27 August 2008

More on McCarty

The Grand Rapids Press reports this morning that McCarty has received a two-way (as predicted) offer from the Red Wings to return this upcoming season, which he is confident he will soon sign.

"We're just trying to work out some intricacies," he said. "I think there's some collective bargaining things in there that we're trying to get clarification on, but I'd say it's 99 percent that I'll be back in the organization."
The two-way contract means McCarty may return in 08-09 for a second stint Grand Rapids, much to the delight of the Griffins and their fans many of whom remember watching his home-debut hat trick this past season. Earlier in the week there were reports that McCarty's agent was looking elsewhere in hopes that the 36 year old free agent could perhaps garner a one-way contract from a team looking to add his brand of veteran grit. McCarty himself had stated many times that he would much rather have a one-way contract that would seal his season in the NHL, which received mixed reactions from Wings faithful - sure people love D-Mac, but is he necessarily still NHL material, especially given the sacrifices the Wings will already have to make to stay under the cap ceiling? Luckily for us, it looks as though we won't have to worry, as when asked about returning to GR McCarty responded:
"Who knows, I'll probably be down here for a bit. I love playing in Grand Rapids. If the call for me is to put my Griffins jersey back on, I'm all for it."
One of the things that impressed me the most this past season was D-Mac's attitude about playing wherever he found himself - which is probably one of the major reasons he made it as far as he did at all. Needless to say, Wings fans should once again be impressed with Holland & Co., persuading McCarty to stay under terms that suit the team's needs, keeping a fan-favorite under contract in a manner that clearly has the team's best interests at heart.

Last season McCarty posted a rather unremarkable 1 G 1 A in 17 playoff games (1 A in his three regular season outings) - but as he's shown, the scoresheet isn't necessarily where he proves his worth on the ice. Personally I look forward to seeing McCarty wherever he ends up and am glad to have him back in the fold especially in this manner. Hats off to the organization again for another good move - that is, assuming he does in fact sign, and we haven't jumped the gun!

22 August 2008

Summer High-(and Low)-lights

It's been 22 days since the last time I made a post here - so long that blogger has messed with settings and managed to confuse me - which I think is a testament to the long summer. Fortunately for me, some of the other Wings bloggers out there have kept up a little better with what few and far between notes of import there have been. To highlight:

  • The Wings, while maintaining their roster from the past season, have lost a whole lot of personnel. The team is now down two members of the coaching staff, a scout, and the assistant equipment manager. And of course, Scotty Bowman is a pretty big name to lose. I have to admit I share Christy of Behind the Jersey's fears (to exaggerate a little) that this could impact the team, but also her belief in Ken Holland and Mike Babcock. Still, it's a big question heading into the season.
  • Speaking of the roster, the Wings' is still too large - the team has yet to resign defensemen Chris Chelios and Kyle Quincey and forward Darren McCarty and with the recent resigning of grinder Aaron Downey to a one year, two-way contract that pays him $575,000 in the NHL, $100,000 if he's relegated to the minors, has only around $400,000 left in cap space. While it's impossible to argue that this logjam should have been a deterrence to the Wings when it came to signing Hossa, this September may get a little bit interesting. McCarty in particular has been looking into other teams who may be willing to make an offer, as he would prefer a one-way contract that the Wings are not in position to offer him. The news on Chelios and Quincey has been rather quiet lately.
  • The Ace of Sports is hosting a "Detroit Athlete of the Decade" competition, now down to the final four: The Lions' Jason Hanson, the Pistons' Chauncey Billups, the Tigers' Magglio Ordonez, and the Wings' own Nicklas Lidstrom. The contest involved bloggers from across the Detroit Sports blogosphere writing in their arguments as to why their athlete is the all-around MVP, and Lidstrom's well-penned plea was written by the Wing's blogosphere's own Dave of Gorilla Crouch. While all four athletes are a kind apart - clearly, given the honors they're up for - the stats that Dave gives for Nick's career are stunning. So go vote for the Captain!
  • Wings' preseason tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10:00 am, starting at just $9 - it will be interesting to see how quickly they go, even as preseason games. I personally intended to go to the Wings/Leafs game, but as it turns out I'll be in Toronto that day, which will make it difficult. Preseason lacks the glitz and glamour of the regular season but it is a great chance to see the potential future of the team, depending on which night you go and what roster you see. Having moved back to the east side of the state, my chances to see the Grand Rapids Griffins this season are going to be slim, and thus a preseason game that many of them will play in will be a great way to see the developmental strides the boys have made over the summer.
The season looms ever closer - thankfully. While the Wings have had nearly the shortest summer in the entire NHL, it's still seemed like an eternity.