The Next Big Thing is a series of posts, focusing in on what has the Team of 18,000's collective minds buzzing.
Yesterday it was announced by Michael Russo from the Star Tribune that Marian Gaborik, one Uncle Moneybags, practiced with the team for the first time since October 12. Instantly the Wild's official website had images of him in his lime green sweater signifying no checking, and the blogosphere had lit up like a Christmas tree.
While some were tempered shows of optimism, and some, like Hockey Wilderness' own neide, calmly stated the facts and let them fall where they may. Though I am certain neide has an opinion on this matter, and I hope beyond hope I get to read it sometime soon.
Most posts on message boards, blogs, and news agencies were veiled shows of hyper inflated ecstasy at the ability to, in Wild blogger cases, get UM back on the ice and get his contribution to the team. From blogs outside the Wild blogoshpere, came the unadulterated lust to start up the speculation on where he might go, what the trade would be, how many games would he play, would he get hurt again...
If you want a list of the blogs, let me know. They are everywhere. Everyone wants a piece of this action.
This post, however, will be less than chipper about the possible return of the great and powerful Moneybags. So, if you don't want to read the flip side of the story, you may want to stop reading now. For those of you who may possibly feel the way I do, I offer this:
Gaborik is a money hungry locker room cancer with delusions of grandeur who believes that he deserves the respect of fans and opposing players delivered to him on a silver platter. While I am nearly certain I missed a comma or two in that last sentence, I didn't want to give people who are reading it out loud a place to pause for a breath. Makes it more dramatic, no?
I will give you a moment to find my email address or comment section to tell me what an idiot I am. It's OK. Take your time, I have no where else to be.
Everyone back? Good. Let's move on.
I stick by my claim oh so long ago, that Moneybags wants nothing more than to bail on this team and find a team that will allow him to be the superstar he thinks he is. He has made it clear through words and actions that he has little or desire to be in Minnesota, and past comments have made it clear he thinks he is better than he really is.
There are those that claim he is a superstar being held back in Lemaire's system. The truth is, he is a quasi-star who thinks he is above the system. He is not the elite sniper so many think he is. If you put him on a team like the Penguins, he gets shoved to the third line because Crosby and Malkin play so far above his level, and it would become evident very quickly.
I am not excited for him to get back in the games. I am terrified to see the team try and force him the puck. I am terrified to see what kind of silly, stupid pass Butch is going to try to make in order to feed UM instead of taking the shot. I am terrified to see Mikko revert back to a role player simply so Moneybags can have the spotlight. I am terrified to see what kind of example he sets for players like Pouliot, C-Buck, and Shep. I am terrified to see the tension in interviews about him, such as the interview with Belanger that is on Russo's blog.
I was told today on a message board that I was taking the game too personally. I was told that if I were presented with a chance to change jobs for more money, in a better situation that I would do it, and that if I say I wouldn't, I'm a hypocrite. I thank that person whole heartedly for saying I am taking this game too seriously. I love for the game, I love the game, and in the summer I truly feel like something is missing in life. I take it very personally, and wish there were more who did.
As for being a hypocrite, I wouldn't take a better paying job in a better environment given the right conditions. Let's put it in real world terms since I will never be an NHL player. Say I get a job with a young, upstart company. They teach and show me exactly what it takes to be successful, and give me raises and bonuses based on my performance. Along the way I spurn their overtures to be more of a leader, and somewhere along the way, I break my ankle. They continue to pay me, despite the fact I broke my ankle outside of my job duties. The pay me more than I am worth on paper, and despite the fact that when the going gets tough, I disappear into a hole.
Then, one day, while discussing a raise, I just stop showing up for work, yet they keep trying to get me back, offering me a mint to do so. Then I finally decide to comeback, even though I decided while I was gone that I would not rehab my busted ankle, and it costs me more time away from work, but they just keep paying me. Then the company goes so far as to hire a specialist to come in and help me with my ever sore ankle, and I have arguably the best year of my young career. They even hire my best friend to come in and help me out.
All the while I make it clear though the press and through other means that I am unhappy, and being "held back" and if they would just let me shine... Yet still my ankle causes me to miss weeks of work. Again, the company comes to me and offers me one of most lucrative contracts in the industry, and my side argues I am worth more than that, and I make the comment that the company should give me what I want so I don't have to talk about it any more. Still they pay me, still they offer me more money. And finally, I miss an entire quarter of work because of my ankle, again.
At this point, in this situation, seeing that the company is committed to me, and has shown loyalty throughout my career, I say I would not only give them the loyalty in return, but I would probably do so at a discount so they could add some help around me.
Especially after I took a step back and realized that I am living the life I could have only dreamed of as a child.
But that's just me.
Welcome back Moneybags. Here's hoping no one brings a hackey sack on the road trip. Enjoy your millions with whatever team decides you are worth paying to sit on IR for the next three years until you and our team realize that your groin will never heal and you pack your bags for the KHL. I've heard their medical care is above reproach.