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Abel to Yzerman

Hey Dumbass: It’s October, Where’s The Hockey?

Are we on strike?  Oops. I mean “they.”  Sorry. Seriously.  This is beyond stupid.

Detroit News

Making it even more unusual is that their games have been bunched up on weekends.
Games 1 and 2 against Ottawa and Colorado were played on a Thursday-Saturday. Games 3 and 4 against Vancouver and Minnesota were also played on a Thursday-Saturday.
Game 5 is Friday against Columbus, with Game 6 on Saturday against Washington.

Quirky, wacky scheduling as a result of happenstance and computer coincidence? Oh, I’m sure.

 

But, computer-generated or not, someone still has to approve this garbage.  Someone still has to answer the bell when asked how such obvious idiocy is allowed to just…happen.  And, hmm, that someone is the 7-million dollar build-a-bear commissioner.  Sure, you (or…“we”...we’ll get to that in a bit) hate it, but when has Gary Bettman given a shit what Wing fans think?  Guess who started counting the bucks as soon as this schedule was released?  Yep. Count ‘em: Ownership in Denver, where a trifecta of circumstances should have made for a tidy bundle—opening night, the mean old Wings in town and the annual jersey retirement ceremony of a Dive “legend”. 

Washington this weekend?  Think Ted Leonsis is bothered by a home game against the Wings on a DC Saturday night?  Talk about transplants.  If you haven’t seen a Wing/Caps game in Washington, imagine the glass plastered with Detroit fans, three rows deep during warmups.  Cha-ching for Leonsis and cha-ching for the bar owners around the Verizon Center.  Hell, they’ll make a couple grand off of RWBill alone.  Think those turnstiles and registers would be humming at the same pace if the Blues happened to stroll into town on a Saturday? 

Here’s where the murmurs start Gary. This is where the brows get furrowed and the pitchforks come out.  You want to continue the charade? Go ahead. Keep on keepin’ on.  Shrug those padded shoulders and give us the innocent, stricken look.  But at least try some subtlety.  Make this whole thing a little less obvious.  You’ve made a tidy living with the Red Wings as your show pony, trotting them out in far-flung places where hockey is weird; like Phoenix. 

Your pals in the owners’ boxes keep grinning and writing those checks with Little Gary in the to line.  Wings memorabilia in every city, jacked prices when the Wings are in town. TV revenues that skyrocket when Detroit’s on tv (especially the local stuff, eh Gary..where they really need that ad money?).  And if all that money means the team itself, the team that has carried this league like no other team in any other sport, gets a little shaft now and then along the way? That’s cool, a small price to pay.

And, oh yes, the shaft is coming.  All is well now as the Wings get that all-important pre-Halloween rest.  But what about in January, Gary?  Kulfan…

The frustrating part for the Red Wings is, as the season progresses and the schedule becomes compressed, an extra day off would be welcome — and there won’t be many.
There are 14 games in November and 15 in December, with 10 of those 15 on the road.
Then there’s a stretch of 12 games in 23 days in January before the All-Star break.

Subtle, Gary.  Tactful.  An agenda to competitively damage the Wings? Nope.  Just the obvious routine of getting every buck out of the most valuable franchise in professional sports—when you consider that team’s value to every other league member. 

And it takes us back to the realignment thing.  Do you really expect the easy solution, Detroit for Winnipeg?  Come on.  Not a frigging chance.  It’s got to be a win-win-kinda win.  Owners in Bettman-created markets need Detroit worse than ever.  Traditional market owners don’t want to see the Wings 8 times per year because they don’t relish the ass-kickings and the problem of actually trying to win hockey games.  And it’s kinda-win for Detroit, especially those of us naive enough to clap when change is made for the sake of change. 

Three conferences, equal amount of games against every team in the league, crazy playoff schedules. All sorts of theories are being discussed, every one of them with the Detroit Red Wings as a top-3 bullet point. If it was as easy as Nashville to the East and Winnipeg to the West, it would have happened already.  Nobody…cares.  Nobody.  But throw the Dynasty in the mix and there are layers.  Dozens of layers and collateral effects.

