Thursday, July 28, 2005

Darren McCarty: Letter to Hockeytown

As published in the Detroit Free Press: 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


At 7/28/2005 09:15:00 AM, Blogger Marcelo Constantino said...

If there's one hockey player I'll never forget, this one is Darren McCarty.

At 7/28/2005 01:01:00 PM, Anonymous Kevin R said...

Darren is class act and has an immeasurable amount of character. He is truely an inspiration and I wish there were more individuals in our sport [and all sports for that matter] like him.

At 7/28/2005 06:46:00 PM, Blogger Brian List said...

For me, Darren is a prime example of why the NHL and NHLPA are reprehensible for not allowing salary renegotiations in the new CBA. While many players would rather get bought out than renegotiate for less, the CBA should allow this option for the few cases in which a player would rather accept less money and stay in his city. Now, after a long lockout and a season's lost salary, renegotiation is hard to ask of players. But at least give it a chance...Darren should still be a Red Wing.

At 7/28/2005 07:56:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

Hey, you stole my class motto!

Man, if you didn't feel bad about the whole thing already, you should now.

I'm sorry, Darren.

Everyone, thank the NHL for not allowing the renegotiation of contracts. That is the reason McCarty is being forced out. Now, as a fan, I have to watch one of the most beloved players kicked off my favorite team. Tell me how that benefits us, as fans? Already, the NHL is going back on its promise to cater to us. Ugh.

At 8/08/2005 03:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same way.


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