bollig shaw tonk

Generally speaking, we here at Cheer The Anthem are of a “Live-and-let-live” mentality when it comes to other blogs.  There is little value in calling out other fans of the team we follow. However, sometimes, something is written that is just too monumentally awful and wrong and dumb to avoid commenting on it. One of those things was written today by John Jaeckel over at Hockeybuzz, the place where braincells go to putrefy. Now, JJ is apparently a good guy and I’m happy that that’s the case.. but he doesn’t half talk some complete bollocks on his website. So, in time-honoured fashion, I Fisked his latest pronouncements.

 

RUMORS

The rumors continue to swirl around Johnny Oduya being in play.

Much like LA Kings forwards, amirite? Swirling around? Oduya? Oh, please yoursleves. 

Not too terribly much new to report, except another name getting some play is that of Patrick Sharp. 

If Patrick Sharp isn’t getting some play, then there is no hope for the rest of us and we may as well resign ourselves to spending our days responding earnestly to comments on Hockeybuzz. Or bury ourselves alive in a cesspit. Pretty much the same thing in the end. 

Sharp’s “story” is interesting because, in addition to some scuttlebutt about conflict with teammates, I’ve heard a surprising amount of feedback from fans and especially season ticket holders with a good deal of player access that Sharp has a “personality problem,” is “too aloof,” etc. 

 

Not sure where to begin with this, possibly the dumbest sentence written about Chicago sports this year by someone who isn’t David Haugh or Al Yellon.  Sharp’s “Story” is clearly related to those ones about the three Bruins who terrorized a young girl in a breakfast restaurant, or that one about Marc Andre Fleury trying to cross a bridge that Zdeno Chara was lurking under.. in that it’s a Fairytale, as usually related to small children (intellectual giants compared to Hockeybuzz readers, I know). I like to think that JJ has the whole “Conflict with teammates” angle going because he’s only just seen those BHTV videos of Burish & Sharp hiding Toews’ bag (and, obviously, JJ has never really accepted that Burish is truly gone) and sees these juvenile pranks as the cancer that killed the Hawks this year. 

In addition, we have the “Feedback from fans”.. see any number of callers to the Score for an idea of how good that shit be. Then there is the creme de la merde “Season ticket holders with a good deal of player access”. Who are these people? If you have a good deal of player access you are:

a) A member of the Blackhawks Organisation (not a season ticket holder)

b) A member of the Media (again, Press Pass rather than STH) or

c) You ARE a STH and think standing in line for an hour to get Andrew Shaw’s autograph at the Convention is “Access”

If Sharp has a “personality problem” it is that he actually HAS a personality.. which (along with the handsome) is why the Hawks get him in front of a camera at every opportunity

Now this all has to be taken with a huge grain of salt. It’s all hearsay. That said, when you hear it over and over, it does make you pause and wonder. 

No one is hearing this at all, let alone “over and over”. The only place that this is heard is in the tiny corner of your brain that isn’t fully occupied by echoes of Brian Blessed bellowing “WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE WITH YOUR LIFE?”

Further, Sharp is 32, highly paid and coming off a less than stellar playoffs. Though that, I’m hearing, might be due to having played with a shoulder separation.

 

Excellent Hockey player, just coming off his peak years, is well paid. Stop the presses, guys, this one is going to be bigger than that time I saw Bigfoot rogering Elvis in my oatmeal. I’ll grant, Sharp had a less-than-stellar playoffs, based on his stellar previous year. That’s what happens. Can I also point out that he had a Career-Best 78 points in the Reg Season, and led the team in Goals and Points this year? Also wears an ‘A’? Now, I’m sure the Hawks would move Sharp if the price was right, but believe you me, they will not move him because he rubs Brandon Bollig up the wrong way in the locker room. 



THOUGHTS

Oh, goody.  *straps self in*

On Patrick Kane.

I have been hearing for months that Kane’s re-signing in Chicago is not nearly the slam dunk that Jonathan Toews’ is. 

JJ has been reading Hockeybuzz too much. That shit will rot your brains JJ.. actually, never mind.. carry on..

But if I had to bet today, Kane’s next contract has him in Chicago.

JJ can’t bet on this, because he already took a bath on betting that the Sun will rise (lousy odds) and that water will be wet (1/1,567,000,000,000)

That said, my personal belief, based on all I’ve heard, is that Kane loves the spotlight (and that is not all bad), and as such, he doesn’t necessarily like being the #2 guy in terms of who’s perceived as the straw that stirs the drink.

Ah.. a drink reference in there with Patrick Kane.  I bet that Univerity Of Phoenix correspondence course in Shitty Journalism you took  would be proud, if it wasn’t a computer program.  Patrick Kane loves the spotlight, so clearly he’s keen to get away from a huge, Hockey-loving city where he’s one of the faces of the organisation. 


