We’re talking about practice.
Since the Blackhawks held their rookie camp way back when Dale Tallon was still General Manager of the team, they have called Johnny’s Ice House their official practice facility. That wasn’t the plan, of course. Last March, it was announced the Blackhawks agreed to move their practice facility to four vacant parcels located just six blocks west of the United Center. The Hawks would build their brand-spanking-new practice facility there, along with Johnny’s Ice House gaining another sheet of ice to use at their disposal. They’d be all moved in by training camp, they were told.
Ah, my dear friends, this is the City of Chicago we’re talking about and nothing gets built here on a normal timetable. Or maybe it’s because Stan suddenly has a little bit more on his plate.
Fast forward to the present and the Hawks are still using Johnny’s Ice House as their practice facility. Of course, Johnny’s has absolutely zero amenities for the Hawks. No workout facility, no private locker rooms, no coaches room, no trainer’s room.
You know how the Hawks get to practice everyday? They get dressed in the United Center locker rooms, hop in a bus, go the four blocks to Johnny’s in nearly full equipment, hit the ice, then when practice is over, they take a bus back to the United Center to change out of their equipment.
It makes the Edge in Bensenville seem like King Jafar’s Palace.
I highly doubt you’ll ever hear any of the players complain about this. The last thing anyone wants to hear is some millionaire athlete complaining about not getting his way. At the same time, though, I can’t help but think this is starting to become quite the nuisance for some players on the team.
But we shouldn’t forget about the people who probably hate the fact that the Hawks don’t have their own practice facility more than anyone else….the equipment managers. Not only do they have to pack up all the multiple sticks and gloves players cycle through, they have to bring it all back to the United Center when practice is over. Then they do it all again the next day. It’s almost like they’ve been on the road since the season started.
In case you were wondering, the new timetable for when Johnny’s West will open is by early January 2010. That’s assuming the City of Chicago approves all the inspections, which actually means that Rocky Wirtz will be signing off on a few more checks this month.
Or maybe this really isn’t an issue and Allen Iverson was right all along.
*On the Farm*
–Byron Froese scored on the power play and had an assist in Everett’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Portland Winterhawks.
—Kyle Beach was scoreless in Spokane’s 3-0 win over the Prince George Cougars.