Chat with Jesse Rogers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Wednesday Chicago Blackhawks reporter Jesse Rogers stops by to chat.
Rogers covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Wednesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
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Jesse Rogers (1:03 PM)
Hi all. Welcome back to our weekly Hawks chat here on espnchicago.com Getting ready for another season...We'll do this almost every wednesday from here on out...make sure you follow me on twitter @espnchihawks if youre not already and check out my blog...fire away. Lets talks some hockey!
nicholas (reynolds, il)
Jesse do you think the Hawks are bringing in Emery because they have doubts about Salak? or could they just not pass on giving Emery a shot here? I think maybe Emery plays this year, Salak spends the year in Rockford then as a fulltime backup next year. Emery is a low risk high reward.
Jesse Rogers (1:05 PM)
I dont know about doubts about Salak so much as they needed some depth there..its pretty thin in terms of a 3rd goalie being ready...Having said that, you never know what you'll get out of a rookie and Emery did show something at the end of the year. Should be an interesting battle..I still think one guy is on a way one contract and the other is on a tryout so Salak is ahead but maybe thats just their individual circumstances and when camo starts its an even battle..we'll see
What are Crawford's Vezina chances this year, and what kind of effect does the D have on them?
Jesse Rogers (1:07 PM)
D has an affect on any goalie...any great goalie gets some "easy" nights cause the guys in front of him play a stellar game...as for Vezina..little early for that kind of talk...I like him to be one of the better ones in the west but not sure top 3 just yet but who knows...thats why they play the game...Im thinking he'll be a little less robotic and even better in shootouts this year but he ended at a high level, no doubt
Jeff W (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Hey Jesse, I have two separate groups of friends that hung out with Toews at Lolla a few weeks back, and both groups, completely independent of one another, said he could not have been a nicer guy. He wasn't drinking, and he wasn't acting like a buffoon. I find it so refreshing to hear that the public persona of Captain Serious is legitimate and translates to his private life. Do you think if Kane were a little bit nicer to fans on the street, he would spare himself some of the bad rep he gets from social media sites? Your thoughts?
Jesse Rogers (1:09 PM)
First off, Toews is a very nice guy almost all the time...most you'll get from him is some sarcasm but he's cool..and so is Kane..I havent hear many stories about Kane stiffing anyone..I mean he's probably out more and meets more people...I only think he gets a bad rap cause those sites are out to "get" people...not even criticzing them..might work for one, one day but its just a fact
Do you think Kane's injury and limited off season preparation to have would have any impact on how Joel incorporates him into the lineup early in the season.
Jesse Rogers (1:10 PM)
Not unless he's hurting but I do think it can impact HIM in terms of production. Ill be first to criticize if he's off to slow start cause of wrist...he might have some making up to do in terms of conditioning, etc. so he better do it when he can
Julian B (Wakeeney, KS)
Would you rather have seen Madden instead of Mayers get signed?
Jesse Rogers (1:12 PM)
Tough one cause I didnt see Mayers help the hawks win a cup like we did with Madden...But my answer is yes...madden is slower but he's so smart I think he makes up for it..and bottom line, when he was here the PK was good..not so much last year
Do you have a theory on why Toews struggles to score at the beginning of every season?
Jesse Rogers (1:13 PM)
Not really...maybe just a feeling out process for him...I will say this, I saw a better scoring touch out of him last year in general..I think he has a faster start..think he's turned the corner as a scorer. Just a guess
What kind of grade would you give Stan Bowman for his performance so far as GM?
Jesse Rogers (1:15 PM)
Hmm..Very good but not A+ or anything...Probably B with a comment that "jury still out". Liked most of what he's done except letting Niemi walk for nothing and to a much smaller extent campoli this year...also the hammer offer sheet caught him off guard but Leddy trade was great..what he was forced to do last offseason, he did ok with...the contract extensions were all good...so B works for me...for now
DK2 next year....returns to norris trophy form....or just an average year much like last
Jesse Rogers (1:17 PM)
I thnk closer to form..Id be quick to say he wont win it again or be a finalist but even after last year how many would you take around the league ahead of him? A few--Weber, Doughty maybe-- but not many...anyway, I think between rest, embarrassment, and desire he's closer to elite form
Angelo Tosti (Franklin Park)
Hawks have at least 3 or 4 D-Men in the minors who really look like they will be NHL ready in a year or 2, But with Seabs, Keith, Leddy, Hjarms, and Montedore now locked in for at least 3 years, what hope can these Kids see playing D in this particular organization ? Wouldn't it be frustrating ?
