Chat with Jesse Rogers
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Jesse Rogers (12:59 PM)
Afternoon everybody. Wow, what a game last night. What a season so far. I know there are a lot of questions so lets get to it...
What happens first? The official announcement of extensions for the big 3? Or a trade to free up salary cap in the future?
Jesse Rogers (1:01 PM)
Firgured we'd get these out of the way. The trade comes first. They negotiated the contracts first so they would know how much they would need to clear..thats why it leaked. I wont tell you who espn's sources are but its safe to say, The players and agents and anyone on that side of the equation are all set with their figures, now the Hawks just have to make it happen.
With the trade rumors between Sens and Hawks with Barker, the rumor mill always says that the league has issues with the trade. What are the issues?
Jesse Rogers (1:04 PM)
Its just silly to address every rumor because for every one true or not there are a ton we dont hear about. You dont think Stan has talked with just about every GM that might be a match? Bottom line: They have to clear space at some point. Barker is the most likely to go for a player with an expiring contract. In some ways they will have the pick of the litter as we get closer to the deadline..think of the doug weights and mike modanos of the world...these guys will all be available, once teams decide they are falling out of it. itll take barker and a draft pick. maybe versteeg but i doubt it. maybe buff. thats it. no one esle from this team will be traded this season.
Assuming when Bolland and Burrish come back the rest of the team will still be healthy, I count 14 forwards playing for 12 spots. Who gets left off the roster? Troy Brouwer is way too valuable to this team to not have a spot (pk, pp, checking line). Forget trading guys just for salary cap space, this team may have to trade guys simply because they don't have enough room on the roster.
Jesse Rogers (1:06 PM)
2 words and in this order: Kopecky, Fraser.But I guarantee, there will never be a time when all are healthy.
Jesse Rogers (1:06 PM)
And not necessarily to be traded just to sit
Nasty Man (West Loop)
Jess, I live right by Johnnys Ice House and the crowds spilling out on Madison this year seem to be better than ever after home games. Is this setting up to be the perfect storm for a Hawks championship with the down years for all other things Chicago Sports?
Jesse Rogers (1:07 PM)
It is. But talk to me after saturday. How bout a cup finals appearance parade...
How good a matchup will Saturday nights game with the Penguins be?
Jesse Rogers (1:08 PM)
So good that I think Im going back on the road for it. Not a bad assignment. Talk about a saturday night of entertainment. Should be great
With Hossa's return, coach Q has been trying to find the best way to incorporate him into our top 2 lines. With whom do you think he should play, and how should our other top line look?
Jesse Rogers (1:09 PM)
Great question. Im on the record. Without Bolland, he has to play with Toews. Simply has to. I would go Toews, Hossa, Versteeg...then Sharp at center with Buff and Kane...now, versteeg played well at center yesterday so maybe you let this ride a bit...i also would consider giving brouwer some time as a top 6. my 2 cents
Do you think the Hawks need Sopel? Do you think Jordan Hendry is capable of replacing him? Other than that, is there any other D-man in the organization that could step up?
Jesse Rogers (1:11 PM)
Sopel is valuable cause he kills penalties and u need one of those bottom d men to do something to take some pressure and time away from the hawks top 3. now, ifthe 7 mil dol man could kill then we'd be that much better...hendry might be a PK guy..frankly not sure who's better. hendry hasntr played. sopel slow but hes had his moments..from what i head a while ago no one else is ready but that was a while ago
Jesse Rogers (1:12 PM)
heard a while ago that is...not head
Steve (Downers Grove)
Speaking of Barker, it seems like he's been rather quiet of late with the last 3 games. Not hearing him mentioned with big hits or scoring opportunities. Any word of an injury? Or just slumping?
Jesse Rogers (1:13 PM)
He's a pp guy. I mean that's where you'll hear his name
dan (seattle, wa)
so how funny was it when mason flipped out breaking his stick at the end of the game last night? I think that is a perfect example of a goalie putting too much pressure on himself. Its something Huet may have done at the start of the season but he seems so relaxed and solid now. I think we have the best goalie tandem in the Central and that will be what wins it for us. Agree?
