Three and a Half Men

Before I get to the main course, I guess I should probably address the numerous posts recently about Edzo and post game press conferences.  These things have NOTHING to do with the final outcome of the game.   Since when have people become so sensitive that they become absolutely outraged because a color commentator calls it like he sees it?  Right now, he’s an employee of Versus and NBC, not the Chicago Blackhawks.  Quite frankly, it’s an enormous waste of time and energy.

Joel Quenneville probably disagrees, but post-game press conferences are for the most part, an entirely pointless and meaningless exercise.  What Mike Babcock says after a game will not affect the next game and it shouldn’t make you want to rip his lungs out.  Why spike your blood pressure because a coach is giving his opinion? 

Ok, now that that’s finished, here’s what will probably end up being the final “Committed Indian” article Bobby and I write for this season.  It’s a little different; hope you enjoy it.

_________________________________________________________  

[John (J) and Bob (B) from FifthFeather.com enter a United Center conference room where they sit across from Rocky Wirtz (RW), John McDonough (JM) and Dale Tallon (DT).  An ominous figure stands in the shadows.]

JM:  Guys, thanks for coming.  We’ve been impressed with your work on the blog, FifthFeather.com, and in The Committed Indian.  We wanted to bring you guys in and see what your thoughts were on what we’re planning this summer.  And, no one’s giving up on these playoffs or beating Detroit yet; we’re just not sure you’ll be in The Committed Indian again before next season.

B: Well, thanks for having us. It’s our pleasure.  And, thanks for the complimentary Winter Classic pouch thongs, Mr. McDonough.  I haven’t seen these in stores…

J: Before we start, can I ask something?  How come you guys are always hounding the people selling The Committed Indians?  It’s their First Amendment right to stand out there.

RW:  Haha, of course I know that.  It’s just a tradition passed down in my family.  I put home games on TV for you; the least you can do is allow me to keep harassing them.

J: Fair enough.

DT:  On to business: As you know, we have some guys up for new paper this summer.  What do you guys think of a five-year, $10 million deal for Matt Walker?

[John lunges across the table.  Bob intercepts his outstretched hands before they reach the GM’s neck.]

B:  John, he’s joking!

DT: Of course I am.  Who do I look like, Pully?  Although I promised Q we’d sign Walker and that the two could be roommates on the road next season, his time has come to move on.

J:  Sorry, Dale.  Well in my opinion, your summer should break down like this: Get Barker, Versteeg and Bolland signed to reasonable contracts – nothing that will cripple your cap.  If they make it to July 1st without a contract and some team is foolish enough to sign them to offer sheets you can’t realistically match, then wave bye-bye.  That will give you more money to re-sign Havlat, but under no circumstances should you sign him to anything over five years. 

RW: Interesting.

J: It’s also important to get Kane and/or Toews locked up sometime this decade.  The last thing this franchise needs is to re-live the 1998 season all over again.  And, you need to seriously ask yourself, is Dustin Byfuglien here to stay, or can we pull in a king’s ransom after half of Canada wants to adopt him after the series he put together against Calgary and Vancouver?

B: I agree with my partner, and I think it’s important to hold the course with the defensemen.  With Seabrook and Campbell already signed and Barker due new paper, it’s time to take care of Duncan Keith, who did you all a little favor by playing like James Wisniewski after four beers and a knee surgery during the playoffs.  If Keith is the ace of this defensive staff, perhaps this offseason is a good time to talk extension.  Let Walker and Aaron Johnson walk, and then out of Hjalmarsson, Sopel and Hendry, you should have a nice set of six or seven defensemen.   

JM: And, what did you guys think of the marketing campaign this year?

B: I thought it was terrific.  The Kane and the little kid commercial: outstanding.  We all could’ve done without the “W” flags, though.

JM:  Yeah, I know, I couldn’t help myself.  It’s just too easy.  People see anything that has to do with the Cubs and they drool all over themselves while they reach into their wallets.  I can’t explain it.

