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And So It Begins – '13-'14 Hawks Season Preview: The Management and Weekend Music Pick

No time for love Dr. Jones. Let’s keep it moving.

What’s the best and worse case scenario for the sexual tension between Q and Stan? Who has more pull at this point? -AhnFire

As you all know, this is one of my favorite subjects to write about. And this year it could be even more dynamic, though doing less damage to the team. There should be a glow that lasts right up until the first three-game losing streak, after all.

The last time the Hawks entered the ring wearing the belt, that’s when the first fissures of something not working between the two started to appear. Stan didn’t have much cred then, as he was basically along for the ride as Tallon’s team won the Cup. Sure, he re-signed Toews, Kane, and Keith, and picked up Nick Leddy and the late Kim Johnsson for the burnt cracklins of Cam Barker (it’s still so fucking funny I can’t take it). But that wasn’t his team. All Stan got to do was take it apart.

Q meanwhile had just won his first Cup and had cemented his place in the minds of Rocky and John, who had trusted him four games into the previous season to actually mold a team from the splatter-pattern of Denis Savard. Needless to say, it was pretty clear who held all the cards with the organization.

Which is why we started to see Q pull all of his rabbits out of all of his hats. The coup de grace being John Scott on the power play in the playoffs in Game 3 against Vancouver. Me? I would have fired him right then and there. Like, literally on the bench. I’m sure the thought crossed Stan’s mind. Michael Frolik was bounced all over the lineup as well before finally finding a home on Bolland’s line. That pattern got even worse the next year, when Fro continually found himself in the pressbox.

The following season of course saw Q eschewing both Sami Lepisto and Steve Montador (for the seven minutes he could see straight) for John Scott on defense. Other signings were ignored as well, which is just about the start of those rumors that Q could find himself out of town if Stan had his way, and eventually led to the firing of Mike Haviland (funny, remember when we thought that mattered?) There was also rumblings of player unrest and the like.

Well, this year, Stan has a champion to call his very own, even if the core remains drafted by Tallon. And you can tell he’s feeling his oats a bit more because he didn’t waste too many chances to tell everyone that HIS draft picks were going to fill the holes the team had, in maybe an indirect way of telling Q what he could expect.

Of course, we’ve already seen a push back (a little) from Q, who wants Brandon Saad to play center — though Saad is a Bowman prize. This was after repeated calls from Stan to see Pirri or LeBlanc tried there.

I wouldn’t expect to many clashes this year, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be occasional side-swipes. If Q repeatedly plays Bollig over Morin (who absolutely deserves to be on the team this year, as much as Pirri and/or Smith), if he keeps forcing Saad down the middle to keep Pirri in the pressbox even if it’s not working, if Handzus ends up on the second line for long stretches, you can fully expect at least a furrowed brow from Stan. You won’t get the stories next summer about Q wanting to leave or feeling uncomfortable that you did the previous summer, but they won’t be too deep in the shadows. However, his hands will be a bit tied because the Hawks A) have a clear delineation of power and B) Q’s untouchable this year unless he actually punches out McDonough. It’s just a question of how much he wants to flaunt that.

Ok, it’s Friday. Let’s have a little fun. I did this on my FB page last weekend, but I don’t see why we can’t go for a repeat. I’m declaring it a Polly Jean Weekend:

God, P.J. rules so hard.

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