Team: The Classy, Underrated Detroit Red Wings
Well, this became a thing without a shred of irony:
For an added bonus, this logo was also correct in predicting the number of home playoff games (2) and total playoff games (5) that the Red Wings would play. IT'S LIKE THEY KNEW.
For the record, the Red Wings won exactly half of their games last season. They are, in essence, bragging about riding a .500 record to just enough loser points to scrape two points ahead of 9th place. Hockey playoffs aren't like baseball or football, where only the top teams qualify. You can, as the Red Wings have proven, ride absolute mediocrity into the postseason.
To see your fans go nuts over a stupid playoff streak is nothing short of hilarious. Remember when you guys used to lord Stanley Cups over our heads? Those days are dead and gone now. Your team's new purpose in life is to give you bragging rights about being just average enough to squeak into the top 16 of 30 teams in the league. Remember when people thought moving the Wings to the East would make them a perennial contender? They haven't won a playoff series since realignment. And yet, the fans still find a way to brag about a team that is now just a glorified version of the St. Louis Blues.
Your Head Coach
Jeff Blashill, serving the role of the rebound your ex tells you is so much better than you and they never actually liked you anyway. I wish that was actually a joke; it's not:
Thank them for offering Mike Babcock that monster contract that he could not say no to, thank them for launching the "tie goes to the veteran" mantra into the sun, thank them for bringing a new more exciting era to Hockeytown, and last but not least - Thank them for taking that egotistical coach into a market where everyone is focused on how god damn good the Blue Jays are. That's right, Mike.. You're not in the spotlight!
That's right, I am thanking the Maple Leafs organization for taking Mike Babcock, so that Jeff Blashill could get his highly-deserved promotion to the NHL. Since Mike Babcock left Detroit, the Red Wings were able to make a few critical moves that they were unable to do under his regime...
My god, the saline levels in that paragraph are through the roof! You can almost hear a Taylor Swift album playing in the background while you read this.
And boy has progress been made in Motown! In one year under the new coach, the Red Wings plummeted by 7 points and lost to the same team in the first round of the postseason, but with two less wins.
I'm not going to say anything bad about Blashill, because he isn't really the coach. Henrik Zetterberg is actually your coach. The Red Wings have made history in becoming the NHL's first puppet regime. Hey, now there's something cool you can immortalize at centre ice!
Your Starting Goalie
Petr Mrazek, who put up a .921 SV% last season, and got to celebrate by being ever so close to having his team take him to arbitration! They needed a strong season from him, as Jimmy Howard- who I am told by every Red Wings fan ever is classy and underrated- put up a fairly troubling .906 SV%. Of course, they're stuck with Howard's contract- which I am again informed was the classiest and most underrated contract- until 2019, unless Vegas bails them out.
New Things That Suck
You can kiss the Pavel Datsyuk era goodbye, folks! The Magic Man has decided he'd like to go watch the Putin regime persecute homosexuality from up close, and has opted out of the remainder of his contract to return to Russia. His NHL rights now belong with Arizona, so this truly is the end of every Detroit fan insisting that Datsyuk is the greatest player to ever live. Your fanbase made Datsyuk loathsome just by never shutting up about him. He was basically the Derek Jeter of hockey.
Replacing Datsyuk is....Frans Nielsen? Oh, okay. Datsyuk had over 60 points just two seasons ago; Nielsen never had cracked 60 points. And he's being paid $5.25MM until 2022! The saddest part is that is far from the most questionable contract the Red Wings made this past year. They also re-signed:
-Justin Abdelkader until 2023 at $4.25MM per season.
-Darren Helm until 2021 at $3.85MM per season.
-Luke Glendening until 2021 at $1.8MM per season.
-Danny DeKeyser until 2022 at $5MM per season.
Not to mention they also went out and signed Thomas Vanek for the low price of just 25% of his overall gambling debts and Steve Ott. They're also paying Johan Franzen to probably never play for them again and Steven Weiss' buyout. Their team management is now reflective of the city they play in: higher spending on a crumbling infrastructure.
Things That Still Suck
You'll be pleased to remember that this team is classy and underrated at screwing over its own city! You won't forget that the team that can't even care enough to pay its own utilities demanded $280 million in public money from a city that just declared bankruptcy. All for the owner's grandiose corporate monument to pizza that tastes like piping hot cardboard.
Your fans get so sensitive at jokes at Detroit's expense, but you deserve them. If you cheer for a team that scams a crumbling city to the cleaners, that's just part of the gig. The best part about this is that it's trying to revitalize a downtown core that's already reminiscent of an apocalyptic zombie thriller. All that's left are GM buildings, derelicted homes, and pestilence. No wonder there's so many empty seats at Wings games; who wants to drive in from the suburbs or Windsor to get mugged on the People Mover?
And yet, even with that, the most offensive thing about this team really is the fans. It's like someone decided to mix into one fanbase the entitlement of Cardinals fans, the conspiracy paranoia of Patriots fans, the self-aggrandizing of diminishing relevance of Cowboys fans, and the misplaced civic pride of Buffalo fans. It is mind-boggling how this fanbase can lord itself over others as the best in sports (albeit with "HOW MANY CUPS YOU WON BRO" now replaced by the less flattering "HOW MANY PLAYOFFS YOU MADE BRO") and yet constantly act so hard-done by.
You're the quintessential eighth place team. You've immolated your cap by committing to enough mediocrity to ever get better, but for now, have enough good pieces to get by. The problem is that in doing so, you simultaneously have the cockiness of a first place team and the victim persecution complex of a last place one. You're Montreal fans that can't take a joke.
Why You Might Not Suck
Dylan Larkin might be good, if a half season is any indication. I hear he can skate real fast or something. That's neat!