Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

IwoCPO…Departing

It doesn't take a pharmacist to figure out what's happening here.  In fact, it's been coming for a couple years. 

In January it will be 9 years since we started A2Y and, simply, I'm going to fall just short of reaching that anniversary.  The main hatchway has, once and for all, given in.

Most of you know I started a new job in May and it's one I've wanted my entire career.  In order to do it right, I've had to devote considerable time to it.  My family will attest to that, believe me.  But most of you have realized it too. Blogging hasn't been possible. Paul's carried me. George and Red Menace too. 

But Balboa wasn't fond of being carried and he let Mickey know that at the 22 minute mark of Rocky III, one of the most dramatic moments in American film history.  I'm not a fan of it either, and I told Paul this morning that an exit strategy was in order.  I'm not going to drag this out. I'm not going to sporadically post (anymore). I'm just gonna call it quits and thank all of you for being great friends.  I'm not sure what's going to come of A2Y. I carry no parochial rights to the name or the blog, itself.  I'd say that if any of you are interested in stepping up, Paul would be very willing to listen.  The Live Blogs have carried Abel to Yzerman for the last couple years and I know the staple they've become for many of you on game day. 

It's hard to believe we've been going this long.  Together we've experienced some of the greatest moments in Red Wing history and we've suffered together through some soul-crushing episodes.  We've seen this team shift generations. We watched Nick Lidstrom hoist his final Stanley Cup together and it's incredible to think that, as a group of 19, we never saw The Captain do the same. 

We've waged silly wars with Dive fans, Pens fans, Duck fans, a Predator fan and the three people in Missouri who can read.  We've met Darren Garcia and cherished him for the city he represented so well.  We hated things together. Oh, my. Did we ever levy some hate.  Mostly me, but you guys too. Gary Bettman was target A#1. As I go out, I'd like to say to you Gary that I respect your role as commissioner of this great league and despite the criticism thrown at you here and from other corners, you're a good man and your integrity should never have been questioned the way it was here from time to time.

Re-phrase: you're a paranoid shrew who leads a pathetic league through incompetence, personal greed, personal bias and sheer stupidity. You're a laughingstock and ripping you to shreds has brought me pleasure that borders on the physical.

Sorry. Got off track.

We rode Stress Trains together, nearly two hundred of them stretching across 8 Springs (minus Gary's lockout year...you fuch).  We created juvenile names and they stuck: Charlie Buckets and William Tell. Tick Tock and Stillwuzzi, our favorite serial killer.  Wally and James Tiberius Howard.  You talked about his dong a lot.  We suffered through sphincter minutes and whiskey dick.  We loved our coach and we hated him.  We trusted him and we envied his hair.  We questioned him and we hailed him when he proved to be brilliant, which he is.  We begged Manny Legace to stop talking about it, and just do it.  We still talk about penalty kills from Kirk Maltby, Darren Helm and Hank Zetterberg.  We despised our villains: the Talbots, the Prongers, the Niedermayers. Many others.

We picked fights with other blogs. We stuck together at all times. We drank together and RWBill tried to pick up my wife right in front of me.  We are transplants and we are Michigan natives who never left.  I'll always consider myself one of you, long after I've typed my last word here in a few minutes.

Paul has put up with a lot where A2Y is concerned. Man, the emails he's gotten.  If I was a chick I'd put "LOL" right there.  The complaints from the masses about the fact that I may have said something a little offensive. But only a little.  He never once asked me to remove a word. Never changed a single post. Never did anything but defend us for our right to have an opinion.  He's been a great boss and a great friend.

I had a blast here. I did. I loved letting my mind wander and flow through the keyboard right to this blog.  Little structure. Very little discipline. Even less neutrality. I never claimed to be anything other than an arrogant Wing fan who happened to have people to talk to about it. I loved it.  Truly. 

But I don't have the time and, honestly, I can't remember the last post I gave you that was more than a few paragraphs and even those felt forced.  I told my wife about this today and she asked if it was permanent or a sabbatical or what. I'd say it's permanent. I don't see my job slowing down and, I don't know...maybe I'll throw something up when the playoffs start. But I'm not counting on it. I plan to be at sea, on a Destroyer, probably throwing up because that thing moves in heavy seas, brother.

Thanks for reading me the last (almost) 9 years. Thanks for your friendship and your loyalty to the greatest organ-i-zation in sports. Ever. 

Somewhere Murph is frigging wasted.  The Cup comes back to Detroit about 20 Tuesdays from the next one.  16 more wins to 12.

I'm out.  Bitches.

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Rumbear's avatar

Just returned from the desert after a few days of shooting things.  Saw a post on FB by VooX! and came here.

Initial reaction is….Damn, just damn.

Chief, you made this place feel like home.  The Hasek was a place to run to and, sometimes hide in. I am thankful for the drinks we hoisted together, the juvilicious postings and the opportunity to put a face with a name. I respect your decision and wish you all the best. Sail on…

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, doing the pre-season shuffle.... on 11/30/13 at 12:51 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

As someone who has been reading you since before KK…I just don’t know what to say.

Thanks so much for everything.  For giving this displaced Red Wings fan a port in the storm of Avalanche country.

Thank you.

