Sox Drawer: Blackhawks mania is Beatles-esque

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Sox Drawer: Blackhawks mania is Beatles-esque

Sunday, June 13, 2010
8:35 PM

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

The screams first came from the rooftops on Sheffield Avenue; loud, high-pitched squeals of excitement that was, dare we say, Beatles-esque.

In the 1960's, rock and roll may have had the British Invasion. This was a Blackhawks Invasion, a hockey movement that sent a packed Wrigley Field into a state of championship euphoria, something that, as we know, has been missing from these parts for the last century.

The doors opened in right field, and there they were. Not John, Paul, George, and Ringo...but Pat, Jonathan, Antti, and The Cup.

Considering that this Hawks team has been "Here, There, and Everywhere" around Chicago these last few days, maybe their greatest feat was the fact that the players were still standing.

With the Sox and Cubs finishing their warm-ups before the game, the Hawks continued their title parade around the field, to the delight of everyone....until head coach Joel Quenneville handed the Cup to Ozzie Guillen, who proceeded to lift it above his head as if he just won Game 6.

Cubs fans suddenly thought they were looking at Chris Pronger.

But in a park greatly divided by North Siders and South Siders, there was one thing everyone agreed on: these Blackhawks.

The party continues.

In Saad’s case, re-acquiring Blackhawks alumni is beneficial

In Saad’s case, re-acquiring Blackhawks alumni is beneficial

* “Don’t look to the past anymore. It’s great to think you can recapture the magic with former players but years go by and times change.”

The sentences you see above were written by yours truly after the Blackhawks were unceremoniously eliminated from the first round in April. And for the most part, I stand by the message. The Blackhawks kept going back to their alumni well for solutions but, for the most part, it wasn’t working. But there’s always an exception to the rule, always one asterisk that can be applied in every situation (as we’ve done here).

In this case, that exception is Brandon Saad.

This isn’t someone who played with the Blackhawks five or more years ago. This isn’t a player who’s in his 30s. This isn’t a player who’s at the end of his career. This is a player in his prime, a 24-year-old who has a whole lot of game remaining and a whole lot of familiarity with this group, especially captain Jonathan Toews.

By the way, anyone else struck by the irony that the same Saad deal that the Blackhawks couldn’t afford two years ago is now one that fits perfectly, and will be really beneficial in two seasons when they don’t have to worry about trying to re-sign Artemi Panarin, who will be an unrestricted free agent?

Anyway, back to revisiting the past. General manager Stan Bowman admitted that he was hoping to bring Saad back into the fold at some point, although talks for this particular deal didn’t heat up until the past few days.

“Certainly it was a tough move a couple of years ago to have to make that trade [of Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2015]," Bowman said. “Today my conversation had a much different tone. Brandon’s coming back and that chemistry is there right away and intensity and the way he plays. His all-around game is second to none.”

Saad said he wondered if he’d end up with the Blackhawks again at some point in his career.

“The day I was traded I talked with Stan and you part ways, but it’s a small league and there are always opportunities. It was definitely a thought in my mind possibly ending up in Chicago,” he said. “I didn’t think it’d happen this soon but that’s just the way it happened. It’s exciting to be back somewhere I’m comfortable, somewhere I know and an organization that’s had success.”

Yes, the Blackhawks went back to their alumni well. But instead of getting an aging veteran they’ve reacquired a kid in his prime. Every situation can come with an asterisk. This is one exception that will turn out well for the Blackhawks. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bye-bye Bread Man and Hammer; welcome back Saad

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bye-bye Bread Man and Hammer; welcome back Saad

Sports Talk Live is on location at the NHL Draft Fanfest. Kap is joined by Pat Boyle (CSN Chicago), David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Tracey Myers (CSNChicago.com) and Jamal Mayers (CSN Chicago) to discuss the Blackhawks big trades plus the Bulls deciding to start a rebuild by dealing Jimmy Butler.

Listen to the full episode at this link or below.