Jesse Rogers (1:15 PM)
GRAET point. I said on the radio w/ silvy and waddle that one of huet's strengths even when going bad is he doesnt show panic...important for a goaltender..those that remember steve passmore..he showed panic all the time..made for a few great saves but also a lot of goals against. its one of huet's best qualities. as at andem you may not be way off..for the division that is...hate st. louis and det. tandem...columbus ok..so is nash..at least we have as good as...
Would Kane's great passing ability be better served playing along someone like Sharp (as we saw last night on the pp) as opposed to Byfuglien
Jesse Rogers (1:16 PM)
Yes. Ive always thoguht they are great together. Pretty simple in my world. All eyes watching Kane..the sniper slides in the open spot and boom!
Any update on Bolland's health/progress?
Jesse Rogers (1:17 PM)
Have not heard either way. Will ask for an update tomorrow
Before the season, you said you thought the hawks had a shot to represent the West in the Stanley Cup finals, but thoughts of hoisting the cup might be a bit ambitious. After almost 1/3 of the the season, have you revised your ceiling for this team?
Jesse Rogers (1:19 PM)
I mean not really. Its not like Pitt has folded up after winning it. Hossa could make me think different. Anyway, if I think they can get all the way to the finals than we are splitting hairs after that..Its one more series so anything could happen. They're right there in the mix. I Havent completely studied a pitt/chi matchup (but i will by this weekend!)
It has become pretty evident how opposing teams need to play the Blackhawks in order to shut down their offense. Teams need to trap the Blackhawks rush in the neutral zone and take away the middle, essentially your basic trap style hockey. My question to you is how do you feel about the Hawks once they successfully make it into the the zone seeing as how their struggles 5 on 5 are along the boards? This team loses an extreme amount of board battles costing them valuable time in the offensive zone. It is one thing to continually dump the puck to beat the trap but to get the puck deep and constantly have it turned over and out of the offensive zone is getting frustrating.
Jesse Rogers (1:21 PM)
I see what you are saying but when you say struggling everything is relative. Columbus is a decent team but they are -12 5 on 5..the hawks are like +15. Hossa will help win those battles...they miss bolland for some of what you are tallking about and they miss the 4th line they had last year. but its not so bad 5 on 5
If the Hawks eat Sopel's contract and release him, does that hit the cap?
Jesse Rogers (1:21 PM)
Jesse Rogers (1:22 PM)
To be clear it counts..thats what I was saying yes to
Which Hawks do you think will end up playing in the Olympics?
Jesse Rogers (1:24 PM)
We've been talking about this..I guess France didnt qualify so Huet is out..think that's right...Kane, Keith, and Hossa for sure...the debate is seabrook, toews, and sharp...read an article from somneone on top of it yesterday that has sharp making it pver toews. i dont know, i dont care about positions or numbers any team im picking has toews on it. one word: winner. at first i didnt think seabs was going to mae it, now im thinking he will. smaller rink. they have enuf offensive d-men. no buff though
Jesse Rogers (1:25 PM)
sorry for mis-spellings. typing fast as usual
Steve (Downers Grove)
How long until Q reunites the Toews, Kane, Sharp line and tries moving Hossa instead of the trio that clicks?
Jesse Rogers (1:25 PM)
When Bolland gets back. Unless Hossa moves to center, he's playing with Toews
Dan H (Chicago)
It seems like every time a player is injured, the team plays kind of sluggish and not at all how they are when full strength. This happened last year and at points this year too (minus the Burish injury, which happened before the season started), no matter who is injured. I take this as them being a "team first" team and actually caring about each other, which is a good thing. However, how will this affect whatever trade they may have to make to get the three (Kane/Keith/Toews) deals done? Would they be better off not disrupting anything, going for it all now and worrying about the contracts later? It doesn't seem like any of these guys are looking to flee the city.
