Well, it’s certainly about time. I was running out of pointless things to write about. As has been announced nearly everywhere (I have to take this opportunity to point out how much I love Twitter/the blogging world. I can’t imagine what I would have done if I had to wait until this news was printed in the paper tomorrow morning. I’m not even being facetious. I actually don’t know what I would do without instant access to news like this.), the Wings just signed Patrick Eaves to a one-year deal for $500K. I have to admit that this guy wasn’t even on my radar. I was so preoccupied by ranting about players that I didn’t want to see back in a Wings uniform, that I failed to really search around for guys who I did want. After doing a few minutes worth of Googling, I have to say that I actually really like this deal. While we were all busy debating the merits of Williams, Bertuzzi, Grier, and Sykora, Kenny Holland was once again working his magic.
The comparisons to Dan Cleary have already been made (by Jim Nill, too), so I won’t waste your time with that. But I have to believe that if any NHL club can resurrect the career of a guy like Eaves, it’s the Wings. If he’s willing to come in, play hard, and do his job by providing quality shifts on the bottom lines, there’s no reason to think that he won’t be able to succeed here. The guys on the Wings roster have a way of making those around them better. And if this does work out the way we all hope it does? Well then, I’m pretty sure Ken Holland will have a holiday named after him around these parts.
And as for Eaves, well to steal The Chief’s metaphor, this is his Golden Ticket. If he comes in here and pulls a Dan Cleary, he’ll find himself showered with love and affection from the greatest fan base in all of hockey. We like our redemption stories around here. But more importantly, we love our blue collar guys who succeed based on their hard work and character. Seriously, this has all the makings of a Kenny Holland Special.
So welcome to Detroit, Patrick Eaves. We’ve got a long and storied history of falling for guys like you. On the flip side, these comparisons to Cleary’s career resurrection have set some pretty lofty goals for you, and we’re not always kind to those who disappoint us. But the guys who buy into the system and stick around for a while tend to be rewarded. So you might want to consider getting on the phone with him ASAP to pick up some tips for success in the Winged Wheel. It'll be worth your while.