Cheering for a bad team is exhausting. Not just because the team itself is bad and it gets tiring to watch them fail the same way night after night with a few good games here and there to instill in you a false sense of hope, but because other fans can be way too pessimistic.
If you’re anything like me, you entered this Canes season hopeful. Too hopeful. They’re 15-17-5 right now and at this same time last year they were 18-13-7, so things have managed to get worse despite what you thought was possible and you hoped would happen.
The Chicago Blackhawks recently shook the league by firing their coach Joel Quenneville. Of course, every coach gets fired eventually, but it came as a shock that the Blackhawks let Coach Q go after 797 games as head coach. He had been their coach since the 2008-2009 season and Chicago has not finished below .500 in the regular season with him. In fact, over 11 years, the overall points percentage of Coach Q’s Chicago Blackhawks is .627. Over his entire NHL coaching career, he has coached in 1636 games for a points percentage of .609. Which, if you ask me, is pretty good.
The retirement of Red Wings captain and forward Henrik Zetterberg due to a degenerative back condition after a 1,082 game career all for the same team raises a big question: who will captain the Red Wings now? Since the mid-1980s, the Wings’ captaincy has been a relatively stable position. Steve Yzerman was captain from 1986-2006, making him the longest tenured captain of any team in any major North American sports league. Following Yzerman, Lidstrom was captain from 2006-2012 and Zetterberg from 2013-2018. Which brings us to present day. Who will don the C next?
Currently, the Detroit Red Wings are not a defensively-gifted team, and contracts are among their defensive woes. It’s difficult to make space on the blueline with so many no-trade clauses and modified no-trade clauses creating a backlog of young, potentially NHL-ready defensemen who don’t get a chance at the NHL level before being traded elsewhere because the blueline is so static. The Wings’ defense isn’t getting any younger either. Some good news, however, is that after this season (the 2018-19 season) two roster spots may open, as both Niklas Kronwall and Nick Jensen become unrestricted free agents. With his age and recurring knee issues, Kronwall is likely to retire.