It was a wise move by the NHL to jump on announcing a potential return-to-play format before any of the other major sports.
I was actually surprised at that as the NHL tends to follow others (like the NBA, NFL) in larger decisions vs. lead the conversation.
They have succeeded in one thing that's for sure, and that's creating conversation and a buzz again around the sport.
This is why I aptly titled this one "Stuff is happening" because now when I log onto Twitter, there are so many conversations and announcements happening.
Here are a couple of things that I wanted to touch one:
* Thanks to jhawk59 for the suggestion to keep a tally of people who like A) the Hawks to lose to Edmonton in this play-in game to maintain a high draft pick (currently 9th) or B) Just win – and probably lose in the 2nd round, but at least some experience will be gained.
Here are the current results from my poll on Twitter:
65.4% are the majority here that think the Hawks should just WIN!
Like jhawk59, I don't think the Hawks would win in the 2nd round vs. St. Louis or Dallas… or whoever they end up playing, so I wouldn't be upset if they lost to the Oilers in a best-of-5.
I am in the camp that the Hawks really need to continue to build on their future stepping stones like Dach, Boqvist, and Mitchell.
This team could really benefit from another strong forward to add to the mix. If they drafted a forward at 9th overall, that player would immediately be the highest-ranked forward in the system.
The same could be said if the Hawks draft goalie phenom, Yaroslav Askarov as well. I don't think they do unless Mark Kelley and Stan Bowman are fired between now and the draft.
I say the Hawks youngster will still get a great experience out of a 3, 4, or 5 game defeat to the Oilers.
With that being said, there's no way that I'll ever be cheering for them to lose when the time comes, so let's see how it all plays out.
* Ian Mitchell may be allowed to join the Hawks after all.
The NHL and NHLPA are re-looking at all players signed after their seasons and their eligibility to play in this 24-team format.
This particularly affects NCAA and the KHL.
Do I want to see Ian Mitchell play? Yes.
Do I think he should be placed into the Blackhawks lineup with very limited practice time with the team as they head into a playoff series? No.
I also don't think it's wise to have him burn off a year of his contract when the Hawks have already done so with Dach and Boqvist this year. It would be nice to stagger them.
I don't think Mitchell would be enough of an impact to include him especially when you have guys like Beaudin and Carlsson who deserve a shot ahead of him at this point in the season in my opinion.
That's all for now.
Stay safe and see ya out there!