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July 14, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers

Jesse Rogers
  (1:01 PM)

Hi all. welcome to our Hawks chat for this week. Plenty to discuss so lets get right to the questions and talk some hockey on a 90 degree day!

Greg (Reno)

Do the Hawks have any interest in Modano? Does Madano any interest in the Hawks? A cheap two-year deal to play 2nd line center and free up Sharpie to move to wing or play fourth line C instead of Reasoner. Seems he would have a chance to retire with a chance at the Cup and the Hawks could use veteran to help the young guys.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:03 PM)

He would have to come cheaper than Reasoner which means about a mil or less...Im doubting it...cant play 2nd line anymore...maybe 3rd...its just not a right fit unless he wants to play for like 600 or 700k.

RJ (Boston)

How nervous will your fanbase be if Sharp actually does leave? Guys like that are so much more valuable than their stats alone can tell. Think that deal will get done?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:04 PM)

At the end of the day i think they wll choose sharp over niemi..its all fluid...if someone blows them away with a deal for him, it might be hard to say no...so I would say its doubtful he goes but not out of the realm of possibility at all

Kevin (My Cube)

Do you think guys like Toivenen and Makarov are more likely to make the team now than guys like Crawford and Beach simply due to the fact that they are on cheaper contracts?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:06 PM)

Yes. Though not much of a difference between craw and toiv but every dollar counts so good players (like skille last year) sometimes dont make it. Need to rethink entry level deal. Thinking of writing a blog about this...maybe they get paid their draft status money but counts less against the cap during first 3 yrs. Something like that cause good players are sitting in favor of others. Look at Bickell last yr, not that hes bad but he got a chance cause of his money as much as anything

Pete (Chicago)

Do the hawks have any young defensemen that are ready to play? Or any young dmen that we should have our eyes on?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:07 PM)

Getting closer. Lalonde is a name you will hear pretty soon. I like Dylan Olsen but only 19 and a couple yrs away...Couple others like Nick Leddy but none are slam dunks this fall...maybe lalonde

Ty (San Francisco)

Jesse, were you at the Hawk's prospects camp? One website ranked our prospects as middle of the pack which hurts cause I hear we have a few difference makers. What were your thoughts on the camp and who stood out?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:08 PM)

I wasnt there everyday but I saw enough..Like most I was impressed by the Hayes brothers..good size and Kevin can move. Like I just wrote I like Olsen...Who knows about rankings..buff was an 8th round pick, prob never got mentioned as anything during prospect camps so dont go off of that...

Larry (11th Floor)

Jesse...was disappointed to read your blog this morning and see you think Crawford could be the starting goalie. I think that would spell big trouble. Might the game plan be to start with him and make it through half the year, then work a trade deadline deal to "rent" a goalie? Also...when do you think we'll see Kyle Beach as a Blackhawk? This year? Next?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:10 PM)

I think Beach starts in the minors..his cap hit and maturity issues put him there i think. main thing is his cap hit. I was just guessing about Craw...if Niemi walks could go for a veteran or hand it to Corey and go cheap on tenders and re-evaluate mid-season. I think there is no doubt they saw Nieim have success with little experience and believe that can be duplicated

Pransky (Plainfield)

I am wary at this point of overpaying Niemi and trying to unload his unmovable contract next year...what are your thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:12 PM)

I dont see how 4 max is going to be unmovable...and why they would want t omove him after signing him if thats what youre talking about...course the hawks cant sign him for 4 so at less its even a better deal..you see what goalies make? good money and he deserves some of it

Caleb (Schaumburg)

I know Campbell is good, but we could have two Hjalmarssons for his contract, is there any way we can trade that $7M contract?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:12 PM)

Doubtful but never say never

Matt (Chicago)

Hi Jesse. I just read your mailbag and i read that the Hawks are looking to trade Brian Campbell's huge contract, but he only has a list of 8 teams. Do you know which teams they are and do you think one of those teams will take him? I hope Patrick Sharp doesnt get traded!

Jesse Rogers
  (1:13 PM)

Not sure they have even asked him for those teams yet...i could be wrong...Kind of fluid..they might approach when they have a potential deal and then ask for that particualr team or all 8...dont know

Caleb (Schaumburg)

I know in the NBA there is a luxury tax if you are over the cap, is there anything like that in the NHL and if so would the Hawks consider paying it to stay competitive. They are outselling every other team in the league so I think they could afford it.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:14 PM)

No. Nothing like that

Chuck (Naperville)

Hi Jesse,Will the Hawks get Skille re-signed? And at what number? I think he deserves a chance to play regularly.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:15 PM)

I think so...500-700k i would guess...I stil ldont know what kind of a player he is...3rd, 4th, top 6? but he deserves a real chance

John (Chicago)

