Everything Else

It’s that time again! The last happening on the hockey calendar before we head into the summer doldrums and awake for training camp. It’s in the no way at all kitchy, greedy, utterly creepy Blackhawks Convention! We don’t want you going in there blind, so let us provide a guide for all the goings-on this weekend:

Friday

5pm Opening Ceremonies

Every year I hope this is the one where Eddie Olczyk’s hair just gets up, lights a cigarette, and walks off for good. Maybe this is the one. Anyway, watch Eddie try and be overly dramatic for every introduction while they players sweat their balls off behind the curtain being forced to wear the jerseys on a summer day in an overstuffed ballroom. All for the privilege to come out and wade through the teeming masses that they assuredly don’t want to touch but have to (a curious role reversal for Garbage Dick). You have to love that this is called “Opening Ceremonies” for not a sporting event but one meant to drive cash while a bunch of people stand around.

8pm – The Second City

Oh good, time for my yearly rant on why Second City (and IO) are trash outfits. No matter how talentless you are, Second City will run you up the ladder of classes and shows as long as you keep paying. For every Tina Fey or Steve Carrell they produce, there’s a 100 people less funny than the dude in the break room at work you’ve fantasized about taking a scythe too. And a good portion of them will be at this natural disaster, trying to prod stiff and bewildered hockey players through an improv sketch. Oh, and are you surprised Adam Burish is part of this? If Burish couldn’t skate he definitely would have been an IO regular 15 years ago.

Saturday

9am – The Breakaway

Oh man,  if you thought you had enough of Rocky and McD blowing themselves, just you wait, fucko! There’s a goddamn book! They’ll be pushing this “Inside Story of The Wirtz Family Business and The Chicago Blackhawks,” as if there was anymore to it than being born on third, manipulating local laws and taxes to shelter your liquor and real estate business, and falling ass-backwards into a ready-made Cup contender because your father just happened to kick it at that moment. Cunning strategy, really.

10am – Hockey Operations

We might not get the Bowman, MacIsaac, MacIver, and Bernard fatal four-way when we finally find out who was responsible for the Trevor Daley idea, but it wouldn’t matter because McD is going to wander in halfway through this and declare himself the winner and take all the questions.

10:45 – Goal Scorers

Oh sweet lord. A vapid, Trump-supporting, Kid Rock-loving loudmouth in Jeremy Roenick and Patrick Kane together. This is sure to attract the highest quality person.

11:45 – President’s Forum

Oh you thought “The Breakaway” would be all the self-fellating from the top? Guess again, shitbag! McDonough gets one forum all to himself, hopefully taking time out from bullying his employees but no guarantees, to tell you what a great job he’s done in the past 11 years. If anyone asks a tough question, please ignore him shitting himself. He’s a genius, don’t you know?

12:30 – Blackhawks Family Feud

This is hell.

1:15 – Kids Only

A search for the next Joey The Junior Reporter, because Joey has now discovered drugs, poetry, and girls with purple hair. He’s burned all of his Hawks memorabilia.

2:00 – Blackhawks Match Game

Believe me, the Hawks players have been playing “match game” in their heads since this thing fucking started.

2:45 – Blueliners

Chris Chelios and Duncan Keith are there to tell you what it’s like to slash a player in the face. Chelios wins because he got Paul Kariya whereas Keith wasted his moment of madness merely on Charlie Coyle.

3:45 – From Beer League To Big League

“Hey! Remember when the Hawks had a lost season because their front office forgot to assemble a blue line or get a better center than Anisimov or their coach didn’t want to play any of their young players and they had no plan if Crawford got hurt and their television ratings went into the toilet and the building wasn’t full anymore?

“Oh you do? Hmm…crap.”

“But Scott Foster! Wasn’t that fun?”

5pm – Blackhawks TV Originals

I can’t tell you what this about nor do I care to find out because anyone associated with Blackhawks TV has all the panache of a cumquat.

6pm – Blackhawks Game Show

Jesus god there’s three of these things! More Second City! If you’re a tourist from Iowa/head trauma victim you’ll be highly entertained!

