Tag Archives: Blackhawks

It Is Official Chicago Blackhawks’ Fans

Info provided by ESPN.com

NHL TO PUT WRIGLEY FIELD ON ICE ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

CHICAGO — Frosty baseball games have long been a fixture at Wrigley Field, where a stiff wind off Lake Michigan can chill fans, players and managers alike.

Now the Friendly Confines is going on ice. For one day.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks are taking hockey back outdoors when they meet New Year’s Day 2009 in the home park of the Chicago Cubs.

It will be the NHL’s second Winter Classic. Last season in Buffalo, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 before a crowd of 71,217. Snow fell during the game and the Pens won on Sidney Crosby‘s goal in a shootout.

It will mark the third regular-season outdoor game in NHL history. The Edmonton Oilers hosted the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 22, 2003.

The game, beginning at 1 p.m. ET, will be televised nationally on NBC.

The matchup will be the 701st meeting between the Red Wings and Blackhawks — no NHL opponents have played more regular-season games against one another than these two fierce rivals. Red Wings fans often make the trip to Chicago when their team faces the Blackhawks.

“The NHL is delighted to bring its most historic rivalry to one of the most historic venues in sports,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

“We’ve been a candidate to play in this for a long time and everybody in our organization is excited about being a part of what is becoming an annual outdoor classic,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to promote our game, our league and our team and have a one-in-a-lifetime experience at the same time.”

Wrigley Field is the second-oldest baseball park in the major leagues behind Boston’s Fenway Park. Wrigley opened in 1914 and the Cubs played their first game there two years later.

The Chicago Bears once played at Wrigley Field. And the neighborhood park has hosted other events, including two Sting concerts during the All-Star break of 2007 that resulted in patches of the outfield grass being roughed up.

Cubs officials weren’t immediately available for comment Wednesday.

Blackhawks president John McDonough is a former president of the Cubs, where he was also a longtime marketing executive.

The Jan. 1 game could also be competing for viewers with college football bowl games, a New Year’s Day tradition.

NBC Sports spokesman Brian Walker said the game is played on a heavy bowl game day because it has its own set of viewers. Last year’s Winter Classic earned a 2.6 overnight rating and a 5 share, the best overnight NHL regular-season rating in more than a decade.

“It’s a great event that stands on its own. It exceeded our wildest expectations last time and we expect to build on that success at a great venue with two Original Six franchises,” Walker said. “You can’t ask for anything better. Hopefully we’ve started a new tradition. The ratings were extremely healthy last year and we fully anticipate them to improve.”

Bettman also said the league will continue discussions with the New York Yankees and the city of New York to perhaps bring an outdoor game to the new Yankee Stadium that opens next year.

Eddie Olczyk, who helped broadcast the Penguins-Sabres game for NBC last year and is a former Blackhawks player, called the outdoor experience “one of the best events I’ve ever been a part of as a player, coach or broadcaster. It truly was a memorable experience and a great day for the sport of hockey.”

Getting the game is the latest move by the Blackhawks to regain popularity in their own city where they have lagged after missing the playoffs nine times in the past 10 seasons.

“We have said from the start we are going to do everything possible to bring the Chicago Blackhawks back to the forefront of sports for our fans and the city of Chicago,” Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said.

The Blackhawks have put together a nucleus of young players, headed by NHL rookie of the year Patrick Kane, and have finally worked out a deal to have their home games televised, something they didn’t do for years under the late owner Bill Wirtz, Rocky’s father.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

NOW IF YOU ARE AS EXCITED AS I AM YOU MUST REMEMBER SOME VERY IMPORTANT THINGS MOVING FORWARD.

#1 YOU CAN GET INTO MANY RED WING – HAWKS GAMES FOR UNDER $50.  YOU REALLY DON’T GET PINCHED UNLESS YOU SIT IN THE FIRST OR SECOND LEVELS.  HOWEVER, THIS IS WRIGLEY FIELD ON NEW YEARS DAY SO YOU ARE GOING TO NEED…

#2 THE FRIENDLY CONFINES USUALLY LOOK LIKE THIS…

HOWEVER THIS IS JANUARY, NEAR THE LAKE, IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO! 

#3 THE ATMOSPHERE OF WRIGLEY IS WHY IT WAS SELECTED OVER SOLDIER SPACESHIP.  HOWEVER, PLEASE LISTEN UP AND LISTEN UP GOOD.  THIS…

WON’T BE HAPPENING.  REMEMBER, IT IS JANUARY IN CHICAGO SO BE PREPARED FOR THIS…

SO IF YOU TAKE MY HELPFUL HINTS OF BRINGING ALL OF THE MONEY IN YOUR BANK, ACCEPT THAT THE IVY WILL BE DEAD AND THE WINDS WILL BE COLD YOU SHOULD HAVE YOURSELF ONE HELL OF A TIME.

PERSONALLY, WITH ALL OF THE COLLEGE BOWL GAMES ON THAT DAY I’LL STAY HOME, SAVE SOME MONEY AND DO PICTURE IN PICTURE.

GO HAWKS.

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Favre a Bear, I can Harden-ly Wait

Every year something happens in your sports world that is significant.  For White Sox fans it was 2005, for Red Sox fans 2004 and 2007 and there are so many others to name. 

