Blackhawks News

My Apology Letter to Michal Handzus

By Tim Lively

Dec 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus (26) moves the puck against Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek (93) during the second period at the United Center. The Blackhawks beat the Flyers 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Michal:

I hope this letter finds you well, and I’m sure it does considering you’re coming off a 7-2 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers in which you tallied two points and an incredible 71.4 face-off percentage.

Hence why I’m writing you…Like most Chicago Blackhawks fans, I am very thankful for what you did for our beloved Hawks last season. You were brought in to increase our team’s success at the dot just before the start of the playoffs last year, and you gave us so much more: posting 3 goals, 8 assists, and 156 face-off wins in the post season to help Chicago bring the Stanley Cup back home.

However, I have to admit that I was among the growing masses in Chi-town chiming that you looked slow at the start of the 2013-2014 season. But can you blame us? You’re over 36, and lo and behold you got injured pretty much right out of the gate. I’m 33 and I pinched a nerve just dancing to Chelsea Dagger. Our faith was rattled Zus!

Nothing personal, but I was ready to write you off for the season. Not because I’m ungrateful, but like most Hawks fans, I was itching to see what the latest crop of young guns could do, and you have to admit newbie Brandon Pirri was on a tear at the start of the season. If the Brandon PirriPatrick KaneBrandon Saad line was a car engine, you’d be able to boil an egg on the carburetor they ran so smooth. So what if Pirri’s production began to drop off in his last seven games?

Also, I have to be honest here and say I was yet again numbered among the Hawks fans that upon your return were saying you looked a step behind Saad and Kane, that the whole line looked out of sync, and wondered what coach Joel Quenneville was thinking. But then December rolled around and during the season of giving, you certainly did! You silenced critics and opposing teams alike by posting two goals and two assists in the last five games! I should have known better I guess, after all, you’ve consistently given the Hawks more than what you’ve been asked, once remarking: “It doesn’t matter where you play. You don’t complain, you play. You make your mark, for the team.”

Any team is lucky to have a player that loves hockey as much as you do, which is probably why you’re always in Quenneville’s good graces. Which reminds me…please also extend my apologies to Coach Q as well. He was right. I was…less right: Brandon Pirri should work on the defensive side of his game before returning to the line-up. There are plenty of players on the Hawks, like you for example, that can find the back of the net. So it makes sense if you’re not playing at your highest potential, then you’re not going to be playing on the top team in the NHL.

So once again, as they say in your native Slovakia, je mi ľúto. Best of luck to ya Zus and keep up the good work!


Johnny Hawks Fan

Dictated but not read