Jesse Rogers (1:28 PM)
Im not sure about all that except to say, yes, if someone goes it will have an affect. Its natural. Yeah, its weird...why not wait? Maybe the agents were pushing them.."if you're going to wait till june then wait till july and see what offers we get". that kind of thinking. this is speculation but I also think you have to consider the McDonough factor. until someone tells me different, i think they want to make an unprecedented in-season announcement: the signings of 3 stars to long term deals. but heres the key..anything they do now, can still help them now and for later...rememerb they are not trading for a bag of pucks just for someone whos deal is up
In terms of next year salaries, what is the difference between Kopecky and Barker?
Jesse Rogers (1:30 PM)
Off the top of my head. Barker is a little over 3 and Kopecky a little over 1
Congrats to Coach Q on his 500th career win...But I have a problem with the goalie situation. I like Huet. He really stepped up in November. However, I think the Hawks are overplaying him.. For example I think we couldve started Niemi against the Kings the other night or started him last night.. I like both goalies. Obviously Huet is the starter, but I think instead of it being Huet 90% if the time it should be Huet 75 to 80% of the time.Do you know if they are going to give Huet a little bit of rest and start Niemi slightly more.. I think Huet is about to go into another mini slump.. Im glad we have Niemi though to spell him.. I just hope he is used enough so that he does not get rustyGO HAWKS!
Jesse Rogers (1:31 PM)
Its a decent question. Remember, its like 2 seasons this year..and if huet isnt in the olympics he'll get plenty of rest. I dont disagree in principle but i also think they wanted to get hin right and you do that by playing..lets see how it goes after the feb. break
Mike S (CT)
Jesse, what has lifted the level of Cristobal Huet's play this season?
Jesse Rogers (1:33 PM)
Ive gone back to a week in late october where he didnt play cause of a light schedule and niemie getting the nod...he found himself that week. got more agressive, more assertive. i think just he told himself, "i have a great opportunity here, lets go for it." im sure theres more to it than that but i remember his attitude changing, distinctly, that week.
Mike D (Chicago)
Is Sopel's contract enough to make cap space???
Jesse Rogers (1:35 PM)
Yes, but he has another year and hes not a spring chicken..harder to deal than others..plus, for the hawks he has that PK ability so they need to bring someone back that can do that...toronto might take him
Ryan (Naperville, IL)
Jesse-Glad to see you are back. Miss hearing you on the postgame on the radio on my drive down the Eisenhower.Seems like Huet was fighting the puck a little bit last night. Does Niemi get the nod against Nashville, with Huet going against Pittsburgh? Also, can the Hawks just shoot on the PP! They tend to get too cute at times and give up prime chances.
Jesse Rogers (1:38 PM)
Thanks. Appreciate it. It makes sense to go Niemi and then Huet but Im not the coach. I would guess that would happen unless theres some weird macthup thing where niemi's style is better suited for crosby and malkin then steve sullivan. that was a joke. i agree with you on the pp. u wont have a problem with hossa. he will fire. once in a while i'd like to see kane fire more but then he makes a sweet pass and i change my mind..its a fine line.
Havlat on the IR on a scale of 1 to 10 how surprised are you that he got hurt after signing a big FA contract???
Jesse Rogers (1:40 PM)
Is 1 more or less surprised than 10? The surprise came when some actually were missing havlat when they signed hossa and let him go.
I have heard rumors that Sharp might be a possible trade candidate any validity to those or is it highly unlikely?
Jesse Rogers (1:43 PM)
SOme people jumped in late. Barker is most likely to go...maybe buff or versteeg. thats it. sharp isnt going anywhere though he is coveted. thats why you're hearing his name. the more they are coveted, the more you hear their names but doesnt mean they are going...of course, i freely admit i could be wrong about anything..im not the gm or pres. im giving you my best educated and informed opinion i have...and anyone in the media should say that..how many of these rumors have happened? none. if my experience tells me anything, the trade that will happen wont be one we hear about until it does
Does the NHL work like MLB in the sense you can trade cash to find a suitor for a older player like sopel? would that hit the cap?
