Well, the Wings are done for the day. Safe to say I’m surprised by a couple of the guys we got. Not too surprised about the Gustavsson signing. Happy about all of them in a way. I guess.
I wonder what it must have been like to be in the Red Wings front office today. I imagine it was a bit crazy. Actually, I imagine it was a lot crazy. So crazy I decided to make a story about it. So relax tonight while we prepare for another day of free agency and enjoy my version of what I think happened within Detroit’s front office:
Jump for the story…
Sheehy: Are you excited, Ryan? Just one minute away from fielding dozens of calls from teams desperate to give you millions of dollars!
Suter: It’s a dream come true. Let’s count it down! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Happy free agency!
Just then, Suter hears a familiar song playing in the distance.
Suter: Do you hear that? That sounds like… yeah, it’s the Wisconsin fight song!
Both Suter and Sheehy rush to a window overlooking Suter’s front yard where they find Chris Chelios holding a boombox over his head, blaring the Badger’s fight song.
Sheehy: What an idiot.
Suter yelling out the window: “A touchdown sure this time!”
Chelios: U rah rah!
Suter: Come on in, Chris!
Sheehy: You have got to be kidding me…
Meanwhile, in Toronto…
Pilot: We’ll be landing shortly, Mr. Holland.
Holland: Okay guys, Chris is in Wisconsin trying to win over Ryan Suter. We all need to focus our energy into getting Zach Parise to sign. I’ve scheduled a meeting for 3:30, so we’ll have a good hour to make our case. Mike, I’ll need you to– Mike?
Mike Babcock is sitting next to Ken quietly shifting through a photo album of him and Hudler. A single tear rolls down his cheek.
Holland: Mike! Snap out of it!
Babcock: Right! Sorry, Ken! All in for Not Hudler!
Holland: Please stop calling him that…
The plane lands and Holland, Babcock, Mr. Ilitch, Draper and Osgood step off. Just then, Holland’s phone rings.
Holland: Ken Holland… Yes… Oh… But we’re already here… Ok… Alright… Ok… We underst– Hello? Hello?
Draper: Who was that?
Holland: Parise’s agent. He says the face-to-face is cancelled. Too many teams wanted one.
Mr. Ilitch: Damn. Oh well. Pilot, start the plane again.
Conklin, as he starts the plane back up: Yes, sir! Right away, sir!
Babcock: Wait! I didn’t come all this way for nothing!
Osgood: It was like 25 minutes…
Babcock: I don’t care! We came to convince Zach Parise that we’re the best destination for him and that’s what we’re ging to do! Ozzie, Drapes, Mr. I, you three come with me. Ken, hurry back to Detroit and sign two guys that no one wants.
Holland: Got it!
Draper: You have a plan, Mike?
Meanwhile, back in Wisconsin…
Chelios: So I said to coach Brooks, “You should take Gary instead of me. Sure, I’m better than he is, but he’s a good man and it would be good for him to play in the Olympics. I’ll voluntarily demote myself to the practice squad.”
Sheehy: Oh my god…
Chelios: Hey, did I ever tell you about the time your uncle gave me his dying wish?
Sheehy: He’s not dead, you idiot!
Suter: No, go on!
Chelios: He said, Chris, I have a cold. I don’t know how much longer I’ve got, but I want you to know that I have this nephew…
Sheehy: Ryan, Poile is on the line. He says he wants to offer you–
Suter: Quiet! Uncle Chelly is telling a story!
Chelios: He says, I have this nephew and he’s going to be a star. One day, when he hits UFA status, I want him to sign with you.
Suter, whipping away a tear: Wow!
Meanwhile, back in Toronto…
Crosby, Parise and his agent, Don Meehan, are sitting at a table discussing the possibility of Zach playing in Pittsburgh.
Parise: Thanks for coming by, Sid. I’m real bummed that no one else wanted to meet with me. I thought for sure a lot of teams would call.
Crosby and Meehan exchange a wink.
Crosby: Well I think you’re a great guy and would love to punch guys in the nuts for you.
Parise: I’m sure that won’t be necessary…
Meehan: Regardless, we have a contract to sign, right Zach?
Parise picks up a pen and is about to sign when they hear a knock at the door.
Person at the door: “Pizza!”
Meehan opens the door and finds a man in a fake moustache and beard standing there with two pizzas.
Meehan: We didn’t order any pizzas.
Delivery guy: Are you sure? I have a delivery for a Zach Parise.
Meehan: Wait a minute! Little Caesars’ doesn’t deliver!
Meehan rips off the fake moustache and beard to reveal Mike Babcock.
Meehan: Son of a bitch!
Babcock: Zach! Don’t do it! Lemieux is a dick! Crosby is a– Hey! What’s he doing here!
Meehan looks at Crosby, then back at Babcock with a deer in the headlights look.
Meehan: I tried to stop him from coming, but Bettman has me by the balls! He has video of me jacking off to a dancing World of Warcraft character! What was I supposed to do!
Babcock: You should have called me…
Babcock focuses his death stare at Crosby and concentrates as hard as he can. Crosby snickers at first, but then starts to feel a headache coming on.
Crosby: What the… What’s happening to my head?
Babcock strains as he focuses his stare at Crosby even harder. Blood trickles out of his nose and his face turns beat red. Crosby starts puking on the table, then falls over drooling.
Parise: Holy crap!
Babcock: That should just about do it for him. So, about that contract!
Meehan slams the door in Babcock’s face: Get out of here you freak!
Babcock rushes to an open window and makes a phone with his hands and mouths “call me!” to Parise.
Meanwhile, in Wisconsin…
Chelios: Ryan, your uncle and I used to play this trivia game on road trips all the time. I’ll ask a series of questions and you have to answer them as best you can. But instead of telling me the answer, you have to send it to a random beat writer with a Twitter account.
Suter: Okay, that sounds fine. I’m ready for the first question, uncle Chelly!
Chelios: The Chevy Corvette is a product of General Motors. In what city is General Motors located?
Sheehy: Ryan, no!
Suter texting someone: ‘My answer is Detroit!’
Sheehy: Chelios, you son of a bitch!
Chelios: Question #2: The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior in 1975. The Mariner’s Church rang its bell 29 times to honor those who were lost. Where is that church located?
Suter texting another journalist: ‘I’m going with Detroit.’
Meanwhile, in Toronto…
Parise: Well, with Crosby’s concussion back, I’m not sure I want to play for Pittsburgh.
Meehan: Plenty of teams to choose from. Minnesota?
Parise: Did you hear that?
Meehan: Probably the AC. I need to change the filter. Maybe you should reconsider the Rangers?
Both men look around but see no one.
Parise: Nah, that would be a crappy thing to do to Devil’s fans. I’m thinking Detroit.
Both men look around again but see nothing.
Parise then notices two deer heads on the wall: Hey, I didn’t know you were a hunter. Where did you shoot those?
Meehan: I don’t hunt. Where did those come from? I didn’t put them there…
Parise and Meehan approach one of the heads and look closely.
Meehan: Man, that deer looks familiar.
Parise: So does this one…
Meehan: Son of a– That’s Chris Osgood and Kris Draper with antlers and deer noses!
Osgood and Draper both pull their heads out from the wall and run away.
Osgood: We’ve been compromised!
Draper: Fall back for extraction!
Parise: What a day. I’m not making any decisions until tomorrow.
Meehan. At least we got free pizza out of the deal. And hey, Babcock left a 2 liter of pop, too.
Parise: You have a couple glasses?
Suddenly Mr. Ilitch sticks his head through one of the deer head holes.
Mr. Ilitch: Someone looking for a cuppy, cuppy!?