Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Keith, Bolland, And Other Thursday Notes Except I Never Come Up With Notes That Aren’t In The Headline

Couple of notes popping up the past day or so.

-Duncan Keith has dropped out of Team Canada, apparently to keep rehabbing or resting his knee that he had problems with last season. I think this is a good barometer of what these players think of the World Cup, where they sort of like it but they’re not risking much for it. If this were the Olympics I wonder what Keith would have done. And we’ll go more into the World Cup in September, but it feels like a real missed and biffed opportunity on the NHL’s part.

What’s more important locally of course is the condition of Keith. While Keith’s play didn’t really drop off from what we’ve come to expect, and he certainly benefitted from getting to play with Hjalmarsson the most, it was noticeable that he didn’t have quite the jump that he used to.

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Fishing In The Clearance Bin At Some Tragic Casual Corner

“…and it’s sort of comical how you think you’ve made a choice that exempts you from an NHL forward when in fact, you’ll be playing the forwards selected by the very people in this room from this pile of stuff.”

-Miranda Priestly, or at least she should have

Let’s get something out of the way right at the top. Jiri Hudler was not a make-or-break player for the Hawks. He was not the difference between them winning a Cup and them not. They would almost certainly need one more forward or two even if he signed here. But he might have been the difference between gaining an automatic playoff spot and fighting for a wild card, which could mean something and which might not.

However, the Hawks not having $2 million to scrape together to get a player pretty desperate for a job tells you the dire straits they are in. While some Hawks fans would love to believe that A) the Hawks didn’t really want Hudler or anyone else and B) this was all part of the grand plan, that is simply foolishness. If the Hawks didn’t want Hudler they’re simply wrong, whatever his flaws. They are short two proven forwards on the top six, and if we put Hossa with Toews to make up that gap then there are two holes on Kruger’s wing on the third line and in the West you have to have a top 9 at minimum. As for a plan, well, the Hawks are making it up with what they have to, thanks to holding on to somethings for longer and more money than they should have. But we’ve been over that and over that.

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Mile High Poaching

And no, that’s to referring to cashing out the last of the bowl on a trip to Vail while Tyler and The Bros aren’t paying attention.

Late last night Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reported that Blackhawks assistant coach Kevin Dineen interviewed with Joe Sakic and Avs brass for upwards of three-and-a-half hours, and is a finalist for the job vacated by intractable asswipe Patrick Roy along with Bob Boughner. And potentially losing Dineen behind the Hawks’ bench would be decidedly bad for the organ-I-zation on a lot of fronts.

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So Much For All That

On one hand, Jimmy Vesey choosing to play for the New York Rangers spares us all from a winter of trying to correct people when saying his name wrong. On the other, the Blackhawks need more good forwards.

You can see my dilemma.

In the end, Vesey did exactly what was rumored the whole time – he wanted to play close to home.

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Tom Petty Wrote Something About This

We’ve come to the precipice now. Jimmy Vesey hits the free agent market at midnight tonight. This is what hockey news in August is like, six teams fighting over a college free agent who probably maxes out as a second line winger. If you haven’t yet, check out Ryan Lambert’s piece on him today and what he can and can’t do. Ryan watches more Boston-area college hockey than most, so he knows of where he speaks.

I do find it somewhat funny that the main crux of the Hawks’ pitch to Vesey, because every team is going to offer the same two-year ELC with the same bonus structure, is essentially their biggest weakness. “We’re not deep enough at wing so you can play with Toews because basically we don’t have anyone else to do it.”

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Friday Foofaraw: CI’s Premier League Preview

If you’ve followed my Twitter feed for any length of time, you know that I much prefer talking about footy than I do hockey. And I feel like there are a lot of hockey bloggers who feel the same way. Our weekends make sense again, as the English Premier League is back to get us up far too early when we’re already hungover and to make us even more miserable than we were before (except for Man City supporters, except I don’t know any Man City supporters and am pretty sure they don’t exist). So without any further ado, let’s go through all the clubs of the EPL in my own special way to see what’s in store for the next eight months. And this is in no particular order of expected finish.

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Feb 7, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Colorado head coach Patrick Roy in the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

So Long, Dummy (Apologies To Desipio)

Well, this isn’t good news for the Central Division.

Today Patrick Roy, the anchor that had been holding out, when not outright destroying, at least a decently talented Avalanche squad, resigned as coach as half-GM or whatever it was they labeled him. I’d like to think he lost a power struggle with Joe Sakic, mostly because Sakic might have one clue where St. Patrick didn’t have any.

What this means for this year of course hinges on who the Avs hire and what he does. The Avs aren’t loaded or anything, but this isn’t a completely helpless roster either. It comes with pretty good center depth if Matt Duchene is moved back to center, which he obviously should be. MacKinnon-Dutch-Soderberg-Grigorenko is not the worst start.

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