NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Chicago Blackhawks

Runds For The Exit

This is what passes as news these days in hockey. A player who didn’t want to play for a team that didn’t want him was able to reach an accord with said team so he doesn’t have to. David Rundblad and the Hawks mutually terminated his contract and now he’s free to pursue opportunities elsewhere. As a side bonus, the Hawks get rid of all of his upcoming cap hit, so they don’t have to worry about buying him out or burying him in Rockford when they have a few young d-men they’d probably like to get as much time as possible (hi there, Gustav and Ville).

When reviewing Stan Bowman’s record as GM, you could make a case that Rundblad was possibly his worst move. At a trade deadline when the Hawks were simply screaming for anyone to play center that was not Michal Handzus or Andrew Shaw, Bowman’s only move was to give up a 2nd round pick, a pretty valuable asset as we’ve come to see, for a player that could only manage just north of 60 games over two and a quarter seasons for the Hawks. That deadline whiff clearly scarred Bowman, who has swung for the fences in the subsequent two trade deadlines, with varying success.

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Friday Foofaraw: Peanut Forever

It is somewhat apt, and a fair commentary on what the Chicago Bears have been for over two decades now, that a player who only reached two Pro Bowls (though that’s something of a crime) and only played six playoff games and one Super Bowl in 11 years with the team is so revered by the team and fans alike. But then Charles Tillman was always a little different than what had come before, and he certainly rose far above the sad levels his organization and team could achieve.

We were all introduced to Tillman in 2003, after months of annoying and scaring the living shit out of his teammates on defense by his very nature, by “that play” on Randy Moss in the end zone.

Even then, it was obvious Moss didn’t want any part of this nutcase, and that went on for many years after. This was simply larceny. After this steal, and that’s what it was, Tillman stood on the Bears bench and posed for pictures, which is the moment he became my all-time favorite Bear. A title I’m sure he’ll never lose.

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Wait Until They Get A Load Of Me

You know we’ve reached the depths of summer when the announcement of the national TV schedule, which doesn’t start for another three months or so, is basically the only news of the day. And once again, just as they are every year, the Hawks are in the middle of all of it.

The Hawks will appear 21 times on either NBC or NBCSN this season, most of any team. This is nothing new nor really all that controversial. The Hawks remain the league’s most popular and recognizable team. Of course NBC is going to center their coverage around them in search of ratings they’ll probably never get. But this always starts a raging debate about how the league markets itself.

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Puck And Grind This Saturday, July 23rd

Friend of the program Ali Lawrence has once again organized this wonderful event for the benefit of You Can Play. The playing slots are all filled up, but both events–the tournament and the show at night–are free to attend for all. I’ll be at the show at Lincoln Tap, and Killion will be at both so you can hit him with a fish. Here’s the official release:

July 23, 2016

Chicago, IL – Local athlete and burlesque performer, Ali Lawrence is hosting a unique and LGBT/ally-empowering event, starting with a hockey tournament at Johnny’s Ice House followed by a burlesque show after party at Lincoln Tap Room. The entire day of events is a fundraiser for You Can Play, national project trying to make the world of sports a safer and more inclusive environment for the LGBT community.

The puck drops a t noon, at Johnny’s IceHouse West ( 2550 W Madison Street) fo r a 3v3 hockey tournament, featuring four co-ed teams of mixed skill level. Then, to celebrate the victors of the coveted Puck and Grind cup, the rhinestones will hit the stage of Lincoln Tap Room ( 3010 N Lincoln Avenue) starting at 8pm as some of Chicago’s finest burlesque performers, including headliners Lilly Rascal and Red Rum (as seen on America’s Got Talent) will grace the stage.

Both events are free admission (donations welcome), and there will be raffle tickets and drink wristbands sold at Lincoln Tap Room. Puck and Grind was created by Ali Lawrence, with the idea of turning two of her passions into a fundraiser for You Can Play, joining their mission to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing, not on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but on an athlete’s talent, desire and spirit. Her goal is to help facilitate more of those special, celebratory moments for gay athletes and their straight allies, and spread You Can Play’s message of acceptance and respect.

Please note, while the tournament is all-ages to attend, you must be 18+ to compete, and 21+ to attend the after party. There will also be beverages (alcoholic & non) available for purchase. For more information on

Puck and Grind please visit www.puckandgrind.com .


You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.

You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success.

You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.

McD Shadow

Actual Convention Tidbits

Normally, the week of Prospects’ Camp and the Convention yields nothing more than a bunch of self-congratulatory hot air (though when it’s on the heels of a parade that’s usually pretty deserved) and a bunch of puff pieces about prospects that will never ever matter. This time around, the prospects that might matter only scrimmaged once so there wasn’t much to get a read off of. And the Convention actually yielded a couple things worth talking about, even if it’s just July Space Madness and we’re all speculating for the sake of speculating (and it’s better than talking about the asinine idea of trading Kyle Schwarber for a fucking reliever or the White Sox… well, the White Sox).

So first things first, and the drum we’ve been beating about Marian Hossa slotting down this season to be a checking line winger with Marcus Kruger.

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Hawks Culture Club

Culture Club

There is a part of me that wants to turn this into a Canadiens blog for next season because their implosion is going to be utterly hilarious to witness and I’m probably going to want to laugh at it every single day. I won’t do that, but I will take the chance to chew up and spit out the latest piece of drivel that GM Marc Bergevin had spill out of that orifice in the front of his face. It was simply more ass covering. Let’s get the quote in full, just to admire how deep in his own excrement he’s actually launched himself:

“Two Stanley Cups in five years. I like guys who don’t like to lose. Everybody likes to win, everybody’s happy when you win. I want guys, when you lose, it gets them inside. It hurts. And then you go back to work the next day.

 I don’t want a guy who walks out of the rink thinking, “Everything is cute, everything is fine even though we lost the game, life goes on.” Yeah, life goes on, but I want guys who feel hurt by a loss. It’s the culture that I want. It’s the Chicago culture, that’s what I want.

Andrew Shaw has it. I was in Chicago long enough to know they don’t take losing with a grain of salt. I want guys who don’t like to lose.”

That’s nice. It’s also utter bullshit.

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Please Stop With Panik Silliness And Other Assorted Thoughts

The combination of Prospects’ Camp at Johnny’s West and then the Convention not too far behind it is the last oasis for Hawks’ thoughts and goofiness before the doldrums of August hit. Even that will be cut a little short this time with the World Cup teams getting together to start training in August (and everyone seeing just how bad this US team is going to be which is just hilarious). This is the last time before training camp that all the beat writers are together covering hockey, which means they’re getting bombarded with a lot of inane and silly questions. And there’s one that’s been popping up ever since the season started that really has to stop.

I don’t know how to be any clearer on this: If Richard Panik is on your top six, your top six sucks.

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