Always look on the bright side of life

Well, I've finally reached a point of acceptance at the prospect of seeing the season cancelled and am actually starting to hope that this is what happens. In principle, I have agreed with the players from the start and still do. The owners got everything they wanted in the last lockout, put in rules to save them from themselves, and promptly circumvented all those rules to again escalate salaries. Be that as it may, I have grown tired of listening to the players who make the most money complain about how badly they will be screwed when they will still make ungodly amounts of money no matter what happens. Crosby and Toews will never work a day in their lives after hockey, the same cannot be said for many rank and file players. How the top paid players can somehow see their claim as different from the claim of financially strong team owners baffles me. It's the same freaking argument, it is a matter of greed. Clearly lost on both owners and players, more so the players, is that it is the fans who pay their salaries.

Coming out of the last lockout, at least there were some changes to consider and some excitement that maybe the game would open up a bit. Coming out of this one, there will only be the realization that this entire pissing contest was about greed and we are the chumps who really don't have any way to avoid supporting it. The league and players will come back and call us the greatest fans in the world, but it will be hollow bullshit which is one of several reasons I really don't want to see this season started. I say to owners and players both, go continue your greed spat out in the woods somewhere and come back when you have it settled. But whatever you do, give up on trying to gain support through whining in the media. You are both a bunch of little bitches and when you finally get your hair pulling done, we the fans can go back to paying way too much money to attend hockey games and buying too small jersey's to stretch over our beer guts.

So, what is the bright side? Well, for one, you have all been spared the lengthy ramblings of VegasHawksFan. That's gotta be worth something. As for the Hawks, I see good and bad, but more good. First and foremost, it's a season burned off Q's contract without having to scream in outrage at the TV. Most of us on this site clearly agree it is time for Q to go and to take his cronies with him. While I disagree with some here in the impact of just changing the coach, I do heartily agree that there has been little evolution since 2010. Gone is the talent that made that work, still present is the stubbornness to keep doing the same damn thing that every team is prepared for. Additionally, this blocks BOTH Q and Stan from playing players who are not ready for the NHL. Since I really can't follow the Hogs from out here, I have no idea how well this is benefiting Leddy. Still, the fact remains, he and several potential teammates are being given a chance to play together and develop in what is probably a better environment to do so. If they start to come up together, this could be very beneficial.

Another plus is that guys the Hawks concussed players have had an extended period to help try and heal and that is huge. Looking at contracts, here is where the good and bad starts. More then likely, if the season is cancelled, we have probably seen the last of Bryan Bickell. For what it's worth, a lotta guys just like him would probably be out of the league, but in his case, whether it's him or Q is hard to say. What isn't hard to say is that it just doesn't seem like he is able to make a niche for himself. If we start next year, we also have Hammer in a contract year and there would likely be absolutely no better time to trade him. I have nothing against him at all and expect he will do very well in another system (probably the freaking Wings). But with the acquisition of Oduya, and presence of new D faces in Rockford, I see no reason to keep Hammer if you are committed to Leddy on the second line. Also in the last years of their contract will be Bolland and Frolik. Both of these guys are wild cards to me. Bolland is a huge fan favorite and for now is the epitome of a shutdown center. Is Kruger destined to be that guy? I don't know. Bolland is a guy I would really like to see the Hawks keep, but I would not call him untouchable with the guys in the system coming up, especially if he (and Frolik) is having the proverbial "contract season". There might not be a better time to sell high.

On the down side, a lost season would put the Hawks in the position of having to try to reacquire Stalberg as a free agent while also having to possibly contend with offer sheets on Kruger and Leddy. If a contract cleanse of some kind becomes a part of the new CBA, then we might see a boatload of talent hit the free agency market after teams dump their bad contracts. This could bode VERY well for a team like the Hawks who have a GM who did not go apeshit the last two years handcuffing himself with shitty contracts extended to marginal free agents. IF such a market occurs, then keeping Stalberg, Kruger and Leddy might not be so tough do to. Additionally, if they basically reset the draft and come up with a redraw of all 30 teams, we can probably assume the horseshoe up Tambellini's ass will net them the first pick, AGAIN, but then maybe the Hawks fall in the top ten? That wouldn't be too bad. To lose a guy like Stals with no compensation would be a bad deal. But, and this is probably a better topic for future discussion, I see the Hawks as a team in a very good position to deal with a post lockout world. They are not overly burdened with bad contracts, they are not at the current cap limit and they have what could turn out to be some very solid players in their pipeline.

As of this writing, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to bring in a mediator, as opposed to arbitrator, to help move things along. It could be good, but my general feeling is still, Meh. With nothing else going on, hopefully there are some things here to start discussion.

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  • I am beginning to feel the same way about the possibilities of any season at all, and agree very much with your comments on both sides of the argument. Who I am most sad for, are the small business owners, and other "small" folk that depend on the NHL to make money. These are the people really getting screwed.

