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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 35

In this Puckin Hostile Shoutcast number 35, the "Tony '0' Esposito" episode, the Hostile crew are joined by the often mentioned, and repeatedly ignored "Uncle Rozsival".

During the doldrums of the NHL, Gate and the gang talk about recent signings, arbitration hearings, talk of expansion, and big news in Toronto and Glendale AZ. Some Blackhawks roster contemplating and trade speculation is discussed, as well. Based on the appearance of one of our near and dear virtual parody Twitter accounts, we throw together a special segment called the "Best and Worst Hockey Twitter Parody Accounts".

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 35 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:

Get the Shoutcast on Soundcloud here:

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Friday, July 17, 2015

2015 Blackhawks Prospect Camp Notes

by Gatekeeper

I made the trek out, twice this week, to check out the baby Blackhawks in the adventurous neighborhood that surrounds Johnny's Ice House West. I took some notes as well as some vine videos, for those that could not make it. Here are my notes, arranged by position. You can click through the different position tabs at the bottom. Players highlighted in green have their rights held by the Blackhawks:

Enjoy these vine videos I took, as well:

Marko Dano (Acquired for Brandon Saad)

Marko Dano (Acquired for Brandon Saad) working against John Hayden (Draft Pick)

Marko Dano, Roy Radke (Draft Pick) and Anthony Louis (Draft Pick)

Marko Dano (Acquired for Brandon Saad) works 2-on-1 Give-n-Go with Garrett Ross (Draft Pick)

Marko Dano (Acquired for Brandon Saad), Garrett Ross (Draft Pick) and Daniel Ciampini (Free Agent Singing)

Defenseman Erik Gustufsson (Free Agent signing)

Defenseman Gustav Forsling (Aquired for Adam Clendening)

Defenseman Erik Gustufsson (Free Agent signing)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 34

In this extended Patrick Sharp trade and number 34 "Dominik Hasek" episode, the Hostile crew analyze the trade of Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars.

Gate, Pat, and Derek also talk about the free agent frenzy, in the wake of the Brandon Saad trade. Some Blackhawks extensions, and low level re-signings. The lack of the Blackhawks ability to jump into the free agency mix because of cap restrictions. The Blackhawks prospect camp. The huge question marks in the lineup. Too much kool aid drinking, and much, much more.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 34 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:

Get the Shoutcast on Soundcloud here:

Also, Please check out and share the Puckin Hostile Stanley Cup Highlight, and the Patrick Kane - Miracle Man videos:

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hat Trick Of Trades

by Patrick Stankus

Well, well, well, we knew it was coming, and we knew the return wouldn't be great, but the much anticipated trade of Patrick Sharp finally went down on Friday evening. While the return was what was expected, the package that StanBo sent to Dallas was enough to warrant me coming out of my summertime writing coma to bitch and moan.

Just as my blood pressure finally got back down to healthy levels following the blood boiling deal of Brandon Saad to my bromance town of Columbus (I already stated my opinion on that during the last shoutcast), StanBo decided to pull off another stunner last night in the Sharp deal. The fact that Sharp was dealt doesn't piss me off, its the fact that StanBo included yet another highly touted defensive prospect go in a deal. Remember last year's cap casualty Nick Leddy? How about Adam Clendening? Or maybe even Klas Dahlbeck? Well now you can add Stephen Johns to that list. What a lovely list it is isn't? For a team that is already wafer thin on defense, lets throw in another defensive prospect in a Sharp deal. Before I get the "Stan had to throw him in to get rid of Sharp" bullshit, let me remind you, StanBo had NO leverage whatsoever in making a deal. He was his usual self and overvalued Sharp at the draft, and thus held onto him instead of taking a package of prospects and picks. So while holding out and being stubborn, Stan was rewarded by have his balls in a vice by teams and had to THROW in a high prospect to rid the salary of Sharp. Terrific move. Let me give you a standing ovation on your stubbornness.

Hang on, I'm still clapping.

The part that aggravates the hell out of me in the inclusion of Johns in the Sharp deal is, you gave away a future NHL defenseman to a team within the division, and got nothing for the future in return. Nothing, nada, zip. Not even a 2017 draft pick. The inclusion of any sort of prospect would have been acceptable to me as well. But to get nothing, makes this trade hard to comprehend. What the Blackhawks received for the package of Sharp and Johns was puck moving defenseman Trevor Daley and an older version of Andrew Shaw in Ryan Garbutt. I guess we should jump for joy that noted dickbag Antoine Roussel.

