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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yzer19man's avatar

July 1st, 2012, a date which will live in infamy. Do it Kenny, Do it. We know you can. In Kenny I Trust.
LETS GO WINGS

Posted by yzer19man from Chicago, IL on 05/31/12 at 03:25 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Lidstrom
Stuart
Rafalski
Fischer
Murphy
Hatcher
Krupp
Konstantinov
Cross

Chelios

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/31/12 at 03:27 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Oh yeah, and Fetisov ;~)

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/31/12 at 03:28 PM ET

Avatar

Just as with Yzerman leaving, this team will survive and move on. I had a feeling since the end of the playoffs this was it for Nick, some aspects of his game had changed. He goes out on his terms and he seemed happy so its hard to be upset about it.

This will be Holland’s biggest test since he took over as GM. The future of this team rides with this offseason’s moves, we shall see how up to the task he is.

Posted by Jeremy from Toledo, OH on 05/31/12 at 03:32 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Master Chief, I’m giving myself 24 hours of grief time.  Then maybe I’ll be ready to participate in this kind of discussion.  I sure do understand where you’re coming from, though.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 05/31/12 at 03:32 PM ET

dougie's avatar

I choose to look immediately forward.

And that’s why you are a leader on the boat. It’s the only way to be effective in leadership.

Posted by dougie on 05/31/12 at 03:35 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I agree with this post, Chief. Previous comments you’d made after the deadline until today were a little harsh on Kenny, but this reflection feels about right to me. The deadline may have been rough, but even the best (unless you are Lidstrom) make a mistake once in a while.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/31/12 at 03:37 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Just wish they would have brought Smith up last year to play with and learn from Nik, instead of holding onto hope of turning Kindl into something useful.

And if Holland wants to start restoring my faith, dropping Quincey like a bad habit would go a long way.  I know the 1st rounder is alot to lose for a bad rental, but don’t make a bad situation worse by thowing money and term at this guy and have him pollute your blueline for years to come.  If his misques in the playoffs weren’t enough, watching Quincey at the Worlds should make this decision a no-brainer.

Posted by Hootinani on 05/31/12 at 03:40 PM ET

Cwix's avatar

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’ve had that same thought. Since the horrid end to the 2009 SCF this team seemed to lose something more than just the Cup. Yes they still made it to the playoffs in the following years, as well as earning 100+ points in each of them. But the level of consistent play over the seasons following 2009 have not been the same. I hope Kenny can fix that.

One other thought… If 40 doesn’t get the captaincy, it might be a slight indication that Z and Babcock do have an issue.

Posted by Cwix from Grand Rapids, now Chicago, IL on 05/31/12 at 03:42 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Maybe what was obvious to Lidstrom was his inability to be better in the playoffs.  He said he was disappointed in his playoff performance, and I had a feeling that it was his playoffs,  and not just the team’s, that would weigh heaviest on his thinking.

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/31/12 at 03:42 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Chief.  Thank you for this reminder.

The franchise has had ample time to prepare for this day, these next six weeks better walk the walk in that regard.

Lidstrom, Rafalski, Stuart

You don’t come close to replacing any of that top-tier NHL D talent with Ericsson, Quincey, and White.  They’ve got three major cogs that need to be replaced if they want to see something beyond the short-selling of post-season milestones that have been rolled out by Wings PR over the past three years.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 05/31/12 at 03:48 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Krupp
Konstantinov
Cross
Ok, I threw the last name in there for a laugh.

Funny, I thought you threw Krupp in there as a joke.

For what it’s worth, Bleacher Report just posted its top ten ufa defensemen:

Suter
Matt Carle, flyers
Dennis Wideman, caps (wtf? does he even know how to actually defend?)
Bryan Allen, caines (a nice stay-at-home guy, does he have a break-out pass?)
Our own Stuie (thanks for your service; enjoy NoCal)
Jason Garrison, fla (Miami still has a hockey team?)
Barret Jackass, Blose (no way stl lets him get away)
Pavel Kubina, flyers (too old)
Bryce Salvador, devils (even older)
Joe Corvo, bruins (the word defense isn’t in his vocabulary)

Not much available beyond Suter and Carle.

Kenny better have the best summer a GM has ever had or else he’ll be wishing he retired today too, like he always joked that he would.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1200915-nhl-free-agency-2012-the-10-best-free-agent-defensemen-and-where-theyll-sign

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/31/12 at 03:53 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Not much available beyond Suter and Carle.

Boy, them’s some slim pickin’s.
I could see them going after Garrison is they can’t snatch Suter. BUT I really think if Suter can’t be signed Holland will be calling other GM’s and dangling Filpulla (and I wish Franzen) in front of them.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/31/12 at 04:00 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

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.

