Thursday, September 22, 2005

More on more of Keith Tkachuk

The last thing blogdom needs is another not-so-witty, Tkachuk-is-fat pun as a headline. In case you missed it, however, the National Post's Mark Spector offered today a scathing inditement of the now over 260-pound power forward.

As was the case with Todd Bertuzzi after he attacked Steve Moore, Tkachuk's unpopularity with the media is one of the things at play here. Would, for instance, a played like, say, Joe Sakic be the brunt of so many jokes had he shown up to camp overweight? No.

Tkachuk's weight struggles are nothing new — this team press release from 2001 talks about him being at 16 per cent body fat the year before. His playing weight last season was 231 pounds, an acceptable weight given his body type and playing style.

That said, should Tkachuk be blasted for the current situation he's in now? Absolutely.

Let's just keep in mind that a lot of the venom being spent is tinged with other grievances against the big winger. In Canada, namely that of Tkachuk's role in the demise of the Winnipeg Jets (for which he is still seen as a 'bad guy' by folks in Manitoba). His current bloated salary with the St. Louis Blues, who will likely be one of the Western Conference's worst teams this year, also isn't doing much to endear his critics.

But when teammate Doug Weight says enough is enough, he's probably right. A bit of humble pie was probably in order for Tkachuk anyway, but the ubiquitous 'Fatchuck' catcalls have gotten a little ridiculous.

My guess is that the formerly skinny 18-year-old kid from BU rides this out, starts the season with the Blues and puts in another unremarkable 70-point campaign.

And never reports to camp overweight again.



At 4:17 a.m., September 23, 2005, Blogger d-lee said...

I'm still surprised at that. I can't believe that he would show up at camp in that kind of shape.

In all likelihood, this has already put him in the doghouse with Team USA coach Peter Laviolette. He's been talking about going with younger players anyway, and Tkachuk's weight will probably make it easier for Lavi to look elsewhere. Even if he loses some of the weight and is allowed back on the Blues, I don't see Laviolette taking a serious look at the three-time Olympian.

At 9:56 a.m., September 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, if someone came at me with the fat calipers, I'd probably shoo them away also! :-)

It will be interesting to see when Tkachuk finally surfaces publicly. The longer it takes, the heavier you know he was.

At 12:30 a.m., September 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone else old enough to remember when Randy Carlyle won a Norris trophy in '81, then got cut from Team Canada's training camp the following September for being overweight? He learned his lesson and was fit as a fiddle for the balance of his career.


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