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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Countdown to July 1: Someone save Brian Rolston

Like many of you, I'm suffering from severe hockey withdrawal. With the draft and July 1 Sweepstakes coming up, there's still a solid two or three weeks of juicy storylines.

With that in mind, I thought I'd take a look at some of the most interesting free agents of the Summer of 2008 and define them as a good or bad idea.

Sadly, this first free agent might not even hit the market on July 1. Until otherwise, let's assume he might test the waters...

Good Idea: Brian Rolston

If Rolston's game had a slogan, it would be "Hossa, without the hype." He brings a lot of the same qualities (skating, defense, hockey IQ) along with leadership skills, clutch abilities and a frickin' wicked shot (see the YouTube clip for an example).

He's the sort of forward who would be receiving Buccigross-on-Drury type man crushes by the hockey blogosphere if he wasn't playing for the blander-than-Gumbel Minnesota Wild. I'd beat the Wild down for their Warholian machine of an offense some more, but Wild fans deserve some legit respect.

Seriously, do you think Minnesota fans would have allowed prime playoff seats to go unsold like the Red Wings fans did? There's plenty of semi-valid explanations for the Red Wings not selling out every game, but maybe we should relocate Hockeytown to Minnesota. Just a thought.

Jacques Lemaire and Andy Warhol: basically the same fuckin' guy, eh?

ANYWAY, back to Rolston. The thing that strikes me about him is that I could see him becoming a key ingredient in any of the BoC teams (cap/budget permitting).

He could be a leader and defensive presence on a young, impressionable Los Angeles Kings team that needs better leadership than the "Hey kids, maybe some day you'll be grandfathered into a hockey team" example that Rob Blake is providing.

With Dallas, he'd be the perfect compliment to Brad Richards, a player who's had line mates like Michael Corleone had trustworthy brothers. Seriously, that guy has been slumming since the Lightning won a Cup (although one of his teammates in Tampa was named Ouellet, which is pronounced Wallet. This is undeniably awesome). So yeah, Rolston would be a great fit with the Stars.

What does she have to do with Rolston? It'll make sense later. Kinda.

He could be the missing piece for the Sharks, although it would be hard to imagine the Sharks being able to cough up Rolston-level dough. He could give Joe Thornton a thunderous shot to set up or give Patrick Marleau a line mate who might help him to, you know, suck less. Either way, he probably would become a leader of a team of almost-leaders.

Finally in Anaheim, he would give the Ducks secondary scoring that The Rotting Corpse of Doug Weight and the Floating Bear Todd Bertuzzi could not provide.

Why try to go after the sexiest choice in Mats Sundin when you could get a sneaky sexy choice in Rolston?

is the big breasted blonde hogging the headlines. Sundin is the cougar being tempted into hockey infidelity by a few eligible pool boys. Rolston is that chick from SuperBad with the cute bangs (except I don't want to see him naked).

Chances are, he'll just stay with that by-the-numbers crew in Minnesota. But it'd be interesting to see what he'd accomplish on a more explosive team. You never know...


RudyKelly said...

Rolston would be a pretty good idea (especially if we could pair him up with Frolov), but I'm worried that he'll command too much money. Plus, we will probably spend money on defense instead.

And that chick from Superbad has a terrible voice.

Kirsten said...

Rolston wants a lot of money, and everyone and their brother can see when he's going to shoot. He takes so damn long to wind up it's insane. He even takes slapshots in the shootout. It worked once, maybe twice, but after that the goalies figured it out. Too bad he didn't.

Washington said...

well, in any case, his shot still worked. he was consistent on my fantasy team, without really bringing it down.

RudyKelly said...

Taking a slapshot that close to the goaltender is bullshit.

elise said...

I'm not sure how well he would get along in Anaheim after almost taking Giguere's head off on a shot once. Luckily, Giguere ducked. Unluckily, the puck went in the net.

Earl Sleek said...

I'm not sure how well he would get along in Anaheim after almost taking Giguere's head off on a shot once.

Bah, Anaheim's recent legacy is all about taking its strongest enemies and bringing them in the fold.

Scott Niedermayer eliminated the Ducks in '03, and soon afterwards, he was the captain. Chris Pronger eliminated the Ducks in '06, and soon afterwards, he was the captain.

Rolston hasn't eliminated the Ducks, but he has played well against them. Captain Rolston. I could get behind that.

elise said...

I'm not sure how many months he was captain for the Wild (monthly rotating captaincy confuses everything) but he was always a good captain.

Someone nicknamed him Captain America, too. (I don't remember how it started but there's a good chance it was from a Facebook group.)

Earl Sleek said...

I should add, too, that I highly doubt Rolston ends up in a Ducks uniform. It's not Anaheim's UFA year.

The only shot, I'd think, is if both Scott and Teemu retire, and as I've noted in my post above, I don't think either one retires this week (based on nothing but gut). Either that or Burke goes absolutely crazy trading away salary on draft day, but that's dubious: I think a lot of teams will be trying to free up salary room.

elise said...

Good, because I (and all other Minnesotans) kind of want to keep Rolston here :)

Apparently contract talks are close but they want him signed by draft day so they know if they need to make any trades.

Earl Sleek said...

Good, because I (and all other Minnesotans) kind of want to keep Rolston here :)

Well, all I've provided is one team that's likely to not be in the bidding, but it's a madhouse out there in UFA-land.

Don't have to worry too much about the Ducks, but man there's a lot of crazy-ass GMs out there (certainly crazier than Minny's GM). I wouldn't bet a lot on Rolston returning, but check the BoC archives: I'm wrong all the time.

Bryan said...

I'm a big fan of Rolston. Ignoring age and Getzlaf potential, he becomes Anaheim's best forward, imo