Okay, so by now you know how much I love hockey in general and the Pens in particular. This year's half-season lockout was torture, what with the Steelers imploding, the winter dragging mercilessly on and 30 Rock closing up shop.
It was a glorious week in mid-January when NHL hockey returned (coinciding with my beloved Rhett Miller's solo show. Passions colliding.) with a shortened schedule which has played out like an extended playoff season from the get-go. My boys struggled at first, but are now sitting on top of the heap, currently riding a 13 game streak WITH a missing Malkin and Letang.
So, fast forward to this week...
Pens GM, Ray Shero shrewdly jumped ahead of the trade deadline next week to craft deals for two team captains and a big-ass defenseman.
First up, long-time Dallas Stars Captain, 34-year-old Brenden Morrow was swapped for Joe Morrow and a prospect, rendering Stars fans shocked and speechless. He waived his no-trade clause with a franchise he called home for 14 years to move to a team in the running.
"Not long after Brenden Morrow caught an early-morning flight out of the only National Hockey League city he's ever known Monday, his 8-year-old daughter came upon his wife crying. Morrow's wife, Anne-Marie, relayed what little Bryelle told her via a text Brenden received during a layover.
She said, 'Mom, it's going to be OK. It's only a couple months -- and he's got a chance to win the Cup.'"
Bright little girl.
It's gotta be tough coming from a leadership role for nearly 14 years to go back to player. When Morrow spoke at his conference, he addressed that particular issue with a humble acknowledgment that the Pens is Sid's team. He's happy to play his role, and thrilled to be playing alongside such talent. Showing their class and fraternity, several players traded numbers so Morrow could retain his number, 10.
Then one day later, Shero and company acquired San Jose Sharks' big defensemen, 33-year-old Douglas Murray for second round draft picks in both 2013 and 2014. Our defense has been struggling with Letang out most of this shortened season. Murray's big frame can fill a much needed position in front of the net, not unlike the much-maligned Hal Gill who was instrumental in our last cup victory.
"San Jose has become home for me and I'm leaving with an empty feeling with the teams we had here not getting it done, but it's extremely exciting going to Pittsburgh, going to the best team in the league already. They always have some great players and I'm just excited to get there, get used to the team and take a run at the Stanley Cup." - Douglas Murray
And he ain't afraid to fight. Woot!
Then this morning came the big news, Shero worked his voodoo magic and snagged Calgary Flames' nine-season Captain, 35-year-old Jarome Iginla right out from under Boston.
It's a freaking Easter miracle!!
When everyone went to bed, Boston had a lock on Iginla. Then the magical trade fairies wearing Ray Shero masks proclaimed, "Ain't NOBODY got time for that."
So sad. NOT!
Iginla has consistently scored 30 goals per season, fed Sid the winning goal for Canada in the 2010 Olympics AND donates $2,000 to charity for each goal he scores. Great guy for a great team.
Because I can't resist, one more gem from the interwebs.
|Crosby and Iginla|
pittsburgh's own dynamic duo
All the NHL is hating on us bad right now. heehee
The dream of drinking from Lord Stanley' Cup is a powerful motivator. All three of these seasoned veterans cashed in their long-term allegiances in pursuit of their chance to hoist those precious, shiny metal rings, handed only to the most deserving battle worn.
When Hossa bailed on us to search for his holy grail as a Red Wing with Detroit, I thought it was a shitty thing to do. Our team still had promise. But now I get it. These guys play hard their entire career. They just want to wrap their bloodied and bruised hands around that cold steel and grab a taste of that one magical moment that gives their entire life meaning.
The stage is set pretty damn tight for our Cup dreams to become a reality. Shero's doing everything in his power to make it so. Fingers crossed our newest black and gold will complete their life's work in a sea of waving white towels.
|the dream is alive|