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Blackhawks DL - A Chicago Blackhawks blog | Page 7

Canadian Announcers Advocate Running Timmy Thomas

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

Jim Houghson and Craig Simpson are huge Canucks homers.  That's what they're paid to do.  Everyone accepts it and its all okay.  But tonight during game six, Simpson floated the idea that the Canucks should run over Tim Thomas.  It starts off a bit subtle, but by the end the message is perfectly clear.

This is totally inexcusable for announcers to recommend. Even though we all know these guys are going to be biased, suggesting that the Canucks "bump" or "accidentally on purpose" hit Thomas to knock him off his game in game 7 is ridiculous. Just tonight we saw Mason Raymond go down with a fluke injury. Nathan Horton is done for the series with a severe concussion. Advocating this kind of play is reckless and irresponsible.

There's a right way to go about creating traffic. Get bodies to the net; throw pucks on net and generate rebounds. But to say the point is to create contact with the goalie is disgraceful.

Finals Game 6 Live Chat

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

Hey everybody,

We're going to be doing a live chat for the game tonight.  Chat starts up at 6:45 CT.  See you all then.  (Go Bruins)

Stories of a Bender - When a Forward Plays Defense and How it can Change Your Game

Written by Kelly Thomas Reardon on .

Welcome to the return of our Stories of a Bender series of posts. These posts are written by @KellyBHDL about his experiences in the world of rec league hockey. You can check out past posts in the series by clicking here, and please contact us if there is any specific topic you’d like to see covered.

Throughout the past five years of my rec league career, I’ve played every position on the ice. I’ve played enough of each to know that I’m most naturally inclined to play a forward position and have done so the past 4 years.

When I first joined my rec league team, I was still getting my sea legs back, remembering all the basics, getting the feel for a puck on the tape of my stick back, and so on. However, since I am a big guy and liked hitting people, I got put on defense until I got my hands back. To be honest, I don’t remember many of those games, although I won the team award for “Biggest Goon,” take that as you wish.

After a year on the blueline, my hands came back and I rediscovered my scoring touch so I was moved up as the third line center. Since then I’ve mostly fluctuated between the top three lines, mostly as a center, moving up and down as our roster changed.

As with every rec league team, we occasionally have attendance issues for games. One night we were particularly short on the blueline, and the usual guys that switch between forward and defense weren’t in attendance either. Since I was the only one with any experience on the blueline, that’s where I found myself for the night.

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Happy Anniversary

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

You remember where you were on June 9, 2010.  That's a fact.  If you're on this site right now, you know exactly where you were and who you were with when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.

I was in my garage with my dad, brothers, a few uncles, and some other random people from the neighborhood.  I don't smoke, but I needed a cigarette before the overtime started.  I had no idea the puck was in the net.  I saw the gloves go up in the air, stood up, and chuckled.  I ran out to Sports Authority to get my shirt.  Work the next day wasn't fun, but damn was it worth it.

Wikipedia says that the customary first anniversary gift is a clock.  So my gift to you all is a turning back of the clock.

Tim Thomas: The GIF-tastic Goale

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

I am a man who is easy to please.  I like a good movie, hockey, cold beer, and animated pictures of people doing badass things.  Tim Thomas is quickly becoming my favorite non-Blackhawks player.  Do you have any idea how many times I've thought, "I would love to slash Alex Burrows," or "If I could clothesline one of those Sedins JUST ONCE..."

This Is Worth Watching A Gazillion Times

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

Have we all seen this already? Sure.  Does that make it any less hilarious?  Fuck no.

Via our good buddies over at Days of Yorr.  Give em hell, boys.


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Blackhawk Front Office Shuffle in Winnipeg

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

Coming to a small Canadian city near you!

In the summer of 2009, the Hawks lost their #2 guy in the front office, Rick Dudley.  Duds was the assistant GM before taking the Associate GM job under Don Waddell in Atlanta.  Waddell got promotedto President and Dudley took over as General Manager.  He then poached Byfuglien, Ladd, and Sopel from the Hawks.  He brought John Torchetti down to the Dirty South as well to become the associate head coach.

In January Dudley got a nice four-year contract extension.  But last week it was reported that with the sale of the Thrashers to True North Sports and Entertainment, Dudley would be out of a job.  TSNE wanted to bring their own guys to Winnipeg, and justifiably so.  Its not something that Dudley will mourn over for too long.  He's a smart guy with experience in both coaching and the front office.  He'll get hired pretty quickly if he wants.  He still gets paid for those four years that he signed on his extension.  And the best part for Duds, he doesn't have to live in Winnipeg.

So TSNE didn't waste any time finding a new GM.  Today they hired Blackhawks Assistant General Manager and Senior Director of Hockey Operations Kevin "My Job Titles Are Almost As Long As My Last Name" Cheveldayoff. (My shift key is getting a workout today).

