Chicago Blackhawks: The NHL, Coach Q, Stan the Man and This and That
I haven't exactly been busy with the pen lately, but seriously, what is there to write about?
It would've been great if we were entering training camp, talking about dream prospects, imagining line combinations, hearing about players that are dinged up, goaltending competitions, you name it.
But alas, we are sitting around wondering if and when this season is going to begin.
And for those of you that follow hockey or are die hard fans, don't even bother trying to understand what is going on. Frankly, unless you are sitting in an owners chair, or if you are an NHLPA rep or Gary Bettman, you don't have a clue. Come to think of it, they may not even have a clue.
Any columnist, blogger, tweeter or what have you will give you a spin on it, dish out a rumor here or there, an inside source they know told them this. They will attempt to convince you that they are fully aware of what the players and the owners want and try in vain to keep you interested in the NHL.
The reality is, hockey is completely stalled at the moment and nobody is on the same page. And don't believe a word that the owners are on a united front as the enemy. That cannot possibly be.
Consider Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz and the concept of revenue sharing. Do you think he likes that the Edmonton Oilers ownership signed Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall to similar contracts to those of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews?
Absolutely, Eberle and Hall are statistically great players. And Sure, Toews and Kane were younger when they signed their deals too, but they had just been on a team that went to the conference finals and signed those deals the December before they won the Stanley Cup.
Eberle and Hall have yet to even sniff the playoffs, and other owners like Wirtz are being asked to subsidize those deals?
And do you honestly believe that an owner like Wirtz in a great hockey market likes the idea of cutting back player wages and sharing revenue so Gary Bettman can save the Phoenix Coyotes and New York Islanders while those clubs bring in an average of under 13,000 fans a game?
I seriously doubt it.
So, we should all just continue to be sad and stop wondering when the end will be. Will there be an end? I have no idea.
What I do know is this miserable. It's sad for all of those that thought that the NHL learned something from 2004-05. It's sad for those that thought it could never happen again, as those that orchestrate the highest level of hockey in the world would not let it happen again. Someone would raise a red flag, someone would say, "enough all ready."
It doesn't look like that's going to happen. Or at least it won't happen anytime soon. And come the beginning of October the music will not magically start up again and NHL fans will have nothing to follow. That is tragic, pathetic or any other negative word you can find to describe it.
It's a shame.
On another note...
Other than the fact that I am very sensitive and the NHL is hurting my feelings, is the lockout going to buy people some time?
Some people of note in the Chicago Blackhawks organization that come to mind are Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman.
Since the dismal end to the 2011-12 campaign, these two have come under fire. There were rumblings with Quenneville that there was a locker-room problem. The power play and penalty kill were a mess and nobody could understand why.
After Mike Haviland was let go and Coach Q had the opportunity to bring in Jamie Kompon, some felt this is his last shot.
If you ask me, that's a little harsh for a coach that brought the 'Hawks their first cup in 49 years, but if you believe that Coach Q is on a short leash, a long lockout would certainly extend that chord.
No full season and you have your scapegoat right there.
The same theory can be applied to "Stan-still" Bowman. He has indeed had some questionable decisions and the first time GM has looked a little in over his head when it comes to creating a balanced roster.
But here you will most likely have a shortened, if any season at all and that will certainly buy him some time.
My sincerest apologies for a bit of a rant here folks, but as you all know nothing you are reading lately with regards to the NHL is good news. It's one hot mess. None of it seems to make any sense at all. So, here's my contribution to the cause.
Thanks for reading.
Follow me on Twitter @andycampbell16
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