Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:48 PM
I have a problem with Zach the captain. The captain of a team in the midst of a finals run shouldn't be thinking about free agency, or talking to his buddy. Sure he played okay (not great) during the run, but the captain is held to a higher standard and should be. I don't know that it made a difference (I doubt it did; that team was locked in), but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and makes it tough for me to root for him.
That said, I have no problem with a free agent leaving. They've earned that right. I cheer Gio whenever he comes back. I boo Gomez not because he left, or even because he left to the Rags, but because he was a lazy sack of sh!t for much of his time in NJ, and when I didn't have to root for him, and in fact it was beneficial to my team for him to fail, I enjoyed hating him. Zach earning the right to play wherever the fvck he wants and choosing to play near his family is fine by me. Same thing for Nieds (though Carol's fvcking annoying).
Finally, I'm glad we didn't keep Zach. Not for any emotional reason, either. He's signed to a TERRIBLE contract. I would hate to lose a guy like Henrique because of Zach's cap hit, especially because Zach's size, age, and style of play suggest that he's going to decline hard in a couple years, and become a drag on Minny. Lou has always done a good job paying fair value (the exception being Kovy, but that appears to have come from above Lou), and it usually works out. When we lost Gomez, Lou signed Zubrus, and while Zubrus isn't as talented, or a natural center, and never replaced Gomez's production on the top line, he's still playing on the same contract, and he's a great value. Gomez fvcked the Rangers until Montreal was dumb enough to take him (and give up McDonough in the process), and then he fvcked them. Lou's gotten beat before, but not when he let FAs go. His biggest issue IMO in the cap era has been paying too much for guys who aren't that good (Rolson, Brian), and he didn't do it this time. It may hurt this year (though it hasn't yet), but the Devils are a strong organization because of the way Lou does things.
You don't turn this around in a couple shifts. Its going to take a little time, but I know the guys will come back. Because I can see it. -- Jacques Lemaire