For me I have plenty.  I have dozens of Michael Jordan and Walter Payton moments that no one can ever take.  I have the 1985 Bears, 6 Bulls World Championships, the 2004 Red Sox, Sammy and McGwire and numerous NJ Devils Cup wins. 

This season has been significant though.  Rocky Wirtz assumes control of the Hawks and suddenly they are going to be back on TV with Pat Foley.  They sign the top defensemen in the free agent market and they are going to play the arch enemy Red Wings in Wrigley Field.  Not to mention my other favorite hockey team, the Da Devils, resigned a bunch of players from their 90’s cup teams.

This is all GREAT news in my hockey world but what about baseball.  Well, it can’t get much better.  The Red Sox are in great shape to capture another AL playoff birth and challenge for another AL championship.  My NL team, the Cubs are the best in the NL.  They have great starters, relievers and timely hitting.  Then they have 7 players named to the all-star team which is unheard of.  As a Cub fan you are usually happy if 2 Cubs are named to the team.  The cherry on top so far was the answer to the Brewer-Sabathia trade with a trade of our own.  A trade that brough AL young stud pitcher Rich Harden to the northside for 4 little used players.  It is almost unreal.  They are almost 20 games over .500 with one of the best rotations in baseball and the best bullpen in the majors.  Harden was the young ace of the A’s.  Rich has had injury issue but, if healthy, should win many games for Chicago.  The Cubs are now odds on favorites to win the NL Pennant and the Blackhawks are BACK!

Oh, and I certainly don’t want to leave out the Bulls.  They were disappointing and handled the Scott Skiles poorly.  They were blown out a lot and the top young players in Gordon, Deng and Hinrich all regressed.  So, what about the Bulls?  Well, how about having a 1.9% chance to land the #1 overall draft pick and doing it.  The top college point guard Derrick Rose is coming to Chicago.  He may not be a prolific scorer but he can play defense and is a true point guard.  The Bulls have begun yet again to rebuild but getting Rose was amazing and a great first cog in a championship wheel.

Things are all good with my sports world.  Could it get any better?

That’s right, I said it! B R E T T  F A V R E

Don’t act surprised Bears’ Fans!  Bob Probert put on a Blackhawks sweater.  Dennis Rodman put on a Bulls uniform.  Jim “Cub Killer” Edmonds now patrols center for the Cubbies.  So, why not?

The Bears defense is still top 5 and the special teams is one of the best in the NFL.  The offensive line is decent and the tight ends are great.  The biggest question mark is at QB.  The current Bears offense with Grossman or Orton is probably lower 1/3 of the NFL at best.  We have a young running back and a lot of question marks at WR so we just don’t know. 

However, add Brett Favre to the mix and it changes.  You would have a future HOF QB that knows how to run an offense.  He knows how to throw a screen pass.  He loves to throw to the tight end and we have two really good tight ends.  Brett would automatically hook up with Marty Booker and watching the half dozen or so bombs Hester would catch from Favre would be priceless.  So, why not?  Our current Bears are a 7-9 or 8-8 team at best.  You add a Brett Favre to the mix you are talking 10-6 to 11-5 and a playoff birth. 

My advice to Green Bay is please activate him and cut him loose.  That would be the best thing to do.  We could sign him and hopefully offer him more than Minnesota, Baltimore, Carolina or Tampa Bay.  After all, with everything else in the Chicago sports world aligning nicely, why not for the Bears too.

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Chicago Drive-By for February 28th

BPD can’t use Quick Hits because that is a Sun-Times piece but I find it to be too fluffy.  Don’t get me wrong I love the gratutious photos but if you are gonna hit em…hit em hard.

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BLAM!!! Bernard Berrian is a good receiver and a good person.  He is NOT worth the money he is asking.  The Bears feel pressured because of the mediocre free agent and college draft talent available this season.  However, the Giants showed the world you can win without top notch speed at the wide reciever position.  That being the case let BB go and sign free agent WR Bryant Johnson and Dante Stallworth and draft 6′ 4″ James Hardy from Indiana. 

BLAM! BLAM!  Mark DeRosa stood strong all winter against the rumors that Brian Roberts was coming to Chicago and there would be no starting position for him.  He was confident saying the starting job was his.  Well Mark, we love confidence but it does you no good if you drop dead in between 2nd and 3rd base.  Cubs, go get Roberts and stop screwing around.  Mark will be utility man and that is that.  Something tells me his heart isn’t in it anyway.

BLAM!  BLAM!  BLAM!  Kirk Hinrich should be excited about the new fire power on this Bulls team.  They are the youngest team in the NBA.  They are more athletic than any team in the NBA.  Finally, they have been scoring over 120 points per game lately.  How does Hinrich celebrate this accomplishment.  By playing like a little bitch against rival Indiana.  Newbie Larry Hughes stepped up.  Newbie Drew Gooden stepped up.  Hinrich took a step down…and out.  Kirk was benched by Bulls head coach Boylan who is taking a tough stand against lazy play.  I think maybe it is time to activate Duhon of the scratch list and add Whiner Hiner.

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BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!  Final drive-by of the day is towards the mighty Blackhawks.  They had every opportunity to deal the overpaid, often hurt Martin Havlat over the last few days.  Teams wanted him and Montreal was close to getting him.  So what happened?  The Hawks couldn’t get a deal done and Havlat goes out and hurts himself last night.  Way to go BLACKHAWKS!

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