I never ever ever ever thought I'd ever type that title out in a million bazillion years. Yet, here we are. Allow me to recap my Deadspin reading history.
I used to visit Deadspin at least once a day. They had all the big sports news and the comments were generally good for a few laughs. But then there was a bit of a shift to more gossip-y type stuff. They became the TMZ of the sports world. There was the Tiger Woods thing, Brett Favre ding-a-ling thing and the Mark Sanchez girl thing. Honestly, they just became too interested in what athletes were doing with their dongs for my taste. So I stopped reading and I'm sure they didn't miss my four clicks per day.
But sometimes they have some stuff that's relevant to this site. They had those Vancouver limo pictures with Madden, Versteeg, and Kane. Then Deadspin had some stuff with Kane being drunk in a bar. And a few months back there was the girl who took a picture of his boarding pass (I'm still not sure what she was trying to prove with that. Have you seen the girls he's bagged? That club is about as exclusive as a public golf course). Whatever helps Deadspin pay the bills.
As we've all heard, Chris Osgood is supposedly retiring today after many years of NHL service. I'm not even going to try to make humorous conversation or observations about this because friend of the blog Ryan Lambert (@twolinepass) has been killing it on Twitter all morning. In honor of this, I present to you, a Twitter widget using the search string 'twolinepass.' Enjoy the hilarity. If you have any comments/observations about Osgood, stick 'em here.
One. I'm alive.
Two. I'm bored.
Three. If there's one thing we can give the Blackhawks credit for (besides that big shiny thing they got last year), it's that they know how to stay in the news despite drudgery of the off-season (otherwise known as summer to normal folk).
So now we've signed Frolik (3 years, $7m) and Lepisto (shishkabab sheekaka Chicago!!! Cap Geek doesn't know his hit yet, so why should I?), Kane's out for up to 8 weeks after a left wrist surgery on Tuesday, and the beat writers have just confirmed that Stan Bowman is officially done negotiating with Campoli.
As it stands the team has 24 players under contract and about $3m in cap space depending on Lepisto's terms (he earned $800k last year; can't imagine he'll command too much of a raise According to Tim Sassone he's getting $750k--a pay cut). Management has continued to stand behind their "Olesz will play" statement, prospects camp was seen largely as development camp, and it's beginning to look a lot like training camp will indeed be a competition for slots on the team. Similar circumstances last year, though this time it sounds like we've got more veterans than rookies vying for spots.
There's still plenty of time for changes to be made, obviously, but we're pretty close to figuring out our opening day roster.
Press Box/Team Mascot:
Um. yeah, I'm not even going to try to send them into the line generator just yet. Our defense looks a tad slower, but it is tougher. Hopefully Leddy steps up and maybe he'll get more minutes instead of languishing in the third pair. Sharp looks like our best bet at a second line center, and I'm okay with that. This will take some getting used to, but this is who we have. The moves SB has made in acquiring players have been low-risk and financially sound.
What do you think? How are you feeling about this team?
This post was originally done for the 2010 Convention. All the suggestions still apply for this year. Just ignore the Niemi stuff.
So while I'm putzing around at home, waiting for the Niemi arbitration number to leak on the Tweet-Tweets, I thought I'd post some food for thought/loose guide to enjoying yourself at the 3rd Annual Blackhawks Convention this weekend at the Chicago Hilton. So let's break this down a bit.
Friday is an interesting day. It is very different from the other two days of the convention. The Opening Ceremony is the only major event to happen on Friday night. It starts at 5 PM and don't be fooled into thinking you can just walk up at 5 and get into the ballroom because most people aren't out of work yet. The ballroom will be full around 4:30 at the latest, so get there early if you can. If the ballroom is closed by the time you get there, stake out a spot in front of a tv. Being in the room isn't completely necessary. You'll still be able to see McDonough living out his power trip dream by talking over a crowd like he's the king.
If you can't get there in time to see the Opening Ceremony, you can catch full coverage of it on Comcast Sportsnet. McDonough and the Hawks marketing squad love announcing big news at the Opening Ceremony. The first year it was Toews becoming captain and the retiring of number 3 for Pilote and Magnuson. This year, all signs are pointing to some type of news about Niemi (or another goalie due to the arbitration hearing today).
They usually do a little event after the ceremony (The first year it was a few skits and improv games with some players and Second City Improv actors). That was a good time to get a feel for the players and their personalities.
Saturday is a really long day. Everything opens up at 9 am and the night runs until 7. For those who reserved hotel rooms, the Blackhawks Bash extends the night to 10 pm. Here's a few tips on surviving to the end of the night:
- Show up late. There won't be much worth doing in the morning while most people are still eating breakfast and recovering from the night before. You won't miss much, if anything. Sleep in a bit and get a good breakfast so that you'll have energy at the end of the day.
