If you tuned into the buzz cast today https://youtu.be/W6ovFCy8REs
there was some speculation regarding Jake Gardiner, and where he’ll end up. Buffalo, Montreal, even Pittsburgh seem like realistic landing places. And then, Detroit was mentioned. I cringed. Not because he wouldn’t make us better, Gardiner is a significant upgrade to our D. No, because as this ship slowly turns around, it will be a few years until we’re clicking. It feels like we would waste prime years of a free agent pickup and pay a premium to get him. In all likelihood he would be in the downward trend of his career and not easily traded.
And then, Jan Levine settled my nerves. “Why would he GO there?” His point was simply that Detroit is not going to be in contention for a while, so it would have to be a lucrative deal. Thank you, Jan.
Ever since accepting our current status as “rebuilders” there’s always the temptation to speed it up. Detroit paid premiums just to qualify for the playoffs in the last several years. A First Round pick that became Andre Vasilevskiy for Kyle Quincey is probably the most notable and painful example. We are well past the bandage phase and coming out of critical condition. It is time to enter into the physical rehabilitation portion of this. Let’s build a team, refine it, draft it. In 3 to 5 years we may become a destination for top free agents. We may also be in deep with our own talent if they develop well and need to get paid.
In accepting the situation for what it is, try and enjoy this painful portion. You can get tickets for way less $ than ever before, and with free food vouchers! In 2010 to get in the first 5 rows at The Joe could cost you $300 per ticket. The team is more accessible while they’re building something. Go to the free training camps and signings. It’s a strange new world and it’s a buyer’s market.
This team will be good again. Once it is, prices go up. Guys achieve “rock star” status. It’s more fun to watch but way more expensive. This is a buyer’s market for fans for the first time in a long time. Stock up!