Archive for May, 2016

Megyn Kelly isn’t a journalist

May 22, 2016

The blow up over the crappy interview Kelly did with Trump is ridiculous, and it’s everyone’s fault but Kelly’s and Fox’s that so many people were apparently gullible enough to think something journalistic would happen on their network that arguably went against their internal interests. In the past, the network has been careful to make clear that a lot of shows (such as O’Reilly’s) are not news shows, but glorified opinion pieces there to suck in ratings while pandering to the ideology the higher ups want to push. It’s blatant, it’s ugly, it works for them.

So why would anyone believe that Kelly wouldn’t end up doing what’s best for her employer, and who is in line to throw her big pay day at her? She brings in the ratings for them, she represents a demographic the GOP as a whole has trouble appealing to, and her contract is coming up.

Just like we should know that Paul Ryan and every other GOP member will fall in line at some point to back Trump, so will Fox News and all of the people on it that matter. If anything, it wouldn’t be surprising if the whole bad blood story line between Trump and Fox wasn’t entirely fictitious, there to drum up publicity for one, ratings for the other, and to then get it out of the way for the full court press of “opinion” programming leading up to the election. It’s on everyone for being too gullible and naive in allowing themselves to fall into this trap. Kelly just did what everyone should have known was going to happen from the beginning: tow the line.

Jason Demers

May 13, 2016

I’ve been seeing Wings fans throwing around Jason Demers as a guy we should target to improve our blueline, and I can’t help but wonder what they are thinking when guys like  Yandle and Goligoski (and even Campbell) could be on the market. This isn’t to say Demers is a bad players, he’s a fine D, but he’s not exactly anything special. Our blueline is weak with the puck, weak generating offense, and is weak in our transition game. Nothing about Demers makes me think he’s much more than a more experienced Marchenko. Give Marchenko another year or two, and I don’t think we’ll see a huge difference between the two – especially not a difference worth what it would likely cost to sign Demers in free agency.

Spend a little more, get a guy who is a little less safe, but who brings qualities we need. No one who might be available on the open market will be a Suter-esque move that could single-handedly revamp our blueline, but we should at least go for players with qualities we don’t really have. Also, if Mrazek is as good as he appears he might be, we can lean on him to make those big saves where we leave him out to dry occasionally.

Just Go In Straight Lines

May 6, 2016

Chelios: Well, I adjusted I think because I played so long and had been through different types of games. Mike Babcock, I don’t think there’s a more structured coach than him, and I struggled with him. I tried to do what he wanted me to do. I was one of those players, you talk about elite players, I had a vision, I could see the puck and plays developing before it happened, but once he had me doing straight lines, I was worthless. Then I knew the end was there.


I pulled the above quote from an interview posted at ESPN.  Chelios touches upon the prevalence of systems in the NHL a few times in the interview, but this was the most direct connection he made to the Wings. When Babcock first came on board, and really throughout his tenure in Detroit, there were often rumors of him rubbing players the wrong way. Shanahan’s dislike for Babcock was the worst kept secret in Detroit the little time they co-existed. For awhile Babcock was seen as essentially shoving Yzerman off the ice. Rumors of Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Lidstrom rebelling against Babcock seemed to surface every couple of years, only to have everyone stay where they were and keep saying the right things. I  have to believe, though, that Chelios wasn’t the only high end player who looked at how Babcock wanted them to play and thought, “Just kill me now.”

I totally get the idea of cutting down on mistakes by taking as much of the unknown out of the game as possible. And as a team becomes less skilled, this makes a lot of sense. However, at some point I have to wonder if it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. We don’t have enough skill to let guys go out and create a bit, so we go out and get guys who are better at a simpler, more straight forward game, but they are also less skilled, bringing the team down further, and pushing the game plan to be even more conservative. And on. And on. And on. Before you know it, you have a team that is very limited on the skill front, with grinders playing up in the lineup, and having a difficult time consistently producing offense.

Sound familiar? I think it does. Maybe the Wings are hitting a point where they will realize they either need to go back to what was really the Wings hallmark or to just go all out with the crash&bang limit mistakes lineup they keep flirting with. Unfortunately, the lack of high end skill coming up through the farm system may make the decision for them.

why would Radulov sign a short term deal?

May 3, 2016

Alright, in my near weekly attempt to burst balloons regarding the wings, I want to say something about the possibility of signing Alex Radulov. For those who don’t know (or remember – dude’s not exactly been seeing a lot of NHL action lately – Radulov jumped ship from Nashville to make a living in the KHL something like six or seven years ago (maybe eight, it’s been a long time) .He was/is incredibly talented, and his leaving opened a massive hole in Nashville’s offensive production. He was a guy a club would look at as being a pillar of their forwards for ten years, he was that good.And then he just up and left after being suspended for partying with a russian buddy while in the playoffs.

And now he wants to come back to the NHL. And he’s been linked to the Wings for obvious reasons, such as averaging less than two goals per game in the playoffs. However, Radulov’s off-the-ice problems of the past hasn’t made his possible signing a slam dunk with a lot of fans. It seems the most enthusiastic endorsements are usually along the lines of, “well, he’s better than what we have and we aren’t in a position to complain,” while a lot of responses are closer to, “screw him, he’s a cancer.”

The truth is we do need a guy like Radulov. We need a center more, but any guy we should be able to look at and say will score 20+ goals for us with regularity would be a wonderful problem to have  at this point. Also, it’s not like we haven’t employed players who we later discover had their fair share of problems. McCarty definitely had his demons, and even a guy like Fedorov had quite the off-ice life going on. So, I think that part of the Radulov saga is overrated. If the Wings think Radulov will show up and produce, they’ve shown the ability to live with some of the extra stuff. Also, Radulov is nearly 30 now and has a kid, and by many reports has calmed the off-ice issues substantially.

A bigger problem, in my eyes anyway, is this idea that I’ve seen that signing Radulov would be okay if it’s on a short deal and the money isn’t exorbitant. Well, yeah, signing a top6 player on the cheap and not being on the hook for a lot of years is always preferable. But why would Radulov do it? The guy is coming back as a straight UFA, he doesn’t have to sign for the ELC like a guy like Panarin. Radulov is going to be looking for some cash here, folks. Also, the Wings are not exactly the cream of the NHL crop. Five years ago, signing a short deal to fit into a lineup of a real Cup contender would have made a lot of sense. Now? Going purely by chances of winning the Cup, there are a lot of teams on equal footing with the Wings. There is absolutely no reason for Radulov to take a discount to sign with us for that reason.

so, why would he give us a discount? well, the most obvious reason is because someone (Datsyuk) gave us a glowing recommendation, and make certain promises to make sure Radulov is employed beyond whatever deal he signs with us to start. Think Dan Cleary for the past three years where we just kept handing out contracts like candy to make good on some promise Holland made to him –  a promise that probably should have landed us in hot water with the league over cap circumvention, but I have to assume having Cleary on the payroll was seen as punishment enough. Do we want to bring in a guy on a short term but with the knowledge that there is likely a promise for more down the road, regardless of play?

in the end, we’re not going to get any serious help on the cheap. There is no reason for a guy like Radulov to sign a deal here for term or money that they can’t easily beat elsewhere. Whatever we sign Radulov/Okposo/Stamkos/whoever for, it’s not likely to be far off from what other teams are offering, and in some cases it’ll likely have to be clearly more than other teams.