It's eleven hours before all hell breaks loose in the hockey world. Free agency. The glorious time in this godforsaken summer season when we can focus on the excitement of off-ice hockey for an entire day, sometimes even longer depending on how much we get into it.
And just like last year, I'm stuck working a midshift. I'm stuck constantly updating TSN on my iPhone, waiting for any updates. But this year, I'm not as concerned for the Wings as I was last year. Last year, I was freaking out about Hossa. Last year, I wanted to keep him and I believed that Ken Holland could do it. So when I read where he signed and for how long/much, I literally ran into all of the stores of the strip mall I work in and told all of the hockey fans. It was a sad day for me. Sometimes I do still miss Hossa.
But this year, I'm not as concerned.
Ken Holland has stated that we won't be making any major moves - we need some cheap, solid players for the third and fourth lines and a defenseman for the last pair. The defenseman isn't super important, either, because he's said that he could see Kindl and some of the other Griffins battling it out for that last spot.
We have to sign pretty much all of our RFAs, but I honestly can't see them leaving. Maybe Eaves or Miller, but Miller's back in his home state and Eaves...I can't see him having a better role anyplace else. Or maybe that's just my sleepiness talking at this point.
The only play I think will leave is Lilja. Why? Because everything I've read in the past few days has said that Lils wants a bigger role as a D-man and he knows he can't get that here. I would love to keep him for another year, which I definitely wasn't saying two years ago. I will miss Lilja if he leaves; our relationship with him has been tumultuous at best - shoddy defense leading to weak goals yet he played solid PK, a terrible career-threatening injury because of a stupid fight he didn't need to get into, yet he came back from that and definitely helped our PK and he played good hockey. I realized that I did, in fact, miss him. I'm not sure if I want to see another Swede leave our Swedish ranks.
But despite Lils and the RFAs, I don't know what else there is to say at this point. I hope we can keep Abdelkader and Helm for sure; Eaves and Miller are good bonuses.
Oh hey, weren't we supposed to hear something about The Joe's lease today [technically yesterday]? Did they extend talks because the people running the city of Detroit are idiots? As long as they don't rope Ilitch into a five-year extension. Three I can handle - anything more is pushing it.