It shouldn’t be this difficult to be a sports fan.
That’s the thought which keeps circling in my head after the events of the last week involving the Chicago Blackhawks: It shouldn’t be this hard to support a hockey team.
It must be stated again that the people who lost the most from all of this were not us fans, though, nor was it Rocky Wirtz or anyone in the Blackhawks organization — no matter how much Gary Bettman tries to convince us. It was Kyle Beach who did, along with the other victims referenced in the lawsuits against the Blackhawks over the last year, who were failed by this organization’s lack of reporting of wrongdoings by Bradley Aldrich and by it’s lack of disclosure to the places were Aldrich went and caused more harm.
But for those of us who are still around this fan base — and those numbers probably took another hit — the last week has us questioning why we even bother with this team anymore. There’s always going to be a disconnect between the customers at the bottom of any lengthy business chain and the obscenely wealthy people at the top of it — that’s just how life works in this world in 2022. But it’s still jarring to see how disconnected from our reality those people at the top can be, as was the case during last week’s town hall debacle. That was the prevailing thought I encountered in every Blackhawks-centric podcast I listened to and every conversation I had on the topic in the last few weeks: a general sense of bewilderment at Wirtz’s response. There’s not much else to say beyond that and what was written here last week.
The people who own the sports teams we love exist in different worlds than us. We know that. As long as they put out a decent product for us to watch and don’t commit any egregious sins, we can live with that fact. The Blackhawks are doing neither of those things, and that’s what is making it so damn hard to be a fan of this team right now.
Hopefully, it gets better. Hopefully, this team does the right thing going forward. Hopefully, there are no more victims. But it’s the hope that gets ya.
The Week That Was
Did this game really happen?
The Artist in the Ambulance
As the Blackhawks continue the search for the general manager that can hopefully revive the Blackhawks on-ice situation, the field of candidates has elicited responses ranging from a intrigued eyebrow raise to a cathartic, “PLEASE GOD NO!”
Guess which one is the latter!
Today, we interviewed Scott Mellanby for our GM position.— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 5, 2022
More updates to come as future interviews are completed.https://t.co/b3tuZN7E7k
Today, we interviewed Peter Chiarelli for our GM position.— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 7, 2022
More updates to come as future interviews are completed.https://t.co/ZQxzpu5p98
This week, we completed interviews with Kyle Davidson and Eric Tulsky for our GM position.— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 4, 2022
We will continue to provide updates as upcoming interviews are completed.
The most interesting thing that I can share regarding Eric Tulsky is his LinkedIn page, which charts his course from inorganic chemistry to the NHL, which is definitely how he saw his career unfolding. Another name entered the chat on Monday, although the report does not specifically state it’s for the general manager job:
Fascinating development: #Cubs assistant GM Jeff Greenberg is being considered by the Chicago Blackhawks for an executive position, per @FriedgeHNIC, according to @JeffMarek’s Monday morning segment on @SiriusXMNHL. @MLBNetwork @NHLNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 7, 2022
Should be an interesting week or two.
DeBrincat’s All-Star Weekend
In what’s a pretty good summary of the last five years, Alex DeBrincat provided a few small bright spots for an organization as everything else around him was a disaster.
During Friday’s Superskills Competition, he channeled Peter DeBoer’s favorite movie and got a helping hand from a quarterback whom will only be described as “inferior to Justin Fields”
DeBrincat was also pretty good in Saturday’s All-Star Game:
Alex DeBrincat rules.
The Week That Will Be
Wednesday, Feb. 9 at Edmonton Oilers
Duncan Keith Revenge Game?
Saturday, Feb. 12 at St. Louis Blues
Brandon Saad Revenge Game?
Monday, Feb. 14 at Winnipeg Jets
Jamie Kompon Revenge Game?
DeBrincat’s 50-goal chase (catchier name still TBD)
Let’s petition the NHL to make DeBrincat’s goals from the All-Star Game part of this total.
Last Week: 1 game, 0 goals
Season Totals: 46 games, 26 goals
Current Pace: (26 goals / 46 games played) * 82 games = 46.35 goals
Reworked the equation to minimize rounding errors. Rachel Riley would be proud.