Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

History Beckons

There’s a little, itty bitty, tiny, eentsy frigging weentsy box on a shelf in a room way in the bottom basement of NHL league headquarters. 

Is that where Gary Bettman’s spine is kept?  No. It’s where the dynasties are stored. 

That box is open…Abel and Howe and Lindsay are making room.  Trottier, Bossy and Smith are bitching because it’s tight in there already.  Scotty Bowman’s smiling because he enjoys any player’s discomfort.

And after tonite?  If all goes as Providence has decreed, there’s going to be a little welcoming bash in that tiny little box, down in a place Gary Bettman doesn’t like to talk about, in a dark corner where parity doesn’t exist.

Tonite is for Doug Brown.  It’s for Darren McCarty and that cherry-busting burst up the ice in Game 4 in ‘97.  It’s for Slava Fetisov and Igor and Kozlov and Feds and Vladdie.  The men who could go down as not only “the Russian Five”, but integral members of the Wing Dynasty.

Brendan Shanahan brought starvation to this team.  While his Captain delivered the intensity, Shanahan hungered for a Cup.  And he delivered.  Three times.  Tonite could be his. 

Larry Murphy left the box, took a pass around center ice, then wheezed his way up the wing and beat who? Was it Kolzig Was it even the Final?  I don’t remember.  We love him now for different reasons.  Good ‘ol Murph.  After tonite?  Charter member of a Dynasty.

He sat for a while in ‘96 and ‘97.  He sat a lot.  But Scotty had plans and I guess we all knew that.  Mike Vernon wasn’t going to ride pine during a Cup run.  Not after kicking Patrick Roy’s arrogant ass at center ice at the Joe.  It was destiny then, bitches.  12 years later?  He could be forever recognized as a member of something very exclusive.

Dominik Hasek has a fly swatter in his hand.  He’s chasing puppies with it through a berry patch on a Czech mountainside. He’s wearing bermuda shorts and a female blouse from his personal clothing line.  He’s thinking in Latin but humming “Dancing Queen” in Spanish.  Helicopters are chasing him and he’s wearing a football cleat on his left foot.  He’s absolutely insane.  But tonite?  He could be part of this.  A dynasty could be his.

There are scores of other guys, bit players and superstars. Brett Hull and Bob Rouse.  Aaron Ward and Marty LaPointe.  Tonite is for them as much as it is for the Zetterbergs, the Datsyuks and the Osgoods.

Tonite could be theirs.  If. If. If.  If it happens tonite, and I guarantee nothing…but if it does?  An undeniable Dynasty.

Today he’s gonna think about that.  Steve Yzerman is going to stop what he’s doing and give it just a minute, maybe less.  He’s going to take just a minute and remember that hesitation, unsure of whether to break away from his teammates and skate the Cup by himself…and he’ll recall the thunder as he took it to Mr. I.  It started with him.  If tonite…happens, he’ll be more than a Wing for life, more than a Conn Smythe winner, more than the greatest Captain in sports history.  He’ll be the keeper of a Dynasty. 

1 to 12.  1 to history.  1 to a place nobody can ever deny this team. 

It’s on.  Soon.

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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