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Wrigley Field: Home of Awkward Sight Lines
by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jul 22nd 2008 8:57PM by Kevin Schultz (author feed)
Filed under: Blackhawks, NHL General

Today at Wrigely Field, the NHL and Chicago Blackhawks held a press conference to pump up the upcoming Winter Classic. Smack in the middle of July, it made all kinds of sense (not really). Anyway, we got a glimpse at what the NHL was planning for January. In the picture above, you can see a mock up of the rink that the NHL set up at Wrigley today. As you can probably tell, the sight lines are going to be weird. It might be something akin to watching football in a baseball stadium whose seats don’t fold out nicely — think Shea Stadium.

My point — there’s a lot of open space on the field out there. Hopefully that gets filled in with seats (How cool would that be??) because otherwise people with “front row” seats are going to be sorely dissapointed. Seats on the rooftops though, should still be freaking awesome. Just make sure you’re not sitting behind home plate. You might not see a lot.

After the jump, a couple more shots from today’s presser.Continue Reading

The Winter Classic II Will Be a Tough Ticket? So Be It.
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Jul 23rd 2008 3:03PM by Jes Golbez (author feed)
Filed under: Blackhawks, Wings, NHL General, NHL Economics, NHL Fans
The NHL, not the Chicago Blackhawks or Wrigley Field, will be responsible for doling out tickets to the Winter Classic II next January. So, if you want good tickets to this massive ice party, set to go on at “holy shrine” Wrigley Field, you better be either …

a. Rich
b. A season ticket holder of the Chicago Blackhawks
c. A season ticket holder of the Detroit Red Wings
d. A season ticket holder of the Chicago Cubs

As “Cranky Blogger” George James Malik of opines, this event is more about the Hawks and Wings than promoting the entire NHL, as we are generally told it is.
I think that “this spectacular thing” is all about Bettman partnering with a former president of the Chicago Cubs to raise the national profile of the Chicago Blackhawks. If it was about “the fans,” it would have taken place in a much larger venue, and if it was about both teams, it would probably take place in Ann Arbor, where a 100,000-seat stadium would allow the average fan to actually attend the game.
Cranky blogger or not, Malik’s feelings are shared, or going to be shared, by a majority of the ticket-hungry public who will find it nigh-impossible to get a good seat, or a seat at all, to this big event.Continue Reading

Great Scott! Bowman to Join Hawks
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Jul 31st 2008 12:00PM by Jes Golbez (author feed)
Filed under: Blackhawks, Wings, NHL General, NHL Rumors
Scotty Bowman has declined and spurned many advances from the likes of the Toronto Maple Leafs and other NHL clubs to be a coach, adviser or mentor for their organizations. Why should Bowman, who already has plenty of Stanley Cup Rings, the most wins by an NHL coach, and lots of money in the bank, need to come out of semi-retirement and leave a perfectly cozy job with the Red Wings?

As rumored last month, the Chicago Blackhawks were the latest team to offer a position to Bowman. Whatever straw the Hawks threw in front of Bowman finally broke the camel’s back, because the legendary coach is now joining the Chicago Blackhawks front offices in an advisory role: Senior Adviser, Hockey Operations.

I wonder what the Hawks offered that made Bowman finally change his mind. Was Bowman bored of winning all the time with the Wings? Was his role so small () that he felt unappreciated?

One obvious factor is that Scotty wants to join his son, Stan, who is an Assistant GM within the hockey operations department of the Hawks. Reverse Nepotism, eh?

The Hawks are already a team on a rapid rise to success, and adding Bowman to the club will only help them make the transition from pretender to contender.

Score another one for Rocky Wirtz!

Scotty To Chi-Town: What They’re Not Saying
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Jul 31st 2008 5:02PM by Jon “J.P.” Press (author feed)
Filed under: Blackhawks, Wings, NHL General

As noted earlier today, Scotty Bowman has left his cozy perch atop Mt. Red Wing to become rival Chicago’s new Senior Advisor, Hockey Operations. Here’s a sampling of reactions to the move from around the League:

“Did it just get hot in here or is it me?” - Denis Savard, Blackhawks Head Coach

“That’s a good decision for him if it makes him happy, but just a month and change after it was first reported… why the rush, Scotty?” - Mats Sundin, Unrestricted Free Agent

“I’ll miss watching Matlock and catching the early bird special with him, but the kid’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.” - Chris Chelios, Detroit Red Wings

“We didn’t want him anyway. Everything here’s cool.” - Cliff Fletcher, Toronto Maple Leafs GM

I’m sure you’ve heard or seen some responses that I’ve missed — share ‘em in the comments.

