10 years ago Bertuzzi was the premiere power forward in the world. Size, speed, hands, and grit.
He still has 3 of those qualities. You need people on the 3rd and 4th lines that can pass, score, and take the body. We aren't expecting 30 goals from him, but we are expecting him to play gritty hockey. Right now, from what I have seen, he is bringing snarl to the ice every shift. If he hustles instead of coasting around waiting for a pass I think he is an upgrade over both Sammy and Cleary, and at times is an upgrade over Franzen. Also, he doesn't take sh*t from the other team on the ice when they chirp at skill guys. When Weber threw Z's head against the boards, we all weren't saying, "Oh boy! Wait until Z gets back up and kicks his a** on the powerplay." No, all of a sudden, Bertuzzi was an enforcer to fans on the board. And guess what happened the next game less than 2 minutes in, even in a small scale, Weber had to answer. Against a bigger, stronger, and younger guy Bertuzzi did the job of a non-existant enforcer.
Some experts have them winning the Cup. Some have them winning the East. Some have them winning the Atlantic. Some have them finishing 26th.
All pointless. Anything can happen. These predictions are all based on the current roster of healthy players. One puck to the face, or knee-on-knee hit, or tweaked groin can turn a team from Cup-contender to barely missing the playoffs.
Howard tears a groin muscle. Datsyuk gets a concussion. Zetterberg's back acts up again. Kronwall blows out a knee. All spell doom. Not to mention other teams. Crosby takes a big hit and can't keep his eyes in focus. Chara takes a slapshot to the wrist and can't hold a stick for 4 months. Quick breaks his hand trying to stop a puck rolling along the boards behind the net. Freak accidents that no one can predict, not even experts.
BUT, experts also don't take into account players having career seasons. Weiss scores 40 goals. Alfredsson gets 60 assists. Franzen scores a goal in every away game for 3 months. Quincey leads the team in hits and +/- and does a great Konstantinov impression all season. DeK not only wins the Calder but gets Norris nods. All improbable, but still possible.
I'm a happy girl now. If the boys stick to the injury schedule, we'll be able to work everyone in with no trades.
Glad I don't have to change my signature. I want Tootoo as a fourth line regular. We will have plenty of skill guys to rotate in and out. We only have a handful of grinders and Tootoo will have a role every game in the East.
This is hilarious, cute, worrisome, and depressing all at once.
Hilarious: Great way around the rule. How can you stop it? They are being gentlemanly about it and playing/fighting within the rules (as ridiculous as they are).
Cute: How awkward they are. It's like two teenagers figuring out where to put their hands for their first dance. They are both obviously aware of their roles and both trying to stay on the big team. They both don't want to hurt each other (by letting the other remove the helmet) but immediately start to try to hurt each other. This is both cute and honorable and one of the reasons I love hockey fights, the pageantry of two enforcers knowing they have to meet at some point and being classy about it. Some people hate the "set up" fights, but I think that the fans of each of the teams want to see it and are somewhat disappointed if they don't. The other reason being the pure hatred that is built up over a game/season/career that is only curable through fists. Those fights are usually better (Mac/Lemieux).
Worrisome: This isn't going to last long. I bet the first draft of the rule is already written. Probably 2 for delay of game, 5 for fighting, game-misconduct, and maybe a short suspension/small fine.
Depressing: That it's come to this. So many recent, stupid rules (instigator, jersey tuck, glove tuck, goalie pads, puck over glass, trapezoid, spin-o-rama, stick curve, GOALIE INTERFERENCE OR NOT!?!?, and the dumbest: OTL). It's killed the game and made it so complicated that causal and new watchers are so confused that they won't attempt to watch it. If I were to talk to one of my co-workers who I know are into sports (NFL, NBA, MLB) and ask them what they know about hockey, 90% would mention "allowed to fight" in their answer. If I ask them why they don't watch it at least half would say "confusing/rules are weird."
Sammy has no excuse to be rusty. Sitting out the last part of the season for a pectoral issue, he better have been busting you-know-what to get in game shape. I've got a bad feeling (not based just on one preseason game) that we're going to have the same problems as last year with some line combinations and players. I hope Babcock isn't too loyal to Sammy and Cleary if they can't pull their own weight.
I agree. I am actually hoping very hard that Bert brings the Weiss and Alfie line some chemistry and "demotes" Franzen. If that happens, most likely Cleary will be placed on the 3rd line (if Abby does well on the top line) and Sammy dropped to the 4th line. Like this:
Nyquist/Tatar have very good chances to move up into the top six when injuries inevitably occur. I DO NOT want to see Cleary on the top line and only want Franzen there as a last ditch effort (one minute left, down by a goal, goalie pulled). If Franzen is on the top line we move from a 3 line team to a 1.5 line team very quickly.
