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a few good pieces to become a competitive force again. While my focus is on another Larkin-like center and a stud Left side D, many of you want to see a new coaching philosophy. I can completely respect where so many of you are at, nothing seemed to be going right last season. It has been amplified with being just 10 days short of 9 months with no Red Wings action at all. Yesterday some fantastic news came out, there is ice at Little Caesars Arena once again.
A group of players
including Larkin and Mantha took to the LCA ice yesterday (November 30th). The group has been meeting and practicing in other facilities up until now. This is, essentially, like the traditional “pre camp” skates. Veterans can put together drills and start upping informal workouts to simulate what happens in camp. More than anything, it feels like an optimistic signaling that there is belief in a 2021 season.
A big step forward will be seeing Hronek, Zadina and Rasmussen recalled from their respective teams. (Veleno and Seider have to finish their seasons overseas before coming back). I’m certain that Namestnikov, Ryan, Merrill, Stecher and Greiss want to get a feel for the new ‘mates. The sudden flurry of activity at the “big rink” feels like the first lasting snow of the season. That excitement as a child when you realized that Christmas was coming.
We’re a long way off from “being there”, but man it is good to have players coming together and ownership opening the doors. The smell of the rink-ice is something that still gets to me. You walk in and it hits you, so many memories come flooding back. I didn’t play growing up, but would watch as a close friend was involved in the Ann Arbor pee wee leagues. The sounds of pucks hitting the glass, skate blades shaving (sometimes gouging) the fresh sheet. The rustle of young kids learning how to do line changes (and the noisiest doors in history in front of the benches). Kids yelling instruction from the bench (shoot it, you’ve got time, wheel, etc). It’s the craziness that makes you fall in love with the game sometimes.
Another hint of a lighter mood is in the embedded tweet above. First, Zadina scores a nice goal. Second, Larkin trolls him a bit. Third, Zadina trolls back. I like seeing a little swagger and back and forth. That reminds me a little of the “good days”. Today’s GMs and VPs (Shanny and Yzerman) used to give each other some grief and it was hilarious. (Somewhere there is kiss cam footage...) it’s good to see Zadina endearing himself to the locker room “brass”.
Here’s to hoping that this optimistic feel translates into some sort of return to play. It’s’ been a long string of bad news, and I hope this first step toward a new season is a little sunshine for you today. Keep it close and enjoy the day.