Hockey

Whichever Garbage Tkachuk Son Is On This Team – We can’t tell them apart and we don’t think there’s any need. This one hasn’t drummed up the same controversy as the other dreaded Laramie, but give him time and he will. As it is with all these Tkachuk’s, and really any son of a former player, it’s hard to take them seriously as some hardened badass when all they are is rich kids who never had to answer for anything given their dad’s status. One wonders what life must’ve been like in the Tkahuk house. Probably Keith making his kids fight in the backyard to see which one gets to eat dinner that night.

Anthony Duclair – Nothing to do with him of course, as he’s having a breakout season. But this was another young player the Hawks didn’t show enough patience with, especially as his short time here was ruined by Brad Marchand. He washed out of other places so the Hawks aren’t alone, but they certainly could have used another forward with speed and skill. Instead, we have Matthew Highmore.

Eugene Melnyk – They don’t come much worse in ownership than this. Crooked, cheap, and blaming the fans for all the problems. When he’s not complaining he’s crying poor. He’d fit perfectly with the Ricketts family.

Everything Else

There’s something kind of funny about two kids who grew up with every luxury possible as the kids of an NHL player forming into some of the biggest assholes in the league. Like, what were they rebelling against when they were younger? What were they trying to prove? Were they just trying to be Dad? Were they told this by Dad? What did their teammates’ parents think? Or did they learn this later? They must have been hated by their classmates, right? Ha, just kidding, hockey players don’t go to school and can’t read.

But like, imagine these fucking twits, who are already millionaires, acting like this all the time? You’d have wanted to bury any number of kitchen utensils into their nasal cavity. Maybe that’s the point.

Certainly, the Tkachuks are useful players and more. Matthew is one of the biggest contributors to the Flames surprise season, and rising out of the turgid muck of the Senators has been Brady with 27 points in his rookie season. These are not just players who got by on their last name or the ability to annoy the piss out of anyone within 15 feet of them. One wonders if they needed the latter.

Then again, Dad was often fond of telling everyone on the ice how much money he made, even though a Tkachuk team only ever made on conference final appearance. But hey, he got rich playing on teams that didn’t matter, and you can’t argue with that. Not bad for a guy who spent 75% of his career standing still in one specific spot.

Still, the Tkachuk Family Christmas must be a site. Do they start fighting before the presents are out? Or are there just a bunch of wet-willies and trying to fart in each other’s face what they do instead of dinner? It’s gotta be something like that.

 

Game #60 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

It seems fitting that the Ottawa Senators’ preview would come on the NFL’s opening Sunday, where no one is likely to read this in favor of tabulating fantasy points. Because if anyone even in their own sport were paying attention, or if anyone other than the usual cast of weirdos in the mainstream media gave a fuck about the NHL, how truly terrible this organization has become top to bottom is downright astounding. And it’s going to get a whole fuckload worse before it gets better. Their assistant GM Randy Lee has been fired in the wake of sexual assault charges in Buffalo against a male teenaged hotel employee, their owner Eugene Melnyk is overtly trying to spend as little money as possible in a tank effort, but they can’t even do THAT right as their first round pick in the upcoming draft is going to go to Colorado as part of the Matt Duchene deal, and GM Pierre Dorion had the option at the draft to have it be this year’s instead. Oh, and not to mention that their all universe defenseman is in a walk year, and they had to get pennies on the dollar as the return for Mike Hoffman after his and Erik Karlsson‘s significant others were involved in off ice drama. Not to mention that if they were trying to get to the cap floor, they were absolute fools for not taking on Marian Hoassa’s dead $5+ mildo cap hit against $200K out of pocket, as his $1 million dollar now-illegal salary was 80% insured. It’s an absolute goat fuck on top of a (Canadian) Tire fire.

’17-’18: 28W-43L-11OT 67PTS 221GF 291GA 16.6%PP 76.1%PK 47.20%CF 7.75SH% .9082SV%

Forwards: The aforementioned Duchene is still here in the last year of his deal, as is the productive Mark Stone, and both could bring back a pretty serious yield at some point in the year if Dorion weren’t a complete fucking idiot. Bobby Ryan, aka Bobby Stephenson, son of an attempted murder, has got this year and 3 more left on his ridiculous contract at $7.25 per having failed to even crack 15 goals either of the last two seasons. Keith Tkachuk‘s other Garbage Son Brady was drafted way higher than he needed to be because Brady’s agent is Craig Oster, who is both Brady’s uncle (Keith’s brother in law), and Erik Karlsson’s agent, and will forego the rest of his time at BU to try to make the big club. Past that, the corpses of Marian Gaborik and Mikkel Boedkker are here now, which no one remembers, and Zach Smith (no, the other one) and something called J-G Pageau will still play meaningful minutes in Guy Boucher’s affront to the lord of a trapping system.

