NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks

Digging Up

Now that Daydream Nation is firmly secured in Chicago until the next lockout and one of them has to be bought out after to get under the $12 salary cap Bettman instills to end that dispute, Stan can start figuring out just how he’s going to put next year’s team together.

What’s that you say? This year’s team is still over the cap? Why yes, it is. But we’ve been down this road a few times already, and the answers to get under this cap are known to everyone. It’s a punting of Oduya, or Sharp, or Rozsival, or Seabrook, or Versteeg (that would be a miracle) or some combination thereof.

It’s next year where some of the challenges lie. But is it that bad? Let’s look, yes?

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A Strange Set Of Priorities

You probably have seen it by now, as the story was shared on Twitter by our compadre Fifth Feather and on NBC Chicago by friend of the program James Neveau and many others. If you haven’t I’ll do my best to recap.

About a week ago at Johnny’s Ice House West, the official practice home of the Hawks and also home to several men’s and children’s leagues, three men were mugged in the tunnel to the garage after their men’s league game. One was pistol-whipped. This was shared on Facebook by several people, and I’m not sure exactly how but it got the attention of NBC 5 who did a piece one it.

Tim O’Shea, who plays (or should add, “played”) at Johnny’s spoke to NBC 5 on the piece about the dismissive response he got from management when he raised questions about security at the facility. He was told basically to “go play in the suburbs.” After Tim appeared on the piece, he was banned by general manager Kevin Rosenquist for life. Which seems a total fair and in no way unhinged response for airing concerns that clearly weren’t being addressed. Apparently, Johnny’s public relations theory is “Snitches wind up in ditches.”

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NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Chicago Blackhawks

When The Spigot Gets Turned On/Kompon Out

I’m loathe to go off “internet rumors” again for fear that Barstool Sports will pelt me with more of their misogynist crap because they’re real journalists, but it’s the summer and we’re left to feed on scraps. There’s been a lot of chatter the past couple days that the Kane and Toews extensions are close to being polished off. The combined number I’ve seen a few times is 21.8 million for both, or 10.9 for each. The whole debate of whether they have to get the same contract is one for another time, because they’re going to. I haven’t seen what the term would be. I’ve always thought they didn’t have too much incentive to sign a long-term deal. If they both signed for five or six years they could hit free agency in their early 30s and get another payday. But no one would complain if they sign up for life, obviously.

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What Are You?

It’s been just about a week since the Hawks signed Brad Richards, and thanks to other commitments and the holiday I haven’t really had time to get in up to the elbow on what the Hawks have taken a flier on here. We’ve got time today. So roll up the sleeves, Hondo.

What they’ve gotten is clearly a player on the decline. Richards had 91 points with Dallas the year the Hawks won the Cup the firs time. He then went to 77, 66, a 60-point pace in the lockout year, and 51 points last year. So none of that is going to be encouraging, especially when he switched to the easier Eastern Conference and continued to put up less points.

Are there some mitigating factors? A few but hardly nothing major. He was bounced around the lineup a lot by John Tortorella, and Torts was allergic to offense. But the introduction of Alain Vigneault didn’t help much either.

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