TSNE said that the new GM will make the decision on whether they'll keep the current coaching staff, headed by Craig Ramsay, or find new guys.  Just like TSNE did with the GM, I expect Cheveldayoff to bring in his own guys.  That might mean that Torchetti stays on the staff, either as an assistant or getting the promotion to head honcho.  I think Hawks Assistant Coach Mike Haviland will get a position there too.  Guess we'll have to wait to find out.

Idiots on the Internet: Thrashers Relocation

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

So Kelly and I spend a bunch of time sending emails back and forth talking about hockey while we're at work.  We figured we would spin it into a post.  Our first IotI post centers on the Thrashers relocating to Winnipeg.


The NHL has announced a press conference for today, it looks like a sale of the Atlanta Thrashers to the True North group is complete. All that's left is a vote from the Board of Governors on June 21st, which is more of a sure thing than that blonde girl Kaner flirts with at the bar. The team is going to move to Winnipeg and play one season in the Southeast Division, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.

The resident idiots of BHDL are here to argue about the sale and move for your reading entertainment. I'll kick it off by asking Kelly, is this move good for the NHL?

Short answer: Short-term: yes, long-term, to be determined. In the short term, the move of the Thrashers to Winnipeg will be great for the NHL, especially considering True North not using the Jets name for the new team. Rabid fans will be gobbling up not only season tickets, but now new merchandise as well. (Personally, I curse them for taking my opportunity to possibly by an Andrew Ladd Jets sweater. Jerks.) Long term, Winnipeg could obviously still suffer the same troubles as the first time the NHL was in Manitoba. Yes, they have a new arena now, but if the team begins to slide or continue on the mediocre path it has been on since its inception, attendance issues could again arise and cause money woes. One would hope that the pain and suffering of losing an NHL franchise once already would motivate the fans to attend as many games as possible, but plunking down $50 to see a team led by the defensive workings on Dustin Byfuglien.

Sure, the move might be good in the short term. There are some short term problems that will have to be dealt with though. True North owns the MTS Centre in the Peg. They played a preseason NHL game there last year to a sold out crowd of 15,015. That capacity is less than their AHL team, the Chicago Wolves. Its also smaller than every other AHL arena, every NHL arena, and the arenas for the Wisconsin Badgers, University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks, and a bunch of CHL arenas. Sure, they'll fill the building every night, but they better be charging some high prices to those "rabid fans" that we've heard stories about.

The NHL is also losing a huge tv market. Sure they haven't been able to get good ratings there, but put a decent product on the ice and get them on NBC once or twice, and there's lots of potential. I guess it doesn't matter since the NHL signed their 10 year deal with NBC/Comcast. But they'll be missing some advertising revenue even in the short term because what little ratings they had in ATL are now down to zero.

Looking long-term, there's a whole mess of other problems. What happens when the value of the Canadian dollar dips? And if the team doesn't sell out the arena every night? And you've lost all of the grassroots growth in Atlanta.

So the short answer is I am not a fan of this move. I don't believe the NHL couldn't find someone who wants to buy a major sports franchise in one of the largest cities in in North America. Anson Carter said his bid was never taken seriously, and I believe it.

As far as your bit about ticket prices, they've shown that they'll charge you to see the NHL in Winnipeg. Their average price ($82) will be behind only Toronto ($116) & Montreal ($86) in Canada. In regards to the size of the arena, I believe that's why True North is doing the Drive to 13,000 campaign to essentially guarantee 13,000 tickets sold (note I didn't say fans in seats) for every game for the next 3-5 years. Plus, I don't believe that the size of an arena in Winnipeg will make a difference unless the Thrashers Jets Zombie Jets Relocators team makes a deep run in the playoffs, but these are clearly valid points and concerns.

The TV market only matters in the U.S. and means even less now that the NBC/NHL deal is done. As it currently stands, the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise isn't going to be on national television in the U.S.

I think your long term issues aren't as big a concern when moving a team from the U.S. to Canada. The grassroots growth in Atlanta will only make a difference for U.S. Hockey and solely in Atlanta, but I'd also be willing to argue that once you've made someone a fan of hockey, they stay a fan of hockey. This is Canada. They sleep, eat, and drink hockey. Yes, the value of the Canadian dollar will certainly have an effect on how much money the team can make and help contribute to the NHL, but what sports franchise that has moved has been a sure thing? Do you think moving the Flames from Atlanta to Calgary was a sure thing? Colorado to New Jersey? Winnipeg to Phoenix? The only cities that could be anywhere near a 'sure thing' when moving a sports franchise there already have hockey teams. They have to take a risk somewhere or contract the league.

Yet, I do think the NHL royally pooch screwed Atlanta. It's hard not to look at the situation over in Phoenix and wonder why the same type of effort, or even 10% of that effort, went into keeping a franchise in Atlanta. I'm not for or against this move, it's just stuff happening in the NHL for me, but my heart goes out to the fans in Atlanta. Yet, I can see the jubilation and can't fathom the excitement amongst those in Winnipeg.

