Hi all, welcome to the new season of Blackhawks chats live here on espnchicago.com Hope to have some guest chatters along the way..maybe a few hawks players. Camp is around the corner after this crazy off-season..lots to look forward to..most weeks we will chat wed. at noon but that could change depending on hawks schedule as well as mine...one note..I'll be hosting with Tom Waddle tomorrow from 9 am to 1 pm on espn 1000 so Im sure we'll do some hockey...alright, fire away with some questions
Due you think that the first line will return to were it was last year with Brouwer starting with Toews and Kane, or do you think after success in the playoffs with the line Bickell will be moved up?
Yeah, I think to start the year both Brouwer and Kopecky will be in the top 6..but that could change very quickly (especially for kopecky!) Brouwer needs confidence...you cant get any more than playing with K and T so I'd like to see him start there and see what happens..Im pretty sure thats what we will see early on...
Due you feel that moving Huet to Europe would be better for the team not just in cap space, but also because he would not be taking time away from our minor league goalies?
Well sure, he would just be filling a spot down there, not really accomplishing much. I never thought he would play one game in the minors...Dont forget, Toivenen was highly touted and started for boston so if he finds his game down there he could push craw or even turco...no garauntees for anyone..especially at low salary numbers
What is the Best & The Worst NHL Arena that you have been to?
different criteria for media but for atmosphere..that would be vancouver..working conditions..both Anaheim and L.A. are great...for media food...minnesota!...worst, well, edmonton and calgary arent exactly the four seasons of buildings...havent been to montreal, they say thats great for everything..think we go this year..phoenix is as cold in the building as it is hot outside..weird..
Hey Jesse, I know you've answered this before, but any thoughts on the top 12 forwards to start the season? Is Sharpie going to remain at center, and who will be flanking each line?
I asked Q about sharp at prospects camp and he said yes, he starts at center...so i think we know the top 6..kopecky and brouwer like i said b along with hossa, K and T, and sharp..it sounds like bolland, stalberg and bickell will be your third line inititally...all of this could change by oct. 7 but I think thats the look for now...
Hi Jess... You were a very big proponet (some may say Cheerleader) of bringing Niemi back. The fact that Turco signed the deal he did makes me think more of him and his desire to be in Chicago and less of Bill Zito and his lack of flexibilty when it came to the Hawks cap situation. Since you seem pretty close to the Niemi camp (i.e sources tell you he's close to signing somewhere) can you expound on their thoughts about arbitration and what they were thinking? Did Zito ever see a long term proposal from the Hawks? Did Zito really act in his clients best interests? Is Zito you're agent?
LOL. Where to start. First of all no ,Zito is not my agent. If you are inferring some personal bias..I'll be honest Im much, much, closer to D. Byfuglien and his agent than anyone else on the team and you didnt see me pounding my fist when he was traded..I just dont believe the hawks made Niemi a priority..not even close..there are conflicting stories about the proposals for niemi..niemi's camp says no long term deals were offered..there is no doubt, obvious to everyone, that once Hammer got his offer hte money dissapeared for Niemi but I dont believe a deal was definitively on the table for niemi to accept or turn down..just conversations...the 3 yr 8 mil offer out there has been flatly denied..i dont blame Zito AT ALL..Turco is winding down, has made a ton, and has little show for it in hardware..niemi is entering his prime, his stock may never be higher, you have to hit on that...and c'mon, dont you think he deserves at least 2.5 considering what people make in this game..they never came close to 2.5. Thats my 2 cents
Who takes Sopel's role on the PK? And who are Bolland's wingers on the shutdown line this year?
Bolland, I answered. To start, its Stalberg and Bickell but I could see Stalberg moving up...To block shots, etc?? guess its Scott, Hendry, or Boynton...hey make Hammer earn that big coin now..just wont be keith or seabs doing the blocking..
Who do you see challenging the Hawks for the top of the division besides the Sharks?
You mean top of the conference?? I think Det bounces back for a more complete yr, no doubt. The Kings are always a sexy pick..dont see a lot changing with the canadian teams though I do like Sedin as captain instead of captain siv..hey, maybe the year phoenix had is just the start of things..
Hearing a lot of rumblings on Twitter about Niemi signing somewhere soon but the "sources" are not saying which teams are in the mix. Have you heard anything?
He is very close but Im in the dark as well as to who..I think its one contender and one non-contender...Ive been thinking SJ all along but Im not sure...
Beach put up incredible numbers down in the juniors, do you think he has a chance to replicate, or at least put up decent numbers with the hawks?
Sure I do. Might not be right away. Has a lot to learn as this level but he has the physcial skills..has to get the mental patt down but I with the leadership on this team, I think he can get there...
could the hawks repeat? they got rid of all of their players so it doesnt seem likely... and How will Teows play out this season without Byfuglien?
Hmm..First time anyone has worried that Toews may miss Buff..Kind of think it might be the other way around..Tough to repeat...i will say this..with his puckhandling an added weapon...IF Turco can turn back the clock and be an All-star type goalie then that alone could get them where they need to be and make up for the inevitable hangover and/or roster turnover problems...they have a chance but its just not a great chance..
Jess, who are you looking forward to seeing most this year? Turco, a young guy, if Kaner's blood is still flammable? Thanks and can't wait for the season
I am looking forward to Turco for that stickhandling..I mean think of him to keith to kane..bam! Quickest end to end goals you could ever see...Stalberg and Beach of the newcomers as well..
One of the big changes that I'd like to see this year is for Sharp to move from his triggerman spot at the point on the powerplay to the second PP line center. Do you see this happening? Nik Hjalmarrson has a good quick shot and I think he could take Sharp's place on the point. The Hawks 2nd PP line was a disaster last year with Versteeg taking draws, Bolland or Sharp would help shore that spot up.
Hmm...Yeah, I could see that. As I posted previously, Hammer needs to earn that money so more PP time is possible..I mean they have 4 D-mean that could/should get time there conceviably so that leaves Sharp to play up front..Q has shown a propensity to put a forward back there whether it be bolland or sharp or another. Ill ask him about it at camp
Have you heard any rumors if the Hawks are going to sign another free agent or if they're going with their prospects.
Pretty sure they will got with what they have...they have like 21 one-way contracts..you dont want to pay too many guys 500k to play in the minors...its always possible for injury insurance they bring in another guy..wont be a big name..pisani is hurtng a little (again) so maybe, but I think they are done..
Hey Jesse, keep up the good work. What seed do you think the Blackhawks will achieve this season?
It would be easy just to say 4 accouting for Cup hangover..ya know they are the best non-division winner...so I'll go that route...or maybe the win the division but not the conference so 2-4?? How does that sound
Follow up Question Jesse.....So I agree with your statement that Beach definitly has the potential to make an impact up with the hawks, but it's no secret that this kid is a head case...do you think he will listen and more importantly allow the hawks leaders (Toews, Sharp, Keith) to influence him?
Hard to answer. I dont know him that well but I do know those other guys..and there arent many better leaders so he'll have a great chance to succeed in that room...
Ok, thats it for the first one..we'll go longer as hockey starts up...follow me on twitter @espnchihawks and tune in tomorrow at 9 am on espn 1000 for myself and Tom waddle until 1 pm. Talk to you next week..