Summer is a tough time for a hockey blogger. Sure, there’s the draft and free agency, but it’s nothing like the playoffs or even regular season. I don’t make a bowl of popcorn and sit down in front of the TV to watch it. So this post is going to be my take on what’s going on with the Blackhawks, as well as some odds and ends of what’s going on with me.
Brandon Bollig and the Salary Cap
In a somewhat expected move, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowmen sent Brandon Bollig to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a third round draft pick. This was pretty much obviously a move based on money, as they’re going to be running tight against the salary cap this year. Right now they’re the 2nd closest team in the league to the cap, only behind Philadelphia. That doesn’t give a whole lot of room to work with.
Bollig won’t be missed too much by fans, but he was a decent player who pulled of some clutch moments when the Hawks needed him. It has to be frustrating for him to get traded from a Cup contender to a cellar dweller, but maybe he’ll get some more ice time that way and work his way up to a bigger salary. The Hawks and Flames aren’t exactly rivals, so don’t expect much more than a footnote about Bollig when Calgary comes to town.
The 2014 schedule has been released, and the Hawks will open on the road in Dallas on October 9. Their first game at home is on the 11th against Buffalo, which hopefully will be an easy win. They should have a strong start to the season, also playing Calgary, Nashville twice, and Philadelphia before facing their first big challenge of the Blues on Oct 25.
They have a string of 6 games in a row on the road in November, and 7 in January, but then get to stay home for 8 in a row in February, which will be nice. They’ll need that against Pittsburgh, Detroit, Colorado, and Boston all in a row. They last 4 games of the season could be extremely important as well, playing the Blues twice, Wild, and Avalanche to end the year April 11. That could determine quite a bit for the playoffs.
Of course, the highlight of the schedule is the 2015 Winter Classic, where The Hawks will face off against the Caps in the nation’s capital. The Blackhawks should be fine playing outside, as they’re now tied with the Penguins for most outdoor games at three. They played against the Wings at Wrigley and the Pens at Soldier Field, but this will be their first time in another city. The Caps could struggle this year, but they’ll go all out for this game.
What’s New With Me
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that my wife and I are expecting a son in October! We’re due on October 10, so I hope the baby isn’t a day early so I can watch the Hawks first game. I guess they’ll have a TV in the delivery room just in case!
We’ve been frantically getting stuff ready for the baby, which means a lot of re-modeling, landscape work, and decorating. We ordered some really cool stone paneling and installed it ourselves, which was surprisingly easy. You can check it out here, it’s the castle stone. It looks fantastic and it’s nice to be getting things done while we have the extra time.
We also painted the walls sky blue and are getting decorations. We decided to go with an airplane theme for the room. My uncle’s a motorcycle lawyer and was really pushing us to go with a bike theme, buy my wife and I thought planes would be perfect. He’s sending a little Harley-looking onesie though, which is hilarious. My idea of a Blackhawks themed room was quickly shot down. Oh well, maybe next time.
Anyway, I’ll keep posting every once in a while this summer if there’s any big news.
One more thing… I’ve caught the World Cup fever! GO USA!