Jesse Rogers (1:43 PM)
Cannot trade cash
How could Q not 'start' Hossa last night, I mean come on let the fans have that one!
Jesse Rogers (1:45 PM)
I thought about that. Hes been starting the Madden line on the road but that makes sense since you dont know who the other team is throwing out there just go with your best defesnive group but if im not mistaken they started last night...i cant remember who columbus did but if it wasnt Nash then send Hossa out there! hell, even if it is nash.
Ryan (Naperville, IL)
With the re-emergence of Hockey in Chicago, any chance 1000 gives you some air time after hawks games? Or on a set date and time?I know wgn controls the rights, but if other stations can do pregame and postgame Bears stuff.....why not the same for hockey?
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
I dont know about all that after games...i go in the lockeroomn and all that jazz and there are certain espn netwrok considerations but i do know as we inch closer to new year we have talked about a "hockey show" of some sort. with a player, maybe without..but we'll do something. we better. only winner in town!
Are we going to have a Kyle Beach sighting anytime soon? What has been going on with him
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
Beach is in juniors. He cant come up or he has to basically stay. Aren't they loaded enough?
Most people think that Sharp is a better 2nd line center option than Versteeg. Why isn't he playing there? Is it possible that he has told the coaching staff that he doesn't want to play there?
Jesse Rogers (1:50 PM)
Best question of the day cause its been one ive been wondering since bolland went down. i cant get a stright answer out of joel except to say "we'll visit all scenarios" which implies that he will be there. hasnt yet for more than a moment or two. someone close to the organization told me hes done as a center..hes not as good in his own zone as "we" might think..now versteeg was decent last night so i guess its baout goign through your options thoughorly...
Does Keith have any shot at the Norris Trophy?
Jesse Rogers (1:51 PM)
Hes getting closer but may not be there just yet. I love how his offense has grown. The homerun passes..his shooting so hes getting there. Finalist at least?
Mike Miceli (Addison, IL)
What are the latest rumors swirling around about possible trades? What's the latest on Sharpie? Barker? Sopel?
Jesse Rogers (1:52 PM)
Asked and answered many times. Barker, Barker, Barker..thats my guess...maybe sopel
This is probably a really stupid question because I know the answer is zero chance but wouldn't it be great to see a trade for Kovalchuk? Clear cap space by trading away a few guys and your obviously not locking him up after the year. How would that offense look?
Jesse Rogers (1:54 PM)
Yeah, pretty crazy. Would take trading 2 or more 3 mil dollar players...i dont know...you cant have all skilled top 6 guys..need some grit but of course would look cool on paper...not happeneing
Mike D (Chicago)
What would we even get in this so called "trade"? Cap room I get but what else? Draft picks at most or AHL/veteran players?
Jesse Rogers (1:55 PM)
we get a player..think center or defemsneman, who's contract is up after this season. so we can get a good player and just let him go after the season. that opens the cap room they need. we give draft picks and AHL players...we get a veteran
If they put someone like Sopel on waivers and he is claimed then the Hawks are off the hook?
Jesse Rogers (1:56 PM)
Are the cap issues going to be serious for the hawks next year and how realistic is it to think they can fill the roster with only a small amount of money not tied into long term deals like Huet and the extensions for the big three and continue to make cup runs
Jesse Rogers (1:57 PM)
You're not oging to have a perfect roster in the salary cap era. Any good team is eventually going to have to shed and go with cheaper players in some role positions. The problem wiht the hawks is they accelerated the process by throwing around money like a druken sailor before they really needed to.
John (East Moline)
How embarrassed is Andrew Ladd following last nite's shootout?
Jesse Rogers (1:59 PM)
Could't find a sniff of him in the dressing room last night but that doesnt mean he wasnt there. He wasnt the story last night but Im sure he will be with his teamates going forward. Pretty funnny. Should have done a wrap around and had fun with it right there...
