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It Keeps Getting Funnier Every Single Time I Hear It

If only that were true.

Yesterday’s signing of Jordin Tootoo continues a trend which the Hawks themselves keeps having to disprove to themselves pretty much every single season. Before we delve further, let’s be clear that Tootoo is no guarantee to make the team, or to play regularly. However, there is the trend that Joel Quenneville has of trying to prove just how much smarter he is than everyone who has coached a player like this before. At least until the spring when he stops when someone locks in a room full of smelling salts and he comes to and actually starts playing a proper lineup (sometimes this doesn’t happen until May or June).

Let’s take a ride, shall we?

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Let’s Check In On The Neighbors

It’s been widely agreed that the Hawks signing of Brian Campbell, especially at that price, was one of the shrewder moves of this offseason. It’s even more so when you consider how many other teams have simply lost their minds and/or torpedoed their own team in the process. The Hawks still lack some bottom six forwards–though apparently that won’t be a problem when Richard Panik tears a whole in the space-time continuum which far too many people think will happen. But what has the direct competition been up to? Let’s check on in.

St. Louis: Last year’s conquerors haven’t exactly vaulted forward from what they thought was their breakthrough. They traded their goalie, finally giving Jay Gallon the job he’s never really grabbed with both hands. They watched Troy Brouwer and David Backes walk, neither a calamitous development. So far they’ve only brought back David Perron, because they simply had to replace all the stupid they lost when Backes beat it for the Hub. They seem intent on trading Kevin Shattenkirk for reasons they can only find in their head, hoping Colton Parayko can take second pairing minutes even though Jabe O’Meester is going to disintegrate sometime in January.

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Chicago Blackhawks' Brian Campbell celebrates go-ahead goal against Vancouver Canucks in 2nd period during Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Game 4 at United Center in Chicago, IL on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. (Scott Strazzante/ Chicago Tribune) B581209379Z.1 ....OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS,  NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV, NEW YORK TIMES OUT, CHICAGO OUT, NO DIGITAL MANIPULATION...  (hockey pro)

About This Time Of Night, 51 Phantom Gets To Feelin’ Right

This was just about the worst kept secret around here in a while. The only question for the Hawks and Brian Campbell was just how cheaply they could bring him back. $2 mildo and the answer is, “pretty fucking cheap.” I hope Beavis and Butthead in the booth don’t pull a muscle having to backtrack all the things they said about him since he left.

In case you don’t watch the Panthers much, and there really wasn’t much reason you should unless you’re demented like me, Campbell spent the past two years playing with Aaron Ekblad and the two of them basically kicked the competition’s nuts up into their throat. They were +5.2 and +5.7% relative in Corsi to the rest of the Panthers, with pretty evenly split zone starts. Gudbranson and Mitchell (for some reason) took on the toughest competition most of the time for the Cats, but Campbell isn’t going to have to worry about doing that here either.

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Weekends with Rozie

On The Blocks

So the frenzy begins tomorrow, and the Hawks are doing last minute stretching and warming before they pick their targets. Both Michal Rozsival and Brandon Mashinter were re-upped today for dirt cheap, barely $1.1 million between them.

The Rozsival one is slightly interesting considering that no matter how much Q loves him, he was absolutely railroaded in the playoffs last year, supposedly what he was being saved for during a regular season where he wasn’t really all that bad. How he’s going to improve in the spring, even if he plays 40-50 games. Whatever.

The Mashinter signing is frustrating because we do this every year. Every year the Hawks have some tomato can on the roster who plays too much during the season and by the playoffs Q has discarded them into the ether, basically telling you that “the element we like” means jack and shit. Or either they/Mashinter/both is an actual player now, which will get hilariously exposed. Again, doesn’t really matter.

So where do the Hawks stand, lineup wise now? Read More

Gordie

I’m From Canada And They Think I’m Slow, Eh?

I guess now we know who Gordie’s parents were, huh?

I don’t have the adjectives or the prose ability to be able to accurately describe what has transpired in the NHL this afternoon. But I’ll take a shot and when it’s over, to quote perhaps my favorite movie villain of all time, “Don’t think that I didn’t try.” But I think today’s trades are a perfect example of just how back’ards most of the league operates and what still matters to far too many teams (wrongly). Again, try and keep in mind that the last two Cups have been won by teams loaded with skill and speed, who beat teams built similarly. And the team that won the Cups when the ones that were loaded with skill and speed still had the puck all the time. This is important.

Ok, so let’s start with Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. By the way, having simply written that four points fell off my IQ.

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NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks

Playing Hardball And 51 Phantom

Before we start to focus on what the Hawks might start to do on Friday in free agency, there’s been something I’ve wanted to address since the trade of Andrew Shaw. This marks the second straight summer that the Hawks waved the white flag on bringing back a player they really wanted to before the free agency period opened. Last summer it was Brandon Saad. Now, one was obviously a much bigger impact but the similarities are there. Both were headed to only restricted free agency, both were desperate to stay (at least they say so) and both were wanted by the Hawks (or at least their coach). And yet it didn’t work.

And it seems the Hawks have no interest in playing hardball with anyone.

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