To be fair, he’s not entirely wrong. We are fanatical, but we’re respectful of our on-ice heroes to the point where they can live in a quiet suburb and not have to worry about psycho neighbors if they made a bad play the night before. They can go out to buy groceries or have a meal with the misses without worrying about a bunch of greedy assholes bothering them for autographs. I think Wings fans are passionate about the team, no doubt, but I think we also have a “down home” type attitude toward the players… we treat them how we’d want to be treated… with space.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/31/12 at 04:04 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Cooper has a point about replacing superstars (goes for coaches, too), but that is only in retrospect for the media and fans to debate.

Players and coaches at this level have a competitive drive that would make all of us look like minor league tiddly wink players. I guarantee you not a single one of them thinks of the downside of stepping into the shoes of a legend. They are all confident that it is an opportunity to establish their own legacy.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/31/12 at 04:05 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

To be fair, he’s not entirely wrong. We are fanatical, but we’re respectful of our on-ice heroes to the point where they can live in a quiet suburb and not have to worry about psycho neighbors if they made a bad play the night before. They can go out to buy groceries or have a meal with the misses without worrying about a bunch of greedy assholes bothering them for autographs. I think Wings fans are passionate about the team, no doubt, but I think we also have a “down home” type attitude toward the players… we treat them how we’d want to be treated… with space.
Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/31/12 at 03:04 PM ET

Exactly. No twitter threats to Red Wing players like that dumbass Laker fan that threatened Steve Blake after he missed an open game-winng three ball. Gawd, I cannot stand Laker Fan. I was so happy when OKC bounced them from the playoffs.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/31/12 at 04:08 PM ET

Avatar

No love for the steady defensive presence of Dmitri Bykov?  Or Freddy Olausson?

Posted by Rob from Coyote Country on 05/31/12 at 04:15 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Look at the 2 teams in the SCF. No reason Holland can’t put together a team to do what they are doing for next year. The future without Lidstrom will be different but that certainly does not mean that we can’t beat the type of crap the Rangers, Devils, Kings and Predators put on the ice.

Posted by joedaiceman on 05/31/12 at 04:15 PM ET

Primis's avatar

It’s not too soon Chief.  We’ve had years (literally) to prepare for this.

I think Nick meant what it sounded like:  this wasn’t a Cup-caliber team this year.  It just wasn’t.

Mr. I does not look good.  He looks old and frail.  I fear his focus may not be on the Wings anymore and he desperately wants a World Series before he leaves this Earth.

Posted by Primis on 05/31/12 at 04:19 PM ET

Triple Deke Tyler's avatar

This is some cold-blooded ultra next level shit. Glad you’re back man.

Posted by Triple Deke Tyler from Lansing on 05/31/12 at 04:29 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

He looks old and frail.

Well ...  he sort of is.

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/31/12 at 04:29 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I choose to look immediately forward.  LGRW.

Forward. The only way to go.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!! In ’13

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 05/31/12 at 04:30 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Mr. I does not look good.  He looks old and frail.

He’s 82, and he may be focused on the Tigers, but there is no way he’d tell Holland & co not to spend to the cap.  His focus isn’t required with a salary cap, to be honest, as long as management finds the players to spend on.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 05/31/12 at 04:34 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Josh Cooper is at best a stooge and at worst a retarded stooge (like Curly without the charm).

There’s nothing in the rulebook that says you can’t mourn and work at the same time.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/31/12 at 04:44 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

I choose to look immediately forward.  LGRW.

Indeed!  Good to have you back Chief.  I am curious to see how this off season is going to unfold.  No matter what it will be very interesting.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 05/31/12 at 04:46 PM ET

dougie's avatar

The Delicate Genius posted about the retirement today. I did not read it.

Posted by dougie on 05/31/12 at 05:15 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I consider myself one lucky sumbitch to have witnessed No. 5’s greatness for over 20… count ‘em… 20 years.  I will be eternally grateful for all that Mr. Lidstrom was and is… a great human being.  Like it or not we all get old, it will happen to you too and you’ll look in the mirror one morning and say “WTF happened to me?  I know… I’ve broken my mirror numerous times.

Posted by calquake on 05/31/12 at 05:28 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

The only positive right now I can take out of today’s news is that the Master Chief came out of his drunken stupor of celebratory mad sex and PBR after being out at sea to jot down a few lines of text.

Goddammitt it’s good to have you back sailor.

Alot of time on that clock.  Tick Tock.  Time to prove who the best GM in the business is.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 05/31/12 at 05:51 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

I choose to look immediately forward.

Agreed.  Forward is the only direction.

We will definitely find out if Lidstrom not only made his playing partners better, but also made management look better too.

