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January 20, 5:00 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers

Moderator
  (5:11 PM)

Guys, practice ran long today in Calgary, Jesse should be here shortly. Thanks.

Moderator
  (5:13 PM)

If you'd like to read something before Jesse gets here, you can read Jeremy Roenick saying the Hawks' goaltending tandem may not be good enough to win the Cup: http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nhl/news/story?id=4842295

Jesse Rogers
  (5:17 PM)

Hi all from Calgary. Its beautiful here today. A little warmer than when I left Chicago this morning. The Hawks just got done with practice. Niemi will start tomorrow and Q bascially said it was a performance decision not based on the schedule they mapped out.so theres your info for the day.. fire away with questions

Dan (Elk Grove Vlg)

Jesse:OK, you're Stan Bowman. You're sitting at 5 million above the salary cap for next year with only 15 players signed. You need to dump salary before the start of next year. It's been nearly a half decade since the Cup has seen the Windy City. Are you trading for Kovy or sticking with what's worked thus far?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:18 PM)

You are trading but kovr might not be my first choice. Scott Niedermayer would be...though I would not turn kovy down if the price was right. steeg or sharp or buff for Niedermayer is the way I would go. They need one more defenseman

Eric (West Burbs)

Huet hasn't been spectacular lately, but I feel the blue liners are a little off their game. Are they jumping in too much on offense?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:20 PM)

I dont disagree with you. They have contributed so much on offense this year, maybe once in a while they arent making the safe play. We've seen that the last few games for sure. Q doesnt disagree with that premise either...

Craig G. (Fairfield, California)

Hey Jesse, do you think the Hawks could win the Cup with Niemi getting the majority of starts in goal?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:21 PM)

When you use the word "could" then I say yes because its not out of the realm of possibility at all...they might be a lot of goalies that could win it if the hawks play their game so the answer is yes...

Eric (Chicago)

Hey Jesse do you think Niemi will get the starting job if Huet keeps on having bad games?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:22 PM)

I think Niemi will get more starts but HUet will be given a long leash...all the way to april or even beyond before a true change is made...again, with the way the hawks play in front of the goalies (for the most part) huet is still going to win a whole bunch of games

Ryan (Barrie,On)

do you think maybe the hawks looking at the possiblity of maybe going after a guy like marty turco? what would be the best way to get rid of huets contract? i just dont think he's the guy!

Jesse Rogers
  (5:23 PM)

If they went after turco they would have to probably give back niemi and one of the forwards or barker...its possible but i think outside chance

fitz (My cube)

Jesse, it is just me or would you rather see almost any other team in the first round the Detroit? I'll hang up and listen to my answer, thanks

Jesse Rogers
  (5:24 PM)

Not a healthy det thats for sure. I still think the hawks would be the favorites but id ratehr see a NW divistion team for sure

Kavaliunas (Chicago)

With the trade deadline approaching in Februrary, what are the Hawks looking for? Roenick scoffed at the ide that Bowman would be looking for an elite goaltender, but in all honesty who would trade a goaltender of such high status in the current NHL? Is getting a veteran defensemen a more probable scenario for the Hawks? Who is available? Totally off trade scenarios, but is Adam Burrsih the oddman out when he returns from his knee injury?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:26 PM)

Like I said I think a D man is more realistic than a goalie. If they go for a big name, think Niedermayer...smaller...Andy Scott from NY or one of the hurricane guys...something like that

Michael (Chicago)

Do you think Kane will hit 100 pts this year?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:26 PM)

No. 90 pts

Michael (Chicago)

The defense only gave up 18 shots yet 4 goals got in, THAT WON'T CUT IT COME MAY!!!!

Jesse Rogers
  (5:27 PM)

You are right. Huet was bad. And he knows it. I just talked to him..you'll see and hear the quotes after IM done with this chat...he has to be better..that wrap around was terrible

Tony (Westmont)

With Tuukka Rask seemingy ready to completely take over the reins, do you think the Bruins would bite at a Barker/Huet for Tim Thomas deal?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:28 PM)

No. Maybe Niemi/Barker....if they are giving the reigns to Rask, why take on 5.6 mil for 2 more years??

Dan (St. Charles)

Hey Jesse, after Roenick's comments, and the realistic concern that it may be true, how do you feel about a playoff tandem? Either 2 games to 1 for Huet, or alternate every other game. Has it ever been tried, has it ever worked? If not, would it work?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:30 PM)

There pretty much isnt a coach alive that would plan for that going into the playoffs. What if the next guy is scheduled to go the next game and the other guy pitches a 40 save shutout. too much confusion. Q is on record...one guy...now you can switch like det. did from hasek to osgood a couple years ago but u have to start with one guy...

