Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blackhawk soap opera: Havlat speaks his mind on Twitter

Martin Havlat was floored by news of Dale Tallon's firing.

Recently-departed Chicago winger Martin Havlat is being surprisingly candid, via Twitter, on the termination of Dale Tallon in the Blackhawks winger. Here's a sample of his recent comments:

I guess everyone saw what happened to Dale....yes, the story is starting to come out but it's just the tip of the iceberg.

Lot's of people are telling me to stay quiet but shouldn't the fans know the truth? It's your loyalty, season ticket money and emotions here

Just so everyone begins to understand, Dale was like a 2nd father to me.

Want to be clear. I loved my time in Chicago but moved on. Very excited about Minny,going to give everything I have to the Wild.

As I said before, I didn't leave Chicago, it left me.

By telling truth, don't want people to think I'm bitter. Everyone in Minn has been awesome, they believe in me and I won't let them down

Naturally this stuff is like a goldmine for bloggers in the offseason, especially since we don't typically have such direct contact with players (add another shovel of dirt to the grave of traditional-format media). But equally amusing are the Tweet-backs that Havlat's comments are generating. Take this one for example, from NHLDigest.com manager Tyler McKinna:

@martinhavlat If you "want to be clear" then it may be prudent to tell your story through a trusted media outlet. Again, just my $0.02

Indeed. But where's the fun in that?

For the record, Havlat appears to be referring to some hypocrisy in Tallon's firing. His replacement, Stan Bowman, was in charge of salary cap management and free agent signings for the Hawks -- two tasks which are reportedly at the center of the decision to axe Tallon. And the decision certainly smacks of nepotism, since Scotty Bowman's influence over the organization seems to be growing.

However, the writing was on the wall for Tallon as soon as the organization began to clean house last year. New owner, new advisors, new coach, and now a new GM. It makes sense and is to be expected in the corporate world. Unfortunately, loyalty is not a factor in most hiring decisions in the NHL, as highlighted by this tweet from agent Allan Walsh:

Dale Tallon is a stand up guy and I have unqualified respect for him. He is honorable and loyal to a fault. Huge loss for Chicago.

Gotta love the 21st Century.

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