Archive for the ‘Calder Cup’ category

Will Wolves be Affiliated with the Blackhawks Next Year?

April 9, 2009
A New Affiliation?

A New Affiliation?

Tonight, while watching the Wolves in an entertaining but meaningless win (in the standings anyway), a friend came over between periods and said,

“He’ll be gone next year.”

“Who? Granato?” I asked excitedly.

“Yes, um no, Yes.”

“What do you mean.”

“Atlanta won’t be here next year.  The Blackhawks and Wolves will be together.”

“How do you know?”

“They’re talking about it…”

I couldn’t get a direct confirmation of who “They” is, but it’s intriguing and in some ways it makes sense.

The new Wolves President Mike Poliskyand Blackhawks President John McDonough seem to have similar approaches to marketing their products and both organizations are 100% committed to winning.

Beyond the obvious advantage of having the Wolves closer to the Blackhawks, the other positives are:

  • Common fan base energizes both clubs
  • Newly energized Hawk fanbase provides cashflow to help Wolves (and then vice-versa)
  • Unites those fans (which I think are in a minority) who claim that one can’t be a Hawks fan and Wolves fan because the Wolves support Atlanta(?! – Yes I’ve heard that argument)
  • Good AHL players who are unaffiliated will prefer coming to (or staying with) the Wolves as they now have a crack at being called up by a contending team and have a shot at a Stanley Cup and Calder Cup.  No offense to the Thrashers. (Though I think next season the Thrashers will make the playoffs.) 

Downsides?

  • Still don’t think Hawks GM Dale Tallon really knows what he’s doing, but then, maybe he could learn something from Wolves GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

A few years back I would think such a move would be stupid as the Hawks were dragging down everything they touched. 

Now, I kinda like the idea.

Remember, you heard it here first!

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Wolves Run Aground Against Admirals -Out of Playoff Hunt

April 5, 2009
The Man Behind the Helm of the Wolves

The Man Behind the Helm of the Wolves

With the calmness and coolness of the Captain of the Titanic, Coach Don Granato let his team drift into oblivion for the ’08-’09 season after never getting control of the ship all year.

With the loss to the Milwaukee Admirals today, the Wolves have failed to make the playoffs for only the second time in their illustrious history.  As I sat in Milwaukee watching today, I found it hard to believe that the team I was watching took 57 minutes to finally  play with something resembling desperation. 

The fans of the Wolves, and the AHL, deserve better.

A Winning Work Ethic? It’s Not What I see, Coach Granato.

March 31, 2009

Ok, at first I was going to do a video rant about last nite and ask twitterville to make it viral, but I decided against it.  So,  I waited 24 hours after the debacle so that I could cool down and not say something I’d be sorry for.

I wouldn’t be so ticked about the loss to Milwaukee (Ok, maybe I would be) if I didn’t read the article entitled “Work Ethic” in the new, Breakaway magazine (which is a great idea and looks great!).

You see, the article is about Head Coach, Don Granato and discusses his philosophy.

“My coaching philosophy is simple: it is based solely on work ethic, and this team has proven day in and day out that the philosophy works.”

Ooookay, now it’s clear someone doesn’t see what I (and others!) see. 

This Wolves team is only three games above .500 and 3 points out of the final playoff spot, tied for 5th place with Iowa only 2 points ahead of Quad Cities.  In the worst case, but still realistic scenario, the Wolves could finish in 7th(!!!) place.  

Is this indicative of a work ethic that is good? 

If so, your standards are waay too low, Coach.

Call us Wolves fans spoiled, but I see (more…)

Chicago Hockey Playoffs Approaching – One Message: WIN!

March 28, 2009
The Last Cups

The Last Time

Here in Chicago we’re approaching the end of the regular season and that means the playoffs!

By this time, the Blackhawks are usually already out of playoff contentions and the Wolves are rolling towards another successful Cup run.

Instead, the Blackhawks are fighting for Home Ice Advantage and the Wolves are fighting for the last playoff spot.

After a lull, the Blackhawks are showing signs of life again, knocking off two of the better teams in post-regulation play.  I still am not high on their chances to get past the second round, but at least they’re going to be there, which unfortunately I’m not sure I can say about…

the Wolves….

I’m shocked I’m actually saying it.

The Wolves might not make the playoffs.

In fact, if they don’t put a string of wins together starting tonight against Quad City and tomorrow against Milwaukee, their chances do not look good.

Some latest front office moves are baffling to say the least.  They sign Justin Taylor on the 25th and today they release him (probably to make room for Josh Soares).  Then they bring up Dan Turple so that Atlanta can call him up?? 

The Wolves wouldn’t be in this mess if they didn’t swoon so much mid-season, a swoon that I still believe is largely the responsibility of Head Coach Don Granato.  This team has no trouble slipping into funks but alot of difficulty building and keeping winning streaks going.  

That’s bad.

The fact that the team shows glimmers of great play and then collapses is indicative of coaching  (primarily) and personnel problems (secondarily). 

What else can be said?

This is the time of the year when, more than ever, it’s about winning.

It’s simple really…