Remember all season when you were saying the hawks would probably lose their 4th line guys, ladd and ONE of sharp, versteeg, buff? I thought that was worst case scenario. Of course Im kidding about blaming you, but seriously, are the core guys good enough to still be a contender with rookies and veterans that no one else really wants?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:17 PM)

yeah, I said that on the radio the other day..maybe we were all in denial about the numbers..course back then I guess I didnt think Niemi and Hammer would get such big raises along with potentially Ladd so things changed money wise once they won the cup...if they bow out in 2nd round, Niemi gets a slight raise and we call it a day! Yes, contender...but it doesnt feel like a dynasty...so much less room for error...all depends on how these new guys play as well

james (chicago)

I dont know reasoner besides his numbers. They were comparable to Frasers, why keep reasoner when his cap hit was larger than fraser's?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:19 PM)

They might still move him for all we know but to get the trade done Im sure they had to take him...plus you can never have enough centers..remember sharp is converted...forget numbers when you play 3rd or 4th line...I like fraser but reasoner is under contract..fraser was not

Jason (Orland Park)

Who do you think is the least likely to get traded now: Bolland, Campbell, or Sharp?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:20 PM)

Bolland for sure...4 more years..pretty cap friendly, etc.

brian (ny)

hey jesse, do you think the blackhawks have a chance to repeat the stanley cup?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:21 PM)

Not a great chance...even with same team would be difficult cause it just is but now they will have to fight through reg season and inevitable hangover and then fight again in spring...never know...toews/kanbe onlygetting better..we hope

Chris (Chicago)

There hasn't been much in the news about Hawks players like Seabrook who's contracts are up (and hopefully renewed) in the next coming years, and who will no doubt earn a raise. What do u expect the Hawks are doing now to anticipate those issues?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:23 PM)

Probably not a lot at the moment but its always in the back of thier minds...not a lot comes off the books next year and Brouwer will be do for a raise as well so it will be difficult...there is def a scenario where seabs may have to go... i mean how many D-men can you pay?

Mark (Plainfield)

Is Seabrook a restricted or unrestricted free agent next year? Will the Hawks be able to sign him? After this year, do you see the hawks having this salary cap problem next year or the following year?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:25 PM)

Seabrook is restricted..i think they are like at 48 mil committed for 2011-2012 but thats with huet..so we'll see..only kopecky, reasoner, brouwer come off and thats not so much..and thats without niemi or whoever in goal..even craw is rfa

Chuck (Naperville)

If Sharp stays, would you put Bolland between he and Hossa or would you leave Bolland on the 3rd "so -called checking line"?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:26 PM)

I asked Q that at prospects camp..he will leave Sharp at center and i agree with it...need to be strong up the middle...bolland at 3rd line is a nice luxury..can always change and im sure it will several times but thats how they will start

Kevin (Elmwood Park, IL)

Jesse, as hard as it is to repeat in this league, because of that I embrace the idea of giving younger guys the chance with the big club. The Hawks seem to play really good in the underdog role and here they are again in it. If you can give as many young guys the chance (as long as they deserve it) it makes your team that much better in the coming years. Your thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:27 PM)

I'd rather have last year's team back...but u can spin it that these guys are going to be hungary and its a new challenege...it shouldnt be "stale" in the room or on the ice, etc. So no problem there but its a lot of pure talent and heart to replace..

Kevin (Elmwood Park)

Hey Jesse, great job as always. My question is, although matching Hammer was the right move. I know shopping Sharp is also the correct thing to do (in the terms of his deal being friendly to other teams). I almost want to keep Sharp and let Niemi go. I love what Antii did for us down the stretch, but I don't know how I feel about giving a goaltender who has not played a full season + playoffs 3.75 million or more after one year. How much do you think it takes to get Turco if the Hawks are thinking the same way?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:31 PM)

I know Im in the minority and I might blog about this very soon but i think people are downplaying Niemi's contributions...He was HUGE in the playoffs...the hawks shots against skyrocketed and he stood tall...he outplayed four goaltenders..they didnt win a series without him being a factor...even in the finals...I understand if it comes down to sharp or niemi that sharp would win a popularity contest and no one cares about the future, only the present BUT sharps deal is for 2 more yrs..and if he keeps it up will want a big raise...u can have niemi here for a long time at a decent number i think, especially for goalies...turco..not sure his demands..at least 2

Tiffanie (Chicago)

You say that Bolland's (probably) being kept because he's cap friendly. But he only makes $250,000 less than Sharp and has 2 more years in contract length. I think Sharp is a little more versatile than Bolly. Plus, we're not sure how much Bolly's back can take. Thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:35 PM)

2 more years is a good thing..hes not due a raise for 4 years...the money goes up not down if you're any good so thats why bolly more cap friendly than sharp plus I think cap wise he's about 5 or 600 thousand less not 250..off top of my head

