Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hasek's Back and so is Football!

Two of my favorite things returning this week. Yesterday--in a shocking move being that the week before they stated he was no longer an option--the Red Wings re-signed goaltender Dominik Hasek. I give Ken Holland a lot of credit for making this move, though part of that is tainted by the fact that it seems he picked Belfour over Hasek, Eddie just wanted more in bonus money. Belfour would've been a huge mistake. Thankfully he's in Florida and we got the guy I've wanted for over a month.

I wrote this on July 1st:
It sounds crazy, I know. But what about tour #3 for Dominik Hasek in Detroit. Think about it. A 2 year deal for Osgood seems to indicate to me that they may only offer a 1 year deal to the guy they want to start. Belfour & Hasek would fit that category. That would then set up either Liv/Osgood or Howard/Osgood for 07-08.

If you're in a position where either Ed Belfour, Mike Dunham, Chris Osgood, Manny Legace or Dominik Hasek is going to be your starting goalie for the 06-07 season, why not take a swing for the fences with Dominik Hasek? Split time with Osgood for the regular season, try to keep him healthy, then let him take a run at it in the playoffs. Injuries shouldn't be a huge concern, because if they're so confident in Ozzie that they want to give him a 2 year deal (????????!!!!!!!!!) then they should be confident enough that he can carry the load should Hasek go down.

I didn't even consider him until today. But with options going by the wayside, it looks like good ole Kenny is backed into a corner once again if he doesn't want to trade for anyone. Hasek, not Belfour is the right choice for this team. If he decides to go the trade route, Biron and Giguere are the most realistic options unless Dallas puts Turco on the market. I believe Nabokov's no trade clause kicked in at midnight this morning. Not a lot of good options out there, so why not take a one year chance on a guy that when healthy can still be the best goalie in the league?

It's really a brilliant move. The best part of this signing is how much the Osgood fans absolutely despise it. The linked thread is long, but it's worth it, if for nothing more than to see Eva Unit Zero's post that says that Osgood was better in the 98 playoffs than Hasek was in 02, and that Osgood is the better goalie now. Stuff like that is just priceless.

If he gets hurt, the money doesn't count against the cap and we can make a move at the deadline (As of right now, Anaheim, SJ, Buffalo and Montreal all have guys they'd like to move) and even if we don't, we're no worse off than we were yesterday morning. In the meantime, Howard is going to get to start a bunch of games in the AHL and he'll be ready next year when Hasek will theoretically be gone. If he stays healthy, this team is fully capable of making a run at the Cup.

Suddenly, the Red Wings are once again a team that no one wants to play. According to Hasek, he doesn't care if he only plays 40-50 games. He's just interested in staying healthy for the playoffs. That's great to hear from a guy that in the past has wanted to be in net every single game. Ottawa overplayed him and he ended up getting hurt. Plus, there's no Olympics this year, which means the schedule won't be as compressed.

I like the Markov signing as well. Again, he's an injury risk, but he's just the type of defenseman that we needed. And on a one-year deal, there's not a whole heckuva lot of risk. It's alarming that he's on his 5th team in five seasons, and that he doesn't put up the offensive numbers that a guy like him probably should...but he'll lay licks on people. He actually sounds very similar to Kronwall. Gotta stay healthy though. That sures up the defense corps, and may actually give them some flexibility if they decide they want to move Schneider. Once again, the Wings will have one of the absolute best groups of defensemen in the league. Only this time, they've got an elite goalie behind them.

I went from about a 2.2 on the "excited for next year" scale to needing a Spinal Tap scale that goes to 11 in one day. We just got the best goalie of all-time again, he's coming for a tenth of the price of his first stint in Detroit, and most importantly, we have outs should we need them.

Football is also going finally, and the Packers have already lost two of their backup offensive linemen for the season: Kevin Barry and Adrian Klemm. Not a great way to get things rolling, but football's back and I'm geeked. The NFL Network is showing Green Bay's intrasquad scrimmage this weekend, and it's going to be just amazing to see those green and gold uniforms again.

Favre called this the "most talented team" he has ever played on. He clarified that the 96 team was obviously better, but that was more because of experience rather than talent. Still, I think I'll take a team with Reggie White, Sean Jones, Santana Dotson, and Gilbert Brown in their front four. The 1996 team was the first team since the undefeated Dolphins team to lead the league in points for and fewest points allowed, and I want to say ESPN had a study that showed they were the most dominant team in NFL history.

I do agree with Favre that they're going to be a lot better than people think. The linebacking corps went from a weakness to a strength with the additions of AJ Hawk, Abdul Hodge (He really could be the steal of the draft), and Ben Taylor. They led the league in fewest passing yards allowed, and added Charles Woodson and Marquand Manual back deep.

I'm really looking forward to this season, and even if things fall apart again, I'm still going to just enjoy watching Brett Favre for one more year. There's never going to be another Favre, and it's time to just savor watching him while I still can. And December 21st I'll be at what could very well be his last game at Lambeau Field.


One last thing: We haven't heard too much about Pat Kane's upcoming decision, but Bret from GBW says that he's heard about some potentially positive factors that are in Michigan's favor. At the other end of the spectrum, the Evilanche have been in contact with Hensick. That'd be bad.


robert paulson said...

Don't be doubting Kenny Holland. The man is an excellent evaluator of talent and always puts a good team on the ice.

Packer487 said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again. We'll see how he does once he actually has to get creative to field a team.

Keep in mind that if he had his way, Belfour would be in nets for us.

If we can steal a player from one of these teams in cap trouble (like Gionta?) I'll be pretty happy. We really need a player that's more gritty (reclaimation project with Owen Nolan??) but at this point I'd take someone that could help offset the loss of the 60 or so goals that left our roster.

They'll have the cap room to get someone gritty at the deadline I guess.

With Hasek I'm a lot more optimistic than I was last week. Belfour would've been a complete disaster.

robert paulson said...

also, forgot to mention I love the picture on top of the blog. If that isn't the truth I don't know what is. Heck, I realize you aren't a huge hoops fan but the Michigan bballers would make a nice addition to it as well.

oh well, this year is bound to be better

Packer487 said...

Thanks...I suck at this stuff so that actually took way longer than it probably should have.

When I originally was bookmarking pictures, I had one of the Michigan basketball team losing to Minnesota, but for some reason it never made it into the actual banner. Definitely an oversight on my part.

So basketball team, you too should be honored as being a key contributor of the Year of Infinite Pain...

Packer487 said...

This is Michigan. Until you see a player on the ice, assume he's leaving.