Hola amigos. It’s been a long time since we rapped at ya, but shit’s been hectic here at HQ enduring wave after wave of pestilence.
Even with that being said, NHL teams league wide that will be participating in the expanded playoff tournament in three weeks broke camp today, including the Hawks. Before getting into some observations coming out of today’s practice, let it first be said that any plans for sports to return in this country are wantonly irresponsible and unearned, even with as uncharacteristically thorough a plan as the NHL has laid out. With the disease raging elsewhere in the country and climbing a little locally on the heels of a hasty re-opening, any sports even as a diversion are completely unearned and reckless. But the unrelenting machine of capital feels no compunction about throwing bodies at the problem in the name of recouping whatever lost TV revenue they can. This will be the overriding sentiment going forward, but as long as they’re going to do this, we’ll try to cover it as best we can here.
So with that being said:
- Corey Crawford did not practice with the group today, and he was the only absentee. With the league’s policy of locking down any and all injury or COVID reports for however long this goes on, the verbiage that many teams are using, the Hawks included, has been he was deemed “unfit” to participate. Which, given the song and dance around Crawford’s status for three seasons now could literally mean anything, Coach Alpo Colliton was not at liberty to disclose any details, and will not going forward per league mandate. So Corey Crawford will show up when he shows up. Suffice it to say, without him present the Hawks’ chances against Leon The Ladies’ Man and McJesus drop precipitously, but they really shouldn’t have had this opportunity in the first place, hockey shouldn’t even be played right now, and even if there’s a miracle vaccine tomorrow it was still 100 degrees in Siberia a couple weeks ago so nothing matters.
- Among those who DID participate today were Brent Seabrook and Calvin deHaan, both of whom have been out since what feels like eons ago with various ailments. With no amnesty/compliance buyouts in the new CBA, it feels like Porkins is still going to get every opportunity to show that he is toast on a stick.
- However, the most troubling thing this afternoon as the comments from Captain Jonathan Toews after practice, Per Scott Powers
This is just flagrantly wrong and irresponsible, and frankly disappointing coming from someone who had recently earned even more cache with his incredibly thoughtful comments (particularly by hockey standards) in the wake of George Floyd being needlessly murdered by police in Minneapolis and the surrounding and justified demonstrations, and has been active around town with Sam Acho and other athletes in making sincere, boots on the ground efforts to help rejuvenate communities of color. Toews also has a history of being very progressive with regard to his environmental causes, wherein he often likes to cite SCIENCE as the reason for being so active on that front. Given these two pieces of evidence, it is extremely hard to square him halfway stepping into COVID trutherism. If he is to be taken at his word from his statement on race relations and learning more and listening, he should certainly find the HARD DATA on the matter of communities of color being utterly decimated by the disease due to systemic inequalities to be illuminating. Just because no one he knows has been affected by it and he’s bored sitting at home doesn’t mean no one knows how it’s transmitted. Everyone knows how it’s transmitted, and to allow for any different “beliefs” on the subject is willful ignorance and reckless, and the hope is his recklessness doesn’t get anyone sick now that teams are gathering in close quarters.