Meanwhile, it’s October 20th and the Wings have played 4 hockey games.  They’re shooting guns and bagging groceries.  In October.  While everyone else is on the ice, the Wings are waiting around for the next weekend to come so Gary will let them play.

A few other topics:  On XM the other day, the idea of Brunnstrom was brought up.  I casually mentioned that our Uncle Mike might be playing mind games with him, but when I started to explain further I forgot how to form a sentence and the point was lost.  I think it’s because I was talking out loud and concentrating on not dropping an F bomb every few words, which is kinda how I talk when I use my voice.  Anyway, yes, I do believe there is some famous Babcock psycho-strategy going on here.  I think Brunnstrom is the kind of player who we’ll see flashes from, but not consistency.  And I think Uncle Mike is letting him understand completely what life will be like when and if he coasts through a single shift.  However, the question now becomes…who do you sit and do you mess with an undefeated lineup?  I don’t know and probably not.  Either way though, when Brunnstrom does finally play, energy won’t be a problem. 

And, finally, I’m a “we” guy.  I’m the guy that people like to ask the question to, “we…are you playing?”  Personally, when arrogant, know-nothing, antagonistic dicks ask me that question I want to punch them in the face.  No, I’m not playing.  But considering the emotional investment I’ve made in this team over my entire life, I have no problem with “we”.  And if you’re one of the insane bastards at Ford Field who’s caused one of the 14 enemy false starts in the last two weeks, you get to be a “we” too.  Hell, if you’ve stuck with the Lions over the last decade, you damn well deserve a “we.”

What I won’t do, though, is use first names or nicknames other than the ones we invent ourselves.  “Pasha” and “Lidas” and “Huds” and “Clears” all make my skin crawl when I see them in print, electronically or otherwise.

As for “we”, though?  Yep.  I’ve sacrificed at least four pets and thousands of alimony dollars for the Wings. I’d say I’ve earned a “we”.

 

 

 

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Comments

John W.'s avatar

Games 1 and 2 against Ottawa and Colorado were played on a Thursday-Saturday

Guess the News isn’t into fact checking, Games 1 and 2 were actually back 2 back games (Friday-Saturday) to start the season, 1 in Detroit, the next night in Denver.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 10/20/11 at 01:09 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Guess the News isn’t into fact checking

True, John.  And, as we all know, I’m definitely not into it.  Good catch.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 10/20/11 at 01:17 PM ET

Avatar

Heh..  I totally understand Paul’s profissionalism and as such, the “we” x “they” thing

But some blogs are not about beeing imparcial, and “we” dig it that way.
“We” would never accept it any other way!

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 10/20/11 at 01:34 PM ET

Bent's avatar

The penguins have 8 (!) games played already?  I wonder why.  More time off for them down the stretch?

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 10/20/11 at 01:54 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

I just don’t feel like I’m into this season at all yet with this huge gap between games. Sigh.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 10/20/11 at 01:57 PM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

I just don’t feel like I’m into this season at all yet with this huge gap between games. Sigh.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 10/20/11 at 11:57 AM ET


1000X this.  I’ve never been less interested in a season start before.  And the funny thing is, I was really looking forward to getting to watch the young guys get some ice time.

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 10/20/11 at 02:20 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

Maybe since I will be driving 11 hours from Grand Rapids to D.C. to watch Lidstrom’s milestone from the Verizon Suite at the Verizon Center, for just one night I can say “we”. I normally resist it but this may be an exception. My brother Walter is a VP for Verizon, he called last night to see if I would drive out there if he could get me a ticket, ...“Uh, let me think a second, the Suite, the Capitals, Lidstrom’s milestone, my brother and nephew….OK!  I do it.”

By the way chief, if there is a way to catch up with you please[/b] get my e-mail address from the Emporor.

Posted by Rdwings28 on 10/20/11 at 02:24 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The plan is to give us a minimal schedule over the first few weeks to give Brendan Shanahan a chance to suspend all the cheap-shot artists in the league before we have to play against any of them.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/20/11 at 02:50 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

The penguins have 8 (!) games played already?  I wonder why.  More time off for them down the stretch?

