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posted: 9/6/2013 5:35 AM

Hawks signings equate to more Stanley Cups

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  • With the recent signings of Corey Crawford and Niklas Hjalmarsson to contract extensions, there may be more Stanley Cup parades ahead for the Blackhawks brass. From left: vice president/general manager Stan Bowman, executive vice president Jay Blunk, vice president Al MacIsaac, chairman Rocky Wirtz and CEO and president John McDonough.

      With the recent signings of Corey Crawford and Niklas Hjalmarsson to contract extensions, there may be more Stanley Cup parades ahead for the Blackhawks brass. From left: vice president/general manager Stan Bowman, executive vice president Jay Blunk, vice president Al MacIsaac, chairman Rocky Wirtz and CEO and president John McDonough.
    Photo courtesy of Chicago Blackhawks

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

OK, OK, I'll get to the Chicago Bears and some media coverage in a minute, but I would be remiss if I didn't write how impressed I am with the Chicago Blackhawks' recent signings and their plans for the future.

Niklas Hjalmarsson and goalie Corey Crawford signed new deals and everyone is happy.

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Now if Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are able to sign new deals with the team down the line, then my prediction from last season of three Stanley Cups in 10 years might need to be increased to five in 10 years, which would establish them as a true dynasty.

Don't forget that when Rocky Wirtz's dad ran the club, the big stars like Tony Amonte, Chris Chelios, Jeremy Roenick and Eddie Belfour went off to other teams when the Blackhawks failed to step up and re-sign them.

Rocky Wirtz is the best sports owner in Chicago. It's not even a close contest.

Hjalmarsson could have waited, but he wanted to stay and signed for less than what he could have gotten from another team. That says a lot about the Hawks organization.

Congratulations to the Hawks and the fans. Only four more Stanley Cups in 9 years to make my prediction right.

Piece of cake!

Bears a slight favorite to win

I saw the line for the Chicago Bears game, and they are three-point favorites to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

Bears fans should be a little nervous. The game matches Cincy's defense, which coach Marvin Lewis has been gushing about, against Jay Cutler and a more wide open Bears offense.

I like the Bears to win in a sluggish game by a 23-20 score. This game is a tone-setter for the season. If the Bears win, they are headed to a wild-card berth and 10 wins. If they don't, it's 9 or less with an outside chance of the making playoffs.

Recent sports media hires

I've never been a big fan of Keith Olbermann, but I happened to catch his show on ESPN2 and it's really pretty good. He's back on the network after being away for 17 years, so the hire was huge for him and defied theory that you can't go home again.

Jason Whitlock and Paul Finebaum are also recent hires, and it's nice to see three guys hired with real opinions.

Fox Sport 1's Brian Urlacher is taking some early criticism for being wishy-washy. If Urlacher wants credibility, then he will have to tell the truth about players and a league he just left a year ago.

And lastly, I'm pleased to be back on the air from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday on WIND 560-AM The Answer. I'll be joined by my friend and former Bear Chris Zorich, and a great group. See ya!

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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