Kane Scores on Schneider

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Kane showing his skills in Sweden on a shootout goal.

http://www.csnchicago.com/pages/video?PID=p0HT_jBgPcLunvUOH4vG_fg2qY5zd4kA 

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  • Well, I have come to believe that the NHL players are sniffing in the wind that a majority of fans would prefer to just see the season cancelled. I find it kind of funny that many bloggers are saying that the NHL needs to play at least 48 games to avoid having it look like a money grab. I dunno, a lot of guys I talk to considered credibility gone when the first game was missed this year. I think we see the solution by the end of this week which gives just enough time for a short training camp before resuming around Jan 15.

    If that happens, we will have plenty to talk about. In the meantime, just for discussion sake, I think this lockout was a good thing for the Hawks. For two seasons now, we have not seen forward movement. for cap reasons, the winning team was blown up and the team, at best, has been treading water waiting for SB to collect prospects and trade out of bad contracts like Campbell's. I don't fault him for not going batshit through two free agencies where the talent at the top received ridiculous payday's. Even still he could be over the cap in the new deal, but the Hawks are in much better shape then many teams and we have some prospects to at least have some optimism about.

    As for a guy like Kane, I can only hope that this lockout and his experience in Europe has given him some maturity he absolutely would not have gained here. At the least, he is playing hockey and is NOT partying with his entourage. Likely, there is probably very little for him to do there BUT play hockey and perhaps, he may be rubbing elbows with other young men who can give him some perspective on exactly how lucky he is. When and if the day comes that Kane starts to act a bit more like Toews on and off the ice, I think he could become a monster. But, he could always be the guy who consistently puts up 25-30 goals and never does more. Who knows.

    As for the guys like Leddy, Kruger, Shaw, Ben Smith, Bollig, and a couple of others just coming up from college, I think they have gotten a rare opportunity precisely because of the lockout. Rather then being truly demoted to a level of hockey one below the NHL, these players have all gotten to play against a blended level of AHL and NHL talent. So, without having to deal with the emotional baggage of feeling demoted, they have gotten to play against still solid talent but at a pace slightly below the NHL level. While this will be great for these players individually, the big question will still be what does Stan do with them?

    What we won't get this year is our wish that Q be replaced. On the plus side, it's been half a season he hasn't been allowed to fuck with a player's head the way he did Brouwer. Still, much as I like players like Leddy and Kruger, they will never, ever be the bone crushing players that many want to see here. Even I would admit the Hawks need such players and the coaching staff needs to evolve well beyond Q's game of stretch passes and puck control that lasts for two whole minutes before a turnover that goes 200 feet the other way and scores in 5 seconds.

    Still, when and if they come back for a shortened season, it will be much easier to accept for me that this is not a real season and that from the first game to the last, it will be an extended tryout to determine what happens in the free agency, which, BTW, should have quite a few good players available. Admittedly, the clock is ticking on Kane and Toews who will have two seasons after this year. I can't imagine the Hawks are able to keep both when their contracts expire. Still, though there are some players I really like who have contracts that only go though 2014 (in some cases), the time has come for Bowman to truly finish deciding what kind of team he wants for the future.

    Anyway, that's more then enough. Happy New Year everyone

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