Sunday

9am – The Hull Brothers

Do I have to say it anymore? It’s 9am so there’s a small chance Bobby won’t be drunk yet, but he’ll still be an irredeemable asshole. Maybe he’ll choke on his fucking wig already.

10am – Meet Your New Blackhawks!

No!

11am – Life After Hockey

Burish, Bickell, Eager, and Fraser for this one. The latter three look on impatiently while Burish finds any camera left in the hotel to get in front of.

 

Everything Else

Every year we take you through the Convention schedule to give you the real low-down on what you’re in for if you’re headed downtown this weekend. For reasons we’ll never understand, but people do feel the need to be surrounded by sweaty people in Hawks jerseys in the middle of July. Also, it’s going to be stupid steam-bath hot this weekend, making it even more fun. The combination of Convention goers and Cardinals fans downtown… WOOF. 

Friday Night

5pm: Opening Ceremonies

Basically an excuse to defrost Jim Cornielson from whatever freezer they keep him in during the summer so he can for some strange reason sing the national anthem. Seriously, how many conventions do they sing the anthem at? I really don’t know, I’ve never been to a convention. I went to a ComiCon (ComicCon?) in Rosemont when I was a kid once. That’s it.

Then the players will be introduced and will come and give that awkward five from the stage, and in no way will be ogling a portion of the audience. They’ll also be in their jerseys, because we can’t recognize them without them. You’ll also get to see how awful the new collar on the new jerseys look in real life. Which won’t stop three-quarters of the fanbase running out to get one.

Everything Else

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

Shift Charts

So let’s review what is supposed to be just about the NHL’s signature day during the regular season, possibly only apart from the All-Star Game, which has its own issues.

For the day and morning leading up to it, all the news pretty much had to do with how this game had little chance of getting off on time, what they would do if it didn’t, and what would happen if they had to abandon in midgame. This is not exactly how you build momentum toward an occasion. This is obviously always a problem for outdoor games, but this one was particularly pronounced.

When it came out that the Hawks and Blues would have to engage in a shootout in two months’ time in case this game was ended early, but after two periods, and tied, it had the mark of a league that didn’t have a plan or shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Everything Else

Continuing in the series, Alex Sheridan (@lawnie2 and The Full Amonte) has a few words for Bobby Hull.

This is the best thing Bobby Hull ever gave us. I could give two shits about his team-record 604 goals, 1,153 career points, or status as the first player to ever break the 50 goal mark. Hell, a 1961 Stanley Cup is pretty much worthless to me, too. His son, on the other hand, is one of the greatest goal scorers of all time, and trolls Buffalo like nobody’s business (I bet Brett never missed wide right…) But how can I praise a guy who played much of his career in St. Louis and Detroit, while shoveling shit on his father, whose number is in the rafters at the United Center?

Everything Else

Well, at least the temperature is down this weekend, so the sweaty quotient of those piling into The Hilton should be lower than it has been in previous years. John McDonough’s lovechild of self promotion kicks off tonight and runs through the weekend. I used to do this in the Convention Issue of the Indian, but seeing as how I’m not doing summer issues this year I’ll take you through all the sessions all this weekend and get to the truth to what’s really going on.

Everything Else

You probably have seen it by now, as the story was shared on Twitter by our compadre Fifth Feather and on NBC Chicago by friend of the program James Neveau and many others. If you haven’t I’ll do my best to recap.

About a week ago at Johnny’s Ice House West, the official practice home of the Hawks and also home to several men’s and children’s leagues, three men were mugged in the tunnel to the garage after their men’s league game. One was pistol-whipped. This was shared on Facebook by several people, and I’m not sure exactly how but it got the attention of NBC 5 who did a piece one it.

Tim O’Shea, who plays (or should add, “played”) at Johnny’s spoke to NBC 5 on the piece about the dismissive response he got from management when he raised questions about security at the facility. He was told basically to “go play in the suburbs.” After Tim appeared on the piece, he was banned by general manager Kevin Rosenquist for life. Which seems a total fair and in no way unhinged response for airing concerns that clearly weren’t being addressed. Apparently, Johnny’s public relations theory is “Snitches wind up in ditches.”