Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wrong Chicago Team Being Dismantled

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1961 and before the alcohol could fully work its way through Patrick Kane's system, the team is being stripped for parts like a hot BMW at a chop shop.

Obviously, it is upsetting to see team members that played significant roles in the Stanley Cup winning season get sent to the four corners of the NHL.  We'll miss Byfuglien, Versteeg, Eager, Ladd, Sopel, Burish, and any others I may have missed or who may still yet depart.  But think about this: What if the Blackhawks hadn't won the Stanley Cup this year?  That would have been a true sports tragedy.

What if Kane hadn't been able to tie up Game 5 of the Nashville series as the clock was winding down?  What if they hadn't been able to kill off the rest of Hossa's major penalty in overtime?  What if Luongo didn't suddenly turn from a gold medal-winning goalie into a whiny bitch?  What if Pronger didn't suddenly remember he was 110 years old in Game 5 or if Niemi had simply been human and let a couple of the two billion shots on goal in the Game 2 of the finals get by him?

If the Blackhawks had stumbled on any part of their road to the Cup, the same salary cap issues that are ravaging the roster would still be happening.  This was it for this team.  This is not like the post-Jordan Bulls who dismantled their team voluntarily before they could be defeated on the basketball floor. 

The villain in this case is not a dumpy man with a huge ego and eight chins stuffed into a wrinkly, stained suit letting his own sense of importance get carried away.  The villian here is math.  If there was any way they could make the salaries all add up to a number that was less than the salary cap number, I'm sure the Hawks would love nothing more than to have this same team have a go at repeating next year.

So even though it hurts to see some of our favorite players get sacrificed to the salary cap gods, imagine how much it would hurt if it were happening when they hadn't yet fulfilled their potential. 

Though what is even a bigger tragedy, it turns out, is that baseball had no salary cap to force a break-up of the Cubs before this season started.


Your old college friend, Mike Swanson... said...

As Cubs fans this is hard for us to understand, but the Hawks are actually preparing to be better in the future. They're replacing parts with value now and keeping the core in tact. Don't forget about the free agents that will flock to Chicago to be a part of the next run. This strategy worked well for Detroit and it will for us, too, and without the salary cap nightmares we would have had without these bold moves. The players that have been traded were great cogs, and important to winning the Cup, but their value is at its peak. None of them will be All-Stars. Hendry should be so savvy.

Aisle 424 said...

Hey Big Mike! You are correct, with Kane, Toews, Hossa, and Keith locked in, that is a hell of a nucleus to build around. It also sounds like an extension for Niemi is in the works.

But you are also correct that it is difficult to watch as Cubs fans. We are not accustomed to bold moves working out for the best (see Bradley, Milton or Fukudome, Kosuke or Soriano, Alfonso or Zambrano, Carlos), so a bit of trepidation is natural.

But what gets me through, even expecting the worst possible outcome, is that they already won the championship at least once in my life.

That doesn't seem like a scenario I will enjoy with the Cubs any time soon.

Max Power said...

"The villian here is math."

That may be my favorite statement of 2010.

Aisle 424 said...

Mine favorite phrase has yet to be uttered:

"Jim Hendry has been fired."

Post a Comment

The easiest way to comment is to choose the Name/URL option from the Comment As dropdown menu below. You do not need to put in a URL for this option to work.

Sometimes upon submitting the comment, you will get an error saying there is a problem. Submit the comment again and it should work. I am looking into correcting this glitch.