Defense: Look, Erik Karlsson is the best defenseman in the world, and will probably command $12-ish million a year, and this team is going nowhere fast. It is literally unfathomable that he has not been traded yet on the eve of training camps opening where his value can be maximized, as every game he wastes for the Senators is one he could be playing for a team that matters in the slightest. And once he’s gone, be it tomorrow, next month, the deadline, or in free agency, the group apart from him is truly dire. Cody Ceci, Chris Wideman, and Mark Borowiecki make up the rest of the top 4 here. Yeah, exactly.

Goaltending: Craig “Brett Saberhagen” Anderson has seemingly vacillated between completely solid and truly putrid seasons since he became a regular starter, and last year’s .898 overall and .902 at evens would suggest he’s due for at least a return to competence, but now at 37 that’s nowhere near a sure thing. If he’s at all solid, he could fetch a decent return even with another year left on his deal, but again, don’t count on Pierre Dorion to properly assess that. Mike Condon is slated to back him up in wholly unspectacular fashion.

Outlook: So grim it is utterly pointless, as this team can’t even tank in the hopes of landing Jack Hughes or whoever else is the consensus top pick by the time the draft comes. There is less than zero reason for this team to even exist right now, as they don’t have, and have never anywhere close to a zealous fanbase. A team that should include its team charter and be contracted when Erik Karlsson gets traded. And having lived through the dark ages here, it is not at all hyperbole to state that this team should be contracted. Its continued existence is a fate worse than death.

Previous Team Previews

Detroit Red Wings

Buffalo Sabres

Boston Bruins

Florida Panthers

Montreal Canadiens

Ottawa Senators

Everything Else

While it wouldn’t be our first choice, the Hawks are certainly making all the noise they can that they’re going to keep the #8 pick. And hey, they just might and Stan Bowman’s drafting record is not bad, and he hasn’t ever had a pick this high to play with. The highest pick Bowman has had since 2011 was #18, twice, and he took Mark McNeill (whoops!) and Teuvo Teravainen the next year (I hurt myself today…to see if I still feel…). Stan has only had two other first round picks, as some have been dispatched for deadline trades and the like, and those were Nick Schmaltz (good!) and Henri Jokiharju last year (probably good?).

So let’s start looking at some names the Hawks might take with that pick, if they do indeed keep it. There’s no player there that’s going to help this team next season, at least it’s very unlikely. And we’ll kick it off with Keith Tkachuk’s latest garbage son to enter the draft, Brady Tkachuk.

2017-2018 with Boston University: 40 games, 8 goals, 23 assists, 31 points, 61 PIM

I don’t even know why we’d list other players this week, because if the Hawks keep the pick, and Tkachuk is there, they’re taking him. You know it, I know it, they know it. It’s so obvious it’s like the current humidity just sitting on your head. The Hawks have kind of been obsesses with the Tkachuk family for a while. Keith was the preferred return for Roenick once upon a time, after the Hawks half-heartedly tried to just sign him while Bill Wirtz was asleep. While Stan Bowman has seemingly tried to change the organization’s focus to speed and skill, this is still a front office that values “GRITHEARTSANDPAPERFAAAAAAARRRRT” and you know if “Tkachuk” is the last name, there’s plenty of that.

At first, Tkachuk’s numbers at BU don’t jump out. But we went straight to the man on the ground, one Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy, who watches more Boston area college hockey than anyone who has any dreams of happiness in life would. And he sent this along, which are Tkachuk’s peripherals of the BU games Ryan attended, something like 15-18 of their 40.

Pretty dominant stuff. Tkachuk did play with other high draft picks, as one tends to do on Comm Ave in Boston, in Shane Bowers and Patrick Harper. Later, he was on a line with Jordan Greenway, who finished the year in the Olympics and then the Minnesota Wild. But according to Lambert, all of those players did worse without Tkachuk.

The eight goals only are a concern, but Tkachuk shot 6% all season and it’s unlikely that’s where he is as a player. Also, given his size a lot of his shots should come from in close.

Where Tkachuk has looked particularly tasty is in the past two World Juniors, and we know the Hawks love them some Yanks. He racked up 16 points in 14 games total, and drove the Canadians especially nuts this past tournament in the outdoor game.

Tkachuk isn’t just yap and size. He has exceptional hands and while he’s not a burner, he’s shiftier in traffic than his size would indicate. He’s a gifted playmaker as well, so he might be an oversized DeBrincat, though without the same marksmanship.

All of it signals that Tkachuk has a very good chance of being gone by the time the Hawks are on the clock, and even if I’m skeptical of what they like and would accentuate in Tkachuk’s game he would be a borderline-steal at #8. Tkachuk could probably contribute to an NHL team now, but the general thought is he’s going to play one more year at BU. He probably does need to get a little faster at least to be a real weapon at the top level, and that will be the focus for him next season.