There's nothing that makes me more happy than to hear StanBo and the rest of the Blackhawks management go gaga over their prized prospects, only to see them all shipped out of town in deals. For every good Andrew Desjardins for Ben Smith deal that StanBo pulls off, there's more "what the fuck is this" type deals that he makes. Rewind to that Leddy trade. Here the Blackhawks are less than a year after trading him, and all the Blackhawks have to show for it is PH photo shop guru Derek Harms' favorite future career AHL defenseman Ville Pokka. Now the jury is still out on Pokka, but to have him as the only piece left in the Leddy trade is disappointing. The other pieces received in that deal were; TJ Brennan (who was flipped in February for Spencer Abbott, who recently bolted Rock Vegas for Sweden) and Anders Nilsson who had his NHL rights traded to Edmonton earlier in the week. Fast forward to the Saad trade, and I'm honestly surprised someone (I'm looking at you Jeremy Morin) hasn't been deal already.

So before everyone gets drunk on the 3 Cups kool-aid, and the "keep the faith" garbage, just remember the Blackhawks third pair on defense is currently penciled in as the Chinese fire drill of Rundblad and TVR. That's comforting to know. I can already hear the whispers of "the Hawks did it with 4 defensemen in the playoffs" talk. Oh please, give me a break.

Fuck it, until the next #BatShitFuckingCrazy trade StanBo pulls off (cough, cough, Corey Crawford or Brent Seabrook) you can find me on the golf course.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Blackhawks Make A Trade:
Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies

by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks did it to us once again. Bowman made the trade everyone knew was coming for the last 14 months, to a team in their division, and also gave up their top prospect at a position they were noticeably thin at already. Just another day in the life of a Blackhawks fan.

It was announced last night that the Blackhawks had traded Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars for Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt. Not a dream, or a nightmare. This happened.

The worst kept secret in the NHL was that the Hawks were shopping Sharp. They had been shopping him since, at the latest, early spring of 2014. His age and cap hit were just not something the Blackhawks could retain. Bowman failed to put together a deal of his liking, realistic or not, and the Blackhawks carried Sharp into this past season. Keep in mind Patrick Sharp was an Assistant Captain and vital powerplay piece, on a 2 time Stanley Cup winning team, who had just come off an appearance with the Canadian Olympic team, and a career best 78 point season. But, Stan Bowman couldn't find a single team that would be interested in taking that off his hands, for just a reasonable return.

Fast forward to this last June, before the draft. The Blackhawks had traded away their first round pick, which Bowman values very highly (until they mature after cooking in the system, then he trades them). Sharp had taken a hit in the production department, dropping to only 43 points, and dropping down in the lineup to the third line. Bowman was not able to put together a deal of his liking, once again. They carried Sharp through both the draft and free agency, until last night.

I personally don't care about any sort of return on Sharp. Honestly. He needed to be dumped. His salary was much more than the Blackhawks could swallow. If they got some unsigned 7th round pick from 2013, I would have understood. This was not a deal that they needed a return on. They are pretty deep at forward, wanted to simply shed cap space.

Instead, the Blackhawks packaged their only NHL ready defenseman prospect, and only one with size, into the deal. This is baffling. Don't give me this "Bowman had to give up their best AHL prospect to get a deal done".

If Bowman that bad at dealing, then he needs to be doing something else. This is not some kind of creative cap wizardry. This is straight out larceny. Complain, whine, and be mad at me all you'd like, but being a hugely successful, deep NHL franchise does not require fleecing most of your young talent for spare parts. It is supposed to mean that teams come to YOU, to clear out the wealth and take it off your hands. The Blackhawks essentially gave up some veteran leadership and the future on defense, in a single deal. For a Johnny Oduya replacement and an agitating face puncher.

I will never understand Stephen Johns being traded. In fact, I would have understood Teuvo Teravainen being traded, before Johns. I thought maybe if I slept on this part of the trade, it would somehow make more sense. It doesn't.

The Blackhawks have traded their 3 top defensive prospects, in the last 5 months. four if you count Mike Paliotta. All. Gone. After developing them for years. Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck, Mike Paliotta and Stephen Johns are all playing elsewhere, while this already thin organization scratch their collective heads. Remember, just a month ago, the Blackhawks were forced to play their top 4 defenders nearly into the grave for the Cup, because their defensive depth was such utter garbage.

