Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Mourn If You Want, But There’s Work To Be Done

Seriously. This is the last update at 1247: Drew Sharp with some thoughts that sound amazingly familiar. Apparently looking forward today is Sharp’s idea.

One more update at 1233 PST: check out the poster over at Nightmare on Helm Street.  Awesome stuff, Josh.

Updated at 1144 PST with a rebuttal below to Josh Cooper’s claim that Suter won’t sign with Detroit because “replacing Lidstrom” is too daunting.

A couple of thoughts heading into a Lidstrom-less existence. Mostly rambling stuff so beware.

The void is huge.  Immense.  You don’t lose the greatest defenseman in a generation (best ever, in my opinion), the best player in hockey, your captain and your conscience all in one sick swoop and end the day untarnished.

But tomorrow or Sunday or sometime soon?  Somebody’s gotta get to work and I mean Tick Tock Kenny Holland.  Everyone’s talking about Nick Lidstrom’s legacy today?  Deservedly so and I’ll take some heat for glossing over it.

But I’ll be damned if another legacy doesn’t demand discussion real soon.

The Perfect Human said during his presser that the Wings lost for “obvious reasons.” I personally believe he misspoke.  But that would indicate Lidstrom made a mistake and I haven’t seen too much of that the last twenty years so maybe he meant exactly what he said.  Maybe the reasons were obvious to him, if not us.

And maybe one of those reasons was a GM who stood pat on 28 February and didn’t make all the effort in the world to provide 5 with the best possible team for One Last Run.  I know the pickings, at least publicly, were slim. I get that.  I know that Holland polled the room and the consensus was not to sell the farm in support of the future.  I get it.  Maybe Nick does too.  But Nick making a veiled reference to that in a farewell press conference? I don’t think so. “Obvious reasons” is going to be batted around for a bit, but I’ll never believe it was a slam at Holland.

Most likely 28 February was just as Holland said…too tough to deal.  Not enough available talent out there and no trade partners looking to dance.

But I’ll tell you this, that shit’s not gonna fly in July.  The need is obvious. The money is there. There are holes to be filled and it’s up to Holland to lure the big boys to Detroit. 

Minus Lidstrom you’re going to see some serious rejoicing in places that have no business being happy because their teams either suck ass or they haven’t won shit in 40 years.  It’s already started in Nashville, where their zenith was this year’s first round.

The understated sense joy comes from the sense of the Predators will never need to face him again and one of their top competitors lost one of their three best players in team history.

But there is a complication, and it involves defenseman Ryan Suter.

Concur. There is a complication, Josh. Mostly that “complication” boils down to choosing a realtor in Grosse Pointe.  What? You disagree? 

If Lidstrom decided to stay one more year and Suter signed there, Suter could have been eased into the successor role. If Suter signs with Detroit this offseason, he will be considered the obvious heir to Lidstrom. Suter would be replacing a Detroit icon, which is no easy task.

So. Let me get this straight.  A player of Suter’s caliber would turn down a huge Detroit offer because of the difficulty involved with “replacing” Lidstrom?

Dumbass.  First, you don’t “replace” Nick Lidstrom. No one would ever expect that out of Ryan Suter or anyone else.  But that’s not all from Josh. Oh no.  Ready?

Both play left defense. Both have the same understated style. They both do everything well, but nothing great. Detroit is a big hockey market, but has a fan base that isn’t fanatical like Philadelphia — another team rumored for Suter — and leaves its superstars alone for the most part. Suter is a private person and likely wants to go to a place that respects him and his family.

Jaysssus. Where to start?  First…Nick Lidstrom did “nothing great”?  Dumbass. He did EVERYTHING great.  Detroit’s fans aren’t “fanatical”?  Don’t be surprised if that backhanded compliment isn’t a slam directly at you, the 19.  We’ve had our claws in little Josh before and I’m sure he’s aware of that. 

That’s just one example of the kind of reaction we can expect from places like Nashville, St. Louis, One-Trick Chicago and even Denver. It’s coming.

That’s fine.  I say bring it, because there is an obscene part of me that has actually been looking forward to this day to see how the Wings will respond.  I believe that Kenny Holland is going to land some serious talent this summer.  Just as I believe 28 February was his rock bottom, I think July 2012 will be his finest hour.

