On Cleary, the fact that he scored on "flukes" wasn't flukey at all. He was doing exactly what he should be doing: going to the net and being in the right place at the right time. I'll grant you that his body is breaking down some, however, he is EXACTLY the type of guy I want playing for us right now. He knows his role, he digs and works harder than anyone else on the ice every single shift, and has been to a few rodeos before... oh, and he's scoring. Grit, determination, hard work and experience. That sounds like a playoff warrior to me. He's playing beyond what his body should allow at this point, showing the kids how it's supposed to be done, and that's beyond admirable.
Well said, aside from his 5 points, there were a fair few other goals we scored this series where Cleary was screening the goalie and didn't get an assist. And as was pointed out in the game 7 GDT he was talking a lot to the rookies on the bench too.
Sure the guys's body is breaking down, but why is it breaking down? Because this MAN has put his body on the line time after time after time for this team. Cleary is going to suffer for the rest of his life for what he has put his body through, a little more gratitude and respect from certain keyboard warriors would not be out of place, instead of the graceless, thankless running out of town that seems de rigeur.
"The ever on going debate Hossa or Franzen, Franzen or Hossa, which one should we have kept?"
I HATE this question. I hear it all the time on LGW, as if it was some clear A vs. B choice. Nobody ever says "Why did we keep Zetterberg or Kronwall instead of Hossa", even though those guys have more comparable contracts - they only want to compare the two LH-shooting Euro power forwards.
Here is why I lose ZERO sleep over the Hossa vs. Franzen thing:
Hossa was a known mercenary from the day we signed him. He was a mercenary for Pittsburgh, and he was a stopgap solution for us. If both sides had been so committed to keeping Hossa here long term, he would've gotten more than the glorified "Alex Semin" one-year deal that he got in July 2008 from us (1 year, $7.45 mil, IIRC)
Franzen and Hossa were roughly the same age (both born in 1979) and have similarities in their game, so spending $10 mil + on the same type of player would have been superfluous when we needed to sign goaltending and defense at the time.
At the end of 2009, Franzen's reputation was as a clutch playoff performer, whereas Hossa had a disappointing playoff performance, which soured the fanbase on him. (The same fanbase, btw, ignores the fact that Datsyuk scored all of 1 goal in the '09 Playoffs on a bad foot, and celebrates Lidstrom's toughness for his "groin" injury, while ignoring played all 23 games with a destroyed shoulder)
Franzen's contract was FAR more favorable heading into an uncertain CBA situation. Not only is the cap hit about $1.3 million less, but it's a year shorter, and notably less egregious in terms of circumventing the CBA with "backdiver" provisions, which was a growing concern of the NHL at that time, as they cracked down on the Kovalchuk deal
While both are "power forwards" (and Hossa's defensive game is admittedly better), Franzen seemed the more likely of the two to assume the role of "guy who stands in front of the net, screens goalies, and picks up garbage goals. Holmstrom was on his way out, and the Wings really hadn't been absent a player of that type dating back to Ciccarelli in the mid-90's. Hossa is a better overall player, but (particularly in the '09 Playoffs), he plays more of a finesse game and stays on the perimeter a bit.
Amnesty buyout. This whole conversation basically became moot anyway in the 2013 CBA. If Franzen's contract is so bad, they can just buy it out, rather than keeping it until 2020. If they don't do that, and elect to keep him despite the lower salary cap and other changes in the CBA, that tells you that they probably still view it as a pretty good contract.
The Hossa signing only "worked" for Chicago because they had to bend and twist the 2005 CBA in every way possible. It was perceived at the time that it might cost them one of their other core players down the road, like Duncan Keith. What they did instead was bury Huet in the minors (which you can no longer do) and thin out all their role players, which led to early exits in 2011 and 2012. They have since rebuilt those lower lines, so the Hossa experiment has "worked", but it's not clear that it also would have "worked" for us.
Was listenning to the Team 1040 Vancouver tonite on my way to Dairy Queen after the game.(Burrp-excuse me) When they asked which series they would all prefer to watch in Round 2, one of the guys said it wasn't so much as which series, rather which players.
"When it comes to playoff hockey, I have a man crush on Zetterberg and Datsyuk. No one I'd rather watch than those two."