- Avoid the autographs and pictures. If you reallllllllllly want an autograph or a picture from one or two players, then make sure you set aside lots of time to wait in line for it. In my opinion, you'll miss some really great informational panels waiting to see players. The Cup should be a worthwhile wait, but the autograph systems have been a nightmare in recent years. Save yourself the stress.
- Lunch. Again, you'll need energy. Connie's Pizza has a booth, but don't be afraid to venture out of the hotel to grab some food. Head west to Wabash or State and grab a bite for a better value than inside.
- Panels/Sessions. Check out as many panels as possible. Get your schedule when you get to the hotel, and talk about which panels sound particularly interesting to you. Some of the best that I remember weren't the most popular ones. Listening to Kane, Toews, Bobby Hull, and Stan Mikita sit around and talk about being young hockey players wasn't all that great, but it was really crowded. My favorite was with Seabrook and an NHLPA rep talking about labor issues and Olympic participation. Okay, I'm a bit of a nerd. Just don't be afraid to go off the grid with your picks.
- Relax and enjoy yourself. Around 5 or 6 pm, everyone will be getting hungry, your feet will hurt, you'll feel tired and crabby. At that moment, realize that you just have to take a deep breath and relax. Don't let your day devolve into bickering with the people you came with.
Sunday will be a short day, but you'll probably still be feeling the effects of Saturday. Again, I'd reccomend panels. Also, the lines will likely be shorter for autographs and pictures because people tend to drop like flies by Sunday.
Don't forget to check out some of the auctions throughout the weekend and take in all the sights. You might be able to catch some Hawks brass in the hallways. Bring a sharpie and get your pass signed. I was lucky enough to have a great 5 minute conversation with John Wideman about the work that goes into a broadcast. These are the moments I look for in the convention.
In summary, avoid the meatball fans and memorabilia collectors looking for autographs. Get as much out of the weekend as possible. If you see me, don't be afraid to give a shout.
I don't know if you've noticed, but cool people on the internet are a dying breed. I think there's like 5 left. Anyone who has dared to look at Youtube or Puck Daddy comments can back me up here. So anyways, its a rare occasion that we find someone we like. Its even rarer that we find someone we like who has some type of talent (that doesn't file a restraining order properly). Its so special that BHDL wanted to interview one of those talented people we like. I recently had a chance to sit down (Well, I was sitting when I wrote the emails) with Alex of Pucks and Pixels and ask her a few questions.
Oh, this one's a doozy kids. TSN is reporting that Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold told Minnesota radio station KFAN that there are some controversial realignments coming to the Central division as a result of the Atlanta's Thrashers move to Winnipeg. Quote from TSN:
"...the Wild would be playing in the Central Division against the Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars and possibly the Columbus Blue Jackets. He made no mention of the Detroit Red Wings, which is the team most likely to move the Eastern Conference to accomodate the Jets' move."
A Central division consisting of the Blackhawks, Stars, Jets, Wild, Predators and Blue Jackets? WHERE THE HELL DO I SIGN?
I'm kidding, of course. This is terrible. Why move Detroit to the East? Because they want to? Tough, Detroit. You've dealt with it for a long time, keep dealing with it and let the Blue Jackets move East. Why? The Blue Jackets will be better able to compete in a weaker conference (shut up Eastern Conference fans, you know it's true) and maybe, just mayyyyyybe prevent themselves from relocating in a few years. Plus, how much fun are Detroit/Chicago hockey games? I finally got to get out to my first game against Detroit this year and it was incredible. Why shouldn't either team's fanbases enjoy that six times a year? It's like tossing Montreal and Boston in different divisions.
But the good news if this happens? The Blackhawks and Predators will destroy this division.
What do you guys think? Crap or not crap?
FOTOSHOP FRIDAY IS BACK PEOPLE! I took a long break, not only because I'm lazy, but because my creativity was a little tapped out from the season. Now we're back, and with a vengeance! In this episode: Carcillo gets assaulted by Days Of Y'Orr, Keith's shot selection, Crawford gets paid, and the Sedins have a new TV show!
IT'S A-ME! CARCILLO-KOOPA!
Everybody enjoy your nice long weekend? I found blowing things up to be quite the cathartic experience. Unfortunately, its back to reality. I think its time we addressed the gap-toothed, elephant in the room with the porn stache.
Unfortunately the Dan Carcillo signing was not the alcohol and sun-stroke mirage that I thought it was. Fact is, we've got Carbomb for the next 361 days, so instead of sitting here whining like a child about the signing hows about we takes a looksie at some of the good and bad that can come of this.