Best wishes always.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 11/30/13 at 06:08 PM ET

Osrt's avatar

Chief and fellow 19,

Thanks for building a great community of brilliant and hilarious people to share some incredible moments with. I haven’t posted in a while but I still think of A2Y live blogs every time I watch a game, say Bertuzzi three times in a dark room or listen to a Babbles press conference. I started posting here in 2007, and really got going during the playoffs. We keeled over after that Kick to the Crotchals. Next year, we won the cup and I got to go to game 1 of the Finals game with Bill; the Joe cracked up when Marc-Andre fell as he led the Pens out on to the ice. Awesome. Chief became a section favorite halfway into the first period. The local chic with a Pens fan boyfriend wanted to rub his Rafalski head by the start of the second. The third is blurry; the Joe’s piss trough fumes and my coke bump ring saw to that. 

I got a chance to meet a lot of you during H2H1 and hope to make another one in the coming years. I picked up Gramps and drove him to and from the game, talking about his favorite player, Lilja (no joke). I still have the Winter Classic hat he forgot in my car. The man was amazing and the fact that he wrote with us made the whole thing all the more special.

This was and will continue to be a great community. Thank you for that Chief. I’m glad to hear of the upward career and hope the best for you.

Posted by Osrt on 12/01/13 at 03:38 PM ET

VooX's avatar

I know I’m late to the party but it is what it is.

Chief, you are an irreplaceable talent and I owe you many thanks for the laughs and feuds you helped create.  It was an unforgettable experience first reading your work.  I never met a kindred spirit as a Wings fan until I came here and encountered 19 other maniacs who also felt the same way about your blog.

You created a community, a glossary, a sidebar, countless hilarious posts, and an unforgettable event (H2H) from the tips of your fingers and the depths of your depravity.  For that we are all grateful and honoured to have been part of your wild ride.

Your legacy here at A2Y lies within the LB’s that have their own pulse.  It lies in the bodies of the broken and bitter trolls long ago destroyed and left in your wake.  Your legacy especially remains in uniting a community of Red Wings fanatics around the globe who are now friends, and in some cases employers, and will be for a lifetime.

We have spent more time here exchanging jokes and thoughts amongst ourselves than we have with some of our own family members and that was all because of you.  Thanks for all of your hard word and dedication in creating the most unforgettable place and experience for this Red Wings fan.  I wish you all the best in your life and career.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 12/01/13 at 06:38 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

So disappointing. But it’s not like the writing has been on the wall these last couple years. Only death and taxes last forever, we must accept it, and that doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it.

I find I’m usually I’m on the front-edge of good things, before they get popularized, watered-down, and commercialized. Fortunately this (the bad stuff) didn’t happen for me when it came to A2Y. Unfortunately, I discovered it (A2Y) at, what I see as the-prelude-to-the-beginning-of-the-end: the summer of ‘08. I heard some conversation on Center Ice (or whatever they call it) on XM about KK. I was hungry for more better hockey stories than I was getting from the local rags and MSM. So I decided to check out the site. In my perusing, I clicked an A2Y post. I don’t remember which one, but it was enough to draw me in. I was exposed to a new vocabulary and a brialiant way of thinking. I went back through and read all the posts and comments from the precious year, through the cup win. I was hooked. I lurked all the following year up until I knew I had a place among the 19 and contibuted my own 2 cents worth along with a scattering of depravity. Though has been a short time for me, it has been an awesome ride. Thanks Chief.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 12/02/13 at 02:10 PM ET

Avatar

Circumstances have kept me from being here as much lately, too, and when I am here I lurk lots more than I post.  But I’m sad, selfishly sad.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve laughed those good hard deep-down laughs that force food and drink out of the mouth and into the ether.  I can’t quantify how much I’ve enjoyed your writing.  And you can’t know how much I wish you well as you move on.  Thanks, Chief, and Godspeed.

Posted by BobTheZee on 12/02/13 at 06:30 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Well hell, Chief.  Can’t say I’m delighted by any means but I understand.  I want to thank you for all the years of the hard work you put in.  I’ve never laughed more out loud reading another blog.  I’ve never felt more enabled to bring an extra dose of swagger with me when confronted with another team’s hockey fans.  And I’ve never seen a more tight knit, great community brought together all because of you, your wit and unabashed unapologeticism (that’s a word now).  For lack of a better comparison you’ve been the Don Cherry to Paul’s Ron MacLean and Kukla’s Korner just ain’t going to be the same without you.

I hope you’ll drop in from time to time and warm your beer by our fire, and I hope we as a group can some how keep this good thing going without our Chief.

I’m typing this at work so I have to stop now before someone catches me tearing up.

Sail redolently, man, and don’t be a stranger.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 12/02/13 at 08:30 PM ET

Bill from GR's avatar

Wow, I go deer hunting for a couple of weeks, finally get caught up with emails and voice mails and then immediately jump on to A2Y.  And this is what I find.

Deeply saddened by your departure, Chief, and very grateful for your blogging excellence since 1977.  While I am a total lurker and sometimes poster, I have truly enjoyed your wit, wisdom and general juvenilishnessless.  While the 19 is eloquent in their own fashion, your prose and turn of phrase can not be replaced.

I think Taggart said it best,

I salute you

Posted by Bill from GR on 12/04/13 at 02:29 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Man, I’m extremely late to this post. 

Chief, you’ve been a real pleasure to read and a much needed go-to outlet for me since 31 July 2008. 

Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors!

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 12/11/13 at 11:26 AM ET

Tuba Guy's avatar

How did I miss this post?  Man, my lunch is ruined.

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 12/20/13 at 01:59 PM ET

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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