This is an off-season recap blog, but I feel like I have to briefly touch on the all the Patrick Kane stuff. People need to chill the fuck out. The kid is 23 and likes to party. Everyone flipped out because Barstool Jr ran a piece with a bunch of eye witness reports from frat boys. Not exactly hard evidence. No charges pressed=No harm no foul. He has money to burn and likes to burn it on booze. The guy from the Trib who asked him to his face if he has a drinking problem is a complete dickhead. Kane doesn’t have a drinking problem because if he has a drinking problem that means I have drinking problem. And I am like 57% sure that I don’t have a drinking problem.
Stan Bowman just had the absolute best off-season of his career. He signed Sheldon Brookbank(more on him in a minute), drove up the price on Suter and Parise, and then sat back and watched the rest of the Central Division get worse.
The Red Wings lost Nik Lidstrom, the best defenseman of the last 20 years, to retirement and replaced him with nothing. Swung for the fences by going hard after both Parise and Suter, failed…and then had no plan B. All they did was get a year older.
The Preds were only able to lock down one of their All-Star defensemen. Ryan Suter went to Minnesota and the Preds matched the offer sheet to retain Shea Weber. According to Forbes, the Preds are more broke than a guy who contributes Blackhawks blogs to barstool. I have no idea how they came up with the money to pay Weber. Second mortgage on the stadium? Bake sale? OTPHJs from Carrie Underwood? Just baffles me. Either way they were fucked. Don’t sign him and alienate your redneck fan base who barely knows the Preds exist in the first place, or sign him and cripple the team financially for the foreseeable future. They decided to be a cripple.
I really didn’t think Columbus could get any worse, but I never should have doubted their ability to suck. They traded their only star and match-up problem for a bunch decent players and a nice prospect. If Rick Nash is a dollar, the Blue Jackets got two dimes and a nickel in return for him. They are a straight up JV NHL team.
The Blues re-signed a lot of their own guys, but didn’t do much other than that. They got hot last year, but they came crashing back down to earth in the playoffs. The Blues had a ton of guys with career years last season. Can’t possibly keep that up. And their Coach is Ken Hitchcock…kind of the drill sergeant dickhead type. He tends to wear out his welcome quickly. Wouldn’t surprise me with the team has a mutiny against him next season.
So everyone in the division took a big step back and the Blackhawks kept the best core in the game intact. I don’t want to get ahead of myself here, but I think we are looking at a minimum 8-peat in the Central Division. Most talent, best prospect pool, and everyone else sucks. I really like the Sheldon Brookbank signing too. He is a solid, stay-at-home type defenseman. Might not play every night, but will bring some toughness to the team. Having said that…Sheldon Brookbank might be the worst fighter in the NHL. I have watched a dozen or so of his fights and the guy just repeatedly gets his dome rocked. Yet he is still always ready to throw. Which I respect. Anybody can be tough if you’re tough. It takes real balls to be tough if you’re a pussy. Here is a gem of a video that kind of illustrates this point…
So if you’re 23, rich, and your team has the division locked down tight I think it’s perfectly fine to do 12oz curls until you drop in the offseason.
PS: I am going to be covering the Blackhawks, Notre Dame football, and some Big Ten when Big Cat tries to defend Wisconsin going for 2 when they are up 83-6 on Indiana this fall. Which will happen. You can follow me @BarstoolChief, but don’t everyone do it all at once because I think that might push White Sox guy over the edge.
PPS: Blogs will be shorter in the future.