Jesse Rogers (1:18 PM)
Nah, things change all the time...prob wont have 3-4 that are NHL players..odds are against it..they can be traded..Hammer could be traded...heck, leddy or seabrook (doubtful)could be traded..things happen..if they are good and cheap, they will find a spot...
Andrew (Wicker Park)
I am expecting a lot more out of Niklas Hjalmarsson this year. Last year he was forgettable. Overall, I think he is solid but I want to see more outta him. What are your expectations for No. 4?
Jesse Rogers (1:19 PM)
Good question. Why dont we start with more than 10 points in 80 games?? I mean just by being on the ice for 18-20 minutes you should "run" into more points by accident, right? I think we'll see a more confident Hammer. He's had his ups (2009-2010) and downs..seen it all now so I think we'll see him just go out and play...at least I hope so
Nick (Chicago, IL)
What blackhawk prospects do you think have the best opportunity to play with the Hawks this season?
Jesse Rogers (1:20 PM)
There arent many openings..its kruger and smith and thats it most likely...
Jeremy B (Westminster, CO)
Aside from Toews/Kane/Sharp/Hossa, who do you think has the best shot to get on the All-Star team this year?
Jesse Rogers (1:21 PM)
Definitely Crawford...the west is thin at goalie..Bryzgalov is gone...Luongo is unstable :) Kiprusoff im no longer a fan...I say Niemi and Crawford represent the west! Maybe the kid in St. Louis
Keith Schulz (Waupaca, WI)
Hey Jesse, Welcome back! How do you see the backup goalie situation playing out? Would the Hawks be comfortable putting Salak's one way contract in Rockford? Emery being brought in on a tryout basis, would he need to be signed to a contract or is that worked out?
Jesse Rogers (1:23 PM)
He would need to be signed by Oct. 1 I believe...I guess they would put Salak in rockford..means they are paying TWO goalies (huet and salak) NHL salaries to play elsewhere..dont think thats ideal but i do believe the better guy wins the job..salak is only at 600k so not talking huge money..still think he starts camp firmly as No. 2
After the 2009 season I predicted 3 Stanley Cups within the next 5 years. Do you think the Hawks can do it?
Jesse Rogers (1:24 PM)
I like one more, thats for sure...tough call...the role players will rotate it seems from year to year so can only look one year at a time..Ill tell you what if kruger, smith, and leddy come through i really like their chances
With all of the offseason additions who do you think will make the biggest impact/who are you most excited to watch?
Jesse Rogers (1:25 PM)
Well, Ive always loved Brunette. I like smart players and he knows where to go and how to score..its why he fits in, not because of his skill or foot speed...at least not foot speed..I cant see why brunette doesnt score 20 rather easily unless hes just lost it
Taylor (Roscoe Village)
Hey Jesse, Why do the Hawks only play Winnipeg once this season? I'm bummed out we won't get to see more match ups against Big Buff and Mr. Ladd plus I wanted to see a hawks game in that new stadium..
Jesse Rogers (1:26 PM)
They are in the east, thats why..at least for one more yr
What's the biggest change the Hawks made this past offseason that will ensure the 8 seed last year won't happen again this year?
Jesse Rogers (1:27 PM)
They got bounced in the first round...Im serious..the rest is bigger than the changes for me..that and a full season of smith, kruger, and leddy...at least 2 should come through but I like all 3..
Kaner looked good at the convention, bulked up- and I saw Bolly has been hitting the gym a ton this off-season. Who else looks to be really taking advantage of this long break?
Jesse Rogers (1:27 PM)
Kruger bulked some as well...he had to..
Erik (San Francisco, CA)
In your opinion, is Olesz the biggest wild card heading into next year? You have a former top 10 overall pick that nobody seems to know anything about nor what to expect. Do Stan and Q have any plans how they plan to use him?
Jesse Rogers (1:28 PM)
They are on record saying they dont know what to expect top 3, top 6, top 9...cut? no idea...but you are right he was a highly touted prospect..change of scenery work or is he a nobody? find out soon
Why is Morin not getting more of a shot to make this team. From his brief stints up here I thought he looked great. Whats goin on with him?
Jesse Rogers (1:29 PM)
I think he just got passed up by others cause of his injury...Smith looked real good at the end there and Kruger plays center so he gets a serious look...now, nothing says if he just wows it, they keep him and cut loose a vet but cant have too many rookie types...so hes there but just behind one or two
What does Steve Montador bring to the table for the Hawks this year?
Jesse Rogers (1:30 PM)
PK..little toughness...able body...Bowman says more offense than we'd expect..nice player..overpaid though
When will Kane finally get an "A" on his jersey?