[Suddenly, someone bursts through the conference room door.  It’s a stumbling Bobby Hull (BH) wearing leopard print earmuffs!]

BH:  Is this the Legends Club? 

RW:  Oh, Jesus, Bobby.  Dale, call the B.H. Crew.

BH: Anybody hear the one about why girl goalies aren’t as good as boy goalies?

B:  Who’s the B.H. Crew?!?

JM: Oh, the Bobby Hull Crew.  They’re responsible for making sure Bobby doesn’t pass out in public or wear animal print earmuffs again.

[Well-dressed men in sunglasses and earpieces quickly enter room and remove the once-golden jet.  As he’s dragged from the room, Hull screams, “It’s because girl goalies have a bigger five-hole!”]

DT: Anyway, Mr. McDonough, if you don’t mind, I wanted to ask them their thoughts on re-upping Marty.

J: Well, my partner and I kind of disagree on this one.  If he’s not going to take a pay cut, I think you have to let him walk.  You can’t sign someone with his track record to more than four or five years.  If you think the fans will be upset with you for losing him to another team, just wait to see what they say when he’s making $7 million next year and playing in 50 games.  You’ll have a full-scale riot in the 300 level.  Not to mention, in his best season, he got you 77 points.  Kane gave you 70 in his second season and people felt like he left a ton of points on the ice.

B: Well, for me the question is, do you think Martin Havlat is more valuable than Byfuglien and Sharp?  A healthy and happy Havlat could give you just as much production as those two.  You sign Havlat; you find suitors for the other two, and everything could be hunky dory.

J: Now the whole goalie thing: how did that go down last year?

JM:  That’s on me.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I got drunk one night last year during the playoffs watching the Capitals and Flyers.  I begged Dale to sign Huet – practically held a gun to his head.

DT: You did hold a gun to my head, you psycho!

JM: Oh, it was a ‘Patrick Kane for Rookie of the Year’ squirt gun, Dale.  Get over it! 

J:  That’s fine.  Goalies are wacky.  He had a decent year and Khabby has been no great shakes in the playoffs.  As long as Huet gets off to a strong start next year that should get the fans off your back.  He’ll be fine.

[Another person bursts through the conference room door.  This time it’s former Blackhawk Michael Handzus (MH), and he’s crying.]

MH: Oh, Dale!  Dale!  Please take me back!  Please!  Chicago looks so fun!  The Kings are terrible, and I hate L.A.!

DT: Michael, you had your chance, and you blew it.  Forty points for a second line center doesn’t cut it around here anymore.

RW:  Security! Get this Encino man nutjob out of here.  Again, I apologize. 

J: No problem.

B: Maybe you guys should get a lock for this room…

J: So … when are you guys going to extend Dale’s contract? 

[The ominous figure now makes his way to the table.  It’s Scotty Bowman.  He whispers something to Wirtz and McDonough.] 

RW:  Ok, time’s up.  Thanks for coming in.  See ya in October.

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11 Responses to Three and a Half Men

  1. Lou says:

    Great and very true opening statements. I fully agree and I was one caught up in the diatribe. They don’t impact the outcome but do impact the overall thrill of victory and agony of defeat (Thanks Jim McKay).

    Annoying Annonucers- like with the Bears games, you turn down the TV turn up the radio and hope they are in sync.

    I think my points on Babcock and his opinions, is that it is hard to stomach that Detroit is getting shafted on all calls. Maybe it is like how the Jordan rules worked for us. We haven’t been close to angels and we deserve a lot of penalties we get, but they get away with a lot.

    Unfortunately, I think Q’s comments are gonna impact the game by putting more strictness into tonight’s game. Thus, the miniscule effect. Yeah, he said what was on his mind and let everyone know it. He also showed he lost control as well. He cost himself $10K and is now going to have him and his team watched a little closer than before. Refs hold the whistle and the whistle is power. Don’t agitate the stripes.

