Friday, July 10, 2009

Preseason Scheduling and More of Jiri's Saga...

The Wings announced their exhibition schedule yesterday. This is exciting if for no other reason than that it gives us hockey fans a “light at the end of the tunnel” that we can look forward to. The real schedule is supposed to drop on the 15th or 16th, which is nice because it will give my friends and family plenty of advance notice for the 82 dates/times between October and April during which they should not attempt to contact me.

The Wings begin the preseason on September 16th when fan-favorite Chris Pronger and his elbows the Flyers come to the Joe. The Wings will also face the Rangers, the Sabres, the Leafs, and the Penguins before heading over to Sweden and playing Farjestads. Then they’ll kick off the real season with back-to-back games in Stockholm, which should be fantastically fun to watch.

The saga of Jiri Hudler continued today as the NHL filed some sort of complaint with the IIHF because they consider Hudler to be under contract with the Wings. Apparently filing for arbitration was an indication of his intent to play in the NHL next year. I find this all very ironic because it seems like not too long ago the KHL was complaining about NHL teams poaching players. My problem is that even if the IIHF were to rule in the NHL’s favor, would the Wings even want a disgruntled Hudler who felt like he got screwed by being forced to play for half of the money? I’m not sure I would.

The Examiner had a pretty good analysis of how the Wings can adjust for losing Hudler. I actually kind of like the idea of using Meech as a full-time forward. Especially if Lilja is able to play. The Wings don’t really need Meech back on the blue line, and he did a decent job at forward when he played there last season. I also like the fact that it would leave them with a little bit of cap room to play with at the trade deadline. If nothing else, it would give Kenny Holland a little while to adequately assess what the team needs instead of tying his hands now.

None of the options presented in the article are particularly spectacular, but thanks to the ever-lovely salary cap, there aren't a whole lot of options out there. All I can do is sit back and put on my "In Ken We Trust" t-shirt and know that he'll figure something out. (OK, I don't actually have a shirt like that, but you have to admit that it'd be pretty awesome if I did.)

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