I came to a realization on February 3, 2013 that my favorite Griffin would likely be leaving the Detroit organization this summer. When the head coach says to the media having you around is like having no back-up at all, a fan begins to prepare oneself.
Tom McCollum (Left) and SuperGirl_30 via s3images.coroflot.com
PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME!
Therefore, when M-Live reported July 2 Tom McCollum had not received a qualifying offer, any attentive fan should not have been surprised. I had all but accepted my worst fear: I was going to have to buy a non-Red Wings jersey. I justified this in my mind because, simply put, a change is the best thing for Tom.
However unlike the calm, purposeful Wings organization I am used to, Ken Holland and Co. quickly backtracked and offered a last minute qualifying offer to keep Tom securely under their Red Wing, as first reported by Steve Amorose.
The more I think about this, the more I realize it’s a terrible thing for McCollum’s development to stay with the Red Wings.
OH YEAH. I WENT THERE.
What are common quotes about this guy? "Great guy!" "Awesome person!" "He’s so nice." "He let’s some terrible goals in." "No confidence." "Soft game." It’s like saying to a woman, "You have such a pretty face... it’s a shame you can’t drop the pounds."
(What were the SBNation rules about profanity again?)
Petr Mrazek showed he has what it takes to back up Howie. Pending unforeseen 2013 ridiculousness, I see no reason why he doesn’t take over for Monster in 2014, especially after gaining another year of experience in Grand Rapids. Jared Coreau, initially handed the Griffins #2 spot, now all of the sudden has to fight Tom for AHL time? Let’s think about that from Tom’s point of view. Why fight Jared to sit on the bench for another year? But why settle for Toledo when he has proven, consistently, he is AHL level? And why, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS RED AND WHITE, has he only been allowed to play in the NHL for a total of 15 minutes?
Imagine if 15 minutes determined the rest of your NHL career.
We were losing the game 7-3 anyway.
McCollum and Howard spent so much time together during January even the Red Wings couldn't tell them apart:
"COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 21: Tom McCollum #38 of the Detroit Red Wings stops a shot from Derick Brassard #16 of the Columbus Blue Jackets as R.J. Umberger #18 of the Columbus Blue Jackets looks for a rebound during the second period on January 21, 2013 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)" via http://redwings.nhl.com/club/gallery.htm?id=32581&iid=937360
Given an opportunity to choose, this will be one of the most important decisions in Tom’s professional career. If he stays with the Wings organization (which selfishly, I would love), will it be a repeat of 2012/13? There were highlights for sure, but even I can admit it wasn't a breakout season. Were the Wings so concerned about Samuelsson’s pending surgery they forgot they’ve had the same base netminder prospects since April, and since Pearce was actually performing surgery Tuesday, they hastily threw out a deal for Tom? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is this: I don’t have a good feeling about any of it.