Comparing the Blackhawks to the Florida Marlins is downright stupid

I know. The Blackhawks are 23 days removed from winning the Stanley Cup, and  Stan Bowman is crossing faces off the team photo like  Ace Ventura. It’s a lot to handle for ‘Hawks fans to see pieces of a championship team sent packing by management for financial reasons.

Nobody wanted to see it, yet everyone expected it. Now, nobody wants to accept it. Well, get over it. Panic all you want, but you knew this was coming — and there may be more, too.

The Atlanta Blackhawks Thrashers will sport at least five Stanley Cup rings next season with  Dustin Byfuglien,  Brent Sopel,  Ben Eager and now  Andrew Ladd (who has another ring with Carolina). Combine those departures with the trades of  Kris VERSTEEG! to the Toronto Maple Leafs and  Colin Fraser to the Edmonton Oilers,  then add  Adam Burish’s defection to the Dallas Stars, and you’ve got the recipe for one hostile fan base.

Yes, the Blackhawks are ridding themselves of salary by dumping it on other teams at cost of losing contributors to a Stanley Cup champion. But to compare the ‘Hawks to the Florida Marlins, who broke apart two World Series championship teams? C’mon.

From  Puck Daddy  Greg Wyshynski:

Worst Dismantling: The trade of Andrew Ladd to the Atlanta Thrashers marks the sixth player from the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to be traded this offseason. The Florida Marlins comparisons are starting to inch toward validity.

I normally agree with 90 percent of what Wyshynski writes. But to use the word “validity” in regards to the comparison is down right ridiculous. Trading players is one thing, but the Blackhawks have their core intact — something the Marlins failed to do. If this was meant as a joke, great. It should have been mentioned as such.

If any of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa or  Brent Seabrook were sent packing, then the comparison could be “valid.” Count  Patrick Sharp,  Antti Niemi and  Niklas Hjalmarsson as large pieces of the puzzle who are staying in Chicago to defend the title, and you’re still looking at a hell of a contender.

The main point is this: I’m not sure if the Blackhawks are a worse team with these subtractions. The hockey world lauded the ‘Hawks depth last season and through the playoffs. A team with depth can rid itself of some spare parts. Replacing the aforementioned traded commodities with suitable NHL-ready players whose names may not be as familiar isn’t such a bad thing. People forget they complained about Byfuglien and Versteeg during roughly 50 regular season games. Because they scored some goals in the playoffs means they’re irreplaceable? Gimme a break.

Before everyone blows a fart in the direction of Stan Bowman’s face, they should do a bit of research. Byfuglien was once your whipping boy for being lazy, and Versteeg was an unknown until he came out of nowhere as a regular and Calder Trophy finalist two years ago.

What’s to say the next wave of role players can’t win your heart? After all, the Marlins dismantled their ENTIRE roster and won another World Series. The Blackhawks are letting go of replaceable assets, not the core. In my book, this is still the best team in the Western Conference, hands down.

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  • PuckAddict

    Well, if not the Marlins it is a pretty decent fire sale. And for a team that had a tough time getting scoring from its first line through much of the finals, this can be a big deal. Versteeg was a heckuva player in the finals. It’ll be a much harder road next year. Much harder.

  • VIPHawksFan

    Great call Jeff. Core is intact. People quickly forget the ’08-’09 season when VERSTEEG!, Brouwer, Hammer, Buff, and Bolland were all of a sudden full-time roster players after seeing very limited time on the big squad in ’07-’08. Check the player stats from that year and see how many games any of them played in NHL. I think we went to the Conference Finals that year. We still have depth . . . IN OUR SYSTEM, which is why all the nay-sayers will be proven wrong.

  • david krejci

    WOW! Sound Familiar. This comparison was made by yours truly in this space and it is definitely vaild.

    “Come one, come all, we got centers, we got wingers, maybe even a goalie or two. We also have a ton of fans that were great for two months. Come on down to the best sale around!!!”

    – Too bad Billy Mays passed on, he would be great for this sale.

    • AllHawks

      @Krejci.. Pretty sad you gotta try and make yourself feel better about your teams 3-0 choke in the playoffs.

