There are two important facts you should probably know about me. First, Steven Stamkos is my favorite hockey player, and second, I can’t stand the Detroit Red Wings.
Those two factoids seem like separate, random items, no? They used to be. Unfortunately, they are are very much related now, in a most diabolical manner. Steven Stamkos is a free agent, currently in discussions with his own team (my Tampa Bay Lightning) as well as being courted, wined, and dined by other teams who would like to woo him and win him over to their dark side.
Turns out, the Detroit Red Wings fancy Stamkos as well. Rumor has it they craftily traded a player to free up the cash for Stamkos’ bribe/salary. Hopefully all for naught.
I have always said, most generously, that if Stamkos leaves the Lighting, then I don’t blame him for seeking better opportunities, greener pastures, and a stronger team. I graciously said I would still follow him, wherever he ends up, while still loyally rooting for my Lightning.
For some reason, though, the very concept that Stamkos might end up with the Red Wings (or even worse, with the Canadiens) never crossed my mind. I don’t know why. It’s not like Stamkos and I sit around shooting the breeze, kicking back cold ones, dissertating my likes and dislikes in the NHL, and it’s not like Stamkos personally calls me and urgently seeks my counsel on which team he should play for.
What will happen if Stamkos ends up a Red Wing? I can’t really say, because I’m still in the grieving and denial stage right now about it even possibly happening. Whatever happens will happen within the next few days: the deadline for free agents to make a decision is July 1. If you don’t hear from me for a long, long while after that date, then you will know that Stamkos made the wrong decision and I am still buried beneath box after box of Kleenex, sobbing inconsolably over his foolhardiness.
Let’s hope he makes the right decision: anywhere but Detroit! (Oh, or Montreal.)