Chuck (Naperville)

Jesse-any chance they try to move some combination of Kopecky, Reasoner and/or Brouwer to free up $2.5-3.0 million of cap space and fill in with lower paid guys like Dowell, etc?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:36 PM)

Yeah, possible. I htink brouwer is a baragin though...not sure who wants reasonser/kopecky but you neve know..only save about a mil if you move those 2 and use minimum guys but I guess a mil is better than nothing

Chris (Lockport)

Jesse -In response to your Seabrook discussion above, while they do have some contracts coming off the books in TK, Brouwer (who they will likely resign) and Reasoner, they also should not have the $4+ million in penalties, so don't you believe that money will be reinvested in keeping Brouwer and Seabrook?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:37 PM)

Yeah, I think the numbers can work but again then you have even more min type guys taking over for kopecky, reasoner, etc. just depends on goalie pay and how much seabs especially wants but i think it can work..but seabs is going to want a lot. keith paid, hammer paid, campbell paid, of the latter two who made the olympics..neither

Keith (Naperville, IL)

The boards are saying that the Hawks have signed RW Makarov to a 2 yr deal at $552K/yr. Can you confirm this? If true, it would be a great signing.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:39 PM)

Believe that hes in the fold and we'll see if he can play but the money is right on the mark...and Im sure its a two way deal so that works

Kevin (My Cube)

Jesse - I just want you to know that the entire "Sharp on the block" garbage came from you. Suddenly people think Sharp is gone, solely because you mentioned they might have to move him. Congrats, but there is absolutely no way the Hawks would move Sharp. They'll move Reasoner and Kopecky well before moving him. Heck, they'd let Niemi walk before moving Sharp.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:42 PM)

I'm sorry to report the news...I think my near exact quote was "They are actively shopping Campbell while listening to offers for Sharp." That could mean one offer or a 100 but I have it on good authority..the difference is if someone said the word Kane on the phone to bowman thats as far as it gets but with sharp they are "listening". Never said he was gone, never said they were TRYING to move him but they would be stupid not to listen to deals cause he fits as a guy you listen to deals for...IF they can move reasonr and kopecky you might be right but it takes two to tango...

Ryan (Portland)

Thinking back to Stan Bowman's comment of "offer sheets do not concern me" or something like that, what the heck was he thinking? Obviously all anyone had to do was make an offer for Hjalmarsson and then that offer is something to be concerned with. And then it happened. That quote still baffles me.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:44 PM)

He sinmply didnt think it was going to happen and frankly niether did hammer's camp. Its only happened a handful of times but i do agree if it was going to happen this year, the hawks were ripe for it...I thought niemi would get one but being one year away from UFA i think scared teams off...they might get him next year if they like him for nothing

Tunji (Chicago)

Whats the deal with Huet and his contract situation. I heard the hawks were trying to get that off the books

Jesse Rogers
  (1:45 PM)

Agent and hawks were supposed to talk again here after the prospects camp. It will get done. Europe most likely

Matt (Chicago)

% niemi stays

Jesse Rogers
  (1:45 PM)

Hmm....have to say less than 50...just dont see it

John (Chicago)

You asked earlier "how many d-men can you pay?" The answer is probably 3, which is why the much improved Campbell's contract still kills even though he is pretty good. Do you see any scenario where seabrook and campbell are both on the team after this year?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:47 PM)

Did some of that math a few questions ago...I do see a scenario cause d-men, even over goalies apparently, are the backbone so if you want him to stay you can make it happen...hell, sharp getting moved next offseason seems more likely now that we're talking about it

David (Chicago)

Jesse,Why cant they offer Niemi a good contract with a low cap hit for next year? That would seem like th ebest route to take to keep him and try and squeeze in these final players to fill out the roster

Jesse Rogers
  (1:49 PM)

Well, the cap hit has to be the avg salary...Im sure he thinks he deserves an avg of 3 mil and they cant make that happen...u can play with how much you actually pay a guy from year to year but the cap hit is the cap hit...thats why the only way to have made this work was to offer him some monster deal in terms of YEARS...so he has security but would take less money PER year...like 10 years at 28 mil...but i dont even think he would take that...

