Chicago Blackhawks: John Scott misses point on letter to fans
A few days ago, John Scott, a former member of the Chicago Blackhawks, made headlines briefly regarding the team’s letter to fans about rebuilding.
He called the public statement “embarrassing”, and didn’t think it was the right thing to do. He sided with the players and their publicly vented frustrations, but did John Scott miss the point? Scott certainly has the right to an opinion. He was formerly the Chicago Blackhawks’ enforcer, and it’s no surprise he comes to the aid of those past teammates.
It’s what Scott was known for, stepping in to take heat off other guys on the ice, and he’s carried that on in his podcast. Someone went after a teammate, Scott was there to protect them, or so he thought. As well-intentioned as this might be regarding the upcoming youth movement in Chicago, he’s off the mark.
The pride of the team isn’t at stake by letting fans know what’s going on. In fact, it’s fair from Chicago to level with season ticket holders about what’s happening. Maybe people are going to be less inclined to part with their money in the current pandemic economy.
A lot of people have lost their jobs and it’s highly unlikely that fans will be allowed into the stadium to watch games. It’s only fair that the team says outright that they aren’t going to be very good for a couple of years if that’s the direction the organization is heading.
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Granted, Chicago never said, “We’re going to be mediocre for a couple of years.” It’s hard not to read between the lines when the team walked away from talented netminder, Corey Crawford, and chose to roll the dice with three largely untested players that will be competing for the starting goalie spot. Is this embarrassing though? In a word, “no.”
This kind of openness is overdue for NHL teams, and I think it’s great that Chicago did this. The organization isn’t pandering to Twitter trolls, it isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to the state of the team, and it certainly isn’t, as Scott said, “soft.”
If fans are going to put down their hard-earned money for tickets, they have a right to know if the product on the ice might be a little less impressive because of moves the organization is going to be deliberately making. Scott’s comments sound a bit like a cranky old man upset with the neighborhood kids. He might like the state of things, but teams being open and transparent with fans is a positive development.
Chicago has invited fans to be patient as the team bottoms out, and this is totally unexceptional. Anyone watching the team has known that Chicago can’t compete, and it’s largely because the team has been so successful. Leveling with the fans is the rational thing to do, despite what Scott might think.