Chat with Scott Powers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Thursday, Chicago Blackhawks beat reporter Scott Powers stops by to chat.
Powers, who joined ESPNChicago.com in 2009, covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning reporter who has been reporting on sports of all levels, from preps to pros throughout the Midwest since 1997.
Send your questions now and join Powers Thursday at 1:30 p.m. CT/2:30 p.m. ET!
Scott Powers (2:35 PM)
Hi all, sorry, I was running a few minutes late today. Let's get started.
What roster moves would facilitate Terevainen joining the Blackhawks?
Scott Powers (2:36 PM)
Cesar, the mostly likely move now is placing Kane on the long-term injured reserve. I could see Morin coming up first and then waiting for the weekend or early next week for Teravainen.
Mark (Pasadena, CA)
I know about the 10 game thing with Teravainen, but does that mean he has to play less than 10 games if they don't want to burn a year of his contract? What happens if he plays exactly 10 games? And do playoff games count toward that limit? P.S. What percentage of questions that you are getting concern Kane and/or Teravainen? I'm guessing at least 80%.
Scott Powers (2:39 PM)
Mark, I'll double-check, but I believe it has to be less than 10 games and it does count in the playoffs. From what I've heard, if Teravainen can help them win a Cup, they'll burn the 10 games and the year on the contract. They expect to have him in the organization for a long time, and they won't be that stingy if he can contribute now. And yes, a lot of questions are about Kane and Teravainen, but completely understandable.
Loags (Saskatoon, Canada)
Whats the maximum games Teravainen can play without burning off a year of his contract?
Scott Powers (2:40 PM)
Loags,I believe it's 10 games. I don't think the Blackhawks will make decisions based on that, though, if he's able to help them,.
Based on what I've seen, my instinct is that Kane is done for the year. I'm skeptical that a knee injury that Kane immediately knew was bad enough he needed to go to the locker room is going to only keep him out for 3 weeks. He needs to be 100% to be effective, and my gut says he's done for the year. Am I being too pessimistic, or is that your sense as well?
Scott Powers (2:42 PM)
Ben, I don't have any further news than from last night. Obviously it could be more severe, but I don't think the Blackhawks would place a three-week timetable on it that quickly if they weren't sure. Quenneville is often pretty general with injuries, and he was a bit more specific last night. At this point, I don't think it's a season-ending injury.
jim burbank [via mobile]
Scott, Why does it seem on most nights hawks try to play a perimeter game which in most cases they struggle scoring and then on other nights they crash net putting 4-5 goals on board. Why don't they crash net more? They seem reluctant a lot of the time. Thanks
Scott Powers (2:45 PM)
Jim, good point. It does seems like they often get rewarded when they get guys to the net. I know that was the plan last night. It seems like sometimes they cycle too often in the zone and no is getting to the net consistently. I feel like Shaw, Bickell and Smith have been better at that. I'll try to ask some more questions about it in the coming days.
Was there any explanation why the Blackhawks let Kostka go? I thought he was playing really good when he got the chance.
Scott Powers (2:46 PM)
Heidi, Bowman said at the time he wanted to only have seven defensemen and give Kostka more consistent minutes. The strange thing is Bowman then went and added Rundblad to give them eight defensemen again. Rundblad obviously hasn't played much since he arrived.
WHEN IS TUEVO COMING?!?!?!?!?!?! (I'll bet nobody else asked about him today!)
Scott Powers (2:48 PM)
Tyson, I just had a story on it today. Teravainen is expected to land in Chicago this evening. It doesn't look like he'll be headed to the Blackhawks right away. He may go to Rockford first. I would think he does get a call-up sometime this weekend or early next week for the Blackhawks. They want to get give him a small transition period before making his NHL debut.
Did the "real" Blackhawks finally show up last night?
Scott Powers (2:50 PM)
Mark, I think that's how they can play when they're clicking. The problem lately has been finding that level of play on a consistent basis. They were good against the Penguins at Soldier Field, later against the Blue Jackets and again last night, but they have also struggled in other games. I don't think they've had more than a two-game winning streak in a few months.
What is a reasonable record for the Hawks the rest of the way. I know losing Kane is going to be tough but this team is stacked depth-wise. Morin can fill the net if he's given the best opportunity and TT (if/when he's here) is magic and will make a ton of plays with the puck on his stick. I still think they can/will push STL for that 1 seed and at least land the 2 seed. Thoughts?
Scott Powers (2:52 PM)
Mike, I'd be surprised if they catch the Blues. There's a lot of room to make up and the Blues have played one less game. I certainly think they can take that No. 2 spot from the Avalanche. Kane's loss is significant, but I think they can get by without him offensively the rest of the regular season. Getting Saad back will be key. Morin has played well in Rockford the last few months. But Kane's a big-game player, and they obviously need him for the playoffs.
Chico Maki (Regina, Alb)
Scotty - Why doesn't Jeremy Morin get the love and respect that he deserves from the coach and the GM eh? Would love to see Morin play with Saad and Shaw!
Scott Powers (2:54 PM)
Chico, I think a lot of it has had to do with opportunity. Morin has often had to play a third-line role when he's been with the Blackhawks. I think if he gets a shot on more of an offensive line the next time around, he can succeed. He's a skilled offensive player, and the Blackahawks need that now. I also believe Bowman values Morin.
