Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


From Seth...

The biggest question of the Red Wings' offseason:

Who will wear No. 28?

In a year that we lost Matthieu Schneider, Todd Bertuzzi and Rob Lang, three guys whose careers teeter on the edge of Hall of Fame worthiness, we've seemed to replace them with a boatload of 28s.

What I mean is the jersey number.

Our biggest acquisition has been Brian Rafalski, who wore 28 every year he played for the New Jersey Devils. He's essentially a younger, less talented Schneider, but a little more responsible in his own end but not as great a shot.

We've also picked up Dallas Drake, a grinder whom we traded for Bob Essensa years ago. He wore No. 10 with the Blues but since that's Ted Lindsay's number, Drake would probably prefer to go back to the number he wore in college and when with the Red Wings....No. 28.

The loss of Lang hurts, except that he put like zero effort into the playoffs this year. But it's easier to take considering Tomas Kopecky should be up in the NHL to stay now. Kopecky actually made the Wings' roster out of camp last year and would have been our top rookie phenom, but got injured and didn't make it back until the playoffs. He played well, however, and should be out there centering a scoring line next season, perhaps wearing the same number he wore for us last year....28.

After years and years of waiting, Igor Grigorenko will finally be wearing a Red Wings jersey next year, we think. He's lost a lot of speed since his life-threatening auto accident years ago, but before that he was one of the most promising prospects in hockey. Igor will probably take on Todd Bertuzzi's role. His jersey number throughout most of his career was 14, but since that number was going to be retired as Shanny's, Igor doubled it and has been wearing No. 28 with his hometown team and with Team Russia.

The last offseason move that needs to be made is re-signing restricted free agent Derek Meech. Meech is a promising defenseman who seems like he'll fit in well as a Brett Lebda kind of guy, competing with Kyle Quincey for ice time as the 6th defenseman. Because he would need to clear waivers to go down to the Grand Rapids Griffins again, Meech will probably stick with the Red Wings, provided we can re-sign him, but considering the backlog at his preferred number, Meech probably won't be able to wear the same number he sported for Grand Rapids last year, which is 28.

Getting off the 28s, the team seems to be coming together, though Holland may want to make one last impact move with the $5 million he has left under the cap, preferably a 2nd line forward. Petr Forsberg is out there still. The free agent class of 2008 is small so it doesn't look like there will be many names to trade for at the deadline in '08, unless the Senators tank and want to rent us Dany Heatley or something, but that's pretty unlikely. The Sharks will probably get Patrick Marleau to sign an extension. Ooh, Marian Hossa in Atlanta might be out there, though.


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