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 10/20/11 at 11:54 AM ET

Well, to be fair, the Pens are probably 1 team that would rather have played less games so far, since they’re missing their 2 best players.  A schedule with only a handful of games in October would have done them a favor, giving them more games with Crosby in the line-up later on.

As for the Wings schedule, yeah, it’s idiotic.  Making them start with back to back games 1100 miles apart, only to have 4 days off before 2 games in 3 days, followed by this stupid 5 day break, which of course ends with back to back games that, again, consist of a home and away game.

What bugs me about it is, why the Wings?  Is it random?  Well, let’s look at last years October schedule and see:

-Back to back games to start the season?  Check.

-Idiotic extended layoffs to start the season on consecutive weeks?  Yep, 2 4 day breaks the last 2 full weeks of October.

So, no, it’s not random, it’s how the Wings are penciled in to start the season.  I guess the NHL figures the team with the toughest travel schedule in the league would benefit from extended layoffs to start the season and then cram them all in later.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 10/20/11 at 03:03 PM ET

TeamDub's avatar

This schedule is driving me crazy. That, and it’s wreaking havoc on my all-Wings fantasy team.

F U, Lil’ Gary.

Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 10/20/11 at 03:05 PM ET

Avatar

Is it right?

Posted by Closing tags on 10/20/11 at 03:09 PM ET

Bent's avatar

Ah yes, didn’t think about that.  We’ll chalk it up to morons in charge.

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 10/20/11 at 03:09 PM ET

Avatar

...

Posted by No on 10/20/11 at 03:11 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

BOHICA scheduling courtesy of lil’ Gary.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 10/20/11 at 03:13 PM ET

Avatar

We don’t practice, don’t play, don’t get injured or have surgeries.

We do miss weddings, parties, happy hours and, in general, leave our family and friends regularly to watch games.

We don’t swap from red to burgundy for $2 million for a year.

We wear the Winged Wheel from nursery room to the retirement condo.

Tell me I wasn’t a “we” on H2H and I’ll friggin kill ya.

“We” are Red Wings, “we” are The 19 and we rock.

Posted by Guilherme from the office on 10/20/11 at 03:24 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

And, finally, I’m a “we” guy.  I’m the guy that people like to ask the question to, “we…are you playing?”  Personally, when arrogant, no-nothing, antagonistic dicks ask me that question I want to punch them in the face.  No, I’m not playing.  But considering the emotional investment I’ve made in this team over my entire life, I have no problem with “we”.  And if you’re one of the insane bastards at Ford Field who’s caused one of the 14 enemy false starts in the last two weeks, you get to be a “we” too.  Hell, if you’ve stuck with the Lions over the last decade, you damn well deserve a “we.”

As a Wings fan in CBJ country (used to be Wings territory… sigh), I’m claiming the “we” too.  I need some kind of fan-crutch to help me deal with all of Little Brother’s fans in this town and the “rivalry.”

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 10/20/11 at 03:33 PM ET

EpeeBill's avatar

Actually, I’d figure these road markets would rather have the Wings come in on a weeknight, when tickets are a harder sell. I mean, have you seen the numbers Dallas has been doing? They would LOVE to have the Winged Wheel roll in and give them a sellout on a Wednesday.

What I don’t get is that on Nov. 1, we’ll be playing the Wild for the THIRD time. THIRD! Without seeing Chi-town, St. Lose or Nashville even once. We’ll have the BJs twice by then, but they’re the only division opponent in the first ten games. Peep this math:

2   Eastern Conference Teams
3   Against the Wild
2   Division games vs. BJs
3   Non-divisional WC teams.

10 games

  What kind of balance is that?

Posted by EpeeBill on 10/20/11 at 03:37 PM ET

calquake's avatar

  What kind of balance is that?

EpeeBill, you have to look at the big picture… wait…what?... nevermind.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 10/20/11 at 04:11 PM ET

Cwix's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/20/11 at 12:50 PM ET

aLOL!