Jesse Rogers (1:30 PM)
Um, when Toews, Keith, Seabrook, Sharp, Hossa, and a few others arent around
I was surprised when Sopel went to the KHL. What are your thoughts on Campoli, Hendry, Turco, Pisani and Ryan Johnson?
Jesse Rogers (1:33 PM)
Campoli will have a job just not for the money he wanted but maybe he goes the niemi route..signs for less now and then makes more than he would have in Chicago but goalie is differnt than a 5 D-man...hendry overseas..wants to play...pisani done though might get a flyer...turco done (or close to it) as well..he's had like no nibbles or not many..Johnson is a mystery to me..guys like that aloing with madden etc. are in a tough spot..do teams want to go with a young guy or stunt their growth one more yr for a stop gap vet? some teams might wait till camp starts and see what unfolds...I think Madden signs any day by the way...but unsure on Johnson
Who do you see spending the most time in the press box this year, with all the extra bodies around?
Jesse Rogers (1:35 PM)
Hmm...Me? No, um, I guess Scott or O'Donnell or both
Bob (Lyons, IL )
With Ben Smiths skill set do you think that putting him on the fourth line would not be ideal? I think he has a top six skill set with his shot and he goes to the front of the net I.E the goal in game 6.
Jesse Rogers (1:36 PM)
He wont be on the 4th line..I have him penciled in to start the season on the 3rd line..next to Kruger and frolik...my opinion
Jesse who is our second line center?
Jesse Rogers (1:37 PM)
As Ive stated numerous times this offseason..I think to START the season its Bolland but to finish it is _____. either kruger or someone not on the team right now
Ken (Tinley Park)
Jesse, who is the Hawks' biggest "X-Factor" this season?
Jesse Rogers (1:39 PM)
Hmm..I'd have to give you 2...on offense I think besides Hossa being healthy and being Hossa..its kruger, just because he plays center and they are so thin there..if he can handle that means sharp stays at wing, etc. so he affects a lot. On defense, I say Leddy...he will start paired with Hammer..and get pp time I believe...so if he can do SOME campbell and campoli moving that puck but still play solid in his own end..hes an "X" factor
Smith - Kruger - Frolik is your third line? Isn't that an awfully small, inexperienced line?
Jesse Rogers (1:41 PM)
Again, its the same old thing Ive been saying...to start the season..they arent going to lose the cup in october if that trio is together and Q could change it up in the middle of game 1! so nothing in stone but yes thats how I think it might start...might
With your job you get to travel around to all the NHL arenas, is there a better place to watch a game then the Madhouse?
Jesse Rogers (1:41 PM)
None better..maybe a few that are close...vancouver, fun...san jose....but UC right there
Sean (College Park)
Jesse,Do you see the Hawks 2nd line having a big year? Particularly Hossa? The media makes a big deal about his intangibles but he hasn't had a big numbers year in Chicago.
Jesse Rogers (1:42 PM)
Well, he got his rest, didnt have surgery so he better...
two questions, do u see nashville being the hawks biggest threat this season on winning the divsion. and any word on were John Madden may end up playing
Jesse Rogers (1:44 PM)
If the Jackets are ever going to be good this would be the year..I never count out Nash cause of trotz...but det still the biggest competition..screw the blues. Madden will be with a contender I believe...L.A.?? Wash? Philly? someting like that..just guesses
How long can you see the Cup window staying open? With all that money tied up in Kane, Hossa, Toews, etc. can the Hawks continually fill in with role players and make runs at Lord Stanley?
Jesse Rogers (1:45 PM)
Yeah for a while..especially if kruger, smith, leddy, morin, hayes, or anyone else can contribute..lets start with those top 3 and of course crawford...core needs help..we saw that 2 yrs ago..man, what a team that was. my man buff
Where do you think Marty Turco will end up next year? In a suit on the NHL network?
Jesse Rogers (1:46 PM)
I would say its more likely than less but again, camp can open and things can happen but as of right now...suit might be it
Can you please explain the constant love fest with John Madden? He was a good role player during the cup run, but nothing close to the second coming that people seem to make him and sopel out to be.
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
I havent heard a love fest...people fall in love with their champions and it makes sense..they helped win a chmapionship so by defintion they were probably good...having said that Id take madden over mayers...
Debbie's husband (Northbrook, IL)
Jesse - if the Hawks get off to a muddled start, will the pressure rise on this team due to expectations? I guess I am just not sure what the expectations are right now...
Jesse Rogers (1:48 PM)
I think the pressure will def rise...there is no roster turnover/cup hangover/kane in a daze excuses this year...and they have 60 mil in payroll..more if you count huet...lets go!
Asia (Oak Brook)
Hi Jesse, who do you see leading the team in points this year?
