LCS Hockey: Born Again
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June 26, 2019
Online: 89

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NHL News and Notes

Johan Franzen, known to Detroit fans as ďJackassĒ for his hard work and rugged play, has re-signed with the Red Wings, agreeing to an 11-year deal worth $43.5 million. That means his cap hit is only $3.95 million per year. Wow, I hate the Red Wings.

Needless to say, thatís a ridiculous bargain. But good for Franzen. He took less money to stay loyal to his team. Thatís what I like to see. I donít know why everyone calls him Jackass.

Still, these 11-year contracts are making a mockery of the sport. Franzen is 29, so the deal will run until heís 40. Not long ago, Henrik Zetterberg inked a 12-year extension that will carry until heís 40. And that creep Marian Hossa will likely sign a 100-year contract with the Wings this summer, no doubt dropping his cap number to about $20.

Itís nonsense. I reckon Ken Holland must be all over this 2012 thing. Live it up now while you can. Because when the space monkeys show up in a couple years, those 11-year contracts wonít mean much.

Then again, the space monkeys will probably see Kris Draper and worship him as their king. (Sunshine) Detroit.

Jacques Lemaire is stepping down as head coach of the Minnesota Wild. One question: what took him so long?

We get it. You can coach defense. Now what? Lemaire is tremendous, but at some point itís time to move on. He spent eight years in Minnesota, and his system produced six winning seasons, but the Wild were as good as they were going to get. Change is good.

Kevin Constantine is supposed to be the frontrunner to get the gig. Hmm ha. New boss same as the old boss.

Minnesotaís cupboard isnít completely bare. Sure, Gaborik is about to limp out the door for nothing, but Mikko Koivu is a stud, Brent Burns is a nice building block along the blue line (assuming his head mends), Cal Clutterbuck has the best name in hockey, and Niklas Backstrom is as good as it gets in net. A coaching change could also spark James Sheppard, who seemed to whither under Lemaire. And theyíve still got Josh Harding as a possible trade chip.

Lemaire, 63, hasnít decided on future plans just yet. But whatever he decides to do, rest assured it will be boring as hell.

Itís tough to rip Doug Risebrough too much for not trading Gaborik. Thereís little demand for walking infirmary wards these days. But even a second-round pick would look pretty damn good about now.

Jacques Martin insists he has no regrets about keeping Jay Bouwmeester at the deadline. But in all fairness, English isnít Martinís first language, so he probably just doesnít know what ďregretsĒ means.

But why are NHL GMs so shortsighted? Is it strictly an economic issue? I suppose two or three home playoff games, which is all Minnesota or Florida could have possibly seen, can generate enough revenue to make stupidity worthwhile, but arenít winning championships the ultimate goal here?

Teams canít afford to loose assets for nothing. Once it was clear they werenít going to re-sign, and it was painfully obvious they werenít, Gaborik and Bouwmeester should have been moved before the season. Risebrough and Martin got greedy, thinking the haul would be more significant at the deadline, and they both got worked.

Can we please just contract the Panthers? Combine them with the Wild and youíd actually have a decent team. Okay, well, maybe ďdecentĒ is a stretch, but at least itíll be something. The Minnesota Wanthers. You heard it here first.

LCS Hockey: Born Again
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