Posted by Cwix from Grand Rapids, now Roanoke, VA on 10/20/11 at 06:33 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Desperate, desperate times for the BJ’s:

Minor-league Springfield signed veteran NHL goaltender Manny Legace to a PTO today. “We asked him to come to Springfield and he was excited by the opportunity,” Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 10/20/11 at 07:06 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Heh…

http://www.yellowpages.com/columbus-oh/rope

My bad…but I had to.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 10/20/11 at 08:05 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

You had me chuckling at “Hey Dumbass: It’s October, Where’s The Hockey?” But I completely lost it with this…

“Hell, they’ll make a couple grand off of RWBill alone.”

As for the schedule, the complete story is the Wings play three sets of back-to-back, home-away games out of their first nine. It defies all logic that anyone, even the Garden Gnome, would think that was fair.

If you look at a graphic representation of the Wings schedule for October and November, you’d swear you were looking at an AHL team’s schedule. It makes absolutely no sense – which is the clearest indicator of all that it came straight from Lil’ Gary’s pea-sized brain.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/20/11 at 08:39 PM ET

cephalopod's avatar

“We” was at that 49ers debacle, and “we” had no voice for two days after because “we” threw mys…um, ourselves into causing those false starts.  “We” get to call ourselves fans, and “they” who don’t do the “we” thing will never get “it”.

Posted by cephalopod from Chicago...nope, still not over it. on 10/20/11 at 10:10 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Hell, if you’ve stuck with the Lions over the last decade, you damn well deserve a “we.”

Sigh…even in the miserable Eighties, Nineties…pretty much my entire lifetime, in which the Lions have consistenty and royally sucked, I still referred to them as ‘we,’ once the sport to which was being referred was established.  It’s the same way I’ve always referred to the Wings, Tigers, Lions, Pistons, and Wolverines.  The way I’ve always done it and the way that sounds right, rather than talking about ‘them,’ which doesn’t.  Only way I’ll ever refer to the teams by name is generally if the conversation hasn’t already established whom we’re talking about.

And ‘we’ are not the only fanbase that uses it.  Most loyal fanbases do.  If ‘they’ can’t understand that, f*ck ‘em—they’re probably from Denver or Atlanta or someplace where the bandwagon’s already rolled off into the sunset.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 10/21/11 at 07:59 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

When I found out I was having a son (back in 96), the first thing I did was buy a little Red Wings sweater for him. I have two dogs and both are named after Red Wings (Gordie and Abby). I’ve missed one game since the lockout, and that was because my DVR melted. I keep the last game on the dvr until the next game, so I can watch the wings at any given time (this was especially sweet at the conclusion of the 08 season). I remember Lidstrom’s rookie season, and every subsequent season where I was told the Wings were too old to win anything. I regularly make the 3 hour drive to the Joe, the two hour drive to Nationwide and the two hour drive to the Temple of the Rosby, just to catch some live action. I stay up until 1am because the garden gnome decided that Detroit is close to San Jose. I go to Griffins games so I can really get excited when I see names like Helm or Abdelkader show up behind the winged wheel. I know what it is to get totally Murphied.

I’m one of 19, and I say WE when referring to the Detroit Red Wings.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/21/11 at 11:05 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

As for “we”, though?  Yep.  I’ve sacrificed at least four pets and thousands of alimony dollars for the Wings. I’d say I’ve earned a “we”.

Nice to have you back, Master Chief. Now, a little rant.

I am WE. I have earned this privilege over the course of many, many years devoted to living and dying with MY Team. I was at the old Olympia back when there was Darkness with Harkness, guys named Jimmy Rutherford and Jean Hamel, Reed Larson and Dennis Polonich, and, some of the worst goaltending ever.

I saw Mick score his 50+ back to back goal seasons,coaches named Sid Abel, Bobby Kromm, Billy Dea, and Scotty Bowman.
I have been there watching Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio although I wasn’t a regular till aboot 1969 because I had just gotten my license and, I knew a couple of guys at the door(thanks to my Uncle Jerry) that let me and aboot 20 of my buddies in for a buck.

Then came the future and WE iced some of the worst teams ever. Until WE signed #19. It all changed on that day and it still took years. I could go on and on because, I am a Wingaholic.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 10/21/11 at 06:45 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