Red Wings Fans Resolutions
Last game, I tweeted “People that bang on the glass are like people that bang on the fish tanks at dentist office. You’re dumb”. That seemed to resonate with quite a few of you, so with that spirit and given the time of year I have come up with three more Wings Fan New Year’s Resolutions.
1) Stop the Hudler hate. Now I know he’s still on many of your naughty lists for fleeing to Russia after his career year (23 goals and 34 assists in 2008-09), only to return last year with a -7 rating and just 10 goals. But the Czech has bounced back nicely this year.
Hudler has 22 points through his first 35 games. And although he was surely aided by playing alongside Pavel Datsyuk early in the season, the soon to be 28 year old has played well. There’s plenty of worse contracts in the league than his $3 million per year deal.
2) Let’s evaluate Holland’s job at year end. You wouldn’t write a movie review halfway through the film? So let’s see what Holland does. Many have been critical the team did not address the departure of veteran Brian Rafalski in the offseason with a big name. These same fans have been highly critical of the $3.25 million dollars a year thrown at Jonathan Ericsson.
But evaluating the deal closer, is it that bad? Sure Ericsson has struggled at times, but is a +12 player this season. There were surely worse investments this offseason, take Canton native James Wisnewski for example. The Blue Jackets payed him $7 million this year, and in return they’ve gotten 28 games (due to a lengthy suspension to start the season), two goals and a -18 rating.
The thing to remember about Holland is that his work is not done. The Red Wings have over $5 million to spend at the deadline, meaning they can land any available player come the trade deadline. Compare the Red Wings to the cash strapped Canucks or Capitals, and the picture begins to look quite brighter. Holland has done it a new way this season, and his willingness to adapt to what the free agent market offers is the main reason why he is hockey’s best front office guru.
3. Let’s get behind Jimmy. Howard has been brilliant this season, yet is still lacking respect around the league. His situation reminds me of another young Detroit star who did not receive league-wide recognition until the middle of his career.
Did you know Nicklas Lidstrom made only 3 All-Star teams and won zero Norris trophies in the 90s? From 1995-2000, Lidstrom missed only 9 games, had 5 consecutive 40+ assists seasons, and recorded 83 goals in that time period, but was often lost in the shadow of St. Louis Blues greats Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger.
We as a fan base need to celebrate our stars a bit more. It’s the reason Toronto goalie James Reimer, whose head injury has limited him to just 15 games this season, leads goalies in All Star voting while Howard is not on the ballot. Let’s celebrate our stars a bit more, and get them the league wide recognition they deserve.
Have a wonderful and safe New Year gang!