Schedule’s Out, Sam Starts Raging Coke Habit

Well it’s all official now. The t’s are crossed, the i’s dotted (though this is the NHL so it could totally be the other way around), and the schedule it out.

Some highlights:

-The Hawks will start out with eight of their first 10 games on the road, including the Ice Show trip. So yeah, better have your story straight pretty fucking quick this year. Could be buried in a hurry.

-That’s made up with a seven-game homestand to finish out February. That stand sees the Kings and Canucks comes in, as well as the Sharks twice, and the Oilers. And we know how the Oil have done against the Hawks recently.

-For the first time I can remember, the Hawks will play back-to-backs at home. There are three of them, Feb. 24 and 25 against Columbus and Edmonton, March 5th and 6th against Minnehaha and Colorado, and March 25 and 26 against LA and Calgary.

-The Hawks have four other back-to-backs.

-At the end of April there’s a nasty little jaunt back out to Western Canada to face Vancouver and Edmo before returning home to close out the season against Calgary and then at St. Louis, which will be the first time the Hawks don’t end the season against Detroit in I don’t know how long.

-The Hawks see the Blues and Preds five times, and Scum and the Jackets four times.

-There was also a letter from Rocky and McD, which all told was pretty weak. There was no apology, no mention of the lockout, and kind of a thank you. But you know what? It’s probably not worth kicking stuff over. It would have been nice for something better, but it’s not going to change anything either way. I’ll apologize for them. They’re sorry. There.

  • shinkicker

    Looking at the schedule makes me tired. Have fun, team.

    Personally I look forward to all the games being over sold because people are buying for the new schedule and holding for the old. Great planning as always NHL.

  • pointmesouth

    I am straight up boggling at the number of people rushing to buy tickets.

    This. This is why the NHL thinks there aren’t consequences from the fans for having lockouts.

    • Sparky_The_Barbarian

      Because there aren’t?

      • pointmesouth

        Apparently not.

        Just, you know, my head is spinning from how fast people went from slamming the league and owners as greedy assholes to throwing their money at them.

        • SamFels

          Oh my, I’m so proud.

        • Joe Banks

          If you’re going to protest, be realistic. No one is going to give up their seasons tickets, as it will take a generation to get them back.
          Concessions and merchandise… lay off that shit for a year.
          They will notice.

          • pointmesouth

            I’m not talking about giving up season tickets. I agree that would be pretty silly. Hell, it’s not even that I think people shouldn’t go to games ever. If I come up with some extra cash, who’s to say I won’t splurge on a game later this season. Maybe I will.

            I’m talking about the second tickets were available to buy, people could not fucking wait to hit that button. The beats were flooded with people wondering why the link wasn’t working yet. I’m talking about a lot of people who did nothing but slam the owners or anyone who showed a slight agreement with the owners for 4 months going into a frenzy as soon as tickets were available.

            It’s not even about protest really. I don’t think protesting will do any good, honestly. Just, I can’t personally, bring myself to give them my money yet. But watching the ticket madness on twitter last night made me stare open mouthed at the screen.

          • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            … speaking of which, is anyone here a season ticket holder? What has the company done re communication with you? Nay sort of phone call or letter, any sort of plan outlined?

          • cliffkoroll

            I’m a season ticket holder. Communication from the team and league has been minimal, but sufficient. It’s not like I live in a cave dependant on comminiques from the NHL or Blackhawks for status updates, or my attitude toward the team hinges on word choice in a fucking form letter.

            Seriously, from Sam on down, nothing but bellyaching about the ‘unfariness’ of it all, sage invocations of Karl Marx, awesome economist, and hearfelt pleas that “someone, anyone, think of the vendors.” But, in the end, nobody’s gonna do shit.

            What’s that, Joe Mategna?: “You came back like a DOG to its own VOMIT! “

          • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            That sort of surprises me. Not the updates thing; just, from a customer service angle I’d think they’d want to try to do more. I know if I owned a company and I fucked over my clients/customers/lifeblood (even if I thought I myself had nothing to do with it), I’d be bending over backwards to make amends.

          • flahawkfan

            You’ve actually heard from the Hawks? We’re STHs and haven’t heard a peep all year.

    • detroit must die

      There aren’t consequences for the owners, in any industry, ever. I think that’s more or less the whole biblio of Marx summed up in a sentence at least. I for one am ok with it if people go back to business as usual with hockey, especially since that business includes a lot of people who are neither players nor owners but whose economic lives depend on hockey being played.

