Quenneville_dr_weird

And So It Begins – ’13-’14 Hawks Season Preview: The Management and Weekend Music Pick

No time for love Dr. Jones. Let’s keep it moving.

What’s the best and worse case scenario for the sexual tension between Q and Stan? Who has more pull at this point? -AhnFire

As you all know, this is one of my favorite subjects to write about. And this year it could be even more dynamic, though doing less damage to the team. There should be a glow that lasts right up until the first three-game losing streak, after all.

The last time the Hawks entered the ring wearing the belt, that’s when the first fissures of something not working between the two started to appear. Stan didn’t have much cred then, as he was basically along for the ride as Tallon’s team won the Cup. Sure, he re-signed Toews, Kane, and Keith, and picked up Nick Leddy and the late Kim Johnsson for the burnt cracklins of Cam Barker (it’s still so fucking funny I can’t take it). But that wasn’t his team. All Stan got to do was take it apart.

Q meanwhile had just won his first Cup and had cemented his place in the minds of Rocky and John, who had trusted him four games into the previous season to actually mold a team from the splatter-pattern of Denis Savard. Needless to say, it was pretty clear who held all the cards with the organization.

Which is why we started to see Q pull all of his rabbits out of all of his hats. The coup de grace being John Scott on the power play in the playoffs in Game 3 against Vancouver. Me? I would have fired him right then and there. Like, literally on the bench. I’m sure the thought crossed Stan’s mind. Michael Frolik was bounced all over the lineup as well before finally finding a home on Bolland’s line. That pattern got even worse the next year, when Fro continually found himself in the pressbox.

The following season of course saw Q eschewing both Sami Lepisto and Steve Montador (for the seven minutes he could see straight) for John Scott on defense. Other signings were ignored as well, which is just about the start of those rumors that Q could find himself out of town if Stan had his way, and eventually led to the firing of Mike Haviland (funny, remember when we thought that mattered?) There was also rumblings of player unrest and the like.

Well, this year, Stan has a champion to call his very own, even if the core remains drafted by Tallon. And you can tell he’s feeling his oats a bit more because he didn’t waste too many chances to tell everyone that HIS draft picks were going to fill the holes the team had, in maybe an indirect way of telling Q what he could expect.

Of course, we’ve already seen a push back (a little) from Q, who wants Brandon Saad to play center — though Saad is a Bowman prize. This was after repeated calls from Stan to see Pirri or LeBlanc tried there.

I wouldn’t expect to many clashes this year, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be occasional side-swipes. If Q repeatedly plays Bollig over Morin (who absolutely deserves to be on the team this year, as much as Pirri and/or Smith), if he keeps forcing Saad down the middle to keep Pirri in the pressbox even if it’s not working, if Handzus ends up on the second line for long stretches, you can fully expect at least a furrowed brow from Stan. You won’t get the stories next summer about Q wanting to leave or feeling uncomfortable that you did the previous summer, but they won’t be too deep in the shadows. However, his hands will be a bit tied because the Hawks A) have a clear delineation of power and B) Q’s untouchable this year unless he actually punches out McDonough. It’s just a question of how much he wants to flaunt that.

Ok, it’s Friday. Let’s have a little fun. I did this on my FB page last weekend, but I don’t see why we can’t go for a repeat. I’m declaring it a Polly Jean Weekend:

God, P.J. rules so hard.

  • RVWW

    HELP NEEDED:

    Participating in a fantasy hockey league this year, and representing Chicago/hawks. Taking suggestions for team names — any and all will be considered!

    • SamFels

      Nihlists Believe In Nothing

      • RVWW

        Lebowski?

        • rkeign

          Chicago presently not skating any Russians

          • RVWW

            Most goalies are excellent skaters.

          • rkeign

            You’re right! They have to race to the bench to empty the net after they’ve let one too many get by them.

          • lizmcneill
          • DesertHawk

            I think no. As stats on the NHL site are listed as Skater/Goalie. At least if I’m remembering correctly.

      • Bannerman

        Donnie’s element

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        Jackie’s Caucasians

    • Tom Pauly

      Muir F*ckin’ Out

      Ewww. Grosek!

      We had Wendel Clark?

      Remi Royer w/ Cheese

      Trefilov the wagon

      Burke Henry

      • RVWW

        We Had Wendel Clark? is a contender for sure. These are all pretty good, thanks!

        • 10thMountainFire

          You could also insert any of the following:

          Petr Bondra, Paul Coffey, Phil Housley, Doug Gilmour, and Theo Fleury…

    • rkeign

      That’s Hockey Baby
      Fucking Right Chicago
      Live One Day As A Lion

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Chicago Black Cox

      1. Say it fast.
      2. Spell it differently if allowed.

      • rkeign

        and in the event of bribes, you could call it the Black Cox Scandal

    • cliffkoroll

      Unhealthy Scratch

      Note: CNS may have trademark.