But again, if Suter and Parise actually leave their current homes and don’t land in Detroit?  Holland failed.  That’s it and that’s all.

Break: If Brad Stuart leaves this summer, take a look at a few of the defensemen we’ve had and lost since ‘97:

Lidstrom
Stuart
Rafalski
Chelios (thanks Vladimir16)
Fischer
Murphy
Hatcher
Krupp
Konstantinov
Cross

Ok, I threw the last name in there for a laugh.  But that list is amazing.  There were different reasons, obviously, for all their departures.  And if a few had stayed a few others never would have arrived, but man there has been some talent in there and some seriously high expectations. 

The captaincy will be talked about and re-hashed here for weeks, just as it was in ‘06.  Of the choices, none are bad.  And none will have the job Lidstrom did in terms of replacing the previous one.  I get the feeling Lidstrom really favors Kronwall, based on his description of the way he’s evolved as a clubhouse leader.  Of the 3 clear favorites (with Zetterberg and Datsyuk), I think he’s the least likely and I believe it will be 40 with the C…just as I thought it would be six years ago, for what it’s worth.

It’s a hard day.  This is a guy who devoted his life to the Detroit Red Wings for 20 years and was more responsible for their success than anyone.  Maybe Bowman comes close and, of course Steve By God Yzerman. But man, Lidstrom was such a calm catalyst. He defined this organ-I-zation. It’s like he created the Wing Way.  You wanted to get rough with the Wings, expecting reciprocation? Too bad. Lidstrom and the Wings would make you pay on the power play.  You want to rattle the dmen? Ok. Start with 5 and see how that goes. So, you’ve got a young turk. A sniper no one could stop.  You’ve got a Lindros, a Modano, a Sakic, Forsberg, Demitra, Kariya, Crosby, Malkin? Well, we had Nick and who usually won those battles, eh? 

I know this day is tough. I get it. A tough day but not one that has to signal the end.  Not if Ken Holland does what we all know he’s capable of. Mr. I called him the best in the business this morning.  I believe that. He’s got the entire month of July to prove it.

For those of you who feel this post came too close to the actual retirement? I understand.  I do. We’re all dealing with this differently. I choose to look immediately forward.  LGRW.

 

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Comments

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dougie's avatar

You will never lose money overestimating the stupidity of mankind.

Posted by dougie on 06/01/12 at 09:29 AM ET

monkey's avatar

What mouth-breathing site is that from?

It’s on ESPN.com.  In order to get to the next question you have to answer the current question; there is never a “I don’t know” option.  I answered a bunch of questions I had no idea about to get to that one.  What these results tell us is that there are a lot of ESPN readers who have no idea who Nicklas Lidstrom is, same way I have no idea who (insert college basketball player name here) is.

ESPN should get there heads out and realize most sports fans aren’t fans of all sports.

Example question:  Should the Wizards retain Randy Wittman as its head coach? 

Better questions:  Who the *#$%@& is Randy Wittman?  Wizards?  Wizards are real, and they have a coach?

Posted by monkey from Finland on 06/01/12 at 09:51 AM ET

Bent's avatar

That would explain it then.  The funny part it is all the states that said a majority of ‘No’ don’t have a hockey team, except one…

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 06/01/12 at 11:33 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

We ended up watching the game sitting on the floor and the TV perched on an unopened box. I’ll cherish that memory forever.
Posted by Aphaea on 05/31/12 at 08:27 PM ET

Thanks for sharing that very moving experience.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/01/12 at 12:05 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Ken Holland, incidentally, confirmed today that Lidstrom had a hairline fracture in his ankle, not just a deep bone bruise

I think most of us were guessing that, no matter how much they insisted it was an even deeper bone bruise than we thought, and didn’t heal in 2 weeks.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/01/12 at 12:17 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by NIVO on 05/31/12 at 08:16 PM ET

Sorry but, are you crazy? You aren’t just advocating signing two loafers/floaters, but TWO?

I’d take one of Semin or Penner if we could get a one year deal as a kind of tryout, to prove they can mesh with the culture of the Wings’ room and put together a consistent effort over 82. But someone is likely to pay Semin big money, so that’s pretty much out of the question for him. Penner is maybe more likely because he’s coming off some nagging injuries and a really crappy regular season performance (despite his strong playoff).

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/01/12 at 01:09 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