Brett Lebda Signs with Maple Leafs - Look, we all had a good laugh when we heard the Leafs had signed Lebda. As I said on Twitter that day, I have nothing against the guy. He was a serviceable fifth or sixth defenseman who didn't do anything particularly well except skate fast and pinch at inopportune times. It's the money: I can't believe that anyone would give that amount of money to Brett freaking Lebda. $1.45M a year for 2 years? Laughable. But what was even funnier for me after the signing was the comments he made to the Toronto Star:
As far as us making the playoffs, and making noise in the playoffs, I found a good mix in that and being able to meet the personal goals I’ve set for myself,” said Lebda, reached by phone at his home in Wonder Lake, Ill. “I’d like to get more ice time. I’d like to contribute more.He played 15 minutes a game as a third pairing defenseman. I'm not sure exactly what he is thinking he can contribute other than drunken antics with inanimate objects, hilarity for Leaf fans, and chips and salsa for the rest of the healthy scratches. It's a shame that he was stuck behind such lame players like Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart. Now he gets to play with such brilliant defensemen like Dion "Sloppy Seconds" Phaneuf and Mike Komisarek. Good luck Brett!
“In Detroit, I was more of a depth defenceman, and right now, that’s how the hockey world sees me. I’d kind of like to change that, and be a four or five guy, and contribute more to the team, in special teams, in key situations.”
Mike Modano's Continued Wooing: Is anyone else getting pretty tired of this shit? Look, Mike, I'd like to see you as a Wing. I think you'd be a good fit. But if you're going to dick the team around, then just take your shit to San Jose and enjoy being a part of yet another epic playoff failure. I've said before that I would like him in Detroit; just not at the expense of players like Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader. Those 2 guys may not be superstars, but they are quality depth players who have bought into the system in place and will be good for years. They could be big reasons why the Wings have the 3rd and 4th lines that keep them contending for Cups every year. Cups are not won and lost with the superstars; it's the role players chipping in key goals and eating up important minutes, maybe with a big penalty kill or a strong shift when momentum is lacking. I don't think Helm is going to score 40 goals a year; but we all remember his monster shift against Chicago in the WCF in 2009, and that's the type of play that wins championships. I do not want the Wings to give up important players to get him; that's what I have always maintained. But if he feels that he could get more money, then good luck to him. I've always respected and liked him as a player, and that won't change. I just want him to make up his damn mind and get on with it (and don't even get me started on Kovalchuk. Good gravy, he's like the prettiest stripper; everyone knows he's the best one, but you have to look at who you're being compared to).
The Ongoing Saga of the Chicago Blackhawks - We here at THITD (and by "we", I mean me in the royal sense) have not really commented on the happenings of the local NHL team. It started with the trading of Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel and Ben Eager to the Thrashers. Then it was Kris Versteeg to the Leafs. Then Andrew Ladd went to the Thrashers (I guess Atlanta's thought is that if you can't beat them, then get all their players that looked good playing along side superstars). Then, in the best development yet, the Sharks signed Niklas Hjalmarsson to an offer sheet of $16M over 4 years (cap hit of $3.5M), which the Hawks matched today. As it stands right now, the Hawks have just over $100K in cap space, and we are still waiting for Niemi's arbitration date to see how much he gets. The Hawks also still don't have a full roster, even with the little cap space they have. Excuse me for a second.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.
Whew, I needed that.
A lot of people are pointing at Stan Bowman and saying that he is screwing this all up. I say to those people: what was he supposed to do? He was put in salary cap hell by Tallon with the ridiculous contracts to Huet and Campbell, then he had to sign the big 3 of Kane, Toews and Keith. Now we all get to sit back as this team that less than a month ago was on top of the world is dismantled to a shell of itself. And to any Hawks fans who read this, understand one thing: none of the players that are coming in are going to be as good as the guys that left. That's what makes this so funny. We all know they're going to bury Huet in the minors to get some cap space. Even with that happening, this team will not be as good as they were, and now there's talk that Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell and/or Patrick Sharp could be traded to make room. Personally, I think it would be awesome if Hossa got banished to the Islanders or the Panthers and he never comes close to a Cup again, especially the way he did absolutely dick-all to win for the Hawks. I would also like to see Sharp moved, but not because I dislike him; I actually respect him as a player, and I think losing him would hurt the Hawks more than any other departed player has so far this off-season. And anything that hurts the Hawks (and conversely, helps the Wings) brings a smile to my face.
I will say this: in light of all of the recent events (Lebda, Modano, Hjalmarsson and the rest of the ex-Hawks), I am fucking ecstatic that we have Ken Holland as a GM. Yes, we're all still a little miffed at the Bertuzzi signing. But think about this: would you rather we be slightly perturbed at that, or apoplectic that half of our team has been traded? Or that he signed a depth defenseman for almost as much money as Bertuzzi is making? He's made his pitch to Modano, and if Mikey doesn't feel it's worth it, then buh-bye; we'll just sign Helm and Abby, get a depth defenseman, and get back to dominating the division like normal. He was able to sign Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves to decent deals, with more than enough money to finish his shopping. In Kenny We Trust.