How do we fix that? Trade 2 of the top 3 young ones away. Daley is a wash, because he just replaced Oduya. The Blackhawks gained a couple of years of youth, but lost Oduya's experience. All this for, $2.5 Million in cap relief, because they took $4.2 Million back. From a team that still has OVER $6 Million in cap space remaining.

Let us not forget that the Blackhawks just traded their top young forward, in Saad, just a couple of weeks ago with Paliotta.

One last thing. For the lazy assholes that can only come back with "were you in the room negotiating?"

Take that, your #3CUPZ defense and shove them up right up your ass. The only thing that says is, "I know nothing, so screw it, I'll stick my head in the sand"

Once again, here are the Blackhawks NHL Cap Hits:


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Things You Oughta Know"
Panarin, Tikhonov, and more

by Gatekeeper

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the "Grumpy Gate and Petulant Pat Team Miserable show", starring Gatekeeper and Patrick Stankus.

It pains me to have to be in this situation and have to explain this every year, but it seems as though the average Joe SportzIdiot just simply NEVER LEARNS. It's not just Hockey fans and it's not just in Chicago. Sports fans, in general, are some of the biggest slobbering morons on this planet. There are the select groups that actually come to this wonderful tool called the intarwebz to research and form educated opinions, and there are the rest. Probably 70%, at least. The remaining 30% are the people that probably reading this right now, with a handful of the shaved down gorillas sprinkled in, who somehow mistyped "uhhh, big bewbz". You are here because you're interesting in knowing more. I admire and respect that. I want to know more, too. If I could spend entire days listening and reading people like Chris Block, Al Cimaglia, and Jay Zawaski, I would. They make me a smarter person with their knowledge. This is not to say I agree with everything they say, but a healthy majority has proven to be spot on. Do yourself a favor; or favour if you're from Canada. Stop reading garbage like HockeyBuzz and The Hockey Writers. Focus your attention on people with real proven knowledge. If you continue to read our stuff here, thank you. None of us are always right, but we try to provide intelligent, pragmatic analysis.

Other than Pat. He just gives drunken rants on cheap gutter swill craft beer.

All that aside, there are some things that need to be hashed out about this Blackhawks team. The casual fans are flipping their fucking lids over a number of topic that need to be put to rest so, please, allow me be the asshole.

First of all, I want to direct you to a couple of articles I have published over the years:

Kyle Baun and Mike Paliotta Will Disappoint......Ahhh Nevermind
Teuvo Teräväinen Will Disappoint You All
Marcus Krüger will Disappoint You All

Notice a theme here? Get ready for this next one. Hold your disgust until the end, please.


Much like those past pieces, the title alone will get me 20 hate laced messages, because "READIN IZ HARD!".

These two "heralded" prospects from the KHL will be attempting to make a name for themselves, and earn a spot on the Blackhawks come this September. Let me tell you precisely why you will all be disappointed at what will happen. You expect too much! You expect WAY too much from these players!

Lets begin with young Artemi Panarin. For those that have been a Stanley Cup celebration fog for the last 2 weeks, the 23 year old Panarin was the 4th leading playoff scorer in the KHL last season, as well as the 5th leading scorer in the regular season. Nice accolades, for sure, if you look purely at the numbers. Let's not forget that this is the KHL. The KHL boasts high flying former NHL players like Alexander Radulov, Stevie Moses, Kevin Dallman, Maxin Afinogenov, Evgeni Dadonov, Deron Quint, Brandon Bochenski, Jonathan Cheechoo, Linus Omark and a player all Blackhawks fans remember, Alexander "The Alligator" Salak. Impressive right? I know you are all quite impressed with this esteemed and well decorated list.

Lets pause for a second to let all this sink in...


