Abel to Yzerman
How about that Dive fans? A little French in the post title for you. Like that don’t you?
So last year, when the summer got long and the heat was so oppressive that we begged Ken Holland (we? I meant “I”) to sign Gerber, Carter and Peca; we started a little diddy here that we like to call the Michigan Sports Blog of the Week. Unfortunately, I initiated that endeavor just before I fell off the face of the earth and eventually re-surfaced under the flag of the The Emperor.
But we’re bringing it back with a vengeance brother. And this week we re-introduce that feature with Mack Avenue Tigers.
I’ve made a command decision. The Wings’ skate-on song for the ‘07-‘08 season should be the tune that comes in at #7 on the IwoCPO top fifty. Deep Purple’s “Knockin’ At Your Back Door”. It’s got all the necessary ingredients: the haunting violins at the beginning, the wholesome family lyrics that speak of unrivaled linguistic abilities and an intro that could easily work even the most comfortable JLA crowd into a frothing frenzy.
So, yeah, that’s what I’m thinking about. And when my mind strays that far you know (a) that alcohol’s involved, even at 0740 on a Saturday morning or (2) a post could very well follow that is all over the map: hockey, culture, Lord of the Rings references (That’s sarcasm. There will be no LOTR references. For those of you who are Ring fans, you have my apologies for [a] getting your hopes up and  well, I guess for being Ring fans in the first place).
Nice little piece from the AP’s Larry Lage. Not sure if The Emperor’s run this yet. If not, have a look.
Vladimir Konstantinov shuffles his feet slowly with the help of a walking frame.
It’s a bittersweet accomplishment for the former Detroit defenseman, who almost lost his life in a limousine crash a decade go.
“It’s hard to explain how it feels when you see Vladdy now,” former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman said Wednesday, the 10-year anniversary of the accident. “He is alive, first of all. But we all know what kind of athlete and personality he was.”
Our boy (and DD Captain) Ansar Khan(!) likes to stick his fist in the hornets’ nest from time to time. He typically picks and chooses his spots, waiting for a lull in conversation…then he’ll throw a nugget out there just to see if anyone’s reading. Today, he’s mentioned an item being lightheartedly discussed on a few blogs and message boards, one that—on the surface—doesn’t make much economic sense but would be interesting to consider: the return of Sergei Fedorov.
We’ll get to that. Have patience.
Udpated 0315: added Pete’s analysis of the Drake deal, as seen over at Yzerman is God.
Seinfeld reference. Sorry. I deliberately held off on this post because I had a hunch Dave from Gorilla Crouch would make the wait worthwhile. He didn’t disappoint, and he’s hating the move.
Whatever mystical presence Dallas Drake brings with his physical/gritty play, it sure doesn’t seem to do much as far as helping his team kill penalties, draw penalties, or just outscore their opponent. And I haven’t even really touched on the fact he’s one of the biggest cheapshot hitters in the league. That doesn’t concern me if you can actually bring something else to the table. Right now I highly doubt Drake can.
Dave makes a concrete argument, several actually, as to why this shouldn’t have happened. He’s eloquent, on the money and well-researched. All fine qualities I admire, but rarely replicate.
In other words, I disagree. I think the 550k was a steal for what Drake could bring this team. I think the role he could play is one of leadership and violence. And I think Ken Holland has an idea of what he’s doing. It almost reminds me of last August when Hasek was signed. On the surface, it appeared a desperation move. But we know it turned out better than any of us expected. Holland seems to have a plan, and I’m going to go with it for now. He’s earned the benefit of the doubt.
Stan Fischler, writing for the New England Hockey Journal, offers a few Wing-related observations in his latest column for one of the twenty three publications he seems to be affiliated with.
On The Captain
Any doubts that Steve Yzerman was serious about his front-office role were dispelled when he was a featured member of the Detroit Red Wings’ high command at the owners’ last conference in Manhattan.
Speaking of…I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t more than a little Yzer-influence on today’s Drake signing.
Christy Hammond at Behind the Jersey has gone to a variety of sources to translate an article that recently appeared in a Swede paper. In it, Zetterberg discusses wrist problems, back problems and his wishes to stay a Wing for life.
“If Detroit wants to, I’ll sign a contract for the rest of my career.”
Let me answer that for you Hank. Detroit wants to. And you’ll be the league’s highest paid player next fall.
At 35, I called for Dallas Drake. That’s right, when I was 35 I said, “we need Drake.” At 37, during the Summer of Ken, I called for Drake again. I said we needed that kind of grit, that kind of leadership in our room.
And now, at 38, we land him. Oh, and he’s 38 too…in case you were wondering. A one-year deal for $550,000. Three years later? I still like it.
He’s spent the last six seasons in St. Louis and served as the team’s captain. The Wings have been trying to reacquire Drake for the last six years. Twice, the Blues outbid them in their efforts to sign him.
Editorial note: it’s rare, but sometimes I do stray into worlds that don’t necessarily include hockey. In those instances, the word “perspective” will typically be in the subject of the post. If the subject matter offends you, feel free to say so. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Perspective? Yes. I’ve got a little for you. Back in the states after a short trip to The Cradle and I’ve returned to find a team that is Smyth-less, improved, yet largely the same. Schneider’s gone, so is Bertuzzi. Rafalski’s here and Hasek is back. The blue line is better, but offensively there are questions. The Groin that wasn’t an issue will most likely become a story by Christmas and there is at least one more UFA out there waiting to head to Hockeytown.
I woke up at 0218 (Bahrain time, also known over here as the time that the Saudis are all headed back across the border, driving home after a night of conveniently forgetting some of Allah’s more unreasonable prohibitions) in somewhat of a panic.
Why? Most likely because that was the precise time Paul posted this little diddy: Bertuzzi Signs With Ducks
No mention of money, not yet. But, man…Kenny? As someone noted below the Summer of Smyth is sucking, ‘specially when compared with the Summer of Ken.
Schneider, now Bertuzzi? That’s tough. I need to see the economics of this one….soon, because I’m on the verge of getting pissed off. Khan(!) says the two-year offer vice the one from the Wings sealed it.
No Hasek yet, but “he’s close”. That’s nice. Because if we don’t sign him soon we’ll have a problem, you know, “stopping the puck.” But maybe that won’t matter because half our team has, what’s the word? Oh yeah…“defected.”
About Abel to Yzerman
Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org