Does Kane want to go just anywhere? Doubtful. But personally, I could see Kane wanting to perhaps, in a daydream, return home to Buffalo as the cornerstone of a rebuilt Sabres club. Will that happen? Again, I doubt it, but you never know. There is a lot of money riding on Kane staying in Chicago. And money usually talks.

This again? The Sabres have barely started their rebuild and, at best, they will rebuild to being the Columbus Blue Jackets. Their five-year goal is to be a playoff team. Patrick Kane will be 30 in five years. He has two Stanley Cup rings already in Chicago. They are going to erect a statue of him outside the UC and retire his number. Does anyone, anyone at all actually believe for a second that he will spend his prime years as the centerpiece of a team that considers a 1st Round exit as a triumph? JJ gets one thing right here, though: money does usually talk and that will be the gigantic dumptruck of it that makes Kane a Hawk for the foreseeable future. This is a ‘Daydream’ from which he wakes up screaming. 

On Ryan Kesler.

Who dat?

The story I heard in late February/early March was that when Kane retuned from Sochi, he lobbied Hawk management to make a move on his Olympic teammate and linemate, Ryan Kesler. I was told that Stan Bowman did talk to then-Vancouver GM Mike Gillis, names were exchanged and Kesler did express a strong desire to play in Chicago—as in Chicago would be #1 on his list. 

 

Aging superstar on a team bound for the shitter for years to come wants to go and play for a perennial Cup challenger. Have we still got the presses held?  I’d bet that Kane’s “lobbying” consisted of Bowman asking “How was Sochi?” and Kane saying “It was cool, Kesler was great”. If Stan spoke to Gillis, I’m sure that GMMG did his usual realistic valuation of his players and suggested Toews, Leddy, Teravainen and a 1st back in return. 

I also heard Bowman and Gillis agreed to table the discussion until before the draft. Vancouver now has a new GM, but the arithmetic of Kesler staying in Vancouver (or not) remains the same. The Canucks pretty much need to rebuild; Kesler is a traceable chip. And he fits the Hawks’ needs like a glove.

 

First off, I know it’s a cheap shot, but I’m going to mock the typo.. round here a “Traceable Chip” is what a vet implants into the ear of a cow bound for beefsteak. Or into the ankle bracelet of a young offender out on parole. And, while I like Kesler, I’m really not sure an injury-prone 29 year-old who will make $5 million a year against the Cap for the next two seasons “Fits like a glove”.. in a world where Mikhail Grabovski could likely be had for the same money over another year or two, and also not having to give up anything in terms of picks, prospects or players, I think Kesler becomes irrelevant.  But this is the hardest beater of the “Kane 4 Miller” drum, so I’m wasting my time here. 


On the 2013-14 Blackhawks.

The Hawks go into the offseason probably in search of another center, but the good news is, they found one this past season. Marcus Kruger dispelled two myths this past season. The first that he should be at wing and not center. Kruger dramatically improved the weakest part of his pivot game this past season, face-offs, and now can truly be counted on by Joel Quenneville. 

 

After blithering on about Ryan Kesler he suggests the Hawks “Probably” need a Center. And then lays the surprise on us that Marcus Kruger is a center! Like he has been for a couple of years now! Seriously, when was the last time anyone suggested Kruger as a winger? I’d say JJ was making this shit up, but I’ve seen the suggestions in his comment threads. But I’m glad to see him confirm that Q trusts that guy who helped him win a Cup last year. Thanks for that, JJ. 

The second myth is that he is “concussion-prone.” The fact is, Kruger takes too many hits. But, he keeps getting up.

 

Kruger has missed one game in each of the last two seasons.. so I don’t really think he’s concussion prone.. And yes, he gets plastered, night after night, and gets back up. Where are you going with this JJ? Is there a big revelation about to drop on us?

Brandon Saad has now established himself as a top scoring threat.

Apparently not. Now we are stating the bleeding obvious. 

And although I take any official tweet of the Blackhawks with a block of salt, the line of Andrew Shaw, Saad and Kane just might be something the Hawks can go to war with next season. 

Official tweets by the Blackhawks are the closest to an actual source JJ has seen in years. Before that he had to use unofficial tweets by the second cousin of a girl who dated the janitor who once worked with the guy who empties the trashcans in Bowman’s office. 

That could just as easily be posturing meant to improve the Hawks’ trade stance with other teams—and they really do want to acquire a more natural #2 Center than Shaw is. But we’ll see.

 

“Hey, this line that wreaked havoc on one of the best teams in the NHL? We may do that again next year, unless you let us have a really good 2C in which case we promise not to put these guys together again!”

The Hawks were a very, very good but slightly flawed team this past season. And that’s the thing. Over the course of an 82 game season and 3-4 rounds of playoffs, flaws are going to be exposed.

Flawless is the only thing that JJ and his readers will accept.  If the Hawks don’t go 82-0-0 in the Reg. and 16-0 in the playoffs while winning each game 12-0, then surely it’s time to fold the team. 

I’ll be back with more soon.

Oh, I’m sure you will. Much like that past-its-sell-by-date burrito I ate earlier.