Every one of those players was either kicked out of, or unwanted by, the NHL. Most players, in fact, weren't even good enough to be in the NHL. All of these players listed, by the way, are in the KHL league leaders. There is one player in the KHL, however, who had a pretty decent NHL career; Ilya Kovalchuk. He's only over there slaying bums so the Devils don't get smacked with a big heavy sack of "Cap Recapture", while making basically ALL the KHL's money, however. This is an inferior league, people, plain and simple. It is equivalent to the AHL playing on a bigger ice surface. Panarin pulled a Spencer Abbott. Possibly, a Martin St. Pierre. Temper your expectations. The funniest part of this whole experience is this "Russian Patrick Kane" comparison. A more accurate comparison would be "AHL's Patrick Kane", because that is what his skill set is more equivalent to. Sorry to break it to you, and be as mad as you want, but that is the truth. If you expect Antemi Panarin to both make the team, and score more than 35 points next year, you're huffing paint. This past Tuesday night on the Bill Swersky Sports podcast, Chris Block mentioned an excellent comparison, which is Kris Versteeg. I think he needs to be applauded for this. Next spring, it'll be apparent how right he was.

Based on his salary, this is a win for the Blackhawks. I'm not saying that replacing Versteeg with a younger, cheaper player is bad, at all. If fact, it makes sense in so many way, the first of which is that Kris Versteeg SUCKS! But, expecting him to come in and be anything more than an affordable mid-level depth guy, with the ability to add some occasional secondary scoring is completely irrational. There is a reason he was never drafted, and there is a reason he signed a deal that is under $1 Million a year. Think about it. He is just simply not worth any more than that. If, by some miracle, he breaks out, the reported performance bonuses will reward him. It is not clear what the bonuses actually are, but maybe we will find out. Remember, folks, temper expectations.

Viktor Tikhonov is in the same boat, just 4 years further down the river. He is 27, and has already taken one shot at the NHL. He played 61 games with Phoenix, in 2008 as a 1st round draft pick. He registered 16 points in 61 games. Excited yet? He is less than a point per game (0.63) in the KHL, and was at roughly .5 points per game last season. Roughly in the area of what Brandon Mashinter, or Dennis Rasmussen did in Rockford last season. Again, riveting, right?

Once again, there is a reason he signed a deal for roughly what David Rundblad is going to make next season. That is what he's worth. These two guys, if they make the team, will be 3rd line guys. They may get the occasional fill in shifts with the money guys, but don't expect it. Tikhonov will be lucky to have 25 points this coming season. Don't say I didn't warn you.

You hate me don't you?

Now let us move on to the important parts of the smoldering pile of flesh that was Brandon Saad. Artem Anisimov, and Marko Dano. Anisimov is a 27 year old, big center. Great news for the Blackhawks. Second line center for the next 6 years, right? If he doesn't get locked in Quenneville's doghouse, that is. The Blackhawks have been reportedly been trying to acquire this player for years. Swell.

I cannot fault them for attempting to fill that spot. It has been a huge hole the entire time Stan Bowman has been the leader of this evil empire. But, for a second, let's remember all the centers that have been brought in to be THAT guy. It may take a while. We cannot assume Joel Quenneville will play him there, just because the greater majority of us think that's where he belongs. THE MAN HAS #3CUPZ FOR HEAVENS SAKES! He knows much more than us uneducated meatball fans do, and he will show us this, even if it costs Game 3 of the quarter finals.

We need to see where the decision maker puts him. Theoretically, he should certainly be the second pivot to open the season on October, though.

After Anisimov, the Blackhawks also acquired the person that might eventually be the pickup of the summer. Slovakian forward Marko Dano. He played 35 games with the Jackets and had 21 points. That is honestly pretty damn impressive, especially for a 20 year old European player. Granted, if he was drafted by the Blackhawks, he would still be in Europe and you all know this. Dano IS a slightly bigger Teuvo Teravainen, just drafted a year later. He has played and proven he can contribute against actual NHL talent, which the two Russians haven't. He is younger, and was scouted well. The upside is much more promising for him. This is to say that Quenneville doesn't monkey with his ego by throwing a lasso around his neck and beating him into submission. After watching his goals from this past season, it seems as though he plays very well with Artem Anisomov, so we must keep this in mind. It may be best served, if Dano and Anisimov are paired together on the 3rd line. Just a thought, and what do I know? Since I only evaluated talent and chemistry at a High School age level for roughly a decade, clearly I know absolutely nothing about these unusual adult hockey creatures.

Take a look at his 8 goals from this past season, along with a highlight reel assist on a Scotty Hartnell goal:


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Saad But True - Bowman Unloads

by Gatekeeper

So THAT happened...

Just as the day wound down, yesterday, the Blackhawks snuck in a quick minor little deal.

