The Chicago Blackhawks are on what feels like a 2 week hiatus. Following a 4-2 loss to the Ducks on March 20th, the Hawks don’t play until they approach royalty on Monday (March 25th). The Kings pose as another tough foe however, fatigue will need to be checked off the excuse list.
There are plenty o’ rumours churning out of the mill, however I won’t get into them as my sources are on vacation (SEE: I don’t have any sources).
Marian Hossa is doubtful to kiss the rings of the Kings and his return cannot come soon enough if Patrick Kane is to be double shifted, as Q appears to think he has the energy of an 11 year old at recess. With Kane being shown finally that Coach Moustache values his skill set almost more than any other forward, that’s only going to instill more confidence in a young man that appears to have learned to couple that “swagger” with a maturity level, making him a force to be reckoned with!
I will at this time step away from the Hawks to highlight a phenomenon I’ve been witnessing for years. The days of shooting pucks against plywood in your garage are diminishing. It’s not that this isn’t the pinnacle picturesque Canadian analogy, but the times, they are a changin’.
I attended the OHL Combine on Friday, which highlighted OHL hopefuls for next year. It was remarkable to be a fly on the wall as these kids fought off nerves while I fought off the urge to vomit. These kids are in a pressure cooker from an early age with the likes of agents (Darcy Tucker being one of them) and OHL GMs scouting their next top draftee.
The most intriguing element to this process is the technology. Thanks to Sport Testing, these combines have formed into an entirely different animal. While I waited in the “parents section” I was amazed by the real time video screen as timed sprints were happening no more than 5 feet to my left. This technology has created a working database that OHL GMs, NHL scouts and of course parents have at their disposal in digital form. It sure beats pucks ricocheting off the wall and hitting my parents Chevy Blazer.
I can try, but there’s no way I can literally do this new age wave of technology justice. Check out Sport Testing and all they have in the pipeline online:
If this video doesn’t tire you out than you are in far better shape than me.
- JJ’s rumour blogs have been great and his latest featured a section on Jamal Mayers taking Patrick Kane under his wing. If you happen to have frequented this blog you know I’m a big supporter of the Mayers type of player. That role will always share a spot on my team philosophy. The players are getting younger and every time you hear of a 20 year old NHL phenom getting in trouble with beers/drugs, just think to yourself… what were you doing at 20? Geeze, I wish I had an uncle Jamal.
- The story above reminds me of a story of a former Stanley Cup Champion who played 61 games with the Chicago Blackhawks. He struggled with his inner demons and once had a 29 goal/146 PIM season. I speak of Chris Simon.
Chris’ father is of Ojibway decent and is from Manitoulin Island (a ferry ride away from my hometown). Chris was raised on the reserve in Wawa, Ontario.
The story has it that Ted Nolan called legendary Ottawa 67’s coach Brian Kilrea and inquired about Simon. Kilrea had little to say other than he had to get him out of a Hull jail for allegedly punching a cop before their game on Monday. Nolan told Kilrea there was interest from his side and told him he’d follow up.
There was little time that passed before Kilrea contacted Nolan and said that he can have Simon as he just cut him for hitting one of his coaches with a puck in practice. His time in Ottawa had come to an end.
Nolan told Simon to come back to the familiar Sault St. Marie and he’d see if he had what it took to make his Greyhounds team in 91-92; to that, Simon laughed.
When Simon showed up in the “Soo” he asked where his stall was and Nolan said he wasn’t joking about proving his worth first. In walked Simon’s grandfather and Nolan explained that he would be spending the next month “working the lines” trapping with his family elder.
Fast-forward a month and Simon came back begging Nolan to play hockey again! He finished the season well and was then later included in the legendary trade along with Peter Forsberg and Co. for Eric Lindros.
Where is he now? Still playing in the KHL at age 41 for Metallurg Novokuznetsk. Ted Nolan should get credit for his still playing into his 40s.
Ty Cam out!
About the Author: I am a rare Chicago Blackhawks fan from Canada, one might describe me as a hockey connoisseur and a solid checking line centre to your local rec hockey team. I once lived in a town of 500 people and now work in the hockey mecca that is Toronto. I work for the Score Television Network so I couldn't get away from sports if I tried. These opinions are one of my own and not of Score Media Inc. - don't get it twisted.