Skip to main content

Thanks a whole lot, Dollar BIll

"Dollar Bill" Wirtz was one of the least-popular owners in professional sports history. His loyalty to incompetent underlings, his habit of trading star players for broken hockey sticks, and what appeared to be a generally cynical attitude toward Blackhawk fans nearly killed the franchise.

But perhaps his most damaging legacy was the NHL salary cap. Every year since the first of the Hawks' recent run of Stanley Cups back in 2010, they've had to amputate vital parts of the team in order to fit under the cap. Brandon Saad, Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Patrick Sharp, Michael Frolik,Nick Leddy, and Brian Campbell have all had to be sacrificed to Dollar Bill's bright idea. A strong run by the Hawks in recent years might well have been one of the most dominant dynasties in NHL history otherwise.

Now the cap has cost the team Teuvo Teravainen, a 19-year old star who had figured to be a fixture on the Hawks for years to come. True, the need to unload Bryan Bickel, a sometime playoff star who didn't seem to show up in the regular season but whose salary was an albatross around the Hawks' neck the team just couldn't sustain, played a larger role than Teravainin's cost in forcing the move.

The acumen of Wirtz's son Rocky and the genius of General Manager Stan Bowman have managed to scrap and scrape up the pieces to keep the Hawks strong Stanley Cup contenders year after year anyway. But one has to wonder how long this can go on.

The Hawks have been something special in recent years. But one can only dream of what could have been if they'd been able to keep even a few of the stars they've had to sacrifice to the Cap.

Even from the grave, Bill Wirtz continues to give Blackhawk fans fits.


Popular posts from this blog

McMullin, Kasich, Hickenlooper, Huntsman, or somebody else sane in 2020!

I don't expect to be disenfranchised in 2020. I'm looking forward to Evan McMullin running against President Trump and whatever left-wing extremist the Democrats nominate. McMullin may or may not run for the Senate next year, and he may or may not run for president as an independent again next time around, but the nation can't afford to lose its most eloquent and intelligent critic of the populist takeover of the Republican party and the Executive Branch. We need the man in public life.

But interesting alternatives have developed. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been mentioned as a potential primary challenger for Mr. Trump. I hope somebody continues the fight for the soul of my former party, even though I believe it to be a lost cause. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is reportedly also considering a challenge to Mr. Trump. While I tend to see him at this point as somewhere to the left of where a candidate I would feel comfortable supporting might be, I would wish him well. Still, I see…

A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…

A third party President in 2020?

I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Searsby, the campaign manager for Evan McMullin last year, at an event for Evan here in Des Moines during the campaign. Here's an interview with Joel by Jon Ward of Yahoo News on the ways in which centrist French President Emmanuel Marcon's out-of-nowhere landslide election last year may serve as an example for the inevitable bid to elect a rational, moderate third party candidate in 2020.

I have a feeling that it will be Evan McMullin again. But names like John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, and Sen. Lindsey Graham also keep popping up. Word is that Kasich may challenge President Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination, an endeavor in which I'd wish him well but hold out very, very little hope for his success. I sadly expect that my conviction that the Republicans are dead as a vehicle for rationality and the reuniting of our fractured and divided country to be confirmed by the easy renomination of the most unfit and unqualified preside…