      Mar 29, 2011 will come soon enough. The Hawks will be in town to spank the (2010 joke of the playoffs) Bruins.. And you’ll be back here crying like a little bitch with a skinned knee.

      • david krejci

        AllHawks — Mar 29th is a long way away, will you still be a fan then???

        I feel great about the Bruins, with Big Z, Bergeron, Savard, myself, Tuuka, and Seguin. Keep on the attack though, because it just shows you know the hawks are selling out.

        – Now, I am sorry for interrupting your attempt to buy the NBA Title as well. So continue begging for LeBron. Chicago is pathetic.

        • AllHawks

          “myself”? Come on now.. time to stop pretending to be what you’re not. Tell your imaginary friends to go home, get up and get out of your mom’s basement. Ya little forum troll.

          Will I still be a fan? Sure, been one for over 25 years. I don’t see a reason to stop yet.

          I don’t give a shit about the NBA. That whole league could collapse financially and I wouldn’t care. If you want to talk about the NBA, take your ass over to NBA.com. I’m sure your fake name over there is Paul Pierce or something.

          • david krejci

            I would have posted last night but my mom wouldn’t let me use the computer. HAHA, an internet poster with a fake name calling another out. Classic move tough guy.

            Now, you want to talk about the Blackhawks? Sure, they might have this depth that Bartl speaks about, but who says it will come to play when it counts. You are all totally discounting the fact that Byfuglien, Versteeg, Sopel, etc made huge plays throughout the playoffs for you. Shoot, some said Byfuglien should have won the Conn Smythe. Quality role players and stars win championships. Look at the Red Wings as an example, of course they have had Yzerman, Lidstrom, Datsyuk, but they wouldnt have won squat without McCarty, Maltby, Draper, or Osgood. That is their current problem, the role players arent as good as they were. The Sharks are another great example – no role players. Also, when Pittsburgh won it who scored the big goal in game 7? — yeah, Max Talbot. So, keep relaxin’ Chicago because you are watching established solid players and clutch contributors keep walking out the door. They are harder to fill in then you think. Dynasties crumble from within, obviously you didn’t have a dynasty but you are a different team and that has happened. Enjoy your title, now I will go back to trolling…..IF YA SMMMEEELLLLL, what the claude is cookin’.

  • Frank Rekas(TheRatTrick.com)

    Jeff, well written and right on the money. Everyone needs to calm down. Yea these guys will be missed, but you hit the nail on the head. Depth. The Hawks have it like no one else and that’s how they’ll get through it.

    It will work out.

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  • http://www.hockeybroad.com/ Hockey Broad

    I wouldn’t say that Burish “defected” to Dallas. It sounded like the Hawks had no intent to re-sign him, so he took an offer elsewhere. Like all the now ex-Blackhawks, he had openly expressed a desire to stay in Chicago.

    But Dallas will be good for him – he’ll get more ice time and probably move up a line or two. Same goes for Colin Fraser in Edmonton. Our losses are other teams’ gains, but those players will also benefit, too.

    • Johnny C

      Uh, no. If Burish moves up “a line or two” on the Stars, than the Stars have no depth. Burish was a great lockerroom guy and a nice guy as your 12th/13th forward, but he doesn’t have the skills, the hands or hockey sense to be more than a 4th line player. Loved yah, Burish, and enjoy your $2 million plus from Crazy Joe, who apparently learned how to sign UFAs from his buddy, Brent Hull.

  • stm1307

    Finally somebody talking sense. Great article

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  • http://blackhawkup.com Jeffrey Bartl

    @krejci

    Quoting you: “You are all totally discounting the fact that Byfuglien, Versteeg, Sopel, etc made huge plays throughout the playoffs for you.”

    And what you are “totally discounting” is the fact they made plays IN THE PLAYOFFS, and RARELY in the REGULAR SEASON. This has been my point all along — with outsiders like you and with Blackhawks “fans.”

    One guy said to me after the Versteeg trade, “Damn man, they traded my two favorite players (Buff being the other).” I almost punched him in the face.

