While this may not be considered “big” news that I was supposed to cover during Jeff’s hiatus for the weekend, it is news that is causing reactions by some and I’m here to tell you “don’t worry”. Now considering that the biggest concert event of the summer, Lollapalooza is going on in Grant Park, by the time you get home and read this, you’ll be so shit faced that you won’t know that it wasn’t Jeff writing this, but me, Frank Rekas. A transplanted lifelong Chicago Blackhawks fan, now living in Florida, and covering the dreaded Florida Panthers on my site The Rat Trick.
So, unless you’re still sleeping under a tree in Grant Park, or riding the “EL” around town cause you missed your stop, you know that John Madden has signed with the Minnesota Wild for approximately $1.275 million for one year. Not a bad signing, but I really don’t think it’s something that we should get all upset about. Could the Hawks have made a similar offer and kept the veteran center? Not as it stands now, and not for the on ice production that we’d end up getting. No doubt Madden’s leadership was crucial throughout last season both on and off the ice. Except for that limo excursion in Vancouver. But towards the end of the season he seemed to lose a step and wasn’t quite as productive as we all expected.
Nonetheless, his contributions were still noticeable and his defensive abilities were certainly worth having him on the team for. But let’s not look at this as another salary dump, and wonder oh no, whose going to take his place. As a faceoff guy, he was one of the best. However I think we can look to Dave Bolland as the guy to fill that role in special as well as crucial game situations.
As for leadership, let me tell you the players that are still left on this roster, and there are a lot of them, will have have the necessary leadership needed for another strong playoff drive. Anyone who doesn’t think that the likes of Captain Marvel, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook can’t carry the torch, along with Patrick Kane, and even Troy Brouwer, your underestimating this unit. Don’t forget Coach Q behind the bench!
I hear and read all around from people that the cap issues the Hawks are having will have a horrible result on them this coming season. I doubt it. The core is still together. The top six forwards will compete with any other top six. Find four defencemen better than the Hawks top four. A motivated Marty Turco in net, playing with a talented defence in front of him that he’s never had the luxury of. Should I keep going.
The 49 year drought is over thank goodness. And like many of you, from my home here in South Florida, I cried that night on June 9th when they won. I cried when I watched the parade, and when the box of souvenirs came from my brother in Chicago. That feeling will last forever. It will never be forgotten.
Like the image above, those players will walk together forever. Regardless of who comes and who goes, this is still going to be a lethal team, and they will be motivated to defend and repeat.
It’s a pride thing. And Chicago has always been know for that.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks Jeff for giving me a shot at writing for the team my heart bleeds for!