Scott, Can you please clarify the ELC status for Taravainen? I know the Hawks and push his contract a year if he plays fewer than 10 games. Do those ten games include just regular season or postseason as well?
Scott Powers (2:55 PM)
Mike, I do believe it includes the postseason as well.
What's up with Shaw and the series of questionable to really dump penalties?
Scott Powers (2:57 PM)
Ed, yes, Shaw has had a number of them lately. I'm hoping to get into that more the next few days. It seems like a focus issue. He lets himself to get too carried away and becomes too loose with his play. I remember Handzus had a talk with him about it in the playoffs last season.
TT is the future 2nd line center of this team. If he comes up, will he actually get an opportunity to play with skilled linemates? Some of our kids this year, haven't actually been given a decent opportunity to play with talented offensive players on a consistent basis.
Scott Powers (2:59 PM)
Troy, I think this situation is different. I would assume Teravainen gets a chance on the second line if he plays. They're not going to expose him defensively on the third or fourth line. The Blackhawks understand he's one of their future pieces, and they're not going to put him in a situation where he's going to likely fail now.
Any chance they call up Pierre-Marc Bouchard instead of Morin?
Scott Powers (3:01 PM)
Erik, I would think Morin gets the look now, but Bouchard has certainly played well in Rockford. If not now, Bouchard will be on the playoff roster. He provides another dependable forward.
Switching away from TT/Kane for you here: Are the Hawks looking at Stephen Johns and Kevin Hayes to be contributors with the big club next year (assuming they are both signed)? Or will they simply just be thrown into that Rockford mix until they prove otherwise. What prospects can you see being on the Hawks next season. The Hawks just keep replenishing and it's a thing of beauty. TT/Hartman/Clendening/Johns/Hayes...... and more.
Scott Powers (3:04 PM)
Matt, I don't see Johns or Hayes getting much of a chance next year. When you look at who is signed, there just aren't many opening there. Of course, injuries can be a factor, and if they're playing well in Rockford, they could get a look. It should be pretty competitive within the IceHogs for some years to come.
Fernando (Chicago, Illinois)
Who do you think the Hawks roster will look like heading into the playoffs? I saw Regin as a key player last night and hope it continues!
Scott Powers (3:05 PM)
Fernando, Regin will be on the playoff roster, but I don't think he'll make the lineup unless injuries open up a spot or two. I did think he played better last night. That was a nice pass to Kruger.
Mark McGrath (Seattle)
What is status on LaBlanc?
Scott Powers (3:07 PM)
Mark, LeBlanc has had a pretty quiet season with the IceHogs. The Blackhawks seemed optimistic about what he could be when they signed him, but he hasn't panned out so far. I don't think he's in the mix next year.
What are your thoughts on the new playoff format?If the Hawks finish 3rd they'll play the 4 seed in Col?Seems goofy
Scott Powers (3:09 PM)
Steve, no, the No. 1 seed in the division plays one of the wild cards, and the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in each division play each other. Unless the Blackhawks make a late push on the Blues, they're going to play the Avalanche in the first round. The winner of that would likely play the Blues in the second round.
J. wendt (Chicago)
Any word on when Saad will be back??
Scott Powers (3:09 PM)
J., we'll know more tomorrow, but Quenneville was hopeful for Friday, but otherwise expected Saad to be back on Sunday.
Tony Lombard [via mobile]
Will johns and Hayes be signed or is it possible that Johns chooses not to sign and become a FA?
Scott Powers (3:10 PM)
Tony, it sounds like the Blackhawks expect to sign Hayes and Johns. Both appear to be priorities for Bowman.
James (Fort Worth, TX)
With Kane being out, how do you think lines & power play units will shake out till he retunrs?
Scott Powers (3:13 PM)
James, for sure. It all depends on who they recall in the next day or two and if Saad is back. I would think Saad or Sharp moves up to the second line and Morin or Teravainen joins them. Smith has earned some more minutes lately too, so he could stay in a top-6 forward role.
Hey Scott. Any word on resigning Ben Smith? I think he's had a quiet but extremely solid season. Last night he looked really good on that line with Kane and Bicks. Does Tuevo or maybe even Morin play a role in his resigning?
Scott Powers (3:15 PM)
Dustin, I would say Smith's season has gotten louder with time. He's been given a larger role in the past few weeks. Smith said he hasn't had any discussions about a new contract, but I'd be surprised if they don't re-sign him. He's a restricted free agent after the season.
Do you think they should have gotten more for Pirri than mid round draft choices?
Scott Powers (3:18 PM)
Ron, I thought it was a fair deal. I think teams had their doubts about him, especially his foot speed. Bowman was concerned he would have gotten less if he waited.
Keith new hampshire [via mobile]
Any chance Leddy gets a look at forward with Kane out? I've seen q move brook bank there and would love to see what Leddy could do as a forward.
Scott Powers (3:20 PM)
Keith, I don't see that happening. For one, Rozsival is out, and they need Leddy as a defenseman.
Scott Powers (3:21 PM)
Thanks for all the questions again this week. Please email me at email@example.com if I missed yours or if I can help with something else. I imagine we'll have a lot to talk about soon. Have a good weekend.