    The Blackhawks were in the top two spots of the Western Conference all goddamn year with Byfuglien playing like a lazy piece of shit, Sopel falling all over the ice, Eager being completely useless minus a fight or two and Versteeg playing without any regard for his teammates. Now that Buff scores 11 goals in the playoffs (he scored fucking 17 the whole regular season, by the way) we’re supposed to cry he’s gone? Versteeg scores a game-winning goal against Vancouver, and we’re treating him like the second coming of Roenick?

    People who make comments like the guy I just mentioned and yours speaking only of the playoffs need to sit down and watch more hockey. Yes, they had a great playoff run and I will always be appreciative of it. But the ‘Hawks were a powerhouse with the guys who are gone playing like dog shit 70 percent of the time. What’s to say someone else can’t step up in the playoffs next year?

    • david krejci

      Someone can step up in the playoffs, but you act like its going to happen every year. It doesn’t work like that, so yes, you are discounting these facts. You can win all the regular season games you want buddy, but I will take the guys that are proven in the playoffs over question marks, sorry. In the NHL and NBA, everyone makes the playoffs, and you aren’t celebrated for Presidents Trophies. Also, the fact that the players went through the experiences of losing in the layoffs previous years only helped them this year. The Celtics are a prime example, coast through the season, and make a move in the playoffs, while the Cavs busted balls all year and disappeared when it counted. And don’t tell me to watch more hockey, its just funny watching you sit back and defend a team that finally won a title and gives away a number of pieces and acts like it will be better off. It makes no sense.

      People remember the playoffs Jeff, and thats why your bandwagon friend was talking about missing those guys. I can already see it, the Hawks get the number one seed in the west next year and lose in the playoffs because of lack no production from the bottom 6 forwards. But you’d be happy because they would be playing hard while you watch in the balcony all year. Also, GLAD YOUR CAPS LOCK WORKS ON YOUR COMPUTER.

      • http://blackhawkup.com Jeffrey Bartl

        So, what you’re saying essentially is this: The Blackhawks should hold onto players who dog it roughly the entire regular season with the mentality of, ‘Well they’re going to play like dog shit for the next five months, but man, when mid-April comes they’re going to be superstars!’… ? Does that sound about right?

        Also, please let me know if Byfuglien played against Nashville in the first round, because I didn’t see him at all. And was he a scratch in the first four games of the Cup Final? I didn’t notice him much then, either.

        Versteeg? Aside from the game-winning goal against Vancouver — a game in which he played like dog shit for 58 minutes — and some very sporadic goals throughout the rest of the playoffs, how is he a “proven” playoff guy?

        • scott f.

          @krejci

          I had to join this discussion even though I know it’s pretty much useless talking to people like you since you’re just sad your team sucks.

          Anyway about the comparisons with Florida, I’m sorry I don’t see it due to the fact that baseball doesn’t have a salary cap. Or did you not know that? Hockey does my friend so if the hawks are to meet the cap then they have to move some pieces.

          I also didn’t see anyone write that the hawks were ‘better off’ dumping Buff, Versteeg, Ladd or any of the guys but only writing that it was expected due to salary constraints. Yes I know we’re all bandwagon fans to you but you’re just a weirdo acting like you’re actually a player and you don’t even know the league has a salary cap.

          What a loser. By the way, the parade was awesome.

  • David L.

    Dear So-Called “Puck Daddy” and Other Morons:

    Please consult the definition of “fire sale.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_sale

    I’m not sure if you have no concept of talent evaluation in the MLB, NHL, or both. Comparing Moisés Alou, Kevin Brown, Bobby Bonilla, Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson, and Jim Eisenreich to Byfuglien, Eager, Sopel, and Versteeg shows either signs of irresponsible hyperbole or advanced syphillis. Here’s a hint: penicillin can still help if you stop the denial.

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  • Rachel

    I would just like to say that
    A) i love this blog, it’s like my absolute favorite
    and
    B) i cited this blog for my american studies blog entry at school about people whining and complaining about the trades and salary cap (yes i was one of them until the words in this post slapped some sense into me) and i recieved 100% and my teacher said i was “raising the bar by finding other websites not everyone knows about and getting names out there”
    soooooo thanks jeff for helping me get 100 on my first assignment of the year!

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