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Darren McCarty - does he get the respect he deserves?

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01-17-2013, 08:15 PM
  #1
Cursed Lemon
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Darren McCarty - does he get the respect he deserves?

Darren McCarty was my favorite hockey player when I was growing up. Now, to pick a player like McCarty among a star-drizzled roster like Detroit's in the 90s and early 2000s, I think, is a very interesting thing (not to put too much pomp in my own choices). There's no question that Darren was a 3rd liner at best, though he had some scoring potential, just like Bob Probert did in the prime of his career. And, like Probert, he had a somewhat short stretch of meaningful point production.

Nowadays, Darren McCarty gets almost no respect from the fans who once heralded him as strong example of what it means to carry the spirit of the city. Darren has made some questionable life choices, he has burnt himself out and ruined his good fortune for it all. Obviously, there's the pawn thing. There is no doubt that these things are the main reason that Red Wing fans sometimes shy away from talking about McCarty, or looking back upon his contributions with a fair eye.

But even beyond that, has Detroit ever truly appreciated what Darren McCarty brought to the Wings? No, he wasn't a stellar point producer. No, he wasn't the greatest playmaker. He could fight, and he was a competent bottom-sixer, but we've had a lot of those, now haven't we?

Darren, I feel, is forsaken by Detroit fans, and it disappoints me. The Red Wings have always been a very "stony" team, a low-key group of individuals that have quietly went and done their job. Darren McCarty, I feel, had the biggest heart of any Red Wing in the past 20 years, in terms of sheer tenacity and dedication to the team and its players.

Watch any video of Darren's plays or encounters, and you'll see what I mean. Look at him rub Larionov's head and talk him up when he entered the penalty box during the Avs/Wings brawl, right after he endeared himself to all of Michigan by putting it right in Lemieux's grill. Watch him mouth to Keczmer, "you're f***ing dead," after Keczmer put a high hit on Yzerman. See Darren jump up and down like a little kid after scoring that goal in game 4. He was always vocal on the bench, always bucked his teammates up when they got done with their shift, and was the one who smiled the widest when the Wings succeeded. Darren's fire and commitment to the team bordered on awkward sometimes, and that was ultimately what made him so special - you would be hard pressed to find a person like Darren in the NHL, who was so happy to be there that it came out in brash bursts as it did for him.

But these things, I think, are classically held as having zero value - especially to the kind of people that inhabit a place like this, trade hawks who aren't just "a little less on the loyalty side than Ken Holland," but hold almost zero loyalties at all, and would just as soon look back on someone like McCarty as a hack who had a couple flashy moments, some tough knuckles, and could've ultimately been replaced with "someone better".

I love Darren McCarty, and for everything he's gone through, he is still one of my favorite Red Wings.

Doesn't anybody else feel the same way I do?

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01-17-2013, 08:20 PM
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I was just thinking about Mr.Mac the other day when I saw Emmerton(?) switch to 25. I don't like seeing anyone where Mac's number...

I will never forget everything Darren did for this team. He was a HUGE part in all of Detroit's success. He was clutch. He didn't score much, but when he did, it was the most important goal of all time. It's amazing how clutch he was at scoring that timely goal. The guy was pure heart.

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01-17-2013, 08:21 PM
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I thought Darren was awesome

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01-17-2013, 08:24 PM
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When I was a kid I loved the grind line... McCarty and Drapes were my favs.

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01-17-2013, 08:46 PM
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A totally under appreciated guy, granted after hockey his life choices more than likely contributed to that. However when I look back at those highlight videos I can't help but laugh and smile seeing him out there. Guy had a huge heart and played for the team, not himself.

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01-17-2013, 08:50 PM
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Darren was very popular and always holds a special place for me as a Wings fan. But to pretend that he couldn't have been more if he didn't get his life in order is somewhat dishonest. He had tons of heart and passion, was a great/good teammate until the spiral began. At some point these guys are friends to and Draper was pretty honest about how thin Darren's act had worn with a lot of teammates before he was bought out and shipped to Calgary. Those guys still went to bat for him but ultimately his influence on the lockerroom had faded a little more than I think most big McCarty fans are willing to admit. There are guys that party in every lockerroom but the other players notice and when things start to go bad you wonder.

The guy is still a big draw in Detroit, I am sure fans still treat him well when he encounters them on the street. But he wasn't the heart of the team that was Yzerman. He got paid back for all he did for the Wings, commercials and I am sure free meals all over the place. I bristle at the idea we didn't stand by McCarty we even embraced him after more of the details came out during his time away from the Wings. His charity lived off Wings fans and his jerseys were all over the place.

What do you want a holiday for him? A jersey retirement? A statue? None of those things are coming and none of those things were earned. What he will get is nice hello from Wings fans and a hearty round of applause when he is put on the jumbotron. What more is he owed than that?

We celebrate championship teams for ages and his name will always come out there. But blowing up each players contributions can get a little out of hand. I am glad the Wings aren't the Pistons that celebrate every player off that team with jersey retirements, James Edwards must feel so left out... If McCarty gets his act totally together he might be able to get some involvement with the Wings, but he has nobody but the mirror to look at for why he doesn't have some role there. They have taken care of their own, but the guys that at least met them half-way or more Darren didn't. Some of us loved Darren for that to begin with, but you have to accept the whole package of what he was and it also explains his troubles in retirement.

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01-17-2013, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTT3 View Post
I was just thinking about Mr.Mac the other day when I saw Emmerton(?) switch to 25. I don't like seeing anyone where Mac's number...

I will never forget everything Darren did for this team. He was a HUGE part in all of Detroit's success. He was clutch. He didn't score much, but when he did, it was the most important goal of all time. It's amazing how clutch he was at scoring that timely goal. The guy was pure heart.
Helm tends to have that same "clutchness" to him.

