Music (I teach high school choir, music theory, music history, and music technology plus play bass in several bands as well as freelance on keys); Reading sci-fi, fantasy, and military fiction; plus a wide variety of other stuff.
I'm not too worried about DeKeyser and Mrazek filing for arbitration. Historically, the Wings settle a contract beforehand. More importantly, it prevents an offer sheet from being tendered, so it can be viewed as a commitment to sign with the Wings as well.
Fair point about Alfredsson, though I think part of it was Alfredsson had much higher stature in the NHL than Neilsen does, IMHO, and had been wearing the C for years in Ottawa. If Stamkosmcame, I'm sure he would have gotten an A due to his stature as well. I wouldn't mind if Neilsen gets it, but I still think it will go to Abdelkader.
Overall Fedorov had better linemates long term but during their primes I'd say Datsyuk had better linemates.
Federov had Koslov and Larionov in his peak. Shanny came around a bit later.
Datsyuk basically had Zetterberg and Hull from the get go. Had Zetterberg all the way until he turned 30 before Babcock split them up
True as far as even strength lines, but with the depth of the whole team, was the top pair facing Fedorov or Yzerman? Also, the Russian 5 was deployed as a five man unit as opposed to a line of forwards and a defensive pairing, which was rather unique. What about the power play groupings? I'd love to see an analytical overview because it is such an interesting comparison of two truly great players.
My favorite Fedorov memory - I was at the Nassau Coliseum the game after Sergei scored five in one game. I was with some folks I'd met on the old Red Wings listserv Dave Vergolini ran out of MSU in the 90's. One of the guys was a Russian speaker and made a small sign in Russian that said "Sergei, five more please?" His girlfriend held it up was he was coming into the face off circle. He looks over, sees the sign, smiles and winks, then scores on that shift.
I'm on the Howe, Lidstrom, Yzerman, Sawchuk, Datsyuk or Fedorov bandwagon. The Fedorov/Datsyuk debate is a good one. Pav was a lifetime wing who didn't have nearly the supporting cast Sergei did most of his career. Fedorov was dominant, and darned close to being the total package (in a better than Lex Luger way) but his post Wings numbers took a steep dive if I recall correctly. Both were great. The cap/non-cap rosters make a difference as well. I wonder what the analytics would say comparing the two in their primes (yes, I realize that the analytics weren't around in anything close to their present form during Fed's tenure, but it would be a very interesting comparison nonetheless).
HM for Red Kelly, Sid Abel, Alex Delvecchio, Ted Linsday off the top of my head.
Bill was funny at times, though for some reason he had an Axe to grind, particularly against Drew Miller.
Back on topic. I wasn't a huge fan of Ott in the past, but reading some of his comments out there about signing with the Wings, I'm thinking maybe it is going to turn out better than many hope. He seems to at least have the right mindset.
I've been torn on it, but I think getting Stamkos would be a good thing, even at the high salary. Kickazz makes some good points about contracts coming off the books. If Kenny can resign the RFA's for decent money and term that works (either they are RFA again at contract's end or term ends when other contracts come off the books that won't be re-signed (Ericsson, I hope, to name one)). Plus, Stamkos is young enough that he will be able to be a leader to transition some of the young guys in as well. He'd be the first real sniper the Wings have had since Shanahan (maybe Hossa, but he was only there for a season).
I agree that tonight's game will be a huge determining factor in the series. One big key I think will be to weather the storm. TB is going to come out with a mad-on and press hard early. If the Wings can hold them off, or better still, draw first blood and not get drawn into too much extracurricular activity, I like their chances. If Petr plays like he did in Game 3, the defense avoids an outbreak of cranial-posterior implant syndrome, and the PP clicks, we shall head back to Tampa evened up.