Jesse Rogers
  (5:30 PM)

By the way, someone asked about burish...he would be the last guy to be the odd man out...hes in for sure (if healthy)

Rob (St. Charles)

How do you feel about the Kovalchuk rumors? With our depth... I wouldn't mind a Buff, Barker, 1st/2nd round draft pick for Kovi. Then bring up Hendry permanently. Next year fall back to a Bickell who's looked pretty good.

Jesse Rogers
  (5:32 PM)

Getitng a bunch of the same type of question...I say D first then look to Kovy unless they will take a small package for him...basically it all depends on what these teams want. if Atl. wants three of your big roster, forget it. if anaheim wants 2 not named barker then forget it...but i would go for niedermayer first

Connor (McHenry)

When do you think Niemi will start full time

Jesse Rogers
  (5:32 PM)

Next yeae..for whatever team they trade him too in the off-season. thats a little toungue in cheek but is a possibility. hes due a huge raise

Zo (Southside)

What's the over/under on how many questions you get asked about the goalie situation in this chat session?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:33 PM)

Its already gone over

scott (branson)

Whats with all the talk of trading sharp, buff or steeg for scotty neids or illya from ATL. Let's not worry about the cap room next year until we actually win the cup. This core group plays well together, why would you want to split that up?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:35 PM)

Cause I think they NEED neids...and why wouldnt u think they wouldnt play well with him or kovy AND help for next year. dont fall in love with all your players...other teams have good players and chemistry guys as well...do u really think Q and Toews would let this team fell apart if steeg or sharp or barker or buff gets moved?? c'mon

Jack (Park Ridge)

How do you think the Hawks will do during when they get back from the Olympic break?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:37 PM)

Its something everyone is wondering. bad year for the omlympis. It COULD stall a bit but probably not too much...might need a little time to get into rythym but then again so will all teams

Andrew (Chicago)

What do you think of the play of Niklas Hjalmarsson? Do you think he is one of the main reasons Campbell has been so sucessful?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:40 PM)

Hes been very good. I love his anticiption on plays..He knows whats coming and jujmps on that puck. hes like seabs is with keith in regards to campbell...very good pairing this year

Brent (Lombard)

More likely to catch the Hawks....Preds(back 11) or Wings(16)? And why? And even tho I don't think either will humor me!

Jesse Rogers
  (5:41 PM)

Wings. They are better. Preds playing about as well as they can...wings can get better..but you're right. neither

Tom (Crystal Lake, Illinois)

Hi, Jesse: For strictly financial reasons, a trade must happen before the deadline because the Hawks desperately need an expiring contract towards significantly lowering their cap number. Beyond losing considerable leverage and facing time constraints, the Hawks, obviously, cannot get an expiring contract in the off season, which means that pehaps more than one trade and breaking the core further would be required. I will be beyond shocked if Bowman does not trade for a " rental player " because the cap pressure virtually demands it. What do you think? Thank you.

Jesse Rogers
  (5:43 PM)

I agree. He will make a trade unless the price is too high of course. Somehting Im always reminding people is nothing is set in stone...stan even said recently in a column here on espnchicago.com there is plans A-D...u never know what the other teams are going to offer or ask for..BUt i think his goal would be to make one before the deadline

Zo (Southside)

Is Burish going to have to find a hotel room in Rockford?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:44 PM)

No, Kopecky will. lol. jsut kidding. they can keep them all on the roster if they want. u can have 23.

John (Chicago)

Quickly, Barker or Hendry?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:45 PM)

Its close these days but barker...little more offense..sometimes

Joe P. (Hong Kong, China)

I'm keeping up with my Hawks over here in Hong Kong! Lots of questions about Huet's ability in the playoffs. Do you think the Hawks should be giving Niemi more playing time and preparing him for the playoffs instead of keeping Huet as the #1 goalie? Should the Hawks try to trade for a proven goalie?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:46 PM)

They are giving him more playing time, like tomorrow. hes getting enuf work

Lucas Dahlin (Magnitorosk, Russia)

Jesse, any updates on the trade block situation? Also, why do you think that Coach Q split up the recently very hot Ladd / Madden / Hossa line after only one period?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:47 PM)

Q didnt like the game very much...i think he goes back to the normal lines tomorrow

kevo (rogers park)

is patrick kane the best player on the us olympic team?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:47 PM)

One of the top 3 for sure

Josh Martin (Freeport, IL)