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01-17-2013, 09:29 PM
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If anything, Mac is overrated.Guy was probably loved more than lidstrom in the late 90s early 00s.
And he earned the love he got.

The most underappreciated guy in the Red Wings from 98 to 07 was Maltby.

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01-18-2013, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTT3 View Post
I was just thinking about Mr.Mac the other day when I saw Emmerton(?) switch to 25. I don't like seeing anyone where Mac's number...
Sorry Mac's number is not sacred. You can be unhappy Emmerton would get it, but they gave Gus 14 and that will be his number when he comes up. White wears 18 and someday somebody is going to put on the #33. As much as I like all those guys their numbers are not retirement numbers. As long as the player taking them is comfortable with what it means that is fine.

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01-18-2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
If anything, Mac is overrated.Guy was probably loved more than lidstrom in the late 90s early 00s.
And he earned the love he got.

The most underappreciated guy in the Red Wings from 98 to 07 was Maltby.
Nailed it. Mac was one of the most recognizable players on that roster, for good reason. But the guy nobody thought much of was the left hand on the best forward PK unit in the league.

My brother was a big Maltby fan, bought a jersey and even met him wearing it once (took it off, said it was kind of weird playing pool with a guy wearing his name on your back).

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01-18-2013, 11:44 AM
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i disagree. mccarty was one of the most popular players on the team, and is still popular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkReign View Post
Nailed it. Mac was one of the most recognizable players on that roster, for good reason. But the guy nobody thought much of was the left hand on the best forward PK unit in the league.

My brother was a big Maltby fan, bought a jersey and even met him wearing it once (took it off, said it was kind of weird playing pool with a guy wearing his name on your back).
agree

maltby was almost always overlooked, but was a very good defensive F and grinder.

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01-18-2013, 11:53 AM
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McCarthy was awesome, hopefully he will get a job with the Red Wings again.

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01-18-2013, 12:20 PM
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Not sure what you're talking about, I think McCarty is one of the more popular Red Wings ever. You still see people wearing his jersey at JLA.

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01-18-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWings19405 View Post

The most underappreciated guy in the Red Wings from 98 to 07 was Maltby.
No argument here.

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01-18-2013, 02:17 PM
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I think McCarty has a fairly large following and does get the recognition he deserves.

He was great from '95/'96 through '02, after that he really faded fast, plus he had a decent amount of injury time throughout his career that I attribute to 1)his style of play and 2)the damage he did to his body by being a user. I pointed out a long time ago on this forum that between '95-'96 and '03-'04 (when McCarty became a regular to when he was bought out) McCarty missed more games than Yzerman due to injury, 193-147. That's even taking into account Yzerman missing almost all of '02/'03 due to his knee surgery. That's a lot of time.

Having said all of that, I thought it was great when he came back in '08. Even though he didn't have a huge impact, I think he definitely helped the team to the Cup and redeemed himself in the eyes of many Wings fans.

EDIT: Also, I would absolutely love to have a player like McCarty on this current Wings' team roster, no question.

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01-18-2013, 04:35 PM
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I loved D-Mac, and my impression is that he's very popular in general with the fanbase.

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01-18-2013, 05:22 PM
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Doesnt he still have a job with Les Gold?

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01-18-2013, 05:42 PM
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I thought Mac was always popular, too. And I was a fan of him as much I was a fan of the usual guys (Yzerman, Shanahan, Fedorov, Lidstrom).

And a good point on Maltby, too. Was great as an agitator and on the PK and had a pretty good shot as well. A really selfless player; always liked him as an unsung hero of some sort.

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01-18-2013, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
He's always had highlight reel moments of greatness


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01-18-2013, 07:42 PM
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McCarty got plenty of recognition for his play, probably more than most effective 3rd liners ever get. He achieved folk hero status in Detroit, beat the hell out of Claude "Public Enemy #1" Lemieux, and scored huge PO goals against Philly and Colorado. I usually see at least one McCarty jersey at any Griffins game I attend. Definitely not one of the unsung heroes of the Wings Cup runs.

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01-18-2013, 09:22 PM
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I'm probably one of the most rabid D Mac fans, and I believe his story from being missing to being on the 2008 Stanley Cup team was epic. I remember sharing it with my briother-in-law, who is Australian but who follows the game. I was surprised when he came back with "how is this different from any other story about an athlete that goes off the rails and then gets a chance at redemption?" I was pissed off when he said it, but now, looking back, I see his point.

Now, at this point, it's about who they are now. Detroiters revere Steve Yzerman for his play, but he's revered in Tampa for being one of the best general managers out there. I have to confess, I've lost tabs on D Mac, I know he was doing some broadcasting and about the Hardcore Pawn thing, but haven't heard anything at all in a while. I hope he's still on the straight and narrow. That's more important than anything.

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01-19-2013, 08:39 AM
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Are you kidding? To Detroiters McCarty is a legend along with Yzerman and Howe. If you ever see one of those Red Wings photo galleries in the mall, images of McCarty beating up turtles occupy about a quarter of the space there.

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01-19-2013, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drumnj View Post
He's always had highlight reel moments of greatness

That video is from my account.

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01-20-2013, 12:48 AM
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The Wings fanbase loved Darren McCarty and still does, but I don't know what we're supposed to do for him now. We can't undo his bad choices or make good ones for him. He's a Wings legend but it's up to him what he does with that.

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01-20-2013, 02:08 AM
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I think Dmac had potential as a media personality in the hockey world if he could have cleaned up. Guy loves the limelight. He's not shy about a camera. And he has a likable personality.
But he's not doing himself any favors.

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