Carcillo brings some energy to a fourth line that was really lacking a spark last year. He'll throw his body around and create some havoc.
He found a way to be a -14 on last year's Flyers team. Only 2 other players on that roster were a minus (min. 60 games played), and Carcillo was well below both of them. And if you cry "subjective" on plus/minus, allow me to point to his -0.8 GVT. However you want to look at his stats, you'd be hard pressed to spin them as "good."
Carcillo won't be dressed when the Hawks open their season in Dallas. And he won't be playing the next night for the Home Opener. Carbomb will be in the press box serving a two game suspension. Carcillo is a polarizing figure. To paraphrase the late, great comedian Mitch Hedberg, people either love him, or they hate him, or they just think he's okay.
I've seen some great discourse on this, so sound off in the comments with your opinions. Love it, hate it, or just okay?
As we all know, this off season has seen the loss of the Atlanta “Blackhawks South” Thrashers to Winnipeg, and Florida Panthers GM (and former Blackhawks GM) Dale Tallon has stepped in to make sure there will always be a place for former and discarded Blackhawk players in the South.
Yet, we here at Blackhawks Down Low have discovered a very important difference between Atlanta’s approach one year ago and Florida’s approach this offseason. Rumor has it that Dale Tallon is working a blockbuster deal with the city of Chicago to help his new Panthers feel very much at home by bringing local celebrities to Sunrise. Details are still very murky at this moment, but here are the Top 5 celebs that Tallon should work to obtain.
5. Fall Out Boy
Claim to Illinois: Originally hails from Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago.
Claim to fame: Won a couple MTV Music Awards and a slew of Teen’s Choice Music Awards, which should tell you exactly why...
Why Chicago should ditch them: Their obnoxiously long album and track titles. For example: “I’ve Got a Dark Alley and a Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song).” Did that really need a parenthetical subtitle? Couldn’t you have called it “Summer Song?” Or maybe just “Dark Alley?”
What Florida will send in return: Tramar Dillard, stage name Flo Rida. Not for his music though, for his perfectly sculpted facial hair.
Tomorrow marks the start of the NHL's Free Agent signing period. These can be truly crazy times as teams make their mad dash to scoop up the high-end talent that they hope will deliver a Stanley Cup next June.
With every blog, newspaper, and sports show claiming to have the inside scoop on the latest signings and trades, we here at BHDL want to show how you, the fans, can make it through another July 1st without any crying*, sucker punches**, murder-for-hire plots***, or major injuries****.
*Not guaranteed for Roberto Luongo.
**Not guaranteed for Todd Bertuzzi.
***Not guaranteed for Mike Danton or New York Ranger fans.
****Seriously, Henrik, nobody is even near you. Stop diving.
Step 1: Know your team
It is important to understand the individual needs of each team. Refer to the following based on your team's needs:
5 Defensemen Under Contract
Possible solutions: Christian Ehrhoff, James Wisniewski
Need Starting Goalie
Possible solutions: Tomas Vokoun, Marty Turco
Sudden Loss of Top 2 Centers, Team Captain, Power Play Forwards, Penalty Killing Forward
Possible solutions: Paul Holmgren says there's nothing to worry about! But they might send a max offer sheet to Stamkos...you know...just in case.
Step 2: Know your GM
Certain guys have certain M.O.s that tip off how they will operate. Refer to the list below if your GM is on it.
Ken Holland, Mike Gillis, Stan Bowman, Peter Chiarelli - Your GM has shown a commitment to winning. You should feel confident that he is putting together the pieces for a deep run at the Cup.
Steve Yzerman, Doug Wilson, Dean Lombardi - Your team is just a few big moves away from contention. Look for your GM to get a top tier player.
Dale Tallon, Glen Sather - WE'RE GIVIN AWAY BLANK CHECKS DOWN AT THE LOCAL HOCKEY CLUB! COME ON DOWN TO GET YOURS BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT!
Step 3: Sources, sources, sources
Everyone will claim to have a source, but there are only two people in this business you can trust. They are Bob MacKenzie of TSN and me. I know a guy who knows a guy who used to park cars and he said he could totally tell by the look on Patrick Kanes face that he was either hungover or getting traded to the KHL.
Step 4: Remain Calm
Championships will never be won or lost on paper. Its always best to keep your emotions in check on days like these. Even if you think your team has what it takes to go all the way, don't get ahead of yourOH MY GOD VANCOUVER IS RIOTING AGAIN?!?!
Step 5: Enjoy the Schadenfreude
Seriously, you're going to laugh so hard when someone sends Stamkos an offer sheet. You'll laugh even harder when Guy Boucher reveals to the world that he really is a villain from James Bond by killing everyone in the Flyers front office.
Follow these easy steps and you'll be well on your way to wishing it was October already!