      • ChicagoNativeSon

        tm

        • Waylon

          Man, that’s cold – but still funny. I actually feel for the guy for next season – no matter what he does in net, he’ll still get blamed for his team’s many shortcomings. Not to mention that his coach will inevitably throw him under the bus to save his own arse.

    • Quark

      Hard to pass on The Dream Warriors

    • Quark

      Choosing “Hockey” as a team name is worth it for the draft alone.

      Hockey has selected Jonathan Toews with the first pick.

      • RVWW

        hahaha

      • RVWW

        but does hockey pick jonathan toews first, or patrick kane?

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      Stache ‘n’ Stosh

    • Paul the Fossil

      Carry Me Laddy (that would be my wife’s pick, it references a video clip involving Ladd and Versteeg that was posted during the 2010 season)
      Stop It Right There
      Fuck Raffi Torres
      Hits Is A Bullshit Stat
      Two Cups, No Waiting

      • 10thMountainFire

        I vote ‘Fuck Raffi Torres’.

        • Paul the Fossil

          If the other members of the fantasy league are fans of other NHL teams I’d personally go with “Two Cups No Waiting.”

    • chichicagochi

      Kind of less applicable for NHL, but I named by Fantasty Football team Bill Bickellcheck

    • OMFS88

      Gimme back my Byfuglien

    • OMFS88

      Can’t Hackett

    • OMFS88

      Amonte’s Revenge

    • OMFS88

      In a Daze

    • AirTrafficAJ

      If you end up with Kopitar, I’ve always been a fan of “Anze Across America”

  • Hawksinfour

    StanleysKup
    Menohitnobody
    Scottyskidstoy

  • DDN19

    “Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be here forever. I can’t predict what the salary cap will be in the near future, but I can tell you that Jonathan and Patrick will be on this team. Those two players put the Blackhawks back on the map, they’re up in a couple years, and whatever the numbers are, we’ll figure out the details. The notion that the money we’re spending now will affect our ability to keep Jonathan and Kane…it’s a non-issue. They will be here no matter what.” -Stan Bowman

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      I hadn’t seen that … thanks for putting that up.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I would give Stan a big wet kiss if he said that in my presence.

    • lizmcneill

      “and now we traded Bolly I don’t mean literally forever, I do get a bit worried what might be lurking under center ice…”

      • Why

        Is that a parody quote from Stan or a real quote from me? Why would anyone be quoting me?

        • lizmcneill

          Parody.

    • DesertHawk

      “Quality players, quality guys who have been with us their whole professional careers,” Bowman said. “Same as Bryan Bickell, whom we signed in July. We know them, they know us. The relationship is comfortable and strong. Why wouldn’t you do what we’ve done? If your team has success, and you have the ability to keep as many of the guys who make it possible together, why wouldn’t you want to do that?”

      I liked this quote too.

    • Stockroom Snail

      Geez, way to keep the leverage.

      • lizmcneill

        Like they didn’t have all the leverage to start with. I’m sure they and their agent know exactly how screwed Stan will be if he loses one of the to free agency.

        • Stockroom Snail

          I know, I was joking.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    I can visualize the Blackhawks living room. Noise, shouts, screams, and crying can be heard from a small bedroom down the hall. Pappa Rocky and Mama John walk into the nursery to find little Stan and little Mustache pulling each other’s hair.

    “HEY!” shouts papa Rocky. “You kids got all these nice toys. There’s poor kids in Nashville and Denver that don’t have ANY toys. Why can’t you two play nice?”

    Mutual high pitched squeals of, “HE STARTED IT!”

  • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

    This line hurt my stomach: “… if Handzus ends up on the second line for long stretches.” If that happens I’m going to stab myself.

    And then PJ made me feel immediately better. Good ending.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Prepare yourself. I would go get some Pepto.

  • cliffkoroll

    O John Scott, you comprised 0.9% of non-goalie ice time on the team during your two years here, yet a year later, you continue to star in the long-running “Q is an idiot” saga.

    “Sammy Lepisto didn’t get enough ice time!”- now there’s a rallying cry.

    • Waylon

      or “Montador was never used on the PP, you stupid shit!”

    • rkeign

      As I understood it, overhead was the reason Scott was suited up.
      (pressbox ceiling was only 6’7″)

    • Fleshrifle

      How about the % of “Bench-Time”? Scotty took up space on the bench while Marlboro 72 and the Core were racking up serious ice time. It’s not the time he took…it’s the fact that he couldn’t take more ice time when the guys in the pressbox could have.

