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The single biggest scapegoat of the Red Wings in the last 20+ years...


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#21 Ozzie30

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 03:41 PM

Cujo absolutely got a raw deal. I, like you OP, have always been rather ashamed of the way the organization handled that fiasco - but I blame Hasek for the whole ordeal. Had he stuck around for another season, the Wing's likely would have won back-to-back cups - again.
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#22 Jersey Wing

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 03:54 PM

What? I never blamed him for anything. You bring a guy in, they play and they win or they don't. I didn't scapegoat him ever. I'm sorry he couldn't win a cup here because he's a decent and good man who gives of himself very graciously. I never blamed him for anything.

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#23 Heroes of Hockeytown

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 03:59 PM

His best playoff game as a Wing was easily the Game 6 loss to Calgary in 2004. He was unreal that game.

My favorite would be Game 4 of that series, which if I remember correctly was on his birthday. He made a tremendous, sliding, cross crease two-pad stack save on Jarome Iginla, and that is one of my most enduring memories of him.
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#24 eva unit zero

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 04:10 PM

Legace collapsed under the pressure of being a #1 goalie and Fedorov spit in the organization's face for a paycheck and an ego problem - both of these are HORRIBLE examples...


Legace didn't do well, but Legace was a bigger scapegoat than Cujo was. Fedorov was also a bigger scapegoat than Cujo was ever since the holdout in the mid-90s. Yet without Fedorov, Detroit doesn't win in 97, 98, or 2002.
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#25 Starstopper31

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 04:37 PM

I was always a huge Curtis Joseph fan (Starstopper31 is no coincidence) and was really disappointed in the way he was treated here. I will always love the Wings, but the way the fans and management treated him was disgusting.

#26 SDavis35

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 04:48 PM

Cujo was the reason I became a hockey fan, and then a huge part in what brought me to the Wings. It was a mistake for him to come here, but I don't regret it one bit :cool:

I remember 2004 my friend (leaf fan) talking about how bad cujo was in the playoffs, I just pointed to the numbers and they spoke for themselves. He played good enough to win, just couldn't score yet. I recall Datsyuk being one of the reasons why too... :ph34r:

#27 Buppy

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 04:49 PM

Legace didn't do well, but Legace was a bigger scapegoat than Cujo was. Fedorov was also a bigger scapegoat than Cujo was ever since the holdout in the mid-90s. Yet without Fedorov, Detroit doesn't win in 97, 98, or 2002.

I agree. Scapegoat probably isn't the right word for Cujo. I never got the sense that people really blamed him for the losses.

But I do think he took some completely unfair criticism. Even though Cujo played very well, Giguere was better. After Hasek had set a shutout record the previous year, and with the team we had, I think a lot of fans had unfair expectations, like some people expected him to be perfect. So getting outplayed by Giggy drew unwarranted criticism, but I don't think there was so much that you can really call him a scapegoat. In '04, pretty much everyone I know praised Cujo as our best player in the Calgary series.

I can't even blame management too much for the situation with Hasek. Hasek was one of the best goalies of all time. It would have been stupid not to give him a chance. Cujo shouldn't have been sent to GR, but I don't think it should have caused the bad blood that it did. Maybe there was something behind the scenes I don't know about. Either way, I don't think it had any effect on Cujo's playoffs, or the result that year. Nor do I think we could have re-signed Cujo after the lockout anyway, so I don't see what harm was caused.

#28 xtrememachine1

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 05:18 PM

The way Cujo was treated at the beginning of the '04 season was probably the only time I've ever been mad at Red Wings management. Just the way they jerked him around, put him on waivers, sent him to the minors. Then I remember when he got called up for good after Hasek and Legace got hurt, he drove in a rental car with three other GR players to Buffalo and started that day. He was just unlucky. Giggy had those monster pads and Kiprusoff was just a hot goalie at the time. Joseph played really well in those playoff years and under normal circumstances he would have gone much farther. He was one of my favorite players before he became a Wing, I really wished things had gone better for him in Detroit.

#29 Barrie

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 05:44 PM

It's been said the two toughest jobs in Detroit are Quarterback of the Lions and Goalie of the Red Wings, and not in that order...

CuJo's numbers were the same in Toronto and Detroit. In Toronto he was a hero, in Detroit he wasn't. In my opinion all it really shows the difference in expectations of the fans and organizations.

I don't think CuJo was the one to blame in the 2003 and 2004 playoffs, we couldn't beat Giggy and Kipper, but I don't feel sorry for him, that's just how it goes in sports. Plus he made a lot of money two years here, so he can't complain too much.
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#30 Barrie

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 05:53 PM

Wasn't the reason we brought back Hasek was so St. Louis, Colorado, or Dallas (who all needed goalies for the 03-04 season) wouldn't get him? If the Wings were willing to pay for Hasek and CuJo, I can't really blame them for that.

Edited by Barrie, 17 August 2010 - 06:10 PM.

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#31 Shady Ultima

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 05:56 PM

Probably the best goalie in the past 20 years who never got to win the cup. Simple as that.

