Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dear Free Press: No Thank You

George Sipple of the Free Press seems to think that signing a few former Wings like Todd Bertuzzi and Jason Williams could help fill in the gaps. I disagree.

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Jason Williams

I’ll be the first to admit that I did like Williams when he played for Detroit. He was clutch in shootouts and a good right-handed shot, something we have in short supply. Though he was a defensive liability and therefore would not be a good replacement on the point for the second powerplay unit. We traded him to Chicago for Kyle Calder at the deadline in 2007. Calder became a healthy scratch in the play-offs and signed with L.A. after becoming a free agent on July 1st of that same year. So basically, we gave Williams up for nothing.

One would think that Kenny saw something in him that he didn’t like, or at least, thought was expendable…otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten rid of him in the first place. If Williams realizes that he was a product of the Detroit system and takes a fair salary to come back, I would be amenable to having him back as a third liner…but no better.

Numbers as a Red Wing (regular season): 233 GP 49 G 67 A 116 Pts

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Todd Bertuzzi

This is a much simpler case. No. Bertuzzi was a monster from 2000 until the Steve Moore incident. As I said in one of my first posts ever (before this officially became the N.O.H.S.), the Steve Moore incident destroyed more than Steve Moore’s neck, it destroyed three NHL careers (Moore, Bertuzzi, Naslund). Never has Bertuzzi even sniffed the 46 tallies he got in 2002-2003. As a Red Wing, he was lackluster in the short run in the regular season, and highly ineffective in the play-offs.

And anyone who would jump ship for the Anaheim Ducks, in my book, is no longer welcome (yes, that means you too, Schneider). If you want a 6’3+ 230 lbs forward, you’d be better served going after Taylor Pyatt, who still might actually get better with time.

Numbers as a Red Wing (regular season): 8 GP 2 G 2 A 4 Pts
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I think it's time to get some fresh meat in this line-up. Whether that means bringing up more kids from G.R. or making moves after we appease the NHL by going through Hudler's arbitration hearing tomorrow remains to be seen.

4 comments:

  1. J.J. from KansasJuly 29, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    I hated the Bertuzzi signing the first time and I'd hate it the second time too. Somewhere in trying to repent for what he did to Steve Moore, Todd lost his hockey edge. He's too easy to take off his game mentally now and quite frankly, I doubt his conditioning is high enough to play a full 82 games and however many it takes to get sixteen wins in the second season.

    Williams wasn't the piece we needed in 2007 and I don't think he's the piece we need now. He might have gone through two years of immense personal growth that sees him ready to accept bottom-six minutes and responsibilities and I'd take him if he has, but I don't think that's the case.

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  2. Well put, JJ. I'm not saying we wouldn't have beaten the Ducks in '07 if we had Williams in the line-up, but I CAN say that we lost to them with the player we traded him for sitting in the press box, healthy as a horse.

    Remember that interference call on Datsyuk? Yeah, it still stings.

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  3. Does that mean Fedorov is never welcome back as a Wing? Or do you consider that back when the Ducks were still kinda cool and had Paul Kariya so it doesn't count? I'd bring Fed back any day...

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  4. @Cameron...ah, there's an exception to every rule, and you, my friend, found the Sergei Fedorov clause! I know a lot of Wings fans hated him for leaving, but I never had any ill-will. I was hoping they were going to get him back at the trade deadline when Washington picked him up. I have like 30+ Fed rookie cards stashed away at the house somewhere.

    Good call.

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