Friday Funbag: Chicago doesn't get the benefit of the doubt
Plus your questions on ice conditions, lines, and AHL affiliations.
The Chicago Blackhawks are at the center of the hockey rumor mill today.
Corey Perry was a late scratch on Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and was then held out of practice on Thursday.
The team called it an "organizational decision” and coach Luke Richardson refused to give any further details. Blackhawks alternate captain Nick Foligno gave minor context to reporters, noting that the team would “miss” Perry and they weren’t sure what was happening.
This has led to a cavalcade of stories about what could potentially be happening with Perry in the Blackhawks.
An “organizational decision” could mean anything and means nothing at the same time. Chicago basically gave the green light to anyone in the content-creation business to speculate on what’s happening with a veteran player.
Chicago has lost the benefit of the doubt when it comes to situations like this because past famous “organizational decisions,” by those in power have a terrible track record.
Do they need to give everything on the Perry situation? No.
But at least some context is important here. If it is something as simple as they potentially trading Perry or he’s hurt, you could call it asset management or maintenance.
Just food for thought… let’s get to your questions.
Tiffany VilchisParks Do you think the Wolves continue their independence next season? And if not, who do they realistically partner with?
The Chicago Wolves desperately want to find an NHL affiliate for next season.
Financially speaking it’s not working this season. The Wolves are taking on millions in costs that are normally covered by an NHL team, and it’s impossible to cover that increase on expenditure in ticket sales.
But the reality of the situation is that there isn’t an NHL team open/willing to partner with Chicago next season. The league is pretty well set in one-to-one partnerships, and aside from hammering something out with the Hurricanes, it’s hard to see a fit for the Wolves.
My gut on the situation is that next season the Wolves and Hurricanes will continue to stay separated, and eventually the AHL and NHL will step in (either formally or informally) to make all sides come to the table.
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Laura Hey Sean, I know that you aren't here in Dallas, but I'm really curious on if you have heard anything about the ice surface? The past couple of games, and against Colorado specifically, it seemed really soft and choppy. There was several instances of players on both sides going down with no one even around them. I sit 3 rows from the ice and it just looked bad. It seemed somewhat better last night against the Rangers, but still saw players going down unprompted. Bad thing is it hasn't been too warm outside for that o be the issue...
Ice conditions have been fresh in my mind, because watching a handful of games on TV on Wednesday night I noticed poor ice in both Dallas and Detroit.
Geographically, it’s more alarming that the ice looks rough in Detroit — it shouldn’t be an issue in a midwest climate. Dallas has dealt with hot days before, but that isn’t the case in late November.
Both Detroit and Dallas play in mixed-use buildings, which gets brought up on social media, but mixed-use buildings are also the norm across the NHL.
I’m gonna take this prompt and do some more digging/thought over the week for a better answer in the future.
Davis Dunkleberger The Stars are good on the record front but have seemingly struggled against teams in the top 10. Is this a cause for concern or will it work itself out?
This past week the Stars went 1-1-1 in games against top-tier teams, the Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, and Vegas Golden Knights.
Based off this week, I’m not concerned about the Stars chances to win the Stanley Cup.
I believe Vegas and Dallas will meet in the Western Conference final, and the winner will have a pretty good chance of winning the whole thing. That’s the fun and frustrating thing about the Stars season, the regular season is largely meaningless when it comes overall success.
Conrad scott newsom I have a couple of skating questions for your guy this week... - I’ve noticed that Jamie Benn uses a “tight” ankle stride technique... vs say Seguin’s stride technique... it looks like Benn tapes all the way to the top of his skate boot... so he doesn’t have the typical ankle/toe extension on his strides that I was taught was important... exaggerated by speed skaters... isn’t it important??? (his legs make up the difference obviously). - Why can’t Marchment skate better/less awkwardly??? Thanks!!!
I will use this as an opportunity to send people back to my story about Stars skating coach Luke Chilcott.
Hannah Inspired by the difference in speed stats between Hintz and Pavelski that you tweeted this week, is a significant difference in speed top of the list of “things that shouldn’t work” when it comes to linemates or are there other differences between players that you can think of? And any examples of where they shouldn’t work but do?
For further context, here is the imagery that Hannah is talking about from Twitter.
Using NHL Edge technology, here is Roope Hintz’ skating speed.
And here is Joe Pavelski.
Hintz is a rocket and Pavelski is closer to a rocking chair. Yet somehow they work to form one of the NHL’s most dangerous lines.
It works well for two main reasons…
Pavelski understands where and when he needs to be better than almost anyone in the game. Even if it’s not fast, it’s still effective.
Hintz has adapted in his career to slightly adjust his routes, not sacrificing speed, but making it so he fits well with the path of the puck.
The goal against the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday was a perfect example of that.
There have been lots of fast-and-slow lines that haven’t worked. For example, look at what happened in Dallas with Denis Gurianov, he was so fast and such a great skater, but he couldn’t play with slower players.
Speed is a difference to make up for, but the biggest things lines have to make up for is shooting mentality.
There are some players who need to be the primary shooter or a puck carrier on the line. It’s a hockey cliche, but there is only one puck and sometimes these players fail too mesh because corresponding skills don’t click.