As he’s determined to dull whatever shine he had for having the biggest hand in creating the Hawks run of success, it’s hard not to notice Dale Tallon’s need to always have a knuckle-dragging nincompoop on his team. This year it’s Michael Haley. Somehow this goofus has appeared in all 29 games for the Cats, amassing 63 penalty minutes to go along with his seven points. Those seven points are over halfway to his career-high of 12, which came last year in San Jose in 58 games. 58 games where he collected 128 penalty minutes. You probably don’t need us to tell you that Haley’s underlying numbers are down around the level where you might find oil. Haley has played more than 10 minutes in a game just twice this season.
It’s not really his fault. But the hypocrisy of NHL coaches when they tell you this type of player is vital to winning, and yet can’t trust them to actually be on the ice at any time that matters will never not be hilarious/stupid/bewildering.
And this has been a staple of Tallon teams. This is the GM who signed Shawn Thornton for to a three-year contract to bark from the bench, providing the vital skill of telling his teammates how often they needed to score to come back in a game. Because fuck knows he wasn’t going to help with that cause. Before that, Krys Barch was a Panther for years. George Parros made an appearance. So did Darcy Hordichuk.
His days here saw Ben Eager, Adam Burish (who at least could claim to be able to move at some point), and David Koci.
Tallon is hardly alone. Fuck, the reigning two-time champs TRADED for Ryan Reaves. But in his bid to undo anything that anyone who might have read a spreadsheet did before he took back the GM office in Sunrise like a game of Risk, you can bet Tallon is going to double-down on this strategy.
And then look at this shit!
The fucking New York Times! Lauding a player who actually had to play hockey to maintain his career! Does any sport weep more over something so obsolete as hockey does over goons? You don’t see football writers pining for the day of the option quarterback, do you? Or the true center in basketball?
They treat these guys like they worked in the mill that shut down the whole town and now they’ll starve. There were 30 of these jobs at most, in professional sports league! Where they had the option of trying to play the sport as it was meant! Good christ they’re not going to be in a bread line! It’s astounding, it really is.
Game #31 Preview