What’s wrong with this picture?





Is anybody else disturbed by the attitude projected in the responses to some of the questions posed to Viktor Stalberg and Bryan Bickell in their "Catching Up With" pieces on the Blackhawks website?

Here are the specific Q’s & A’s that struck me as odd:


What did you do this summer?
I’ve been fishing a lot, working out, and just relaxing and having fun with my family and friends.

Have you been working on any hockey skills?
I haven’t really skated yet. I’ll be back on the ice in August, so nothing as far as skills go yet, but hopefully soon.

Do you have any personal goals for the upcoming season?
To make it further in the playoffs, but that’s for the team. Personally, I just want to try to match what I did last year. I think that last year was a big year for me, so to match or improve it would be good.



What have you been up to this summer?
I’ve been back home in Sweden all summer, working out and playing as much golf as possible.

Are there specific skills you’re working on over the summer?
I haven’t worked on much yet, but I'm going to start skating again soon. There are a few things I want to get better at — get my hands a little softer, get better control and work on my balance a little bit.

What’s your personal goal for the upcoming season?
I don’t know if I have any personal goals in terms of points or goals. I want to be a bigger part of the team and help out as much as I can. I feel like I’m improving as a player, and that’s the biggest thing. I can improve my game in many ways, whether it’s playing on the penalty kill or power play. I definitely want to improve my overall game, so I can play more and help out.

(Links: here

and here

Am I being overly sensitive here? Am I reading too much into their replies? But what they say strikes me as somewhat contradictory in nature and distinctly lacking in desire, or drive, or urgency to improve their game.

While they both state that their goal for the upcoming season is to improve their own game as well as increase their contributions to the team, they both also state that up to this point (these interviews were published on the Hawks website 8-2 and 7-29 2011 respectively) they have done no hockey specific training or drills. And this with little more than 1 month to the opening of training camp.  Basically they’ve just been kickin’ it, according to them.

For a couple of guys that:  A) Would seemingly have a lot to prove in the upcoming season, and B) The team is counting on to step up their level of play, these responses don’t indicate (at least not to me) the kind of urgency and work ethic required to attain their stated goals.

I fully realize that these guys have to have some down time over the summer to let their bodies and minds heal and recharge. (Especially in Bickell’s case what with coming off wrist surgery and all.) But these interviews did little to inspire much confidence that we can expect any significant bump in production from either of these guys next season.

(Now, please proceed to tell me that the summer hockey doldrums are making my mind a ripe breeding ground for hyperbolic imaginings and that everything will be o.k.  I really need the reassuring right now.)

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