The Off-season: Shaw Trade, Fan Favorites, and Baggage

The Hawks bade farewell to a few hometown favorites in Andrew Shaw and Teuvo Teravainen this offseason. Bryan Bickell was another Hawk who would be leaving the team which I think came a little late. I loved Bickell in the ‘13 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but after that season he stopped doing his job as a big power forward and seemed to just stand in the way rather than have a real presence.

Shaw, known for chirping at and irritating opposing players while offering up some big hits, was traded to Montreal in exchange for two second-round draft picks in the 2016 NHL Draft. Shaw has been replaced with another well-known agitator in Jordin Tootoo, a recent pick up from the Devils. Tootoo has a similar reputation to Shaw, but comes with a much smaller price tag. Unfortunately, he may not be as effective as Shaw as Tootoo only tallied 9 total points in the ‘15-’16 season while Shaw chalked up 14 goals and 20 assists for the Hawks. Tootoo may be a grinder that the Hawks desperately need since they traded Shaw, but Shaw created big scoring chances, added to the scoreboard and got in the opposing team’s head. Hopefully Tootoo will step up and do the same.

Another addition to the Hawks bench is defenceman Michal Kempny, a recent pick up from the Czech Republic who was signed as a free-agent. Coming from the KHL, he tallied 21 points last season, 16 of which were assists, not bad for a defenceman. This new acquisition by the Blackhawks should add to the offensive arsenal so long as his KHL stats can translate into the Bigs.
A few things have stayed the same for the Hawks since last year and all Hawks fans are grateful for it, keeping together Stanley Cup veterans Duncan “No-Teeth” Keith, Patrick “Hat trick” Kane, NIklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook, Artemi Panarin, and Chicago’s Captain Jonathan Toews. This core group has earned their veteran titles for both the regular season and playoffs. While Artemi Panarin is the youngest of the bunch, he boasted 30 goals and 77 points in the ‘15-’16 season, earning him the Calder Trophy, or the NHL’s “Rookie of the Year.”

The Blackhawks have a solid team, but of course there is room for improvement. One improvement I’d make would be to drop Michal Roszival. He’s 37 years old, can barely defend the line anymore, and once he’s one on one with a forward he just gets in his goalie’s way. He’s slow and as we learned from last season, he costs the Hawks goals. Roszival is the one player that I’ve wanted the Hawks to dump for the past two years. Either bring up a young buck from Rockford or trade for another D-man who actually serves his title. Nothing against him personally, but I think it’s time he and the Hawks bid farewell.

Although a few fan favorites have left the Blackhawks since they won the cup in 2015, the team is still pretty solid. I will say though, that I did not agree with the Shaw trade. We needed that offensive grinder. Tootoo has some big skates to fill as do the other new additions to the bench to help the Hawks bring Lord Stanley back to sweet home Chicago.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare vs Battlefield 1

Call of Duty is one of the biggest gaming franchises in history and Battlefield is right up there with them. However, Battlefield has always been just slightly behind them since the Modern Warfare and Black Ops lines have dominated sales. Call of Duty has sold 146,400,000 total units as of November 2015 according to Statistic Brain while Battlefield has sold just under 24 million copies of their last 4 games according to VG Chartz.  Now, Infinity Ward (CoD) and DICE (Battlefield) may be switching spots at the top with the anticipated releases of their new games: Infinite Warfare (CoD) and Battlefield 1.

Recently, Call of Duty has been going to much more futuristic war zones and campaigns. Starting with Black Ops 2, which took place in 2025, each game since has been set in the future, with the most recent Black Ops 3 taking place in 2065. Many players have enjoyed Infinity Ward’s take on futuristic warfare while others, like myself, prefer the modern (ha, get it?) versions of warfare. Infinity Ward’s jump to the future has come with a lot of backlash as the anticipated release of Infinite Warfare is looking to be one of the lowest in the franchise’s history, especially due to DICE’s new release set for the fall of this year.

Battlefield 1 goes back in time rather than forward. Taking place in World War 1, Battlefield has done something that very few studios have been able to do. Yet, based on the trailers for BF1, DICE has managed to create one of the most anticipated games of the year, which has many gamers wondering if Battlefield will finally knock Call of Duty from the top spot. Trench warfare, mustard gas, biplanes, horses; BF1 has taken the 21st Century back in time in a good way. After the DICE reveal event, Paul Tassi said in his article for Forbes, “Battlefield 1 has impressed both visually, but more important, conceptually.”

The only saving grace that Infinity Ward seems to have with their new game is the remaster of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for next-gen consoles featuring improved graphics, maps, and gameplay. Tassi says in another Forbes article, “despite one being a $20 add-on that people have already played, while the other is a 100% new title in the series, it’s Modern Warfare that seems to have fans the most excited.”

Both franchises have their dedicated players who only play one or the other. It is a very hot topic for both of these communities. Personally, I have always played Call of Duty. Modern Warfare and MW2, in my opinion, are still the greatest FPS of all time. However, after being disappointed with Ghosts and horrified with Black Ops 3, I purchased my first Battlefield game ever: Battlefield 4. I was amazed by the gameplay and realism. The graphics are insane, the maps are enormous and very well-structured, and is as close as you can get to real warfare aside from joining the military. For anyone who enjoys realistic warfare, Battlefield is a no-brainer. I haven’t played Black Ops 3 since I bought Battlefield 4 nor do I intend to (unless, of course, my friends and I are going to play Zombies on The Giant). But, as the old saying goes: to each, their own.

Due to the anticipated releases and overall response to both games, the internet has done what the internet does. The Infinite Warfare trailer has become the second-most disliked video on YouTube (Tech Times) while Battlefield 1’s views and likes have continued to skyrocket. There have also been multiple memes and videos that poke fun at the relationship between the games and how Infinity Ward is reacting to the overwhelmingly negative response while DICE seems to be holding a full house.