FREE AGENCY, AM I RIGHT???
Stars fans haven’t had their hearts ripped out recently, unless you just really really love Jhonas Enroth (who just signed with the EFFING LA KINGS) and don’t know how you’ll be happy without him. The expensive goalie tandem of Niemi and Lehtonen is . . . expensive, but can only be an improvement on last year.
What I’m saying is, we haven’t had our hearts ripped out in a while. *knocks on all the wood*
You know who has? Chicago. Brandon Saad was dealt to Columbus yesterday in the biggest shocker of a trade since . . . three days ago when Boston traded Dougie Hamilton (that young uppity kid) to the Calgary Flames.
Free Agent Frenzy is just getting started, but many of you have already lost your favorites and don’t know how to process. I’ve got these helpful tips for the Five Stages of Free Agency:
1. Denial. Natural first reaction to every trade announcement is to first check to see if the person tweeting the announcement is even a verified account. This trade can’t possibly be real, right? See for example: aforementioned news of Brandon Saad going to the Blue Jackets. Bob McKenzie broke the story, and my first order of business was to make sure it wasn’t the boobmckenzie account. Ways to deal: check your sources, look for blue checkmarks, cross reference tweets, check official team twitters, maybe have a drink handy.
2. Anger. Once you’ve accepted that your favorite player (or maybe even just a player you like quite a bit) is actually getting traded, anger sets in. How could he. How DARE he. (This could either be directed at the player or the GM or God or some other deity of your choice, take your pick. Maybe all of the above?) The world in general deserves your ire at this point. Expect to feel the desire to make a lot of caps lock tweets with angry face emojis. Feel free to make these tweets. Send these tweets into the rage spiral that is the twitterverse and feel it shout back at you. Bathe yourself in bitterness. Ways to deal: step away from twitter and do some menial tasks around your house, like dishes or vacuuming. Maybe vacuuming would be safer as dishes are breakable. Have a drink handy.
3. Bargaining. After you’ve worn your carpet through from vacuuming and scared your cat off to destinations unknown, you start asking yourself, what would it take to get him back? If we just lose these four players I don’t care about that much we could afford to trade back? Maybe we can offer sheet him instead? You tell yourself you’ll never complain about the team again if he comes back. You tell yourself if he just comes back, you’ll wear your team shirseys every single day, even days that aren’t casual Friday. You might lose your job but your team will be back together. That’s worth it, right? Ways to deal: get a calculator and visit generalfanager.com. After all, it’s just a numbers game. Have a drink handy.
4. Depression. You’ve worn your shirt every moment since the trade was announced, prayed over your team pucks and performed every ritual that helps them win during the playoffs. But it isn’t happening, he’s not coming back. Be careful with this stage, friends. You might experience feelings of numbness and sadness, a feeling like your team will never win again. Other trades might be announced, maybe your third or fourth favorite player from the team also goes somewhere. You don’t care, you can’t care, you’ll never care again. Ways to deal: find a loved one, sit on them, make them hug you. Have a drink handy.
5. Acceptance. Someone may confuse this stage with “being okay” but don’t worry, friend. We all know that isn’t the case. You still might be sad that they’ve gone, but you’ve accepted this new strange reality. You might even be able to look at pictures of him in his new jersey without feeling sick inside, that’s great! If you can bring yourself to root for his success on this new team, even better. Acceptance looks different for everyone. I have a friend that can’t even look at pictures of Ryan Callahan anymore, let alone wish him joy. I lost Sam Gagner to the Coyotes and then the Flyers, but I still wish for his individual success while hoping his team lights itself on fire. The key here is to have more good times than bad ones. Ways to deal: Have a drink, friend. You’ve earned it.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you navigate the murky waters of off season. Find a buddy, check on each other regularly, make sure you’re coping well. Good luck, friends.