Still in a Madge mood. You lot are just going to have to deal.
Anyway, broke about an hour ago that Kirby Dach is going stick with the big club all season. And really, unless he had completely shit himself in these nine games, this is what the Hawks wanted. Part of the reason they drafted him was his NHL frame, and they thought he would have the best chance of playing all season. Alex Turcotte certainly wasn’t. Bowen Byram didn’t make the Avs (though he probably would have made the Hawks). The Hawks had this in mind when they made the pick.
And really, Dach isn’t going to get much going back to Saskatchewan. As I do this longer and longer (and longer and longer), I get to thinking that more kids could probably play in the NHL the year they’re drafted. They come up more and more ready after specialized training at younger and younger ages (whether that’s really a good thing is another debate for another time). But the NHL is still so backwards that they have to fight against what went on before being believed to be the only way by so many. Some still need to physically develop of course, but I really wonder what the weight and training regimens are like at the junior level. College would be more of a sure thing. If Dach needs to hit the weights to add muscle to his frame, he might was well do it with Paul Goodman instead of some hilljack who’s got him throwing bales of hay around in the snow.
This would be an excellent spot to also rant about the bubble of junior hockey being a shit location for the mental and emotional development of a kid, but let’s not right now.
As for what it says about the Hawks… I’m not totally sure. It says either that they think this season matters still, which they pretty much always have. Or it could mean they think Dach’s development is just better suited for this level right now. Or both. Dach is better than whatever other option there was, be it center or wing. Coach Kelvin Gemstone was getting closer to the 3+1 model that Q used forever, with Kampf on a checking line and the other three out to score. And he’d given Dach the help he needs with Saad and Shaw. Maybe you flip Caggiula and Saad to get Saad with Toews at some point, but maybe it doesn’t matter.
And let’s face it, it gives us all something to watch. We don’t know where this team is going, and we don’t know it isn’t headed for a garbage dump in hell right now. But Dach’s development is something we can all keep coming back to, and we need all the help we can get.