Jesse Rogers (1:49 PM)
Hmm..assuming Kane health..still see him..best playmaker who can still score on the team..thats a deadly combo
Asia (Oak Brook)
Jesse, sometimes don't you wish Kane had a "shoot first, past second" mentality...or is it just me?
Jesse Rogers (1:50 PM)
Hes pretty good at fooling the tender...I like his game but I see your point...good problem to have: good at both
How do you see the opening day lines being?
Jesse Rogers (1:50 PM)
Oy, please read my blog...right now. or after the chat. its in there...i promise. like 3 times since July 1
I know people are worried about Carcillo's PIM, as am I, but I think there's another side to this that could give us some hope. We clearly have better leadership on our team than Philly has had with them shipping out their top two players for partying too much, no?
Jesse Rogers (1:51 PM)
If youre asking me do I like toews and company over Richards and company the answer is yes...doesnt mean Carcillo wont be in the box but he'll have the best leadership hes had since coming into the league
Since we can't have another Jesse and Kopy Show, who would be your player of choice to join you?
Jesse Rogers (1:52 PM)
Easy answer would be sharp but he can be too PC for me..which is fine..he prob should be...I like the loose cannons (BUFF!) so car bomb works...
Bob (Lyons, IL )
It seems to me that Stan didn't want to go after Sopel and Madden cause they were "Dale's guys" so he signed Mayers and O'donnel instead what do you think? I agree with you that Madden is better than Mayers especially on the PK.
Jesse Rogers (1:54 PM)
That wouldnt surprise me but was Madden Dale or Stan..doesnt matter, the bigger point is the ones they signed were Q guys..especially Brunnette and Mayers..
What do you envision for Carcillo and how do you think he will mesh with Coach Q?
Jesse Rogers (1:54 PM)
I think he'll mesh fine cause Q knows what hes getting and prob wants some of it...though a bad penalties which costs games will wear thin
Jesse, you mentioned that you thought maybe Nieme and Crawford in the West for the All-Star game -- that seems to be a huge credit to the goalie coach. Do the 'Hawks have him locked up (at least to the extent that you can lock up an assistant)?
Jesse Rogers (1:56 PM)
As far as I knwo they do but really not sure of his terms..talking about Stephan Waite of course. He does know what he's doing...Niemi was less him but Crawford is all him
Patrick (Oak Brook, IL)
Jesse, are you running in the 5k at the Training Camp Day? I'll race ya!
Jesse Rogers (1:56 PM)
Are you nuts? Im running to the press box buffett
As you mentioned earlier, the penalty kill was bad last year. Why do you think that was? Is that a strength of any of our off season additions?
Jesse Rogers (1:57 PM)
I dont know..it was weird..I felt like I could have run it better...the curious part was guys like Toews and Hossa were running around without a purpose sometimes..they knwo better..was weird..I hated how they committed and then when the puck was moved they were chasing and eventually an open look was found by opposition..keeping an eye on that in camp for sure
Best guess for a hawks playoff seed this year?
Jesse Rogers (1:58 PM)
Steve (Wilmette, IL)
Jesse, did you forget about Pekka Rinne and Jon Quick? While I do think that Crawford is more than deserving, those two, especially Rinne, are still better than him.
Jesse Rogers (2:00 PM)
Yeah, rinne is...i dont knwo about quick..I mean he, Howard, Halak, all these guys could have big years but I like the consistency of both niemi and craw...rinne too obviously..
Brian (Hammond, IN)
24 contracts.....and 3 mil in cap room. There has to be a trade coming soon for a center doesn't there ?
Jesse Rogers (2:01 PM)
Not necessarily..all depends who is available and when..dont see many No. 2 centers get traded on the eve of camp do you? But you see penty of moves around deadline when teams are out but you are right someone making NHL money is going to be in the minors or on the street or on another team
Steve (Wilmette, IL)
Why give Stan Bowman only a B? I think he has done a tremendous job with the team. I'm not too big a fan of the contract he gives out, but he has done a real nice job of building this team and working around obstacles.
Jesse Rogers (2:02 PM)
I mean you have to have some room to move up? He didnt put the championship team together..at least not as GM..and I mentioned those negatives, niemi for nothing, hammer deal..so cmon B or B= is fair!
Jesse Rogers (2:04 PM)
Ok, thats it for today..great hour of hawks talk. Gets me excited for the season...Having lunch with my editors tomorrow to discuss upcoming coverage! Make sure you tell people about my blog on espnchicago.com, news and opinion there! Follow me on twitter @espnchihawks. Great questions. If I didint get to yours, email me at email@example.com..talk next week