(When I say "bystander", I mean the fact that I wasn't here to go through all this rumors and reporting and crap. I was mostly on the road, and checked updates when I could. It saved me from a lot of heartache, and, reading this in the morning, I can *almost* laugh. Also, I wrote this in a hurry and didn't proofread, so there's lots of repetition and probably grammar mistakes.)
So, here we are, 5 days into free-agency, and already panicked. I came back today morning to find out that we didn't lose out on just one, but THREE (Suter, Parise, Carle) free agents that we almost desperately needed. Parise and Suter to Minny, and Carle to Tampa.
It truly does. We needed Suter. Parise would have been a healthy addition as well. But we didn't get them. We knew what we had to do, we knew what it took to do it, and yet, in the end, we didn't get it done. Was it our fault? Probably not. Minnesota had something that we just couldn't offer, the feeling of home. But nobody will remember that. Everybody will remember that when we needed to get these free agents, we didn't get it done.
But here I am asking, who cares?
So what we missed out on Suter, who is largely considered one of the top-10 defensemen in the game? So what we missed out on Parise, one of the top forwards in the league? So what? We missed out. It happens every year to half the teams in the league. Unfortunately, we were one of those teams this year. But does it matter?
And by the way, no, I'm not crazy. I realize that adding Suter and Parise would have been HUGE this offseason. Our team would be great. We'd have a top pairing of Kronwall-Suter, and probably have a line with Parise and Datsyuk on it. That alone would have been worth the money we spent.
But, we didn't get them. As I've probably said a million times before in this post, we missed out. So what do we do now, just sit out and give up? Blame Kenny Holland for not throwing money at them? Blame our coaching staff if we don't win as many games next year?
No. We get up and we move on.
So, we don't have Suter and Parise. That's obvious. Hell, we don't even have our legendary defenseman, Nicklas Lidstrom. But we do have a great core, consisting of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronner, and Howard. We have some great prospects, like Brendan Smith and Gustav Nyquist. So what do we need?
We need our players to step it up. We need Dats to be more of a magician than ever (and preferably not get injured!). We need Z to start strong early in the season, instead of later. We need Jimmy to play his absolute best. We need people like Kronner to step up and start being leaders in the locker room, considering we'll have the absence of TPH and (probably) Homer. We need our prospects to step it up, and play like they're capable of.
So, that doesn't mean we'll give up. We're not going to sit here in a corner and cry. We're going to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move on. We'll fight. We'll play every game like it's our last. We'll add passion to our game that we haven't seen the last 3 years.
And you know what, we might not even win. We might not even come close to winning. We definitely aren't the favorites right now. We might end up the 9th seed or worse, meaning we end our legendary playoff run. Hell, we might even end up behind Columbus.
Hell, for all we know, this could be the death of the Red Wings organization. We might finally have to rebuild after all these years of winning. We could end up like Toronto. But it doesn't matter. We'll rebuild. We'll come back strong the next year. And if not, the year after that. And if not...etc.
So, after taking all that time to get to my point, I guess I'm trying to say that we SHOULDN'T be that panicked. That there ARE other options and that this ISN'T the end of us all. I have confidence. We might do terrible. We might not. We might make the playoffs. We might not.
But I'm not worried.
We're the motherfucking Detroit Red Wings.