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How To Shoot Yourself In The Face – By John McDonough

Well, that was a whole thing, huh?

Let’s state at the top, in the interest of fairness I guess, that there was no way that presser or the Hawks could come out of it looking good. Even if they showed up to announce they flew Kane in simply to punt his ass back to Buffalo in person, it was going to be uncomfortable for everyone. We all knew going in there were things that simply can’t be answered because of the legal process, but reporters are going to ask those questions anyway just to get them out there with any slim chance someone slips.

That doesn’t mean, however, that just because you’re going to look bad you have to look as terrible as possible.

There were two huge missteps by McDonough, as least in my eyes. And what John did prove today is that he’s really good at his job when everyone’s slapping him on the back and telling him what a great organization he runs, but pretty helpless in a crisis. Wouldn’t start measuring the drapes in the commissioner’s office just yet there, buddy.

First, when you’re basically trying to put out a fire and you have someone accused of rape sitting right next to you, it’s not the best time to talk about your team’s accomplishments over the past few years. A). No one gives a shit right now and B) it gives the look that’s what matters over all and the ends justify any means. Now, that might actually be the case but you certainly don’t say that out loud.

Second, and this is just my personal favorite, when McD was asked if they’d only spoken to Kane’s lawyers and not law enforcement in addition (and I’m not convinced they could but the question was asked), McD responded with, ‘We talked to a bunch of different people, I’m don’t know who they talked to and how many.”

WHAT?!

So… John McDonough, president of the organization, protector of #THEBRAND, purveyor of all he sees, doesn’t know who is talking to whom and why? Who made the calls? Who were they talking to? Why didn’t he know? What was he hearing? Who did he leave in charge of this if not himself? Boy, that sure doesn’t seem like you’re on top of the situation, McDonDon.

Or… flip this around and McDonough has talked to law enforcement and/or others he probably wasn’t supposed to to get the inside dope (emphasis on “dope”) and got in the middle of the sentence and realized he was about to step on his own dick. Either way, it’s a total fuck up.

There was simply no reason to have Kane sitting there to take questions, or to teach him and everyone else one phrase to answer them. If he has to be there, have him read his statement and leave. They may have thought they were hanging him out to dry, but when you’re sitting right next to him you’re right there with him with the trap door opening beneath your feet.

Yes, we get it, Kane can’t answer anything because he’s under investigation. But the rest could. You’d better come up with a damn good reason he’s there at all to sell to a large swath of your fans that aren’t exactly pleased that he is, and they basically belched. Blame it on the union if you have to. Toss anyone under the bus. But to keep painting it as a “distraction,” and then going mum… well, you look like a bunch of doofuses.

Have him release his statement yesterday or something. Make it clear that in your season opening press conference he won’t be there and only hockey questions before anyone even walks into the room. But to talk about your training camp preparations mere seconds after you led off with your star player having to claim innocence to a felony? John, you can claim you’re anything but tone def, but you sure don’t know how to show that where anyone can see it.

What was the end game here? To get the worst out of the way in one go? I guess they accomplished that. Get people excited for the season? Uh, can’t check that box off. Justify their decision to have Kane there? Missed that one too. Try and improve how they look to the section of fans that’s pissed? Wuh-iff.

So who’s ready for the 7th? Anyone?

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