Well, it's been quite the season, hasn't it? One of the more unexpected developments has been the arrival into the Hawks family of several new faces, either through trades or by bus from Rockford. Some have gotten their own Twitter meme, others have had a hasty midnight burial in a shallow grave. So, let's take a look at some of these additions and how we see them developing in the future.
Who He?: Made an immediate impact on the NHL by comprehensively losing a fight to Zac Rinaldo on his second ever shift. He has since proved that this was no flash in the pan by going on to get his ass handed to him by Kyle Chipchura and Brendan Smith. Coach Q is said to be very pleased that he has someone who can fill Ben Eager's old role of getting punched repeatedly in the head while flailing ineffectively.
Fan Favourite?: Very much so. Shaw's fights and goals quickly led to the #ShawFacts meme on Twitter that, over the course of one giddy weekend, allowed everyone to recycle some old Chuck Norris jokes. More importantly, by far, has been the matter of his Nickname, the cause of a lengthy and passionate debate.. (did we settle on Chickenhawk in the end?)
Prospects: With tough encounters against the likes of St. Louis ahead of him, we can fully expect to see Shaw failing to win some more fights, scoring some critical goals and generally cementing his place in the team. Unless he decides to fight John Scott next week, of course.Then he will be dead.
Shaw's first attempt at creating a meme didn't work out so well. And yes, I made a Warcraft joke. Sue me.
Who He?: After a decent first stint with the Hawks before the ASW,where he scored goals but it was felt didn't use his size (6'6", 221lb) enough, Hayes has found himself recalled from Rockford and on the Fourth line where his size (6'8",250lb) will need to be utilised effectively. He has shown a deft scoring touch for someone of his size (6'10", 264lb) but the Blackhawks coaching staff are working with him to encourage him to use his size (7',1", 298lb) more.
Fan Favourite?: He has his own, personal theme song (Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix.. where do they come up with these things?) that gets played at the UC, which is definitely cooler than having a short-lived internet joke named after you.
Prospects: Continued solid progress should see Hayes around the Big Club into the Postseason, where he will gain valuable experience and also allow the Beats to recycle some of last year's articles by simply replacing the words "Ben Smith" with "Jimmy Hayes".
Who He?: A late, late pickup at the Trade Deadline, Oduya managed to unite the entire Hawks fanbase in immediately groaning at the thought of the "Fun" Pat Foley is going to have with his surname. He has, however, been a revelation, playing smart, tidy defense and managing to provide a threat in the opponents zone, even on the PP. Foley has also been remarkably restrained with the "Oh, do ya?" puns although this is more likely due to Edzo not being around to smuggle the Whiskey into the booth.
Fan Favourite?: Of course, absolutely no-one in the Hawks fanbase has gotten over-excited and proclaimed him the Saviour of our D and the Solution to the Special teams. Not at all. (How many votes to get in the HOF on the first ballot again?)
Prospects: Looks like a solid, quality lower-pairing acquisition and a good bit of business by Stan Bowman. Which obviously means he's going to give away the GWG in a Game 7 and depart in ignominy during the summer.
I'm so, so sorry.
Brandon Bollig: There are reports that Coach Q keeps calling him "John" and trying to get him to wear #32. Then his eyes fill up with tears and he has to go for a lie-down.
Brendan Morrison: Two words: "Kim" and "Johnsson".
The moment that Coach Q realised that he hadn't fed or watered Morrison in, like, two weeks. Now he'll never be allowed to get that rabbit.