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Abel to Yzerman

Talking Toughness

JV Digger George Sipple posted a few paragraphs about Aaron Downey obtaining his work visa today.  Personally, I have no idea how an NHL player waits this long to get something like that done. Does it have to be renewed every year?  How come it’s always the fringe guys who have visa problems?  Anyway, the blog post led to some good conversation in the comment section that I’ll point out to you now.  The topic?  The relevance of the tough guy on a Wing roster.


TEAM TOUGHNESS, not an enforcer is what we need most. Team toughness is backed by having an enforcer that can step in if needed. No team can afford a goon. Drake and Downey have other skills too just like Probert. He still holds a DRW record for most points in a playoff year. Guess who he topped to get that one??? Number 9


It’s a great point and I’ve been wondering something for a few weeks now.  Ready? Here we go.

If Ken Holland and Mike Babcock were so willing to give Downey a job, knowing his offensive skills were so limited…I wonder how much thought went into bringing Darren McCarty back?  Now, I have no idea what McCarty’s financial or personal situation is right now.  In fact, last week one of the Diggers mentioned that a few friends on the Wings were concerned because they had no clue where he even was.

But, on a few different levels wouldn’t it have made sense to give #25 a tryout and assume he could offer more than Downey?

Detroit News, August 25th, 2005

“He told me, ‘Don’t forget me down the road,’ ” Holland said. “Certainly, I wouldn’t rule it out. I know what an important role Darren played in the success of our team. He stands up for his teammates, he was proud to be a Red Wing, he was tremendous in the community, and he was a great ambassador for our team and our league. These are things I won’t forget down the road.”

How many more people would be attending tonite’s game if McCarty was on the roster?  If you’re going to sign an offensively inept tough guy, why not make it an icon who will draw a few hundred more fans every game?

Note:  Just saw over on George Malik’s blog that Mac’s been sighted in Calgary.  Unsigned, obviously.



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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

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