The only thing I have a very strong opinion on right now is that they should be called the Jets. My heart yearns for an Andrew Ladd Jets sweater (should he re-sign there).

Here's the reason why Phoenix hasn't moved: the NHL owned them. They don't own the Thrashers. It would've been costly for the Coyotes to move, but with the Thrashers they get to collect a relocation fee.

And here's my weekly reminder of how old you are. I was 7 when the Jets moved to Phoenix. I don't know the situations with those other relocations, but I know the Jets struggled because their team sucked and the Canadian dollar was weak. How many years does this team have to win before the fans stop showing up?

My big beef with this whole thing is all the lost potential. All those kids who could've picked up sticks for the first time; all those people who would've shown up if the team was run by guys who were able to dislodge their heads from their rectums; all the advertising dollars from the major corporations that call Atlanta home; all the organic growth that was possible. That's gone now. People in Winnipeg would've rooted for other NHL teams and still bought jerseys and still watched and played hockey.

Let's move on to a more fun subject. What should the team be named?

My last points: I know the NHL couldn't collect a relocation fee, but when they put in zero effort into keeping the team there and then Bettman says they never want to move a team, it makes you wonder.

Just call them the damn Jets. Also, best blog name for them: Parks and Relocations.

You're so boring. Who wants to be reminded of some crappy team that couldn't stay afloat in a hockey hotbed? I like the idea of calling them the Moose. That lends itself well to your idea of the blog name Moose Knuckles. I'll do you one better and call it Moose Knuckle Pucks.

Someone on the interwebz mentioned calling them the Falcons. That'd be a cool homage to Atlanta, and falcons are just really badass.

Moose is an AHL team name, leave it there. Falcons have been mentioned on several occasions, so I'm cool with that.


Da Bears? There's gotta be bears up dere in Canada, right? You could even get into specific bears. The Winnipeg Grizzlies, Winnipeg Black Bears, Winnipeg Polar Bears, Winnipeg Pooh Bears. The possibilities are almost as endless as my misconceptions about Canada.

You left out Koala Bears.

That's perfect. The animal that sleeps 23 hours a day and would still find a way to be bored in Winnipeg.

How do you expect the realignment to shake out? I've heard rumblings that any of Detroit, Columbus, and Nashville could be moving eastward.

I've heard the same. I would be really surprised to see Detroit move and dampen the rivalry with the Hawks.

Moving Nashville would pretty much guarantee them a three playoff team Southeast with Washington, Tampa and Nashville.

As far as Columbus, I don't care. They still suck.

Personally, I think Nashville makes the most sense. Plus, not seeing that neck-less troglodyte Trotz six times a year would be cool.

As much as the Wings want to move east, I don't see that happening. No way the NHL leaves the Hawks with only the Canucks and the Blues as major rivals in the West. I think Columbus goes since there's no rivals for them and they're in the eastern time zone. Besides, they need that weaker conference before they end up like the Thrashers.

As much as I'd like to send Nashville and their catfish packing, I don't think it'll happen.

Not Breaking News: Hawks Sign Salak and Other Dudes

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

The Blackhawks announced today that they've signed Alex Salak to a two year deal.  Jesse Rogers has sources that say the deal is worth $600K per year.  Salak is most likely going to get time as the backup to CrawDaddy next year.  At that salary it is a no-brainer.  Any old free agent looking for a backup job like Turco did last year will end up being more costly than that.

So, let's start coming up with some nicknames for him.

The Hawks also signed Byron Froese and David Gilbert.

Via Hockey's Future:

Byron Froese

Talent Analysis:

Froese is a hard working defensive forward.  He's not big, nor does he have great puck skills, but he does his job. Plays physically.


Checker in the NHL.

David Gilbert (Last updated: 8/14/2009)

Talent Analysis:

Gilbert's main assets are his vision and his hands. Able to skate up the ice with the puck on a string, he's equally adept at making a play as he is at scoring the goal himself.  Gilbert still needs plenty of time to round out the rest of his game and would benefit greatly from becoming both stronger and faster.  Questions abound about his work ethic as well.


Future Analysis Coming Soon...


Guest Post From Down Goes Brown: Blackhawks Excuses for Losing to the Canucks

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

When I found out that the Blackhawks had lost to the Canucks in the playoffs, several questions immediately came to mind. The most common were “Why are teams still playing hockey after the season is over?” and “What are the playoffs?” But even after somebody explained those concepts to me, I was still confused.

How could this happen? Weren’t the Hawks supposed to own the Canucks? Hadn’t the entire series seemed headed towards an inevitable Vancouver implosion that would haunt them for decades? Where did it all go wrong?

Well, I figured I owed it to Chicago fans to find out. So I’ve spent the last several weeks conducting in-depth interviews with various Blackhawk players and front office. And it turns out, the loss wasn’t all the surprising after all.

Here are the various excuses the Blackhawks had to offer for their devastating defeat.

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