PuckToons: An Extreme Approach to Salary Cap Management
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Sep 11th 2008 2:00PM by Earl Sleek (author feed)
Filed under: Blackhawks, Capitals, Ducks, Flames, Flyers, Sharks, NHL General, NHL Injuries

With NHL training camps opening up in little more than a week, a few teams are still looking to shed salary to get under the $56.7 million cap. A week ago, Dan Wood of the OC Register Duck’s Blog posted a list of overcommitted teams, which includes the Anaheim Ducks, the Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals. “The amounts in question range from a few hundred thousand dollars to as much as $4.5 million.”

Now I’m not really an expert on the CBA and the salary cap, which is entering its fourth season in the league (don’t turn to your cartoonist for technicalities), but I do know there is a Long-Term Injury allowance that lets teams temporarily outspend the salary cap while a player is unable to dress.

While I fully expect that the teams in question this summer will fix their salary issues through traditional means (trades and expensive demotions), I do wonder what the future has in store for spend-happy general managers. Will they ever get to the point where a budget-dictated surgery becomes a cap-cheating strategy? It’s unlikely, I suppose, but if it ever does happen, I hope they’ll now cut me in on the cap savings.

NHL Season Preview: Chicago Blackhawks
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Sep 22nd 2008 3:00PM by Bruce Ciskie (author feed)
Filed under: Blackhawks, Western, NHL General

Brian Campbell, D (FA-SJ); Cristobal Huet, G (FA-WSH); Matt Walker, D (FA-StL)

Rene Bourque, F (Trade-CGY); Patrick Lalime, G (FA-BUF); Jason Williams, F (FA-ATL)

For starters, attitude. The Blackhawks were mired in the muck for years. Bad ownership decisions led to low attendance, television blackouts of home games, no significant free-agent signings or trades, and poor public relations. Over the course of a decade, Chicago went from having one of the strongest franchises in the league to one of the worst.

Oh, my, have things changed. Quickly.Continue Reading

Hawks Waive Goodbye to ‘Bulin’ Wall
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Sep 29th 2008 3:10PM by Eric McErlain (author feed)
Filed under: Blackhawks, NHL GeneralEarlier this afternoon, TSN reported that the Chicago Blackhawks were taking care of their logjam in net by sawing off one of the logs — in this case, by waiving goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. The veteran, who was in the last year of a 4-year, $27 million contract, joined the Hawks from Tampa Bay as a free agent immediately after the lockout.

Though the word is not yet official, our friends at Second City Hockey are hardly surprised:
Doesn’t really come as much of a shock to anybody, most likely. The situation from last night’s 4-3 win over Dallas did seem a little fishy, as he was suddenly scratched from his start in favor of Niemi, and as the [TSN] article mentions, wasn’t even on the bench. I’d have to think he will be out of a Hawks uniform within the next few days.Again, not much of a shocker, as it was all but impossible to believe that Khabibulin could possibly tolerate sharing playing time with Cristobal Huet, the free agent goalie who arrived from Washington on the very first day of free agency when he signed a 4-year, $22.5 million deal, after stringing along the Capitals for a couple of weeks in order to jack up his market value. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

So what’s next for Khabibulin? Everyone in the world keeps speculating that the Kings ought to be doing a deal, but LA GM Dean Lombardi doesn’t seem to be anxious to bail Chicago or anybody else out of a bad contract just for the sake of reaching the cap floor. And if Khabibulin really wants to get paid, who says there isn’t a deep pocketed KHL owner out there who might be willing to cough up some roubles for a goalie with a Stanley Cup championship on his resume?

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Cam Barker Cam Barker | #25 | D
Birth Date: 1986-04-04 Age: 22
Birth Place: Winnipeg, Manitoba Width: 222 lbs.
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