It’s that time of year again, when John McDonough tries to neuralize the past three or four seasons from Hawks fans’ brains and make them buy stuff! If you’re heading to the Convention, here’s our handy guide to what’s really going on downtown all weekend.
5pm – Opening Ceremonies: Hey, do you love championship parades, but without the actual cathartic journey of a season, or actual success, or the actual parade, but just the rally at the end where players stand awkwardly in their jerseys in the heat? Well then this is for you! They’ll even sing the national anthem for no reason!
8pm – Blackhawks Variety Show: Do you like what the Cubs have done with Ryan Dempster, where middling comedians feed him lines he half-delivers (I can say that because I’m friends with them)? Well watch us try it with even dumber Canadians! Except Adam Burish, who is from Wisconsin, which is probably worse. Enjoy the journey of Burish and Dempster one day becoming Chicago’s Statler and Waldorf on all sports.
8am – Blackhawks Fitness Presents Pure Barre: Wasn’t Barre like the trend five years ago? How hockey is this that even at a gimmick convention they’re still behind the times? What would be contemporary? OrangeTheory? That nutcase Mark Lazerus just went to work out with? Whatever.
9am – “On The Clock” With Kirby Dach: Follow Dach’s and the Hawks’ journey to what could be a franchise turning moment with the #3 pick…or all the ways he’s not Bowen Byram.
9:30 – Colliton’s Command: You’ll get the chance to make Colliton cry just like Chris Block did in Rockford. Don’t bother asking any questions, because every answer (including during the season) is just going to be…
10:30 – “My Next Guest Is…” with Patrick Kane: Can’t we give Bob Verdi something better to do? Can we get him writing for the Trib again? God knows they could fucking use it. I didn’t realize how good we had it with him and Bernie Lincicome as columnists when I was a kid. And then Bernie went off the goddamn deep end himself.
11:30 – Blackhawks Leadership: Do you want to see a bunch of entrenched white guys who’ll never lose their job but can’t afford to visit Congress? Well, here ya go. Come watch McDonough, Rocky, and Seabrook point at three banners the entire time.
12:30pm – Kids Only Press Conference: You can apparently ask Tommy Hawk a question, even though I’m fairly sure birds don’t talk. Why it’s called “birdwatching” not “bird discussion.” Some parent is going to try and get their child to ask Connor Murphy what it will be like to be traded to Vancouver because of cap concerns though, I’m sure.
2pm – Blackhawks Family Feud: By holding it this early the Hawks are hopeful, just, that Jeremy Roenick won’t be drunk enough to spout something stupid/racist. Why did we continue this show after Richard Dawson was pawing at everything on set before falling down in his own vomit? Have you ever watched Steve Harvey zombie his way through the real thing? The man almost literally cashes his check on camera. But hey, more power to him.
2pm – Hockey Operations: Is it a coincidence they’re having this panel directly opposite the fun and light gameshow one with Hawks legends? Of course it’s not fucko! How dare you think such a thing! Get a look inside the front office as they stare blankly at scouting reports before asking each other, “Hey who was that guy who played on our third line fiveyears ago? Let’s get him back. No way he’ll be worse because he’s older now.”
3:30 – Welcome Back Andrew Shaw: Do not be shocked if they have him come out and beat up one of those dolls the Hanson Brothers do when they make appearances. In fact, maybe Shaw will be dressed as a Hanson brother. I mean, that’s essentially what we’re doing here, right?
4pm – Blackhawks Top Prospects: After answering a fan’s question with, “Yeah, I think I should be on the team this year, I mean, have you seen this oil spill that wears #7? Boqvist is traded to Tampa on Sunday.
4:30 – Reliving The 2010 Stanley Cup: Hooo boy, get ready for this all the time. When you don’t have anything going on presently, nothing sates the people like pumping as many CCs of nostalgia straight into their veins, even if 10 years barely counts as nostalgia. The look on Duncan Keith’s face during all of this next season is going to be priceless. Come hear Adam Burish talk about the one thing that makes anyone know who he is, even though Chris Pronger should have rightly killed him directly afterward. And maybe Dave Bolland can get his wheelchair up the dais!
6:15 – Team Hochberg Shoot The Puck Challenge: Can we get this Hochberg guy to fight that Ankin guy to the death at an intermission some time?
6:30 – The Second City: It’s like the Variety Show but worse! I do this rant every year, but I can never say it enough. Second City is a goddamn scam. While it has produced some very talented people, it has used those names to create an assembly line of incomprehensibly mediocre talents who simply kept paying their money to the name and were moved along simply due to that. But hey, no better way to learn how to be funny to tourist and rubes!
10am – “Blackhawks Talk” with Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat: Watch Pat Boyle (how is this guy still involved, really?) lob softballs at no-way hungover Strome and DeBrincat. They’ll talk about heading out of their entry-level deals, with Top Cat trying to refrain from yelling, “I’M RICH BIATCH!” and Strome trying to convince everyone he’s not Schmaltz II.
11am – Storytelling With Hockey Hall of Famers: Boy, you have to love a segment that’s called “storytelling” with a bunch of people who took blows to the head for a living. That’s it’s own storytelling right there, people.