      • pointmesouth

        Oh, it’s not that I ever ever thought that there would be consequences for the owners. Not really, anyway.

        But you’d think that people that sat around for 4 months waiting for the lockout to end, people who checked every day for updates, people who went on endlessly about the owners being greedy fucks, you’d think that those people at least wouldn’t being throwing their money at the owners literally the second they were allowed.

        Like I said below, it’s not even that I think people shouldn’t go to games, it’s the speed of the turnaround that’s giving me whiplash.

        And I am more than happy for the people who are neither owners nor players to be able to get back to business. Ecstatic. Happier and more grateful than most people, I’d wager. That’s not really what this is about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Faker/558555424 John Faker

    Everyone sees the kings and is scared. Gotta remember they are without kopitar for at least 3 weeks. Richards and Cater 1-2 C is nothing we havent beat before.

    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      If only Leighton/Boucher was their goalie tandem.

  • birdhead

    “The Hawks see the Blues and Preds five times, and Scum and the Jackets four times.”

    Well, that was the opposite of what I wanted.

  • AirTrafficAJ

    Sam might not be pissed off about Rocky and McDonut’s letter, but I’m pretty fucking peeved. For those of you who didn’t get it, here’s the first paragraph verbatim:

    “On Behalf of the Chicago Blackhawks, we would like to thank you for your patience and loyalty over the past few months. It is imperative now that we look forward in order to prepare and to focus on the exciting season ahead.”

    This is what I read: Thanks for sticking around, now shut the fuck up and forget this ever happened. You are a spineless monkey, and we made some money on your money. Smooches, -Rockwell.

    I don’t know why I am so pissed. I’ve known this all along, but to not have my anger addressed, or even acknowledged really grinds my fucking gears. What makes it worse is the knowledge that they are right, and in a week I’ll have forgotten all about it.

    Fuck.

    • http://www.facebook.com/USA.Kyle Kyle Miller

      It pissed me off as well, I read it about 6 or 7 hours ago. Five fuckin sentences is all we get? Man Rocky was like my hero after putting the hawks on tv, and steering them to a cup. After seeing what the LA organization has done for their fans ($1 million back into the community) compared with the five bullshit sentences, can the fucker at least give a night of free concessions or something that people can actually benefit from? Philly, for the first 4 games is giving out free concessions to all its fans. (beer too? prolly not). A number of teams are doing great things as a “sorry” “token of appreciation” for fans sticking with them. Rocky, as an original 6 owner, you can do better chief.

      • nextgame

        I’m taking a wait and see attitude. Just because they didn’t mention any gestures like these in the letter doesn’t mean they won’t do it at some point.
        If the end of the season rolls around without any kind of ‘make good’ gestures having been made, then I’ll probably be disappointed, and pissed.

        • Black JEM

          Like anything else wouldn’t have smacked of insincerity? What could they say. It was business – and it will happen again in 8 years if the players and owners cannot get on the same page as to where the league needs to go. Neither the players or the owners are all that worreid about the fans – they are generally hardcore and will show up if the games are being played. Not too many casual fans. And hell, it isn’t like this was a garbage strike and you had 4 months of garbage piling up on the curb – it just doesn’t matter all that much.

    • http://hesaid.midwestmentality.com/ JeromerInc

      He’s a Wirtz. I hoped for better, but didn’t truly expect it. And to be honest, I was heading down the path to forgiveness: checking the schedule against my work schedule, checking ticket prices, looking at sweaters, etc. But after reading that? Fuck ‘em.

    • detroit must die

      To be honest I don’t care, and here’s why:

      Even if the letter had been worded in fashion that would have been pleasing to you, would it have mattered? Would it have been genuine? I don’t think so, In the end this letter is advertising a brand same as a commercial or any other form of advertising, it’s public relations. Which is fine I suppose, I mean, the Hawks need to make money for me to be able to watch them. And I don’t really know what a letter would have done to smooth over the fact that Rocky was very much a part of the “Cynical Cash Grab” camp of the ownership.

      Whatever.

      • AirTrafficAJ

        Before reading this, I hadn’t even given it another thought. This letter actually made things worse…they’d been better off not writing it at all. If it’s public relations, it’s a shitty version of it.

        • detroit must die

          I completely understand the sentiment. Rocky’s not his old man. He’s still a Wirtz.

          • BodomSlayer

            I’m still of the mindset that Rocky was not one of the owners in favor of the lock out. In that regard, I wouldn’t want him apologizing on behalf of those idiots.

