Joel Qunneville got to name his scapegoat for the 2011-2012 season it was assistant coach Mike Haviland. With Q given the power to fire an assistant that pretty squashes all the Montreal rumors. Haviland had been with the organization since 2005 when he took over the Hawks AHL affiliate in Norfolk. He was also the head coach for the Rockford Icehogs before coming to the Blackhawks in the summer of 2008. He never missed the playoffs in the AHL and won two championships as a head coach in the ECHL. Havi will be a head coach in the NHL one day. So, why was he fired and Mike Kitchen gets to keep his job? In my opinion if you are going to fire an assistant it needed to be Kitchen, or both of them. Kitchen was in charge of the Blackhawks joke of a power play for most of the season. And yes the penalty kill was not very good either. Quenneville defended his good buddy Kitchen while taking some time to throw Haviland under the bus. He said there was “dysfunction” among the coaching staff. Haviland was here before Q got here and Kitchen is Q’s guy. There is your dysfunction ladies and gentlemen. Stan Bowman gave Q some power and is going to let him bring in his own guy. And why not? If it doesn’t work, and the Hawks have another short playoff run next year it just makes firing Quenneville all that easier for Bowman. He is giving Q some rope and is going sit back and watch what he does with it. It will be interesting to see who is brought in. Q has to be careful that he isn’t ultimately hiring his replacement.
In another bit of Blackhawks “news” Patrick Kane was caught partying on the campus of the University of Wisconsin over the weekend. There have been some embarrassing pictures of Kaner being very drunk going around the internet. This isn’t anything new or should be shocking to anyone. Patrick Kane likes drinking and being in the company of young women. Not exactly something new to the NHL. Leave the kid be, he isn’t hurting anyone except his own liver. It is the off season and if a 23 year old kid wants to get loaded, let him. Hell, I’ve partied on the campus of UW, it’s a blast. It’s not like he did it the night before a playoff game like Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn did in Phoenix last week. He isn’t out drinking and driving or putting anyone in danger. He is doing what I wish I could be doing; making a lot of money playing hockey and loving life. Until it beings to affect his game or the team, let the kid have his fun.