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Roy Radke – Everyman Prospect

With the Hawks opening camp today, their roster is currently about 3 times the size of what it will be three weeks from now, peppered with draft picks, invitees, and career AHLers (and in Tyler Motte’s case, the ECHL according to Fifth Feather). And one entry on the list stands out among all the others.

Roy Radke was taken by the Hawks in the 6th round last year as the 164th overall pick. And what’s striking about him is not his projectable frame or his mediocre OHL point totals, but the fact that he is for all intents and purposes a child under 20 years old named “Roy” in the age of Jadens, Cadens, Braydens, and such and such. Add to it his family name of Radke, and the name is an anachronism for a fresh-faced hockey prospect.

So here at the Committed Indian Chuckle Hut, we have devised a list of hardscrabble occupations far more befitting the name of “Roy Radke”

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Oct 7, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on a shot by Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) in the second period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe They’re Looking For Answers – C.I.’s Season Preview: The Left Wing Problem

I never know quite what to do with these season previews. To go player-by-player gets monotonous for you and for us, but there isn’t really way to do something every day either. We’ve tried multiple paths, so this year we’re just going to blend them all. Over the next couple weeks before Meth County shows up on the 12th to kick things off, we’ll look at certain players, certain questions, and certain other factors on how this season will go. We can’t be contained.

So today, it feels right to look at the Hawks biggest problem, and that’s their forward depth and specifically, who the fuck is playing  the left side on any of these lines?

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World Cup: Fantasy Booking

It’s hard to get a gauge one how this tournament is going over. We know Twitter can be something of an echo chamber (ha, “can”). So if you thought this thing was stupid  you definitely can find enough people who agree with you to get the impression that everyone thinks it’s stupid. If you like it, because hey, it’s hockey in September and these are still the best players in the world out there you can find enough voices too.

I’ve enjoyed having hockey back this early, enjoyed laughing at Team USA, and while The Young Ones have been endlessly entertaining I can’t escape the feeling of it being misplaced and manufactured. I feel the same way about the Young Ones that I do about 3-on-3 OT. It’s a gimmick, an entertaining gimmick, and the gimmick-nature of it kind of robs it of its meaning and misses the point of the competition.

So of course the two would merge yesterday afternoon, and anyone watching it couldn’t take their eyes off of it, no matter the internal struggle.

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American Gothic

There isn’t much I can add to what everyone else said last night about Team USA. We basically knew this team was doomed the minute the preliminary roster was released and Justin Abdelkader was on it. We knew they were further doomed when the U-23 players wouldn’t be available, though we were suspicious that they would have been picked anyway given USA Hockey’s, and really hockey in general’s, adherence to veterans and #GRITHEARTSANDPAPERFAAAAARRRT.

Last night I spent a fair amount of time baffled at how Dean Lombardi had put together two Cup winners (though I guess it’s really one team that won twice when they’re that close together) if this is what he prioritized for Team USA. But the thing is, there was a time when Lombardi totally got it. While the Kings first Cup team was big and nasty and relied on Quick to bash their way to a parade, the 2014 team beat the Hawks at their own game. Lombardi saw what needed to be done and added Gaborik, called up Pearson and Toffoli and let them run. All of that was added to Doughty, Martinez, Voynov, and Muzzin who could really push the play. Remember the pace at which that Conference Final was played. That wasn’t neanderthal hockey. That was hockey as it should be. Where did that Dean Lombardi go?

Apparently he was lost long ago as he tried to back it up after that with the likes of Milan Lucic, Brayden McNabb, and Vinny Lecavalier. Maybe he was on drugs in 2014?

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Russia Tries Something New

See now this is what I’m talking about.

We have our most exciting game of the tournament, Russia-North America from last night. And while we wax poetic about the Olympics and about the two Canada-US games from 2010, how many other great games do you remember from the Olympics? Maybe one or two others? This was as good as anything that tournament has offered up.

Ok, sure, it’s one made-up team that essentially got to pick current or about-to-be All-Stars while everyone else had harder restrictions. But it was still faster than just about anything you’re going to find in an NHL game. And that’s the point. These international tournaments are supposed to be of a higher level than what we get in the league. This is why soccer fans love the World Cup and European Championships (even though the last version of each of those has been rather dogshit). It’s the best the sport can produce. That’s what we got last night.

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The Program, A Couple Other Announcements, And World Cup Weekend

So as training camp approaches, it’s time for us to announce a couple changes going on here at our humble home.

First and foremost, the gameday program I have done for the past eight seasons is not coming back this season. I have a couple other projects I’m working on that really wouldn’t allow for the time to do it, and more importantly I just don’t feel it anymore. Those of you who read it every game are owed a level of dedication and focus that I just don’t think I’m capable of right now.

However, I won’t leave you totally bereft. If you feel the need to “complete the set,” I’m making every back issue available here.  It’s $10 bucks for each season, and all three commemorative issues are included with the three seasons they won the Cup. If you feel you need it, it’s there.

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I’m Miss World Cup, Watch Me Break And Watch Me Burn: The Young Go-Hards

We come to the end of our World Cup preview with the team that’s probably going to be the most heavily watched and the most confusing. There’s no question that Team North America is going to be the most entertaining team, at both ends. Just like a good curry. But a lot of us won’t be able to shake the feeling that this team quite simply shouldn’t exist. And seeing as how, as Feather pointed out, the US’s second and third line in on this team, it’s kind of infuriating.

The reasoning behind this team, if you squint really hard, is to market the game’s younger stars. But if you hold that theory up to any kind of light it falls apart in a hurry. One, Gaudreau, Saad, Matthews, Eichel, Larkin, Jones and Trouba would just as easily be marketed on Team USA, the team with the audience that the NHL is really trying to get to pay attention to this fucking thing and this fucking sport. Is that audience more likely to do that when they can wave the flag a bit and root for their home nation or when they look up to the bar TV and see a bunch of guys dressed as if they’re straight out of Tron? I’ll give you a minute to decide.

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