Abel to Yzerman
Here's what you do. You keep a guy like Andreas Athanasiou (First time I spelled it right without copying and pasting. Thank you). You keep him because he proved himself to be the type of player who can break a game open.
You keep that guy and then you sit him in Game 1 against Tampa.
You play him against Florida and you watch as he gets 14 minutes of ice time and one shot on goal. Good minutes. We applaud that. Shitty production. That makes us sad.
But, he's young. You keep throwing him out there, right? You keep putting him in a position to succeed because you've seen that he can do it and you figure that with confidence he'll blossom even more. It's why you kept him up right?
Wrong. For Game three you put him on the fourth line.
It's the Red Wing way.
"Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is."
Yup, a little Hemingway for you.
It should be our mantra, because nobody's coming in. The Wings will live or die with who they have.
A little pushback today. Not a lot. A bit. I suggested trading Petr Mrazek. In fact, I suggested trading the whole damn team (minus Larkin and AA).
A few of you questioned my sanity, and I dig that.
Here's the thing.
Your fastest, arguably most explosive, player sits a game against the arguably fastest, most explosive team in the league.
Healthy, but sitting.
You get a quick two-goal lead but no one, and I mean no one, expects it to last. It doesn't.
Two too many men on the ice penalties. Again.
Three power play goals against.
Weak goaltending. Another two-goal lead vanished.
Most lines shuffled. Defensive pairings re-aligned. After one game.
"We're...we're going streaking."
-Frank the Tank
Well, Frank. We'll see. We will just see about that. Miles and miles to go before we get to that point. For now?
"Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you."
By my count there are six forwards skating tonight in Tampa who will bring less to this team than Andreas Athanasiou would: Miller, Ott, Glendening, Helm, Sheahan and, yes, even Zetterberg at this point in his recovery from whatever multitude of injuries are besetting him with 14 years left on his deal.
I'm not as sold on Mantha. Frankly, I like the Ott signing. A lot. But sitting AA, arguably our second most explosive player, right off the hop, reeks of Ken Holland stagnancy.
This franchise is beyond frustrating at this point.
Well, here we go. The season we've regretted, the season none of us wanted, the season the MSM and the bloggers, the pharmacists all claim will be "the year", is finally upon us.
I don't think there's ever been a summer with so much discontent or the beginning of a season with so little optimism.
I have no idea what Ken Holland does for a living. Seriously.
Screw it. Time won't stop. The calendar foiled us, crept up on us. Our Season of Contempt begins tonight.
It's actually cute. You're sitting there waiting, knowing, anticipating a move. You know, because he's the gold and gilded GM, that Tick Tock Kenny Holland is just moments away from bringing you the defenseman we all know we need and deserve.
Not a free agent. Justifiably, Holland didn't dip into that pool. He brought us more forwards, so that he could have the chips he needs to make that one big deal.
And it's coming. Right?
Steve Yzerman had just retired and was working as a member of Ken Holland's famed "management team", the group we like to point to as collective failures instead of the very individual failure Holland himself has become. Yzerman was very new to the business side and the idea of him walking from the Edmonton ice straight into the Wing GM job was not appetizing to us, or to him.
He wasn't ready and nobody knew if he ever would be.
The Helm signing was ridiculous. In every way, viewing it from any angle you'd like.
The Neilsen deal was pre-ordained. If you've read anything for three days, you knew it was coming. It's pure Holland: 32 year old. 6 years. 30 million.
And then it got weird, even for Holland standards.
Holland apologists, you are on the frigging clock. Admittedly in dire need of scoring, Tick Tock Kenny Holland, the alleged gold standard for NHL managers, has re-signed Darren Helm for five years at nearly 4 million per.
Because when you need scoring, boy, you go out and find a guy who averages 1 point every four games.
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