Jesse I have been a huge Huet supporter for all of this year. I feel that he has the talent and ability to be a good goalie. However, that has not come to fruition and the defense and heavy puck control the hawks play with is the reason for his great record despite very pedestrian statistics. (Minus his stellar GAA although again that is a reflection of the defense limiting the shots against.) Although this will surely kill any chance of the hawks being able to trade him (albeit a remote chance at best if he played well) I think it is time to see if Niemi can shoulder the load. The hawks are all in for this year. If Niemi fails it is finally time to consider a deadline deal to get a goalie that can shoulder the load. A Halak or a Turco would make a lot of sense if the organization decides to go another direction with the goaltending although they will have to find a way to get Huet off the books. Maybe it isn't time to go another direction and I am over reacting but I just don't want to see this season go up in flames because we have a goalie become a sieve in the playoffs.

Jesse Rogers
  (5:50 PM)

Its possible they are thinking that way..if they are, it will tell in playing time...look at huets numbers overall..pretty good, same with niemi...but play will determine it. they are not giving up on huet..not w 2 years left..at least not in jan

Michael (Chicago)

Do you see the Blackhawks trading for a goalie or will cap space prevent it?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:52 PM)

It is possible...scotty bowman has huge influence..if he tells stan they cant win with what they have, it becomes the priority..no doubt..they would have to trade niemi and one of thse forwards to get it done...they can do it if they think its a priority..only problem is u have to go back to huet next year..i dont htink they are doing it

Jimmy K. (Chicago)

Is there any chance to move Cambell? That would solve all the problems.

Jesse Rogers
  (5:53 PM)

Not sure it would solve all the probs for this year. Who replaces him? Hes part of that transition game. Maybe this off season...he has become more tradeable with his play

Jim (Chicago)

You joke about Kopecky being gone, but let's be realistic, the guy was a bust. He's a minus on a 50 team, thinks he's got hands but has none. Definition of a waste of money?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:54 PM)

I dont joke..i agree...doesnt mean he will be in rockford..he just might not play much

nick (tampa, fl)

are you tired of the same goalie questions?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:55 PM)

Yes and no. After last night, my patience with huet is waning as well...but will he faulter 4 out of 7 in the playoffs and will the team in front of him let that happen...those are the questions u have to ask

Brent (Lombard)

Who do you think is the most important player to step up for a playoff run (minus goalies) who has been pretty silent this year or having a respectable year?

Jesse Rogers
  (5:57 PM)

Hmmm..thats kind of tough...ya know if bolland somehow is his old self then things really fall into place...Hossa is very Hossa like lately, he can carry a team...i guess those guys..and the goalies! hammer and soup have to keep it up as well

dan (seattle,wa)

so you had some competition with ben eager over on blackhawks.com doing a live chat. it was pretty good. but I am curious how much you get to talk to players and whether or not they really do read up on all these trade rumors. do they read your blog?

Jesse Rogers
  (6:00 PM)

They are aware of the trade stuff. especially the guys that are often mentioned. sharp, versteeg, barker. they know whats going on...i think they do read my blog mostly because the hawks pr teams puts together a packet of stories about the team from all the relevant places so they can read it easily..and based on some versteeg reaction to me, i know he reads it! and others have commented. mostly ive written good things for obvious reasons..

papawiz (harisson, ark)

isint all this cup talk great? I remember when all we talked about was how many seconds into the game it would take for Probert and Domie to go at it. But, in all seroiusness do the Hawks miss that toughness come playoff time?

Jesse Rogers
  (6:01 PM)

Its the same old answer, its nice to have but not necessary to win. det had the fewest fights 2 seasons ago and won the cup...and the hawks have proven they can withstand tough teams and games..st. louis and pitt come to mind

Alex (Highland Park)

Do you think the outcome of the game would have been different last night if Hossa buries that empty netter(even with the poor play of Huet)? On that note, HOW DID HE MISS THAT?

Jesse Rogers
  (6:02 PM)

Good question. Its possible but considering Q said it was their worst game maybe they lose anyway..maybe they get a point. who knows. but that was quite the lucky stop by elliott. one in 1000 it hits right there.

Jesse Rogers
  (6:03 PM)

couple more then will put huet story together. he didnt mince words..gotta at least like the honesty

Brent (Lombard)

Was it just me or was Versteeg open handed and slapping that guy in the fight?

Jesse Rogers
  (6:03 PM)

Think it was you. Looked like fists to me

Jesse Rogers
  (6:05 PM)

Thats going to do it. The rest look like repeats of trade and goalie talk. Hope I answered all of them...if not email me at jrogers@espnchicago.com and follow me on twitter @espnchihawks ill be on all the local shows on WMVP on this trip so tune in. goodbye from calgary!