      • cliffkoroll

        You mean Keith right? Because Seabrook has never been higher than #17 in the league among defensemen in TOI, and none of the Hawks forwards has cracked the top 10 among forwards in TOI in any of the past four years, and only Toews has made the top 20.

        Keith’s TOI last year (24:06) was well below the prior two years (26:53 each), but this was not the absence of John Scott so much as it was the presence of a legit 3rd pairing. How do I know this? Because in 2009-10, the Hawks had no John Scott but DK still rang up 26:35 per night.

        The connection between Scott’s presence and the Core being worn down is thin to the point of invisibility.

        • Fleshrifle

          We’re talking about 2012. I was pleasantly surprised by the use of ice time for DK in 2013 and I’m not bitching about that.

          However, the connection to Scott’s presence in 2012, is that for 29 games he had 7 minutes of ATOI. The “JS Alternatives” (Lepisto/Olsen/Montador) had 13 minutes. For 29 games, an additional 6 minutes had to be covered because Scott was on the bench. When there is no legit 3rd pairing and you have a guy that is pushing an additional 6 minutes of time to the rest of the D compared to the alternatives, then yeah..there’s a connection.

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            Key phrase: “When there is no legit 3rd pairing”. But I will cede that by weight, Scott did comprise a 3rd pairing.

  • 10thMountainFire

    At this point, keeping Morin and Pirri from showing what they can do with the big club would be fucking outright criminal. I would have to set fire to something and burn it to the ground if Morin were left off of the roster and Pirri were confined largely to the press box.

    • Why

      New players have to earn time. But I’m kind of hoping you’re right anyway. Carcillo, Stalberg, Bolland, Frolik, Mayers. The opportunity is there for the taking.

      • rkeign

        Gosh. These bottom-five forwards,except Carcillo and possibly Mayers, look pretty good! We WERE a dynamo last year, weren’t we! (or maybe I’m wrong in evaluating these guys to replace as bottom-five)

        • lizmcneill

          yeah, Bollig pushes everyone up a slot!

          I’m hoping JMo’s bit of a gritty/nasty streak will endear him to Q, I like that kid.

    • Joe Banks

      I agree Morin and Pirri deserve a fair shot, but I think you are going to see Pirri is a little “soft”.
      After watching the rookie tournament, I don’t get the hype over Leblanc – Mcneil looked better than Danault. (I never thought I would say that)
      Morin and Smith (sandpaper) have to make this team. As for the rest…

  • Waylon

    This is for Alanis Morrissette – PJ Harvey called, and wants her entire catalogue back.

  • Roy Batty

    That pic of Q may be the funniest pic ever posted on TCI

  • Preacher

    I’d love to know the process by which the Hawks decide who makes the team out of camp. I mean, I assume you’ve got the coaching staff, management team (at least the 2 Bowmans), maybe the coaches from the Rock. Who has the final say? Is it voted on? Are the scouts in on it? Because I think we’ll know a lot about the Q/Stan love affair by who makes it out of camp. And then by how much the kids are played early in the year, because we all know how much Stan trusts his vets over the youngsters.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      I always thought that it was Q’s final call though he may get some reports/feedback/thoughts from Stan and the scouts. But it’s a good question…

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Q, with input from the coaching staff is is wants it, as in, “Do you want this guy or this guy on the penalty kill?”

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        Is that kind of like Pontius and his Jesus/Barabas choice?

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      One thing I’ll contribute … I think most people vastly overestimate Scotty Bowman’s influence and involvement in the day-to-day operations and decisions with the Hawks. I doubt he has any role whatsoever in choosing the roster at any stage. I sense he is far more a big-picture contributor, and offers advice now and again when asked. The guy’s 80 years old and spends most of his time in Florida and New York from what I can gather.

      Also, my bet is on Q plus Kompon and Kitchen being the main deciders, with Q and Stan hashing things out in one-on-one meetings.

      • ballyb11

        Bet his son picks his brain often on their phone conversations.

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          I’m sure of that, ya, that makes sense … but I mean details-y things. I doubt he has anything to say, for instance, about Pirri or Handzus’s role on the opening night roster, or whether Kostka or Brookbank should spell out Rozsival.

        • cliffkoroll

          “Listen, whoever comes to you with this Barzini meeting, he’s the traitor. Don’t forget that.”

          Stan’s Mikey, right, not Fredo.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian
  • FakeASeizure

    Someone already mentioned it but a big “SPOT ON” to the photoshop of Q’s face on Dr. Weird. Fucking hilarious.

  • ChicagoNativeSon

    “Gentlemen, I have created this thing.”

  • ChicagoNativeSon

    Q appears to be a guy who’s rather comfortable in his own skin. Therefore I find it incredulous, the idea that Q is instead apparently insecure. So insecure in fact, that he would make personnel decisions based on “sticking it to Stan.”

