. Even as he was banned from shooting anyone in the back, he’d find us. Tell us to turn around. Magically, he’d be right behind us and promptly kill us on the front side.

From Guitar Hero to Tekken Tag Tournament to Monopoly, anyone who played against him became his victim (usually victims as everyone teamed up against him, only to fail all the same).

Graciously, Edvinsson obliged my request, as did all the players. The only other semblance of words to pass my lips were, “Awesome game! You’re awesome.” 

Classic. 

Shuffling to the next line, I’m overanalyzing the words that I spoke. I’m wondering why the word awesome is the only description I can provide while facing positive anxiety, such as interacting with Edvinsson.

For what it’s worth, Edvinsson was a kind, polite soul just as I had hoped.

Preparing myself for the possible Swedish sass from the next table, Albert Johansson looked as calm and confident as he is on the ice. He wasn’t smiling much, so I was curious more than anything. As I walked up and smiled, a smile crossed his face. Far from any sass, Johansson was a joy to interact with, as was his fellow table-mate, Marco Kasper.

As Kasper signed the shirt (his penmanship is as spiffy as his style), it dawned on me that (it takes me a bit sometimes, but I get there) Kasper seemed nervous, too. 

Maybe other players are too. I kept this thought in my mind throughout the following interactions.

Courteously, the Grand Rapids Griffins players and staff gave us 45 minutes to interact with the players. The fellas and staff alike had a busy few days. They had a game Wednesday night, the annual Sled Wings game Thursday, and games Saturday and Sunday. After the game, players didn’t have much time to wind down or even eat. I’m exhausted and sore just thinking about it.

Even with the great turnout of fans, it allowed enough time to meet with favorite players on the team. Waddling as fast as I could across the concourse, I arrived at another station with another one of my favorite players.