    On the Hawks, post lockout, I am optimistic as well. They do seem to be in a decent situation. But, will this year count towards their contracts without any hockey? I don't think it does, especially in the case of Leddy, because these players have 2-way contracts which even allows for them to play in the AHL in the first place. However, it might not matter, as he hasn't really been all that great for the Hogs if what I have read is correct. I have not given up on Leddy, but I don't count him in on the Hawks future either. Same goes for Kruger. I just don't see it. Add in the fact that many of the other centers are playing well for the Hogs, especially Brandon Pirri Whom I thought looked pretty strong in his few NHL games; it seems to spell the end for Kruger's possibilities as a Hawk. I will not overlook his PK potential though.

    Bolland has to stay, especially after his rash Tweet about Bettman recently. He is a great player, a great person, and does many things that are just too hard to find in a guy who can play both ends of the ice like he does. Opening his mouth before thinking is just one of them. So, essentially, the Hawks will be looking to fill that already existing hole in the 3rd/2nd-line center spot. My money is on Pirri.

    To lose Stalberg without anything in return would be a terrible outcome. Given what Stalberg is doing in Swedish Ellite, he looks prime for a big return. Frolik is also doing well, but offers a larger question, though I hope he works out for the Hawks.

    At this point, if other needy and innocent people were not getting hurt by the lockout, I would share your sentiment Vegas. Let them lose more money. I am a huge fan, and I love the game, but I have better things to do than to listen to this bickering, and I do not need hockey to be happy (as long as I get my personal fix on the ice). Like you said, they should realize who the real share holders are, the fans are the ones paying their checks at the end of the day.

  • In reply to Hostile Hawk:

    My understanding is that contracts continue to decline, so as the year goes by, the players will return with one less year of contract. I did forget to mention the people who make a living around the periphery of hockey and I'm glad you did. People like that always get burned when rich people are having a spat over who deserves to get the most overpaid.

    Before longer term decisions on players are to be made, I would like to see a change in philosophy or coaching staff. Right now, the Hawks still retain a sizable chunk of talent and to me, the continued question is, do we need more skill or do we need to trade some skill for consistent steady play. IF this season is lost and the team is going to bring up some kids, I would think this would force Q (or whomever) to simplify the game. But, we've been waiting for that for a long time eh?

  • Greetings from down on the farm. I have no comments on the lockout other than to agree extra time for concussion healing and prospect development will greatly benefit the Hawks if and when a season starts.

    Watching AHL+ has been great, from the elevated caliber of play on the ice to the
    thrill of studying Q, Kitch, Stan B and Scottie B while they study our Icehogs. unfortunately, our boys are having trouble finishing. Pretty mediocre record, inconsistent play at both ends. Lead the league in penalty minutes. Pirri has
    been excellent, best player on the ice. I think Kruger has been good too, not putting up big numbers but confident and always around the puck. Leddy hasn't shown much and was hurt for several games. Shaw was
    suspended, still constantly agitating. Bollig beat the crap out of several guys. Hayes has been nowhere, partly due to playing a lot of center. Now there's a project. Great kid but hasn't established much of a game.
    Kyle Beach reminds me of Adam Burrish, a yapper who can scrap and score.

    The Icehogs mainly lack offensive rhythm which, predictably, never develops into
    anything. Interesting power play approach- 3 forwards stop at the blue line, puck carrier drops the puck to an on rushing defenseman who leads the rush into the zone. It works pretty well because the forwards actually trap the trapping penalty kill. The rushing d-man has a ton of ice to work with while the forwards break like hell for the net. it's great to watch. Though truthfully it's no more effective than the hawks', which should depress you.

  • Alright well this is b*llsh*t!! Its time we start a strike of our own. I would LOVE to create a movement by the fans and for the fans that creates enough exposure to reach the ears and wallets of the players and owners in the NHL. I would like to start a "Stay Out" and get hockey fans from across the country to pledge not to return to the rinks, buy the merchandise or pay for the programming for the first portion of whenever the next season begins! There is nothing I would like more than to see news coverage of games played at totally empty arenas across the country upon their return. (Whenever that may be) Even if it were just for the first game or two (realistically speaking) just as long as it was something that said "F*ck you" from all of the fans.

  • Anyone want to help write a mission statement/pledge? :)

  • In reply to OneTeam:

    I agree with you OneTeam, there needs to be more integrity among the civilians, not to buy the crap we are fed. I am with you on the strike idea, but getting it to be large enough would be difficult. I wish there was a way to make sure that the little guys were safe first. There are so many vendors and small businesses taking hits that they just can't afford. The owners and players should be forking over some cash to these people.

    I would be honored to help write a mission statement.

  • BTW, check this out

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