Wednesday, July 27, 2005


This is the ugly part of the new NHL. Beyond the rule changes that should liven up the game, comes the harsh reality of player removal that should darken it.
Heroes are leaving. It hit us Tuesday following the release of 11-year veteran Darren McCarty for salary cap reasons. Money is a bigger consideration for teams and that includes the former salary heavy Wings. Now come tough decisions by owner Mike Ilitch and General Manager Ken Holland.
D-Mac is one of us. He was tough and willing to do anything the team asked of him. He is a Red Wing for life although he will play elsewhere this season. Even as he was being booted out the door he asked Holland to remember him down the road should a reunion make sense.
It won't.
D-Mac's game no longer fits in. He is too slow and cannot provide the grit that made him so dangerous around the league. The Red Wings also know he is out of shape and his love for music has consumed him. It didn't make the decision to cut him any easier, but it just made more sense.
D-Mac remains one of my all-time favorite players. He cared about people and he cared about the fans of Detroit. We are not losing Darren McCarty. We simply are losing Darren McCarty the hockey player. Grinder will continue to grind in Detroit and the McCarty Cancer Institute will continue here also.
The man who brought us the historic butt kicking of Claude Lemieux in March 1997 is etched in Detroit sports lore. He was loved more than his talent on the ice. But his desire can never be matched.
D-Mac will be missed.


Blogger Leelanau Sports Guy said...

I always enjoyed watching him play, he gave it his all on every shift.

I always admired him because he wasn't the biggest on the ice, but he never backed down from anybody.

9:50 AM

Blogger dt said...

His pummeling of Lemeiux will forever be a part of Detroit sports lore, no doubt, but lest we also not forget the phenomenal move and clinching goal he scored against the Flyers in the final game of the first Wings' Stanley Cup in 1997.

Peace and health to D-Mac.

11:21 AM

Blogger Tom said...

No offense, but after 3 days of this whining it's getting a little old. DMac's skills have been declining the past few years, too many injuries, and not a whole lot of production. One of the problems the Wings have had in the playoffs is in being out played and out skilled. If the wings want to get better, they need to get younger. Darren is part of that getting younger in the new NHL.

11:08 PM

Anonymous sportsfromA2 said...

D-mac, what a class act, you will always be a Red Wing in the hearts of Hockeytown.

From today's free press:
A LETTER TO HOCKEYTOWN: McCarty to fans: Don't shed a tear

July 28, 2005

Don't be sad it's over -- be happy it happened.

In the past few days, since the official word came of the buyout and as the status of my contract teetered, the reality that I'm not going to be a Red Wing anymore has set in, and I've taken some time to reflect.

I don't know if it's maturity ('cause if you know me, that's never been an issue) or the painstaking reality of the past 12 months without hockey. Either way, I'm saddened to leave an organization in a place where I've grown up, raised a family, been part of a first-class and first-rate team, won three Stanley Cups and achieved great personal success.

But looking back, what I really feel is gratitude -- thankful for the opportunity to realize a childhood dream to play for my childhood team. Grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch and their entire family for letting this boy become a man and always treating my family as one of their own. Grateful to the entire Red Wing organization from Ken Holland and his staff, to John Hahn and Anne Marie Krappmann in the PR department for their ever tireless effort. Grateful to Piet Van Zant and Paul Boyer for patching me up and getting me back out on the ice. Grateful for the support and memories from everyone at the Joe whom I will miss seeing daily, and thankful to the media for not only their endless support of myself but in the way they've always supported the McCarty Cancer Foundation and my band Grinder.

What will I miss most about playing hockey in Detroit? That's simple. The fans. From the day-to-day coffee stop or gas station conversation to the people who say hello on the street or ask for an autograph at the checkout, there are no greater fans than those in Detroit.

These are the great things about my time as a Red Wing that I will always remember no matter where I go. Thank you to all of you. But please don't shed a tear 'cause it's over -- crack a smile 'cause it happened, and no one can ever take that away. I'll always be a Red Wing at heart, and Detroit will always be my home.

Much love to you all,

Darren McCarty, Red Wings No. 25"

11:51 AM

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1:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

.....and three years later, he is back. maybe not the fastest...but he was a proven to be a threat..... Hell, he's the stuff men are made of!

3:14 PM


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