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Vesey Derby, Rankings, And Any Other August Mishegas

Things move slowly for me in the summer. I’m sure I’m not the only one. So it took me five days to get to friend of the program’s Greg Boysen’s post from last week. To be fair to Greg, he’s taking this with a grain of salt because it comes from HockeyBuzz’s John Jaeckel, so I’ll double the grains of salt. However, as we’ve said repeatedly this summer, Jiri Hudler is a perfect fit and the longer he waits his price only comes down. That is if he is indeed focused on coming to the Hawks.

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Weird Hawks Unfiltered

Yesterday, we participated in Puck Daddy’s summer series, having been commissioned to submit the Top 5 Weirdest Moments in franchise history for the Hawks. We as a group felt a responsibility to include the events of last summer in the list, as to ignore it would be fully remiss on our part. The version that ran was heavily edited from what we originally submitted, as Yahoo presumably wanted to avoid any blowback, and felt it was not tonally appropriate for what was supposed to be a “fun” and “lighthearted” piece. But this organization has made it very difficult to be either of those things for the last year, and it would have been dishonest to not reflect that. After the jump is what we had originally intended to run.

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NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Chicago Blackhawks

Monday Bits And Bobs

We’ve reached the Space Madness portion of the offseason, so you’ll have to excuse us if the posts get even more sparse around here. We’re all waiting for the Hawks to sign some forward still sitting on the shelves, and they’re probably waiting until the 15th when Jimmy Vesey goes free agent and see if they can get him. While I’m not sold, he probably comes cheaper than those who are still waiting and could be effective. I’m sorry if we won’t be doing posts about whatever Hawk put his fucking house up for sale. Because who gives a shit, really?

Anyway, some news today elsewhere:

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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 .

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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.