so long and thanks for all the wiz

It wasn’t, by any means, a massively skewed trade.

Everybody had known for the longest time that the Blackhawks desperately needed a Center, someone to push the team over .500 for face-offs. The Ducks wanted to strengthen their blue line. And for a fairly solid D-man like James Wisniewski, it’s hard to get much ice time (maybe even a decent opportunity to develop as a player) in a team with defensemen like Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.

So don’t get me wrong, because I understand. There are arguments to be made for giving Wiz up to get Pahlsson. This is something that can truly work out for everyone involved.

But.

And there is a “but.” There is always a “but.” I’m sorry to say it isn’t the sort of hesitation that can come from any kind of learned hockey analysis. This is of the purely emotional sort–it comes with the attachment that a fan develops towards certain players in a team. Wiz was one of my favorite Blackhawks, and I used to say he wore 43 because he was the answer to life, the universe, and everything, and then some. If there had ever been a Blackhawk able to win by pure personality alone, that would have been Wiz, who launched his own clothing line, who can never remember his lines, and who is the first person to pick on his teammates as soon as the opportunity arises.

So you’ll forgive me if I’m not overjoyed that we’ve finally acquired a Center. I guess when I wished for that, I didn’t think about what it would cost us, but that’s how sports franchises work, don’t they? Better get used to it now; Chicago’s going to be making a few changes in the next few years, and I’ll probably never agree with all of them.

Thanks for the season so far, Wiz. I’ll be following you in Anaheim, and I hope you thrive over there. You always did say you liked the view in LA; at least now you’re somewhat closer?

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7 Comments

  1. I, too, will miss Wiz. I agree that it’s a good move for his development now that he’s out of the shadow of Keith, Campbell and Seabrook, but at what cost will this come for the locker room?

    It’s obvious that Wiz has a larger-than-life personality, and everyone needs a team jokester to lighten the mood. While I can’t say for sure because I don’t have locker room access, there is going to be a major void in that room with the absence of his presence. Who is going to step up to fill his shoes when it comes to the morale of the team?

    • That’s the thing–his contribution to the team is just not limited to his on-ice presence. God, I hate to admit it, but Burish isn’t half as funny as Wiz when it comes to the interviews. I don’t know how close they all are, or how large a role Wiz plays in terms of sparking that team chemistry that everyone’s been praising all season, but it’s what I got off the interviews.

      Let’s hope Swedes are funny.

  2. I think you summed up my feelings perfectly ~ I wanted a center, but I sure didn’t want to lose Wiz.

    He’ll certainly be missed.

    • It never even crossed my mind that we’d barter him– I’d perceived him to be that integral to the team dynamics.

      They better give him great coverage over at Anaheim.

  3. I feel like Wiz’s contributions were so much more than just on the ice, you know? Teams are successful because of chemistry. I wonder what taking a super popular guy out of the room does to team psyche? That is a tight group of guys, I worry the apple cart has been upset:(

    also WIZ I WILL MISS YOU AND YOUR RIDICULOUS VOICE. Good luck in CA

    • Wiz is one of the reasons I’m such a huge fan of the team. You can have skilled players, sure, and you can win games, but teams lose every now and then and there’s where your character guys step in. I do wonder how the rest of the team is taking this. :\

  4. You forgot to mention that Wiz a delicious piece of man candy!


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