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Off-Day Open Thread: I'm Back

A goalie mask full of goalie masks?  BRAAAAAAAAHM
A goalie mask full of goalie masks? BRAAAAAAAAHM

Mornin' folks.  J.J. here back from a week's vacation cruising around the warm and friendly Caribbean.  I'm back home now, the seven feet of snow have been cleared from my driveway, and I'm caught up in watching the Wings games I missed on my trip.  For those who are curious, I'm hoping to get the CSSI mega-post up before Wednesday's game.  I'm shooting for tomorrow night, but if I get it done earlier, I'll put it up then.  So, what did I miss?  Let's see:

Evgeni Nabokov signs for pennies-on-the-six-million-dollars-he-wanted-last-summer and then gets claimed by the Isles on Re-Entry Waivers - I know that many of you are probably sick of this story by now, so I'll try to be brief; Ken Holland took a gamble that we could get a guy who could have been a big difference-maker for a low salary.  Nabby's agent screwed that up by releasing a statement that he'd play for whomever claimed him and now Nabby's been made to look the part of a liar by sitting home instead of reporting to the Isles.  The hanging up on Garth Snow thing is amusing, but I dont' give a shit about the Isles.  What I do give a shit about is what's going to happen to the rule that requires KHL cast-offs to go through re-entry waivers when the next CBA gets negotiated.  There's not a simple solution to let teams sign NHL-caliber players who couldn't find teams during the offseason and went to the KHL without also letting teams tell a guy to go play in a European league (with a lighter schedule and less physical style of play) for half the season before signing a contract to bring him back to North America for a playoff push.  To ease up on this rule, you'd almost have to make the league offices responsible for judging each example on a case-by-case basis to see if they feel the spirit of the rule has been broken.  Since I don't trust anything the league does on a case-by-case basis, it's probably just best to say it sucks for the guys who couldn't get contracts during the summer that they're less likely to be offered deals by GMs who don't want to see these players stolen. 

Red Wings earn five points in five games, lose Holmstrom to injury - Even worse is that in earning those five points, they also gave Central Division rivals four points of their own due to their inability to win a game in regulation.  Perhaps it's because I wasn't abreast of the general feelings of Wings fans for most of the week, and perhaps it's because I watched all five games over the span of about 20 hours, but the Chicago loss didn't bother me as much as I was expecting it to.  I wasn't lucky enough to avoid getting the score of that one before I watched it, so I went all out and read the recaps of the game too before viewing.  From what I read, I was expecting something worse than the terrible Penguins game, but what I saw against Chicago was a tired team struggling for chemistry with third-and-fourth liners trying to step in for skill guys unable to finish plays that could have been goals.  I read one recap that said that without Jimmy Howard making big saves, that game could have been 8-1.  I agree with that sentiment, but also think that without half our forward crew being made up of either Griffins or guys who were previously in Mike Babcock's early season sit-out rotation, that game could have just as easily been 4-1 Detroit.  There are problems to be sure, but I saw reasons to be upbeat coming out of the all-star break.

Saturday before last against the Blue Jackets, a lot of bloggers missed a very obvious joke:  C'mon, Ken & Mick tell us that during the offseason Joey MacDonald goes to work on his parents' farm and nobody puts it together that it means that old MacDonald has a farm, e-i-e-i-o?  Mid-season grind hurts us all, I tell you. (if this joke was made anywhere in a comments section or on Twitter, please say so in the comments, so I can give proper credit where it's due.)

So, what else did I miss?  What else do you guys want to talk about?  We'll have a bit more on the TPL/WIIM All-Star Game fantasty draft competition coming soon, so stay tuned for that.  It's an off-day open thread where anything goes, unless it doesn't.