FWIW, I thought the 2008 finals were horrifically reffed in favour of the Pens, and we won that one, so that can't be put down to sour grapes. Pens fans liked to point out how the total PIMs were even that series, ignoring how they racked them up when they started gooning the joint out after being blown away in games 1 + 2. Not to mention Gary Roberts cowardly sucker punch on Franzen, trying to start a fight with Datsyuk, the blatant trip on Dats with 10 seconds to go which led directly to that last second chance, Hal Gill committing Interference and/or Holding on every single shift, the way Detroit defencemen found themselves repeatedly without sticks when the Pens were on the PP.....I could go on, but suffice it to say the interview by Ozzie/McCarty after they won was quite telling.
As for the too many men in '09, what really got me was that once the refs realised, they didn't blow the whistle, they told the 6th man to get off the ice. No wonder Ilitch didn't want to shake Bettmans hand after game 7.
Over 1000 games in a Wings jersey...played his entire career here in Detroit...huge, HUGE piece to the puzzle in the playoffs each year. How many players have played their entire career in one city for over 1000 games? Not many.....Howe, Yzerman, Lidstrom, Delcvecchio....Draper has but he played for Winnipeg before....So Homer is one of 5 players to play their entire 1000+ game careers in Detroit...3 of those 5 have their number's retired, soon to have Lids join them...I am sure #96 will not go to the rafters, but something has to be said of Holmstrom's RARE stat...you cannot ignore the 1000+ games for one team his entire career.
And I'm pretty sure no-one else had as tough a 1000 games either. Guy was an absolute warrior for us who took a pounding shift after shift, and always came back for more.
Its made me sad the last few years seeing him slow down and the beating he took - not on the ice, but on this forum from short-memoried ungrateful fans (ditto Maltby + Draper).
IIRC he's also an American citizen now, so he'll be staying in the US whatever the future holds.
As I expected, this deal wasn't going to get done with this proposal. I guess the nhlpa is going to bargain tomorrow. Wish there was more of a sense of urgency out of them.
Of course it wasn't going to get done with this proposal. This proposal should have been made last season so both sides could have started negotiating with realistic starting positions and been able to go through the back and forth process. It will take weeks of back and forth, especially with such complicated legal proposals. Just to type up a proposal probly takes all day.
Mickey Redmond v Igor Larionov today, tougher than I thought. Larionov was clearly a better player overall, won 3 cups with Detroit and also scored one of the most iconic goals in RW history. But Redmond was a very good player on a very bad Wings team, but furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, has gone on to be the voice of the Redwings.
While I understand Fehr's point of view here, about players losing rights and what not, I do not understand why they are not meeting and trying to come to an agreement somewhere in the middle.
Because the NHL's original proposal was so utterly outrageous that "meeting in the middle" would still represent a massive reduction in pay and rights for the players. As I said earlier, the NHL's started out not with a basis for negotiation between 2 parties, but an ultimatum of surrender for a vanquished foe.
And all because a handful of teams have bad business models/bad markets, and the majority of owners keep handing out bonkers contracts.
Fedorov burst into the league as a youngster because we had a weak team and he was afforded a lot of ice-time. Datsyuk was a late bloomer because we had a power house team and he mostly played on the 4th line with not much PP time
Whilst I cannot dispute that the rookie Fedorov had less in front of him (Yzerman) than the rookie Datsyuk (Yzerman, Fedorov, Larionov, even Draper) that misses the point. Fedorov at 21 was a FAR better player than Datsyuk. The only reason Sergei wasn't in the NHL at 18 or 19 was because of the Iron Curtain, also the reason he was a 4th round pick and not a top-5 pick as his talent deserved. He scored 79 points his rookie year - roster depth and higher scoring era notwithstanding, it took Pavel till his 5th season in the NHL to top that. There's nothing wrong per se with being a late bloomer, most players are, its usually only lottery picks like Crosby, Malkin etc who can come in at 18 or 19 and perform like stars.
When Pavel arrived, he was a shy, undersized kid - outstanding stickhandling ability that had everyones eyes popping out, but no-one, no-one predicted the 2-way beast he would become. How much of that was opportunity, maturity, increasing strength, confidence, desire, Babcock's coaching, who knows? The fact is Pavel was 27 before he had a season that could be compared to Sergei. At 27 Feds had won 2 Selke's, a Hart and was a 3-time All-Star.
Fedorov was bigger, stronger, faster, had a better slap-shot, a better one-timer, as good defensively and almost as good a stickhandler (but no-one compares to Pav). Oh, and 163 points in 162 playoff games going head to head against the likes of Sakic, Forsberg, Modano, Niewendyk, Roy and Belfour year in and year out throughout the Dead Puck era.
Of course, after umpteen rounds we all know its going to come down to Yzerman v Lidstrom v Howe. I would have put Sawchuk in there as the 4th semi-finalist, but they've got him in the same bracket at Yzerman, so Lindsay or Fedorov then.
If I'm the NHLPA, the first thing I do before I start any negotiations is demand the immediate resignation of Bettman. How can they negotiate in good faith with someone who has locked them out 3 times?
You think the likes of Phoenix is bleeding cash now? Lock the players out again...we'll be back down to 24 teams in the NHL.
Bettman = Worst thing to happen to professional sports.
Much as the poison dwarf needs to go, he can't hold a candle to the likes of Sepp Blatter or Bernie Ecclestone. FIFA is corrupt to a scale that would shame a mafiosi don. F1 has 50% of its revenue go not to the teams, not to the drivers, but straight to a private investment firm (via Bernie of course. Who through a multitude of off-shore companies also owns just about every piece of F1, from promoting the races to the TV deals).
A big question mark. Kronwall has gone from being a #4 to an undisputed #1 in just 2 years - a huge step up. He was probably the best #4 in the league, but is he good enough to be a #1 and lead the D-corps? Now I wish he'd been given more (any?) time on the first pairing these last few years.
Smith is still a rookie - a talented rookie, but a rookie nevertheless. Quincey, White, Ericsson can all be good 2nd pairing or bad 3rd pairing players depending on how well they perform. Kindl deserves to be in the AHL.