Emmerton plays in GR/gets traded, Eaves is dropped, and someone not dressed or on the 4th line is moved. I would actually prefer Eaves to stay as one of the undressed players (righty, good one-timer, great PK) but Miller is too similar of a player and is actually better on PK. And with the extension Holland has made his choice. I still like Tootoo as an option against teams playing heavy with similar players (Philly, Chicago, Boston) even though little to no offense will come from him, scoring chances and stars on the other team keeping their eyes on him and off the puck might give the Wings a slight edge. Plus, in the East, there is more "running around" by the pesky players and a "sheriff" is needed on every team. The Wings will see more teams built in the traditonally Burkian style in the East and it will be more physical. Tootoo is good to have around.
I'm going to vent my anger in this post and leave it at that. I can't control the team in any way and I have to get over that and just try to not swear in front of my children when a player I think shouldn't be on the team fouls up.
Dan Cleary shouldn't be a Red Wing right now. I don't care how much he loves the organization. I don't care if he got the fictional "hometown discount." This is a business and he got what he got because that is what he is worth in the real world. Teams overpay for UFAs all the time because they think that they will be a cure-all for their problem (Leino, Suter & Parise, etc). Philly almost proved that point the way I understand the situation. The fans on BOTH the Flyers and Wings side were crying/laughing about the deal. "OVERPAYMENT!" they shouted with anger/glee. This is an unbiased assessment of Cleary's worth. His UFA price was too high. So, he took a "discount" and stayed with the Wings. And we talk of loyalty.
KH knows he is over the player limit and signed a player. That is not a good environment for the other forwards. Don't get me wrong, there should be competition in camp and players shouldn't be under the impression that they have a guranteed spot on the 3rd or 4th lines. I shouldn't be able to tell you who will be on the 3rd and 4th lines right now and neither should Holland and Babcock. But for some reason, I can fill 2 of those 6 slots right now. Sammy and Cleary.
No 3rd or 4th liner should have an NTC. NTCs should be for top tier guys so they will be not be uprooted by their org. and moved to Winnepeg so their previous team can get some young talent and do a rebuild. The majority of the 3rd and 4th lines in this organization with this cap should be reserved for youth. Guys being brought up from GR to fill in for injuries and during other 3rd and 4th liner slumps. This is the biggest flaw with Sammy's contract. The price was decent and length is OK. He was OK in VAN. Good enough to put with the Sedins on occasion. The Wings needed a righty and knew what kind of player he is. Not a bad signing. Better than the Cleary signing IMO. We know Cleary is on the decline and still signed him. But now we need players (older players) to leave and make room for youth (Tatar, Nyquist) and they can't be moved.
At least two of these thingsWILL happen:
- Bert dropped
- Tootoo dropped to GR/traded
- Tatar traded
- Nyquist (Datsyuk 2.0) plays in GR until an injury
- Eaves traded (EDIT: Forgot him)
IMO, if I could, I would get rid of Sammy and Cleary. It won't happen. So we are left with the above scenarios. In all honesty, the thing I don't want to happen will most likely happen. Tootoo will be traded and Nyquist will play in GR. If Helm continues to have issues, we MIGHT not lose Tatar to a trade. But if Helm plays, Tatar is gone. IMO the Wings have 3 NHL-caliber players that have had playing time that they can get offers for on the block: Emmerton, Nyquist, and Tatar. Emmerton will be in GR, and I think Nyquist is too good to be traded after last season. That leaves Tatar to be offered up to make room for Cleary and Sammy, following Tootoo being dealt to NSH for picks. That's how it has to be now.
On top of it all, we get older, smaller, softer, and slower. And we get to play in the East.
Since some people seem to be confused with the thread title, I officially re-dub it:
Keep Tootoo, Please Kenny DO NOT Sign UFA Cleary As Some Media Outlets Have Reported That You Wish To Do Because He Is A Drain On The Team And The Cap And Tootoo Would Be Better For The Team On The Fourth Line Than Cleary Would Be On The Third.
I know that this is off topic (kinda) but the only retired player that is a former Wing that fulfills all of my personal requirements for a number retirement (games played, personal accomplishments, Stanley Cups, standing with fans, and ability to steal games) is...
I know what's coming...
... and let me preface this in saying that I do not think that this will happen...
Ok, here's his Wikipedia page summarized down to the reasons he is up there and Shanny won't be. Bolded areas are of particular distinction.
He would go on to excel both at centre and left wing for twenty-two full seasons and parts of two others, and was notable for his spot on the Production line.No player except Nicklas Lidström in NHL history played more games with just the one team. One of the true gentlemen in the game of hockey, he was a three-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy for combining good sportsmanship with excellence on the ice.
Following his retirement as a player in 1973—having, at the time, played the second most games and with the second highest assist and point totals in league history—
At the time of his retirement, he ranked second in nearly every significant offensive category in Red Wings history behind only Howe. He has since been passed in most of those categories by Steve Yzerman, but only Howe and Lidström have played more games as a Red Wing.
So besides the 3 Lady Byngs and being basically the second greatest non-goaltending Red Wing (behind his linemate Gordie Freakin' Howe) until Yzerman and Lidstrom finished their careers he has no other reason to be up there.