Once again the masterminds that are behind one of the greatest sports dynasties of all times is at it again; and no one saw it coming.
Fans, even Red Wing fans, were angry, disheartened and frustrated this summer as they watched their team lose their captain (who just happens to be the best defenseman to ever play the game) to retirement and then have a General Manager do nothing with the teams large cap space.
By nothing I mean nothing. Detroit's General Manger failed to bring Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to Hockeytown. The two biggest free agency is what is probably the history of the NHL. They were only missing an hour long tv special on ESPN 2 to become the most over hyped signings in sports history. Kenny instead brought in a back up goaltender with a bad heart.
No I don't mean he doesn't have love or passion for the game - he literally has a bad heart (medical test have proven he is fine - so says The Monster).
The announcement of one Jordin Tootoo becoming a Red Wing set off a mass hysteria with Detroit fans on Twitter that can only be compared to the Vancouver riot for utter over reacting. Alright, Ken Holland did something; but according to Wings fans the dawning for the Dead Wing 2.0 Era was upon us all.
Forget the fact that Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch had helped land not only the 2013 Winter Classic to be hosted by Detroit - well, Ann Arbor - in what is to be the largest hockey audience of all time. What Mr. Ilitch could not do was twist the arm of the NHL to get the game in Detroit at Comerica Park where his baseball team plays.
fail there Mr. Ilitch.
Guess you will have to settle for having that Alumni game there. Oh and the AHL game between the Wings' and Leafs' affiliate teams, and the Great Lakes Invitational, oh and those OHL teams that are going to play.
Still though, the Hockeytown Hockey Festival is NOT the Winter Classic.
In listing all the major fails of the Detroit Red Wings organization this summer is where we fail to see the devious, conniving, scheming plan that was well played on all of us mere mortals.
Let's go back to GM Holland:
In the massive failure in bringing the two highest contracts in the NHL it has left the Red Wings being one of 14 teams sitting below what is being speculated at the new cap under the pending CBA agreement. Sixteen teams are going to have a massive trading frenzy to get under the $58 million cap if the latest proposal from the NHL is accepted by the NHLPA; and lets face it, it really is not a horrible team. Pavel Datsyuk is still Pavel Datsyuk, even if he wasn't rated as a top fantasy hockey pick - but look at who they picked for one of the top wingers ... James Neal.
Alright Kenny Holland. We may have freaked out about your lack of inactivity; but you have proven once again why you are the greatest GM in hockey.
Now Mr. Ilitch. You Sir are one amazing man.
You bought half the city of Detroit; two sports teams, and much more that those out of the Detroit area have no idea - and all because of pizza.
You "gave up" the Winter Classic to Ann Arbor for a door price that you tried to re-brand as some special. Something that did not have to be re-branded as special because it is special.It is the special loop hole that has been greatly overlooked. On the day that the NHL U.S. national television appearances were released; when fans and media alike are doubting if the season will take place; or if the Winter Classic will even happen - you had a plan to save Hockeytown from going without hockey.
Not only is the Hockeytown Hockey Festival going to be a savior for hockey fans during a probable/possible lockout it could in fact be the Phoenix (not the Coyotes they are a lost cause) of the winter.Rising from the ashes of what could be another lost NHL season the Hockeytown Hockey Festival in Downtown Detroit left the biggest loop hole in history that no one could see. Almost like the Chicago Blackhawks sending Cristobal Huet to the Swiss league to get out of the contract.
With an NHL lockout the players are not allowed to work for the NHL; however, they are allowed to sign contracts and play for other leagues. Including the American Hockey League. Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings have their AHL affiliate teams within a greatly reasonable distance (Toronto and Grand Rapids respectively).
What is stopping the NHL players from signing with their AHL affiliates? You know those same teams that are playing an outdoor game at Comerica Park already?
The NHL cannot stop these players from playing with those teams, and they cannot stop the AHL outdoor game becoming what could have/should have been the NHL Winter Classic.
Just the NHL Winter Classic would not take place; and NBC would have to scramble to get a contract with the AHL to start setting up for the AHL Winter Classic, but HBO's 24/7 could be produced, the same players could still don the blue and white and the red and white and fight it out in Original Six glory - just with different names.And now it would ALL be at Comerica Park.
You two are frickin' geniuses'.
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