  2. Lou says:

    Interestig, what would you trade Shrp for?????

    WOuld you pursue a d-man like Kommisarek in lieu of Havlat?

  3. blackhawkbob says:

    Lou, in today’s NHL, I think the successful GMs identify and compensate four or five key players and otherwise attempt to use superior scouting for a revolving door of role players.

    As for Sharp and Byfuglien, I think Tallon will have to decide whether each – or both – is part of the nucleus, or if Havlat is the piece to stay. Unfortunately, I don’t think there will be enough cash to keep this entire group in tact going forward, so tough decisions have to be made. Remember, the entire $13 million coming off the books for Havlat and Khabibulin this offseason could all be eaten up by Kane, Toews and Keith extensions. And, if you believe many folks about the salary cap in seasons after ’09-’10, the Hawks may still have to shed salary.

    And, no, I wouldn’t pursue Kommisarek; he’ll be too costly.

  4. John says:

    I would also add the Hawks are hardly the only team with cap question marks. There seems to be quite a bit of hand-wringing over the Hawks ability/or inability to manage the cap. This is happening all over the league. The good teams have no room, the bad teams have room but no money to spend. The important players will be here, no need to fret.

  5. Lou says:

    Bob, great analysis. First time I had heard Sharp in the mix. Was interested in the thought on that one.

    It was interesting on TV last night with Dan Pompeii and some of the other local sports guys on who they would or wouldn’t sign. Concensues was Toews must be resigned no questions asked. Keith was pretty much the same. There was lots of talk about trading Kane now. I thought that was a interesting. I think the cap money is and has been slotted for those three with Havlat being a new twist. Trading Kane could be devasting and I think the wrong move.

    I figure Toews gets the longest deal. Kane probably the most per year in a shorter deal and Keith a good deal but not as much as he would have got mid year.

    And we have Beach coming up and if he can be controlled from himself, he can make Buff tradeable very quickly.

  6. John says:

    Dan Pompeii, the Chicago Tribune’s head football writer giving you hockey advice at half the cost.

    Please Lou, stop watching Chicago Tribune Live. It will only make you dumber.

  7. Leonidas says:

    http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/icing/2009/05/havlat-khabibulin-miss-blackhawks-practice.html

    The video at the bottom kind of summarizes series as it stands. Man where was Matt Walker to dish out some physicality? Can Q really justify singing him?

    I must ask this again as the 2.5M perplexes me: How is Sopel going to fit into the future D mix? Matched up with Campbell? Does he need to audition for the role? Or can they dump him and find another Ham Sandwich, or maybe a Turkey Croissant?

  8. blackhawkbob says:

    1) The Hawks are in a great position. They’ve built up enough talented youth that they’ll have to decide which of the talented youngsters stay and which can’t. Assuming they make the correct decisions, they should be set for the next three to five years – or more. For now, that’s more than about 25 other teams can say.

    2) Though the Hawks would never say so because of the NHL injury policy, I can only assume Brent Sopel played during the first part of the year with a significant injury – so significant it required surgery and a few months off. I expect he’ll return to something like his ’07-’08 form next year and play with either Brian Campbell or Cam Barker. One thing’s for sure: they won’t be able to move his salary.

  9. Lou says:

    Just pointed out the that is what the scuttle was. Apparently you saw it too. Don’t worry, I was humored by them but a perspective is a perspective.

    Sopel had elbow surgery of some kind. I think we are stuck with him until his contract is up unless we get one of those you take this guy will take that guy cap trades

  10. John says:

    I didn’t watch, heard it through the grape vine though. That show is playing on loop in the ninth level of Hell. Let’s get three media members together and have them talk about sports they never cover, BRILLIANT!!!

  11. Lou says:

    You are far better than I and scarily it was the only thing on at the time.

    Thank God you guys provide the reality checks!

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