Ryan (Portland)

The talk is all Niemi vs Sharp at this point. I'd hate to lose either, do you know of any other player that could be dished instead?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:50 PM)

Campbell but thats hard and as others have pointed out...if you can move kopecky/reasoner maybe you get some money there but not a ton...so thats why I put niemi less than 50%

Nate ((Southern Illinois))

Jesse, do you think the Hawks will look to build a dynasty from here with their core locked up for so long and not make the same cap mistakes they made the last time. Do you see a scenario in which they have subpar playoff performances for a couple years and then turn into perennial cup contenders?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:52 PM)

Yeah, they will be like most really good teams now instead of a very special team..great core, have to fill in around it, injury free-season where htings come together they make a cup run...otherwise lose sometime before that...and thats ok..its just getting to the point they are at has been painfl for most fans and understandbly

Keith (Naperville, IL)

After watching Belfour and Hasak leave Chicago only to have terrific careers elsewhere, it would be a real shame to not resign Niemi. Stan needs to move anyone necessary and get the contract done.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:52 PM)

I agree with you more than disagree...i think the kid could be special...a really good goalies is like 3 guys in front of him

AJ (Inverness)

I understand that performance bonuses are counted against the cap so teams don't use that as a way of "cheating the system". But why would bonuses that come from playoff accomplishments count (i.e. Toews winning the Conn Smythe)?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:53 PM)

Absolutely agree with your point...kane's incentive..top 10 in scoring should count...bt not the conn smythe...I agree. stupid

Mike (Midlothian)

I think Niemi may be a bit overrated. Halak had better numbers than him in the playoffs. I Niemi was that good because of the D in front of him, which is why it is much more important to keep Hammer that Antti. Your thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:55 PM)

Wrong...at least in the playoffs...the D was not that great in front of him..they were outshot in like 5-7 games (cant rememebr) after only 13 times in reg season...when did the hawks ask their goalies to make 44 saves twice in 4 games in reg season..never...when did they get oushot two games in a row in reg season..NEVER...against lowly nash they did...who was on the ice for every second of every great penalty kill against the preds including a huge 5 on 3 in game 3 i believe..NIEMI...should i stop?

Aaron (St. Charles)

Jesse, what are your thoughts on Viktor Stalberg? Do you think he can make the team with his salary? Just from looking at his stats last year I think he could turn into a 20-goal scorer, plus I think he has a first round draft pick pedigree.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:57 PM)

From talking to people in toronto I like him...his salary could be an issue i suppose but I think he makes the team

John (New Jersey)

Jesse do u c Toews and Kane as the best duo in hockey for years to come?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:58 PM)

Best is a strong word when malkin and Crosby are in Pitt. but among the best for sure...may not always play together...look at the finals but yes, damn good

Peter (Rocktown)

Jesse,Don't get how Bowman couldn't have seen Hjalmarsson's expiring contract coming, and realizing he was a key piece, locked him up earlier. Not only does this hurt this year, it hurts for years to come, paying him more than you needed to and for a relatively short-term deal. For a couple years now I've heard people saying Scotty Bowman bet his reputation on Hammer's NHL future. If I heard that, I'm sure Stan did too. Am I the only one not terribly impressed with Bowman's foresight?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:01 PM)

No you're not. I more than intimated that in my most recent blog after they matched hammer...i mean all hes done (hopefully!) is make some good trades for prospects..we will find out...no creative math has been used...no long term deals to reduce cap hit..no early signings..I know his hands were tied on some of it but its doesnt seem other than getting those prospects theyve made the best of th esituation.. and now they might lose another...hell, even rolling the dice in the season with niemi u could have gotten a great deal..but i dont think they believed in him until REAL late so now they live with the consequences..hard to have a crystal ball though

Mike (Chicago)

The thing I dont understand about matching Hammer's offer sheet is that if we lost him wouldnt that mean we could have had a better shot at keeping niemi? I feel like Hammer would be more easily replaceable than niemi

Jesse Rogers
  (2:03 PM)

That is the $1,000,000 question. Most people would disagree with you...I like Niemi but Im not sure I wouldnt disagree with you. Hammer is only 23..that 3.5 is too much right now but if he keeps improving it could look like a steal in 2 yrs. I do like Niemi though

Doug (Alexandria, VA)

Jessie how does Skille, a RFA requiring a 100% qualifying offer, take a paycut? He was qualified wasn't he?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:05 PM)

Honestly I cant rememebr if he was qualified..why do that? You want to pay him more than brouwer or reasoner or kopecky for doing what? if thats the case, he doesnt make the team im guessing..too much

Tiffanie (Chicago)

I guess I just can't believe that Tallon wrapped up $15M in Soupy and Hossa. That's ridiculous. But then again, paying $10M for a goalie to always get eliminated in the 2nd round of the playoffs is also crazy (Vancouver).

Jesse Rogers
  (2:06 PM)

The hossa signing is no big deal..its all about the cap hit...at 5 mil hes fine...but 7 for a one way D-man is absurd...

Jesse Rogers
  (2:08 PM)

Thats going to do it for today...thanks for all the great questions..if you have more..email me at jrogers@espnchicago.com..i try to answer them all..follow me on twitter @espnchihawks for all the latest..will be hosting on espn 1000 from 9 am to 1 pm tomorrow so tune in and call in or text! thanks all. Have a good one