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Abel to Yzerman

Kenny’s Goal: Keep Sundin Out of Anaheim

So you’re thinking Rob Blake may be a possibility in Dynastic Red and White?  Oh yes, you are. 

Me? I don’t think we need him all that much. But the discussion around the former piece of trash Dive has me reminiscing about some not so pleasant trade-deadline evolutions.

You may recall that Rob Blake was a hot commodity at the deadline in 2001.  You may also recall that we were all atwitter about possibly picking him up, then Pierre LaCroissant scooped him and sadness ensued. The kind of sadness the Wings were all too familiar with since the same damn thing happened with Ray Bourque the year before.  Two years Darren Garcia’s Dive grabbed a player at the deadline, or just before, with much of their motivation stemming from a pathological need to keep each of those players off the Detroit roster.

Well, guess what?  Here we go again, and Kenny Holland faces an equally dastardly foe in Brian Burke. 

Mats Sundin’s going to leave Toronto.  And he’s not going East.  He’s headed West and he’s only going one of three places:  Detroit, San Jose or Anaheim.  He’s not going to Dallas and he’s not going to Calgary.  And he sure as Hell isn’t going to Denver where he wouldn’t even make the playoffs, much less realistically compete for the Cup.  It’s the Wings, the Poultry or the heartless Sharkies.

And here’s the rub.  The Wings don’t need Sundin as much as they absolutely need to keep him out of Anaheim.  Time to face some facts:  (1) It’s going to be the Wings and Anaheim at some point in the postseason, and that series will decide the Cup…just as it did last year.  (2) Detroit, at least the organ-I-zation, is throw-up-in-your-mouth terrified of that Swedish albino on a line with Paul Kariya’s big sister Teemu.  (3) For Burke and Holland, it’s going to be a down-to-the-wire chess match, one that Atlanta and Toronto are frigging ecstatic over.  Someone’s getting paid to the tune of talent and prospects and money and fire trucks and probably hookers. 

What would Anaheim be willing to give up in order to keep Sundin out of Detroit?  Oh, their first round pick from Edmonton, and, yeah, probably Bobby Ryan.  What do the Wings have to compare to that kind of sweetness?  On the surface?  Nothing.  Deepest draft in years and the Oilers are probably going to finish in the bottom half of the league, while Detroit’s pick will be somewhere between 27 and 30.  Someone to compare to Ryan?  Nope.  No prospect in our system can bring the kind of player (Sundin) in return that Ryan could.  So it would have to be a roster guy, and we’re not talking Maltby.  And there’s no way Holland trades Hudler, Filppula, Cleary or Kopecky for a rental, right?

Woops.  Wrong.  And here’s why.  Pencil a chick named Fabian in Detroit’s lineup next year.  Before we go any further, please tell me how any player in the NHL could be named Fabian without the last name of Lang?  We can discuss that in the Fall, and we will because that’s a done deal and you heard it here. I don’t care what kind of lies Kenny told Teddy Kulfan the other day.  Brunnstrom’s as good as signed with the Wings, just as long as they’re convinced he can make the team in TC next year. 

If he’s as good as advertised, that makes someone expendable at this year’s deadline.  As much as I like Filppula, I think that if it came down to it—if it meant keeping Sundin away from Burke’s chubby fingers—we might be bidding farewell to Fil, or to Hudler, or to Cleary.

Because the Wings aren’t really the type of franchise to kick a Cup gift horse in the mouth.  If the opportunity’s there, the Wings will move anyone if it means Cup number 11.  But what if Big Boy Burke offers a better deal for Sundin and he ends up a Duckie?

Then Hossa’s a Wing. Simple as that.  And vice versa.  It’s Burke vs. Holland in February, the under card to the war in May.

Oh, and Blake?  We’ll see you in San Jose Robbie.  Unless of course, the shoulder Kronwall was just clutching as he headed to the Wings’ room turns out to be the annual season ender.

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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