#32 SouthernWingsFan

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:27 PM

I can't even blame management too much for the situation with Hasek. Hasek was one of the best goalies of all time. It would have been stupid not to give him a chance. Cujo shouldn't have been sent to GR, but I don't think it should have caused the bad blood that it did. Maybe there was something behind the scenes I don't know about. Either way, I don't think it had any effect on Cujo's playoffs, or the result that year. Nor do I think we could have re-signed Cujo after the lockout anyway, so I don't see what harm was caused.

Agreed on Hasek. I'll get to that shortly.

Joseph was never fully appreciated here, and it was a shame. At the time, definitely a good signing. Heck, even now in the grand scheme of things, it probably was.

There was little doubt he was very solid overall in his first year in 2003. His numbers were generally low, etc. However, the very few goals he let in, there were some softies at the worst times.

Now, given how nuts Giguere played out of his mind (pad jokes or not) and understanding that pretty much any goalie will give up a gaffer every now and then, I was all for Joseph coming back, and definitely not pinning the first round playoff loss solely on him.

Enter Hasek now. I think a lot of people don't take into consideration that after he won it all in 2002, he probably still had plenty of decent years left in the NHL. I was surprised he already hung them up. So, I can understand his desire to play again in 2004 after being away and Wings management wanting to go with him since he played so well in winning the Stanley Cup for Detroit, and possibly management thinking that Joseph might not cut it given the soft goals he gave up, fair or unfair. (just my opinion on Joseph/mgmt. when all this sprang up, I'm not stating it as fact and I'll re-emphasize that the series loss to Anaheim wasn't solely Joseph's fault)

No matter which goalie you were a fan of or hated back then or whoever you wanted to give the scapegoat, anger, or sympathy treatment to whether it was Joseph, Hasek, or Legace, in the end Hasek wasn't fit to play at the time, thus yielding to just Joseph and Legace.

The Hasek exit in 2004 was a shame and things ended on bad terms there, I don't think he did much to make the goaltending situation any easier but I understand his desire to play and pretty much anybody can tell you he's as intense and motivated in terms of game play as they come. He did personally forfeit a good bit of his salary after the bad dropout, I have to give him kudos for that, that takes a lot of guts.

Nobody could've predicted the firestorm that was 2004 goaltending with Hasek being as injured as he was, then Joseph eventually getting injured, etc.

In the end, I think blame goes partially to Hasek for not realizing he wasn't fully healthy to give it a go that season (not sure if that's really fair blame or not or if he was healthy then the groin or whatever just went complete south after he briefly played, etc.) and Wings management for not fully getting a handle on his health.

It was a shame Joseph never seemed to be fully appreciated here and I give him kudos for sticking through it all.

#33 mjlegend

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:35 PM

The Leafs offered him more money ($9 million or so) but he made a "hockey" decision.



I'm going to get minuses for this, but does that decision remind us in any way of:

:scared:

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#34 Hockeytown0001

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:57 PM

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Edited by Hockeytown0001, 17 August 2010 - 06:58 PM.

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#35 henrik40

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 07:00 PM

Other than the way he was treated on his way out of here, I really don't have any lasting memories of Cujo's time here. I do have his McFarlane figure though!

#36 eva unit zero

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 07:11 PM

I'm going to get minuses for this, but does that decision remind us in any way of:

:scared:

Posted Image


Hossa got a ton of blame, but he got no more blame than Cujo and Hossa played MUCH worse.

And to go back to my point re: Legace:

Legace received more blame than Cujo playing for a Wings team that put out a worse performance. People say Cujo was viewed as a bigger scapegoat now because he came in right after the Cup win, and was a much better goalie, but Legace was it.

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#37 Doc Holliday

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 07:19 PM

I'm going to get minuses for this, but does that decision remind us in any way of:

:scared:


The fact that Hossa didn't work out here is going to haunt me for years to come.

He could have been a monster in Detroit.

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#38 Booster313

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 07:53 PM

I am sorry but I am not going to have a pitty party for Cujo, he is a professional athlete. The fact of the matter is Cujo left doubt in managements mind with his 2003 run. Yes the team was weaker but if he didn't leave the door open the Wings would not have signed Hasek.

That being said Cujo was a class act in 2004, but so was Hasek. He gave back his paycheck, something no other athlete in professional sports history has ever done. But back to Cujo, he could have given the Wings the finger or blown games. He was lights out in the playoffs in 2004.

I am sorry that things didn't work out differently, but again he was paid 8 million dollars that year. He had a job to do and he did it. Yes he probably didn't love his job that year, and yes that's unusual for a Red Wings player, but I am sure we have all had days, months, years, and some of us even longer where we worked a job we didn't really like.

What kind of color is red? Red is a warning, a declaration, a color that says I'm ready to do what it takes. Red is focused and driven because red doesn't like second place. So what kind of color is red? Their kind.

#39 GMRwings1983

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 07:53 PM

I would think Osgood has been a bigger scapegoat than Cujo.

He's had several stints in Detroit, and during that time, he's been loved and hated by Wings fans numerous times. It keeps going in a circle with him.
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#40 Doc Holliday

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 08:18 PM

I would think Osgood has been a bigger scapegoat than Cujo.

He's had several stints in Detroit, and during that time, he's been loved and hated by Wings fans numerous times. It keeps going in a circle with him.


The difference is I think the Osgood loving (myself included) balances out the Osgood hating.

It's a healthy balance.

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