Everything Else

Fireside Chat

By now, what else can be said about the Toronto-Buffalo scrap from Sunday night starring old friend John Scott. I’m not going to turn this into an enforcer debate because I’d rather hear about your religious beliefs or thoughts on abortion.

Instead, the part that’s tickled me are people who try to compare the situation to what happened in the 60’s or 70’s. “For those people who are offended at this line brawl, what would you think about this fight from 1974??” they say.

I’m guessing those people would be equally offended but that’s just a hunch.

This may come as a shock to some, but times change. Humans evolve and so do sports rules. In the NFL, you used to be able to do anything short of castrating a guy to tackle him. But rules changed and players can’t get away with 90% of what they used to. Yet, you  will never hear anyone with a functioning brain clamor for the golden days of the NFL when there’s a controversial hit.

Everyone, except hockey people apparently, understand that change is inevitable. Rules change, times change and players change. The era of the Broad Street Bullies, line brawls, Mike Milbury climbing into the stands to fight fans and whatever else happened to inspire “Slap Shot”  was entertaining and fun but it also turned hockey more into a satire than sport. It’s time to let the past live in the past and accept that the sport has evolved.

The sooner that happens, the quicker we can all move on from all this.

Will that happen? Of course not.

–I tweeted it last week but understand that not everyone follows me there even though you’re the one missing out on obscure references and sweet music videos.

Anyways, here’s another friendly reminder: Adam Burish was one of the leading scorers for the Hawks in the 2007-2008 preseason. The 14 Blackhawk fans who were paying attention were losing their minds over this 7th round steal who was going to turn into the next 20 goal scorer. How’d that work out?

My point is, Brandon Bollig scoring in the pre-season is no way a harbinger of things to come. Now, he very well could set a career high in goals and points, but I anticipate that being an extreme long shot. Preseason hockey is similar to preseason basketball in its exercise of futility. Results are absolutely meaningless.

–I just realized that I’ve never really shared my thoughts on the Corey Crawford extension. Like the majority of you I’m sure, I’m not crazy about handing out long extensions to goalies especially ones that are in their upper 20’s, have spent more seasons in the minors than NHL and have marginally above average stats.

Buuuuut, Stan Bowman must have had a good reason for doing it. He’s hardly been one to dish out silly long-term contracts throughout his tenure. I wonder if his desire to lock up Crawford had anything to do with not wanting to go through another Niemi situation, i.e. rolling the dice on a guy in his contract year and then not being able to afford his new demands.

The one thing that Crawford has over someone like Marc Andre-Fleury, who I’ve seen him compared to, is that he has faced a ton of adversity throughout his career and come out alright. From thinking he was going to be the back-up with the Hawks in 2008-2009 only to see Cristobal Huet signed, losing his starting job in Rockford to Niemi and then watching the Hawks win the Cup, he had to have his doubts whether it was ever going to happen for him.

And there’s really no need to rehash the adversity he’s faced since donning the Indian head. The point is, he always finds a way to rebound. It might not be immediate but he’ll find a way to pick himself up.

There’s no doubt he’ll have to do it at least one more time during the tenure of his new deal.

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