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Abel to Yzerman

Drew Sharp Responds

Two posts today blasting Drew Sharp for his dimwitted idea that the Wings should retire Dominik Hasek’s number.  I emailed him, offered him the chance to respond to the questions posted here, and he has.  As I told him I would, I’m posting his response in its entirety.

Your comments, as always, are more than welcome.


Bill—With all due discretion, I really don’t care what fans or bloggers think. Fans have an emotional connection to a team. I don’t. That’s why I can look at a situation more objectively.

If you disagree with an argument raised, that’s great. I don’t want fans agreeing with everything I write because that doesn’t mean that my argument was right. It only means that the argument raised was popular and, quite honestly, that’s a cop out for a columnist entrusted with stirring debate and discussion. If the objective is just being liked then you shouldn’t be a columnist.

Hell, the easiest thing in the world is telling people strictly what they want to hear.

There’s no trick to that.

But the central problem in this country right now is that the art of argumentative thrust and parry is lost because too many automatically designate a point of view as “stupid,” “dumb” or “offensive” without further discussion. Nobody can just respectfully disagree anymore. It has to be insulting and demeaning.

Again, that’s why I don’t care about what fans think.

As far as retiring numbers are concerned, you can’t base a standard today on what was the case 30 years ago. Star players staying an entire 15-year career in one city is the ultimate rarity. Using your standard for retiring numbers, Lidstrom will the be the last number retired because he’ll be the last 15-year guy playing a great career with one team that we’ll see in this city because of free agency.

That’s cheapening greatness because it isn’t consistent with an ideal that was true in the 50’s and 60’s.

The Rangers retired Messier’s No. 11 after he already had a Hall of Fame career in Edmonton, solely based on the 1994 championship because that run revolved around him same as the Wings 2002 run revolved primarily around Hasek.

If you disagree with it, cool. Give me a counter argument instead of merely saying that I shouldn’t write about hockey because I don’t know what I’m talking about.

That’s just your opinion.

And since you’re a fan, it doesn’t really bother me.

Drew Sharp


My response was brief.

Drew—thanks for the replies. I’ll post them, as I said I would, in their entirety.  Your first sentence, if it matters, confirms everything I wrote earlier today.


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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: wphoulihan@gmail.com