Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: Presidents And Opposing Fans

By Colin Likas
Jan 22, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period at the United Center. The Hawks won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 22, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period at the United Center. The Hawks won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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Gail Kauchak

Question 1: Marian Hossa for president! Hossa is the ultimate professional and a true leader by example. His soft-spoken yet strong presence is felt both on and off the ice. Plus, his maturity and experience lead others to trust and respect him.

He’s been in the trenches, and has been around the league long enough to know what he’s doing, and what he’s talking about.

OK, maybe he should stick to the “doing” versus the “talking,” at least in the form of speeches to the media. He could easily be referred to as the Arnold Schwarzenegger of hockey. After years in the United States, he still speaks stilted English, with a strong accent. Even so, if Hossa proclaimed, “I’ll be back,” people would listen.

Question 2: FavoriteI personally don’t have much experience dealing with opposing fans.  As a Chicago Blackhawks fan, you can pretty much surround yourself with the red, white and black and be good to go.  My hubby, on the other hand, has been on some business trips where he’s attended a few Minnesota Wild games.

He describes Exel Energy Center as being very small, and therefore much more personal than the United Center.  You can sit in the second level, and yet still feel like you can easily step out onto the ice.

He tells me the fans are very affable and easygoing. Although he’s never been there when the Wild play the ’Hawks. That could be a completely different story.

Least favorite — Philadelphia Flyers fans win this one by a landslide. They’ve always been an obnoxious bunch, but a prime example was in April of 2016. The Flyers were being throttled in a game by the Washington Capitals. To show their displeasure, fans started hurling giveaway wristbands out onto the ice.

Flyers players pleaded with them to stop, and the announcer urged them to “show some class.”  None of this worked, and Philadelphia was hit with a delay of game penalty. Upon hearing this, the fans cheered, like they were proud of their accomplishment.

This kind of behavior shows no respect for the game, or the players who work so hard in the name of our entertainment.

Colin Likas

Question 1: Jonathan Toews is the easy answer, so let’s go with Brent Seabrook. He’s more of the strong and silent type, it seems. He was able to lead the Blackhawks’ clear and obvious leader in a difficult time during the 2013 postseason, showing he has some serious skill in dealing with strong personalities.

Seabrook also knows how to finish tough jobs and take matters into his own hands, scoring multiple winning and clutch playoff goals and throwing some big hits. He’s a doer versus a talker. But at the same time, he’s also familiar with media interactions and capable of giving thoughtful, reasoned responses.

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President Seabs and Vice President Toews. Book it for 2020.

Question 2: I enjoy interacting with Detroit Red Wings fans. They’re a generally smart, hockey-knowledgeable group. And they know their team has a rich tradition, so when they give Blackhawks fans the business, it actually means something.

While these two teams don’t have the white-hot rivalry of the past, those previous experience always linger over current games for fans. It makes interactions between Blackhawks and Red Wings fans that much more entertaining and fun.

On the other side … that point I made about Wings fans being able to give the business and make it mean something. Yeah, St. Louis Blues fans are on the other side of that coin.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like talking hockey with Blues fans. I like talking hockey with all fans, really. I work with multiple Blues fans, and they’re all really nice, intelligent people. It’s just … the barbs seem more angry and defensive since they haven’t won anything, and knowledge of the current team always seems to go back to Al MacInnis, Doug Weight and Brett Hull.

There’s little meaningful winning to go back on here, but Blues fans frequently try to act like their team has the Blackhawks’ number. Last season’s playoff series didn’t help that matter. Also, that powerplay “dance” is the stupidest thing in hockey. Period.

Double also, St. Louis is the only opposing hockey city I’ve gone to for a game where someone yelled at me, “Patrick Kane is a rapist!” That’s not necessarily pleasant. Or necessary.

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