What kind of reaction should Hossa expect Saturday night in Pittsburgh?
Jesse Rogers (2:00 PM)
Couple years removed.MIght hear a boo or two but its not like Sean Avery or Theo Fleury returning to the scene of the crime.
Isnt it time to get Kopecky off the power play? he has been totally useless in all areas.
Jesse Rogers (2:01 PM)
Since he ony played 5:56 yesterday and none on the pp then I would say yes to your question
Jesse, about how many salary cap, Kane-Toews-Keith contract, and trade questions can you field before you seriously consider stabbing yourself in the eye with a sharp object?
Jesse Rogers (2:01 PM)
Now thats the best question of the day. Removing the fork now, but only because Im repeating myself. Nothing against anyone else. :)
He hasn't been playing well since coming from Detroit, what grade would you give Kopecky early in the season? Was it a bad signing?
Jesse Rogers (2:02 PM)
D+...and kind of.
Brian (South Elgin)
Jesse,I'm wondering if (when) Q gives Brouwer a shot on the top line with Toews and Hossa, then Sharp in the middle of Buff Kane. Madden with Steeg and Ladd... Just a thought, but if Brouwer could do the crashing and banging for Toews and Hossa, I bet that would open up some more ice. Thoughts?
Jesse Rogers (2:03 PM)
I like it. But I think they really like how that third line is shutting people down. think thorton line and nash didnt have much last night. without bolland, that has to fall on madden and whoever he plays with. steeg isnt made for that. so thats the issue in breaking up the 3rd line but i like the idea
Would you qualify the Blackhawks as the Penguins of the west? Young core, great captain.
Jesse Rogers (2:05 PM)
Yeah. Make sense. Who knows, maybe we see these teams in the finals a whole bunch of years. I said before the season, I just hope these penguins arent the oilers of the 80's and block the hawks from a cup.
Jesse i have been a season ticket holder for about 15 years now and its great the Hawks are back but are you finding it more and more annoying with bandwagon fans at the UC? i was surrounded by the most annoying people last nite. none there too watch hockey, all getting drunk and talking nonsense.
Jesse Rogers (2:06 PM)
Such a great team and sport to watch. If they're acting like its Wrigley then too bad for them. Try not to let it bother your experience. I know, easier said then done.
Jesse Rogers (2:06 PM)
Couple more questions
Vajay (Addison IL)
Do you think trading Big Buff would be beneficial? If so, would there be any takers?
Jesse Rogers (2:08 PM)
Have a couple Buff questions...There should be some market. Hes signed for one more year at 3. He has had a "quiet" year but not a bad one. Not a great one. hasnt carried over from the playoffs like we all hoped. Hes got 7 or 8 goals so there is some production but still reaching his potential..Hes a candidate
How does Kane/Toews compare to Malkin/Crosby?
Jesse Rogers (2:10 PM)
We'll see saturday but one thing comes to mind, as strong as toews is and kane more so this year, those 2 are beasts in my world. not just physically but willing themselves to score and playmake..pitt's tandem is better, no doubt, but not by miles and miles...and they've had an extra year or two so a bit more seasoned
On a less serious note who is your favorite guy on this team and did you vote for Patrick Sharp?
Jesse Rogers (2:13 PM)
I dont vote for sexy men. I get asked about my fav player a lot. Theres on the ice and off. On the ice, it moves around..sorry if its a copout. Hold a gun to my head...toews is my fav. this week, im back on kane...so fluid with the puck. drawing penalties, creating. off the ice..madden is a little closer to my age so more in common when we talk..i did a radio show with buff last year..hes fun. known sharp and seabs and keith since they became hawks back during the dark days and they are cool..hope that answers
Jesse Rogers (2:15 PM)
Thats going to do it for today. Great questions everyone. Hope my answers helped. If I didnt get to you and u still want something answered, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org follow me on twitter @espnchihawks hope to be in pitt for the stanley cup preview. :) We'll do it again next wed. check out my blog at espnchicago.com. ok, enuf plugs. have a great week.