    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      I think these things were kind of orchestrated league-wide. (Doesn’t make it more palatable, I realize.) Most teams have released statements that are eerily similar–no apology, very little substance, just Thanks for being loyal and patient, let’s drop that puck. My guess is that teams will be acting more on their own when it comes to concession and merch deals, etc.

      But I agree with you 100% … even without apologizing they could have been more sincere, more authentic.

      Here’s my thing, though: the “covert” marketing blather is the part that really fucking burns me … it poses as a letter of contrition, but it relies THREE times in five sentences on mobilizing our fandom (“your patience and loyalty”; “your allegiance”; the “energy that you bring”)… which is to say, it asks us (twice) to “look forward” and buy tickets. It’s fucking absolutely hollow.

    • red palace

      Yeah, I don’t respond too well to having ‘imperatives’ laid on me by people who aren’t paying me for the privilege.

  • Sparky_The_Barbarian

    That’s about as tough a start to the schedule as an sadist could have dreamed up (since we don’t play the east). Here’s hoping adversity builds character, that we don’t get killed, and that what does not kill us makes us stronger.

  • Fleshrifle

    I hope Marlboro 72 and the rest of the core where busting lung capacity records for the past few months. If Q overuses those guys early, that stretch from March 25th to April 1st could get really ugly

    • Joe Banks

      And he will

    • DesertHawk

      I figure that since it’s just a half season, Q will have Keith and Seabs play somewhere between 55-60 min a game.

    • flahawkfan

      If he overuses Keith and Seabs at all, I don’t see how they’ll keep it going. It’s gonna be interesting.

  • jackattack

    The man formerly known as Smokin Herb Grigsby says; “Sam, Y U No Mention PHX Dates?”

    I for one am circling all three games, but Torres’ suspension will be up for the February 7th game in the desert, and the only Yotes game in Chicago is on 4/20. What a beautiful that day will be; high times and Raffi Torres’ funeral.

    • TMFF

      FUCK RAFFI TORRES!!!

      As Hossa as my witness and in the name of Jonathan Toews with the power of Black Magic, may that fucker rot (on the ice)! Oduya, come forth and destroy!

      • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        Heh … Oduya??

        • Joe Banks

          I too was puzzled by the Oduya comment.

        • Skags

          I think he meant whats his face.

          • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            O’Donnell?

      • 10thMountainFire

        I do not think even Johnny Oduya understands why you have called upon him to be an assassin.

        • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

          Odontya?

        • TMFF

          In my haste, I incorrectly stated Oduya when the obvious intention was Mayers.

          I need training Camp as well to unfuck myself too!

          Either way, FUCK RAFFI TORRES!!!

          • mightymikeD

            amen, brother

    • detroit must die

      In the throws of the lockout and having to preoccupy my time with things other than hockey, I had totally forgotten about that miserable excuse for human excrement

  • Joe Banks

    I’m sure everyone is whining about their schedule… it’s tough for everybody.

    I am much more concerned who our top six D men will be, and our top 12 forwards.

    Stunned the hawks brought up Ryan Stanton. how could they possibly fit him into the puzzle? There has to be a trade brewing…
    As much as I don’t like Stanton, he had a pretty good game last night.

  • Joe Banks

    I’m trying to wrap my head around how the bleep they are going to finalize this roster in one week.
    Does anyone know how many players they can carry?

    • SamFels

      Stanton makes sense. They need to bring in an extra d-man, Clendening is not ready and Olsen has been straight up awful for most of the season, barely cracking the lineup a lot of times. Stanton’s the next choice really, unless you’re dying to see Lebda, Lalonde, or Dahlbeck. And you’re not.

      • Joe Banks

        Every time I’ve seen Stanton, he sucked. (perhaps coincidence) last night, I saw what they see in him. laid a crushing check on their dman right before they scored the tying goal.

      • detroit must die

        Have a hard time believing that there is room for Stanton anywhere on the roster considering that Roszvial and Brookbank are now along for the ride as well.

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          Seabrook, Keith, Leddy, Oduya, Hammer, Roszival, Brookbank, Montador. That’s 8, which is more than enough. And even if Block is right about Montador’s concussion symptoms returning and he’s not available, do the ‘Hawks really need to carry more than 7 D?

          • red palace

            With the crowded schedule and the years on some of these fellas, I would say yes, at least seven. And it will take a few games to see who is performing and who is not.

            Q is going to keep Keith under 25 min a game, isn’t he? Isn’t he?

          • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            I can see ice times rising, actually. A short season, even compressed, means fresher legs come playoffs. And I remember Mirtle a short time ago mentioning that games per week is actually increasingly not crazy significantly … something like 3 or 4 percent more than what happens in an Olympic year.

          • detroit must die

            My thinking as well. And I know that Keith, Seabs, Leddy, Oduya, and Hjammer are going to see every minute of icetime that their health allows, leaving one playing spot to be platooned between 2-3 guys who are ahead of Olsen or Stanton.

            In other words, if Stanton sees NHL ice this season in any significant capacity, it will be because we are so banged up that we might as well already be looking forward to 2014 anyway

          • Gozer the Traveler

            Montador’s done. He re-scrambled his brains during a team workout; you gotta feel bad for the guy.

  • 10thMountainFire

    Crow is really going to have to have some games where he stands on his head. I hope he’s up to it… because this team is going to need a first rate backstop with that schedule.

    • red palace

      ballyb?

      Crow’s last shutout is now almost 21 months behind us. He’s due.

      • BodomSlayer

        Great, now you jinxed it lol.

        • ahnfire

          oh yay, we get to have these “arguments” again.

          • BodomSlayer

            You knew they were coming, lol.

      • http://twitter.com/oregon_hawk Oregon_hawk

        mother of all jinxes. Before the puck even drops on the season.

        Can crow go 2 for 2?

  • Accipiter

    And the 1st contract buyout is ……. (wait for it) ….

    Scott Gomez.

    • Joe Banks

      i wonder if the hawks plan on any buy outs?

      • MySpoonIsTooBig

        Buying out Rusty Olescz this summer makes seems like the obvious choice, he’ll only have 1 season left on his deal but since burying him in Rockford won’t remove his cap hit from the books per the new CBA it’s the only way to get his ~$3M hit off the books when the cap ceiling drops for 2013-’14. As for the second buyout they’re allowed, I’m not saying it’s going to happen or that I’d be happy to see it happen, but for the reasons laid out by Sam like a week ago the ‘Hawk have to at least be thinking about buying out Hossa in 2014. I love Panda and ideally I’d love to see him finish his career with the ‘Hawks, but considering the salary cap implications for the ‘Hawks if they don’t buy him out and he retires with 2 or 3 years left on his deal (he’ll be 42 by the time his contract expires) the long term risks of keeping him could easily outweigh the short term pain of having to part ways

        • BodomSlayer

          What happened to Rusty? I don’t even see him playing in Rockford…

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            maybe he like Gomez and Redden has also been told that he’s not playing anywhere this season in preparation of a buy out next summer….?

          • Accipiter

            Rusty injured his knee, again.

        • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          Is a scary situation. What really frightens me is that if you buy him out, there’s no one in the league that will come close to replacing what he does for us, not for 5.3 million anyway. Should be “interesting” to watch.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            Completely agree that there’s no one in the league that will come close to replacing what Hossa does for the ‘Hawks at his price tag. IF he does get bought out in the summer of 2014 it will have literally nothing to do with helping the 2014-’15 ‘Hawks and everything to do with protecting the ‘Hawks from a multi-year capocalypse in 2018 or 2019

    • Z-man19

      The part I don’t get is that he’s still going to count against their cap this year so why isn’t he going to play?

      • Accipiter

        So he doesn’t get hurt. If he is injured they can’t buy him out. He isn’t allowed to play anywhere.

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          Yup. They can’t buy him out until after this season, they can’t bury him in the AHL because his cap hit stay s on the books, so by not having him play anywhere this season there’s no risk that he’ll get hurt and disqualify them from buying him out.

        • Z-man19

          Ah, makes sense, shitty but makes sense

  • http://twitter.com/oregon_hawk Oregon_hawk

    Camp!

    Tracey Myers ‏@TramyersCSN

    First-day lines: 13-19-81, 10-36-88, 29-65-25, 52-16-67.#Blackhawks

    29-65-25. What…. is…. that (though, 52-16-67?!)

    • fleshrifle

      That looks like a question mark on each line. 13? 36? 65?

      But 52-16-67 looks cool but is there enough time to jell together for that line?
      Will the Q Blender just be getting the lumps out by game 42?

  • nextgame

    Picking nits.
    10 of first 12 on the road.
    Christ, that’s rough.
    Need at minimum .500 on the road games plus 2 home wins.
    7-5 after that brutal opening would be fantastic.
    Time to rub the sleep out of your eyes boys, and in a hurry!

  • Guest
    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      WTF? I don’t think that link is what you meant to post.

