This is the 12th in our summer series where we are drawing hockey cards at random from a box and then writing about them.
Beginning five years ago, IPB had a dream. A dream that involved the Devils trading for Marco Sturm. You see, Gentle Reader, we had a power over Sharks forwards, a power to draw them to the Devils if we just wished for them hard enough. For years and years we’d been targeting Jeff Friesen, and in the summer of 2002, the sheer force of our psychic energies made it happen. Sure, he was coming from the Ducks, but dude. We’d been yearning for him when he was a Shark. And in the end, look how it turned out! Flush with success, we shifted our focus to Marco Sturm. Speedy, defensively awesome, pleasant-looking, durable, German… what’s not to love? Well, today’s draw from the PBS dispenser is throwing into sharp relief what the Devils still lack:
Where did things go wrong for us?
The Bruins acquired Sturm, Brad Stuart, and Wayne Primeau for Joe Thornton. Dude, Sharks, we totally wouldn’t have made you package those other guys just to get us to take Sturm off your hands. We would have happily given you the playmaking center you were looking for, but the one we would have given you is an actual proven winner. Ahem. So yeah, in our alternate universe, we gave the Sharks Gomez and replaced Pando’s BFF with a newer, better BFF. Just imagine: a checking line featuring Pando, Madden, and Sturm. No one would ever score against us! Of course, our alternate universe still has a little bit of reality in it — because Sturm is a natural winger and Madden’s a natural center, we’d surely have both of them playing out of their element, just because that’s the Devils way. Sturm would center, Madden would take the left side, and Pando (glorious Pando) would stay on the right. And they’d finish every season in a three-way tie for the Selke. The Devils would deliberately take penalties just to get our run-and-gun PK on the ice. Top lines the league over would get the “Sturm Line Flu”. What a wonderful alternate universe this is. And meanwhile, the Sharks wouldn’t be able to blame their top center for playoff failures, because he’s already a two-time Stanley Cup champ, so they’d have to run Patty Marleau out of town much faster… We think he’d look great in red and black, come to think of it.