    If the supporting evidence is that he played Scott, well, Stan’s the one who signed him for 2 years. Bollig? Stan’s the one who brought him up from Rockford – more than once.

    Q misplayed Frolik, Montador and/or Lepisto? Stan got rid of them.

    Q was getting diminishing returns from Bolland and in turn reduced his role. Stan traded him. Under Q Bickell’s role increased. Stan rewarded him.

    Q got value from what appeared to be a throw away trade deadline signing. Stan re-signed Zeus.

    Two assistant coaches who weren’t Q hires got replaced by two of his cronies.

    The list goes on…

    I could be way off, but whether or not Q and Stan get along personally, they appear to be right in stride when it comes to personnel decisions. And ultimately, that’s all that really matters.

    • 1benmenno

      How about Q’s use of Toews and Kane, i.e., his belated reunion of them? It’s a coach’s right to experiment with lines, but should he do it during the Stanley Cup finals? Should he fix something that’s not broken?

      • 1benmenno
        • ChicagoNativeSon

          A writer, with limited information (much of which we learned after the Finals), disagrees with a coach’s strategy in a single game which his team lost?

          And then the Hawks went on to win 3 games in row.

          Not sure what this has to with… anything?

          • 1benmenno

            Which writer has unlimited information? Are you saying that the Blackhawks winning the cup vindicates all of Q’s decisions?

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            The conversation was about whether or not Q and Stan are attending couples counseling. Who said anything about vindicating Q’s decisions?

          • 1benmenno

            You’re right. I went off-track. Guess I’m still mad at Q for some reason. Will seek counseling.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I’m with you. Motherfucker only helped bring two cups in four years. With this lineup, it should be at least two cups every year.

          • 1benmenno

            That’s what Keenan would have done.

      • Preacher

        If I recall correctly, part of the line juggling was caused by the fact that Bickell had an injury so Q was getting him off the top line so he wouldn’t face the toughest defense. And since Hossa couldn’t feel his leg at one point, he missed a game prompting the scrambling even more. And coaches regularly change lines within games/series when scoring isn’t working. Remember he SEPARATED Tazer and Kane in the Philly Finals to force the Flyers to decide where to play Pronger. It worked out pretty well. I think CNS is correct in suggesting that Q and Stan may not be nearly the soap opera everyone seems to want them to be.

        • 1benmenno

          We can only speculate as to Stan’s and Q’s relationship.
          But we saw with our own eyes immediate results when Tazer and Kane were reunited at the end of the Kings series. Hossa’s leg never got better. We don’t know the extent of Bickell’s injury; we also only have Q’s word on it being a factor in his decision making.

          • Preacher

            “We can only speculate as to Stan’s and Q’s relationship.” Exactly! Speculate.
            But why is the speculation always so drama-queen worthy? CNS has provided a bit more fact-based info from which to draw a conclusion. And that conclusion is that Q and Stan seem to be on the same page with regard to personnel. That’s not “news worthy” I suppose, but I’ll take the results.
            (And now you’re questioning Q’s honesty in the post-Cup win press conference, when he has nothing more to hide? You can pretty much make up your own facts then, I guess.)

          • 1benmenno

            I have no interest in their relationship or in the drummed up drama surrounding it. I am simply asking whether Q always uses the personnel at his disposal optimally. Some people think he sometimes over-coaches, making adjustments in anticipation of problems rather than in response to them.

          • 1benmenno

            All statements made without corroboration are open to questioning.

    • Joe Banks

      Very good points.

  • 1benmenno

    Leafs haven’t signed Khadri yet so the possibility of Bolland playing 2C is being mooted.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I actually saw some Leafs fan comments stating that ‘Bolland is a natural second line center, anyway’. I laughed. Heartily.

      But they can give us Kadri. No, seriously… give us Kadri.

      • lizmcneill

        If only we could afford him.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        Obviously those slackers Sharp and Hossa were holding Rat back.

        • lizmcneill

          Nah, it was that lazy slacker Kane.

  • 10thMountainFire

    I just…don’t… miss… Stalberg.

    • Accipiter

      I just…don’t… miss… Carello.

      • 1benmenno

        I . . . miss . . . Susannah Collins.

        • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

          I miss the rains down in Africa.

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            Me too. Gonna take some time…

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Indeed. As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti

  • ChicagoNativeSon

    Always liked this (PJ and Bjork… PBJ??)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK02kW1mKkk

  • JogoinJakarta

    ouch, improper citation for the question’s origin. I held you guys to higher standards than that. your legions of Asian readers will not be too happy over this one. and yet I read the entire post before writing this.