  • http://twitter.com/oregon_hawk Oregon_hawk

    Oh sweet jesus. Hawks org used “versatility” “center” and “shaw” in the same sentence.

    • Joe Banks

      Nothing new about that… (sigh)

  • Woods

    Anybody else concerned with Bowman’s comments about liking the team depth and personnel, yet two of his recent acquisitions don’t pass their physicals? And he says trade/acquisition before this season “unlikely”.

    • http://twitter.com/oregon_hawk Oregon_hawk

      Olesz and Montador are … i guess… ‘recent’. But you can’t fault him for having players on his team who are injured. Monty had a nasty concussion, and Olesz blew his knee out. Shit happens.

    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      I actually like our depth, too … except in goal where we are one human being deep. I think there’s a crash-and-burn there waiting to happen. Fingers crossed, obviously, but that’s the only area where I’m nervous.

      • Woods

        Yeah, I think the crash and burn potential is the problem I’m thinking of. Interesting lines today. Very very curious to see how these D-pairings perform.

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          I wouldn’t put a whole hell of a lot of stock in the line combos or D-pairings just yet, particularly yesterday’s. First of all, not all of the kids from Rockford were up – neither Saad nor Leddy were there yet, Leddy being a lock to make the cut and Saad definitely expected to compete for a roster spot himself. Second, and probably more importantly, this is a Q-run team we’re talking about. The lines a D-pairings will probably change a dozen times before the puck even drops on Saturday, and it’s not exactly as if the start of the season will spell the end of line combo changes. We know that Toews, Kane, Hossa, and Sharp will make up 4 of the top 6 forwards, we know that Seabrook and Keith will be 2 of the top 4 D, beyond that it’s a total crapshoot

      • Black JEM

        Amen to that – if Craw is bad, we are toast.

  • Z-man19

    So how many points will it take to get you into the playoffs? Math says about 56-58 points gets you in, the last week of the regular season is going to be crazy

  • Gozer the Traveler

    I was hoping the training camp would be filmed or televised on BHTV. Supposedly the Hawks will be scrimmaging the Hogs soon; would love to see that.

  • 2883

    Meh, the apology is what it is. They don’t care , they just want you back.

    This schedule is gonna suck. I think there are gonna be 2-3 teams that don’t deserve to make the playoffs that play well enough.

  • 2883

    If they want to thank the fans for sticking around they need to do the following:

    *Put money into NHLGamecenter Live. MLB.tv can be used as a model… really slick presentation and what not. Also, this season should be free for everyone.

    * Offer season ticket members who didn’t give up their tickets a small refund on continued loyalty (5-10%) if they continue for next year.

    * Don’t do this in 8 years.

  • The Cup And Back Again

    Sniff Sniff, smells like hockey in here

    • Accipiter

      Thats not hockey you are smelling. Someone posted their version of a backdoor play about 5hrs ago.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

        That’s why it smells so sharp.

        • Accipiter

          More like Kane.

  • mightymikeD

    Hmm. Have to alert people at work that Hockey is back, hence mmD may be “slightly below peak performance” the day after a game.. nice for them to schedule a Pacific Time game for starters.. 8 hour time difference, anyone?

    • Accipiter

      But its in the afternoon !

      • mightymikeD

        so it is.. or 11pm as it’s known around these parts.. which qualifies as an early game for me..

        • Accipiter

          Dedication is strong with this one.

    • birdhead

      I’ll take nineteen hours. Nine am hockey? Why not.

  • amontesawesome

    So I was trying to reacquaint myself with the Blackhawks by looking at some of the team’s stats from last year. Oh, wow, the Hawks have really strong Fenwick Close and Fenwick tied numbers, really great SF/60 and a decent SA/60, but OH GOD THE SV%.

    So that’s why watching them was nerve wracking. Now I remember.

  • 2883

    Are we doing fantasy hockey again this year?

    • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

      Did you change your email? I’m already signed up. There are 10 teams already. I can PM you link.

      • 2883

        Oh no, cubsfan2883 was my email? Locking out the league champ? Booooooooo

      • 2883

        Apparently we had two leagues… I won the other one or must have because I didn’t get any fantasy hockey invites and Jr’s was not renewed. you’d have to find a matching team to get me in and it’d make it a big league up to you HH

  • Accipiter

    Hmmm, Cam Barker signed with Vancouver.

    • ahnfire

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Paul the Fossil

    Morrissey’s column today is about the Rocky Wirtz letter the season ticket holders:

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/17560114-419/morrissey-blackhawks-dont-need-to-say-sorry-for-fans-to-return.html