This off-season is a huge task for Tick Tock.  You just can’t replace the greatest player of a generation.

But he damn well better make sure he amasses some grade “A” talent, and not only on the blueline.  Improvise, adapt, overcome.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 05/31/12 at 05:59 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

The Delicate Genius posted about the retirement today. I did not read it.
Posted by dougie on 05/31/12 at 04:15 PM ET

I did. It was his usual sacchariny pablum with a dumb swede sorrow pun thrown in. As bad as it was it was better than the inane drivel dished up by Drew Sharp Dull. He wrote one of the dumbest lines in Detroit sports media history.

As underappreciated as Lidstrom was as a Detroit sports icon, it’s also true that Holland has never been fully appreciated as arguably professional sports’ best general manager the last 10 years.

WTF. TPH and Kenny underappreciated? Drew Dull must live under a rock on some deserted island where he talks to a volleyball with a face painted in blood.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/31/12 at 06:01 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Drew Dull must live under a rock on some deserted island where he talks to a volleyball with a face painted in blood.

So that’s where my ex ended up. grin

Posted by calquake on 05/31/12 at 06:10 PM ET

monkey's avatar

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.

I’m with you man.  The wheels keep turning.  They have to.  That’s what The Tick Tock is all about.  Hell, I started playing with the numbers as soon as I heard.  You damn well know the Brain Trust down at the Joe did too. 

The Delicate Genius posted about the retirement today. I did not read it.

You didn’t miss anything.  I skimmed it and felt violated.

Posted by monkey from Praha, Česká republika on 05/31/12 at 06:56 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Good!  I didn’t want to be the first Dick to start wondering, where now, Quo Vadis?

So even though I’m in mourning, the Brain Trust really needs to get to work this week with options A and also B through D when Option A is over the top expensive and reckless to be engaging in just before the CBA expires.

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 05/31/12 at 07:25 PM ET

SYF's avatar

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.

Slainte, Master Chief. 

Just let me get this melancholy out of the way in the next couple of hours.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 05/31/12 at 08:36 PM ET

monkey's avatar

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.

Get out of my head.

Posted by monkey from Praha, Česká republika on 05/31/12 at 08:57 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

a basic difference. Stevie was loved and adored, Lidstrom respected.

Posted by Rdwings28 on 05/31/12 at 09:01 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

It’s done, it’s over. This isn’t me being insensitive, we can’t do anything about it. With that said i’m looking forward to this next generation of team we will have soon in front of us. And since I can just throw out speculations, I will. If the cap increases to say 70 mill tops, we have quite a bit of room. We get to be the team with the big balls in the room for once on “free agent frenzy”(never liked these words, always sounded stupid to me).

As for the captain C it comes down to 2 players. Either Nick Jr., or Z will get it. For this its too tough to say who will the one. No matter which, I am pleased with either choice.

Lets say(all hypothetically of course) we go and grab Suter. Thats a great pickup, and im not gonna get into that “filling shoes” bs, because it’s all hogwash and something hyped up by the media to get a rouse out of nothing. Suter knows that, we know that, and any who don’t…..well, you are a dope. O.K., lets say we go after a 2nd D. I choose Wideman, he may not command as high a hit, but he is just as solid as any and definitely a top 6 kind of guy. We may not need a 2nd D man if we stay in house to fill any other D spots.

Next up, i am jsut gonna say we need to acquire 2 and maybe even 3 forwards. Grit and power forwards are what I am looking for personally. Parise has to be mentioned here because it has for so long now. A great player with grit who can get it done. We will see how the cup pans out(I think it will a big effect in what he does). Alexander Semin is the next guy. Datsyuk gets a Russian winger to play with? You bet your arse he does! And it would be dynamite to see happen. Next guy I like is Dustin Penner. A big tough forward that make room on the ice and bang away around the net.

1st line is: Semin-Datsyuk-Franzen
2nd line is: Parise-Zetterberg-Penner

I’ll leave it there for now. But with this kind of lineup we WILL have 4 rolling lines and a damn fine sustained forechecker on almost every line.

Again, all above is just my thoughts and speculation. But I like the options. Game On. Go Red Wings!

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 05/31/12 at 09:16 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

No. 12 awaits.

The hour approaches.

Tick ... Tock ...

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 05/31/12 at 09:16 PM ET

FranzensMouthguard's avatar

what the hell?!?!?!

Posted by FranzensMouthguard from Chicago, IL on 05/31/12 at 10:51 PM ET

Bent's avatar

What mouth-breathing site is that from?

I understand if someone doesn’t think he is the best defenseman ever, but how in the HELL can you say he isn’t a hall of famer?

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 05/31/12 at 11:16 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