Lost in the hoopla of the draft and the start of Free Agency, Blackhawks Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon made some comments during an interview a few days ago that has sent some fans into a tizzy. While others like myself are glad to hear the words coming out of someone in the organization. It was during an interview on XM radio that Tallon spoke about the club, the draft, making trades and what his expectations are for the players on this team.
To sum up, let it be known that things are going to change around here. If you like it, fine, if you don’t, you won’t be a part of it. But I think the statement that has some fans nervous is when he spoke about players needing to pick up the pace. Not to be taken out of context, but here’s the statement:
On players (such as Olesz, Frolik) not utilizing that “extra gear”: You’re exactly right. And they’d better find another gear or they won’t play for the Panthers, simple as that. And not just those two; everyone here had better pick it up. I’m not going to put up with mediocrity.
Now, before you get all nervous and itchy. Here’s what you can take out of this. While I didn’t hear the interview myself, but have read enoough about it to know how this statement came to be, he was asked about the performance of players and the names Olesz and Frolik were brought up to him. He then elaborated with his answer. This however was the statement that has some thinking, why is he bashing, or publicly scrutinizing players in the media? Why is he naming names in public? Ok, Olesz needs a kick in the arse, but Frolik? He’s still learning, he’s still young. Why him?
Screw, it fans. If that’s your thought. Yes Olesz deserves a big kick in the pants. We’re not happy with his performance and we’re not happy that we’re stuck with his god awful contract. As for Frolik, and any other player that’s in that category I say, “Finally. Someone saying like it is”. We’ve had ten consecutive years of not making the playoffs. Ten years of mediocre hockey. We’ve had draft picks that have played like duds, and we’ve acquired players who came here because they thought it was a country club atmosphere. That’s over! Get it through your heads!
If you follow any other team that’s been in an NHL city for any length of time, this is the kind of talk that you’ll hear from the organEYEzation. Some people here aren’t used to it, and the sphinchter muscle starts to tighten up when these words are spoken. Well, if you expect different results, you better do things differently. I have absolutely no problem with this. I welcome it. The bullshit play, the lazy ass attitude, and lack of charachter and heart that some players displayed is going to change. As it should.
Those fans that are now on pins and needles because of it, put your seat belts on. It’s gonna be a rough ride for some of you. This team is going to get faster, bigger, more physical, and skilled. It’s not happening overnight, and it’s not going to be a joyride either. Some of your favorites will be gone. If it’s Frolik, so be it. If it’s McCabe, that’s the way it goes. If it’s Little Stevie, hip hip horray I say! If these players have been so good, then why aren’t we playing better? There are a ton of excuses, but Dale is no longer going to put up with them.
We cannot continue with the same cast. The culture, the mindset, the attitude of the entire team is going to change.
You want in? Great! You don’t? Follow another team is all I can say.
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