To Columbus
LW - Brandon Saad
C - Alex Broadhurst
D - Michael Paliotta

To Chicago
C - Marko Dano
C - Artem Anisimov
RW - Corey Tropp
LW - Jeremy Morin
2016 4th Rd Pick

Please note the sarcasm. It was reported that the contract talks between Brandon Saad and the Blackhawks had broken down, and his demands went from $4 million per year to $6.5 Million per year. This is ALL speculation, until he signs with Columbus, and I'm not buying it just yet.

As angry as I was when this deal was announced, I've had a night to sleep on it. I'm still not a fan, because Stan Bowman traded away one of the few young players that the team was actually able to develop, and probably the best young power forward in the league. If his hand was forced, then so be it. I hope, for Bowman's sake, that it was. Saad has been my favorite young player on this team for 3 years, and it hurts that he is gone. In fact, in the Bowman era, this is the biggest single loss they have encountered. Andrew Ladd is the second biggest loss, and all the rest fall in behind. Don't give me any of this Dustin Fluff-lien horse shit, because he has been a wild card, and was a bottom 6 forward or a bottom 3 defender. He is a role player for this team.

Brandon Saad is a very talented player, and I feel like he will do well. He has learned the ropes from 3 future Hall Of Fame players, and he has a good head on his shoulders. My best guess is that he will top out as a 35 goal/75 point guy.

The other questionable part of the trade going to Columbus was Michael Paliotta. This guy was Stan Bowman's hottest target this spring, when it was floated that he may pull a Kevin Hayes. They wined him, and dined him. They burned a year off his ELC to play one BAD game with the Hawks, and then they discard him. I thought he was one of the top defensive prospects. Apparently, they were as impressed as I was with his stellar NHL debut.

Onward and upward, as they say. More is sure to come out.

The Blackhawks acquired a guy that they have reportedly been eyeing for quite some time. He is 27 year old Russian center Artem Anisimov. Admittedly, I don't know a great deal about him, but he is a big body center than can fit in on the second line, allegedly. He came in with a $3.1 Million, and signed a 5 year $4.55 Million extension this morning. I hope you all like your Artem, becasue he's going to be here a while. Anisimov has 6 solid NHL seasons under his belt and averages about half a point a game. He was a 44% faceoff guy last season with the Jackets, as well. Feel free to judge for yourself:

I guess that is worth $4.55 Million.

The second, and maybe most intriguing piece of the deal was 20 year old Slovak Marko Daňo. He's an average sized center/wing that has speed and shiftiness, much like Kane, Teravainen and Panarin before him. He was a 2013 first round draft pick of the Jackets and had 21 points in 35 games. Nothing to scoff at. Here are his full stats:

Here is a WJC Dano Highlight Package:

Everyone seemed to be masturbating over this goal. Take it for what it is, one goal:

The third player in the deal is Corey Tropp, who is a 25 year old, nondescript, depth guy. He had 8 points in 61 games last season. Here is his line:

The last player might be the interesting piece. Bowman re-acquired Jeremy Morin, whom he basically gave away for nothing, in Tim Erixon. The same Jeremy Morin that Quenneville refused to play, and the same Jeremy Morin that was out for an extended time last season with an irregular heart rate. Makes no sense.

For anyone that want's to bash Saad as a player, let us watch him clown an all-star defenseman, once again:


Puckin Hostile
2015 Blackhawks
Free Agency Frenzy Ticker

by Gatekeeper

This a running ticker of the deals that the Blackhawks made for this year's free agency. Updates as needed.

The Deals

Viktor Tikhonov - 6'2" 185 lb - 27 year old Russian Wing/C - 1 year deal / $1.04 Million


Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 33

In this Brandon Saad trade and number 33 "Jason Ellison" (and NOT #LemontNativeScottDarling) episode, the Hostile crew is joined again by Jim Kress Jr from CityOnTheTake.com (Who begged and pleaded to come on), and Sean Fitzgerald from BlackhawkUp.com

Gatekeeper, Pat, Derek, Jim and Sean, wait it out but eventually get to the Brandon Saad trade. We also cover the draft, pending free agency, the Parade and Cup rally, the "Jim and Derek Show", the heel tag team of the New NWO (Gate and Pat), and all the hi-jinx that has happened since the Blackhawks won the cup.

Check out the Puckin Hostile Stanley Cup Highlight video:

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Check out Mike Figueroa at:
Portions of his profits go to the Ronald McDonald House Chicago.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 33 MP3 Download

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