Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thinking Happy Thoughts...

OK, it’s official. I really thought the Wings were done with signings after the Jason Williams deal, but the rumblings have been around for a couple of days now so I’m not all that surprised. It’s no secret that I’m not a big Bertuzzi fan. (And for the record, I hated him long before the Steve Moore incident. I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but I’m pretty sure that dates back to the 2002 playoffs.) I’m having a hard time getting behind Kenny on this one, but I'm going to try really hard to talk myself into liking it. So here we go…

Aside from my general dislike for Bertuzzi, my biggest issue is his injury problem. (The Wings already got hit with the injury bug at the worst possible time last season so maybe the Hockey Gods will grant them all a reprieve.) And the fact that he’s washed up. (So was Dan Cleary when he first showed up. Plus, that was one of the things that I liked about the Eaves deal. Even though Eaves is young, hasn’t peaked yet, and has never made me angry in the past. No, no, no, I’m going to stay positive here.) And takes too many stupid penalties (Exhibits '08 and '09.) Then there’s the fact that he’s kind of a defensive liability/slacker who, according to The Triple Deke, never managed to endear himself to fans in Anaheim or Calgary. (Seriously? Fans of the team that until recently employed Chris Pronger and his elbows never warmed to Bertuzzi? And we’re supposed to like him? No, there’s really no way I can put a positive spin on that one.) Then there’s the question of what his addition does to the lineup. Who gets benched? What happens to Helm’s ice time? Am I really going to be subjected to seeing Williams and Bertuzzi playing on he third line together? (Objectively speaking, having guys battle for ice time might not be the worst thing in the world. Maybe it’ll keep them from sleepwalking through a lot of the regular season like they did last year. Every player on the team has something to prove this season, and maybe fighting for their ice time every night will make them better.)

Plus, back in July, I was thinking to myself, “Now that Sammy’s gone, who am I going to complain about? And mock?” Well apparently Kenny Holland was listening because he went out and signed me not one, but two, potential definite replacements. So maybe it’s not such a bad thing. I kind of believe that every group needs one person to hate on. It’s a community building thing. I’ve seen it work time and time again in various roommate and work situations over the years. Disliking that one person gives us something in common and helps us bond. Someone has to be the go-to punchline. (Tonight I was playing a game, and we each had to write down something that was useless. I wrote ‘Todd Bertuzzi.’ Everyone laughed when it was read aloud, so see, he’s already serving an important purpose in my life.)

While I’m still not sold on this deal, between the posts at Abel to Yzerman and Babcock’s Death Stare and forcing myself to think happy thoughts, I’ve realized that it’s not the end of the world. I kind of wish I hadn’t burned all of my stuff out on the front lawn when I heard the news. I kid, but you get the idea. I’m definitely not happy, but if you stretch, there are positives. Who knows, maybe this time next year, we’ll all be writing about Holland’s brilliance and nominating him for governor.

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