With each and every offseason, pundits and preps get it wrong. You see, the biggest question facing NHL squads this weekend is not, “Who should we sign and what will it get us?”
No, like choosing between girlfriends (or boyfriends) and quitting your job, the main question facing each club is, “Who should we keep, and who should we let go?”
Every winner – in hockey, in life, and even in ping pong – has one very, very qualified skill: they know their value. They know what they have. They have an inventory of their assets. Every great man or group of men (and, hey, women, too) is separated from his competition because he properly appreciates what he has.
You know the saying. “Don’t it always seem to go / That you don’t know what you’ve got / ‘Til it’s gone.”
The next line (“They paved paradise / And put up a parking lot”) doesn’t fit, but it’s all good.
It’s really, “What should we get for Roberto Luongo? Should we lose Roberto Luongo? Should we have let Aaron Rome and Marc-Andre Gragnani go? What about Andrew Ebbett, the overtime maestro? Should we let Mason Raymond go?”
And, just in case you haven’t heard it yet: Roberto Luongo.
Does letting go of depth defencemen and fringe roster players make your stronger? Does it open doors?
Or, does it leave you in the cold like a candle in the blustery day, susceptible to whatever mood swings the west wind has in store?
Luckily, for the Chicago, when they stripped their roster of its most expensive and most dispensable parts, they had already won a Stanley Cup. Last year, when Vancouver underwent a similar transition and shed Christian Ehrhoff and Raffi Torres, it was kind of forced. Unintentional and lazy. You could hear them forcing out the words, “This is best for the team.”
Even they didn’t believe that Marco Sturm was worthy of their time, but they had to sign somebody.
And so, what will 2012 bring Vancouver? Or, Columbus? The Islanders? Detroit?
Do you cut loose minor talent for the chance to sign Garrison, or Schultz? Or, do you keep your pieces intact just in case?
I know this: Brian Burke has been signing players to too much money just to fill out his contract for at least four years now, and I don’t want what the Leafs are now forced to sell.
White Cover Staff
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