Hey all.Welcome to our weekly chat. One week to go before the reg season. Bryan Bickell just sat down with me at the United Center so if you have questions for him lets start with those. Hes nice enough to join us for a few minutes...Ill start with an easy one.
How is this camp going compared to last yr?
Its going well. Last year there wasnt as many spots open but this year there is a lot of opportunity for myself and other players to fill in for the guys that left. I feel good physically and ready to go.
Who should we expect to see yapping the most from the bench now the Burish and Eager are gone?
JOhn Scott..hes a guy that can run his mouth because hes huge..and hold his own. Bolland likes to stir it up as we saw in the playoffs last year. Boynton a little bit..
I was bummed to read that Bickell didn't get his name on the Cup (yeah, I read the criteria, but imo anyone who played in a play-off game should be there). Please tell me he will get a ring today! Plus, just curious-what are the rules for receiving a ring? (Looking forward to seeing pics soon.) Thanks!
Im pretty sure Im getting a ring..I was invited tonight. I dont know the criteria for getting a ring...thats a club thing not a league thing.
Who would you rather have on your side in a brawl: Ben Eager or John Scott?
John Scott...Eager is tough but Scott is more powerful and true heavyweight
For Bicks: If you could pick which line you play on, where would you put yourself? Do you have a preference or are you just happy to be in the lineup at all?
Im just happy to be in the lineup but if I had to pick I like the chemistry in training camp with sharp and kane. Ive been mostly with them. We work well together.
Hawks are 1-3 in the preseason...Cause for concern, or 'its just preseason'?
Just preseaosn...last yr we were like 1-6 or something..so it doesnt matter..the top players dont play in all the games..we'll be ready come next week
Is there anything that the Blackhawks have shown during the preseason that concerns you?
Not really. We've lost our away games...Im sure we'll finish strong this weekend
Thanks for taking my question Bryan. With the loss of many of last year's phsyical players (i.e. Buff Biscuit, Ladd, Burish), it's clear that you will be called upon to play a major role in this department. As a player, how do you mentally prepare to bring the "toughness" to the table? Does this focus have an affect on other areas of your game such as scoring goals?
The toughness comes in differnet parts of the game. To protect players or if something goes wrong it will be addressed but you just see what happens and react...it doesnt take away from other areas...the toughness is just part of the game
why was one players name left off the Cup even though he played 20 plus game with the Hawks & just about every paper pusher on the team got there names engraved? CONFUSED
The league says 40 games or a game in the finals..ill get on it next year
So does it bother Bryan Bickell to have won the Cup but not have his name on it?
No. Its ok. Its the rules
Are there any concerns of a post cup hangover being present for the Hawks this preseason or carrying forward to the regular season? They have not looked good at times in the four games that they have already played.
Again, its preseaon so dont be too concerned. The hangover only lasts for a few weeks after the season but we're ready to fire it up again..
Jesse great guest to have. Bryan what role do you see yourslef playing in this year. What departed player from last years team would you say you will resemble most?
A checker and protector with a little scoring...kind of like a buff..cause of the size and good in corners and in front of net. Thats where they wont me to fill in
Bryan is taking off...hope you enjoyed some of his insight..have plenty of other questions to get to!
What are the realistic chances of Morin making the team? I know EVERYONE involved is high on him, but I can't see him getting a roster spot over Skille, Poltuny, Pisani or Dowell. I certainly don't think a year in the 'A' would hurt him at all, but he's certainly making a ridiculously strong case.
Ok, this should take care of all the Morin questions...You didnt mention stalberg...im thinking if morin makes it, its in his spot. stalberg is 850,000...morin isnt much more than that so it works money wise...last weekend i put morin at 20% but that was assuming stalberg was making it...now i put it closer to 50/50 cause stalberg has shown little and stalberg is on a two way contract..BUT, remember, would be very easy to send morin down for a while and let skille, or even stalberg play themselves out of a job so its tough call..i think they are leaning agianst but very well could change this weekend...Q said today he wasnt on the radar at the beginnig of camp and now he is on it..still doesnt mean hes a sure thing
As we have seen with the Bears, preseason is not always the greatest way to forcast a teams sucess. Are you worried at all about the Hawks not dominating so far in the preseason?
Like Bickell was saying...bad preseaosn last yr but the biggest thing, unlike football, your stars dont play AT ALL in some games...hossa's first plane ride will be to denver..(dont think hes playing tomorrow in st. louisbut could be wrong) so not concerned...I do wish more time wa sspent on special teams especially the power play..have no idea who the point men will be and stuff like that but not sure where other teams are at this point on special teams..but no preseason does not worry me at all...not for the Cup winner..maybe for the Leafs
Who will back up Turco?
What do you believe the starting 4 lines should be??
brouwer/toews/kanemorin/sharp/hossapisani/bolland/bickellkopecky/dowell or potulny/skillewhat the heck...but if not morin than stick stalberg there...skille has option to move up...did i miss any regular? dont think so
Have the Blackhawks upgraded with Turco in net? or should we be worried about losing Nemi?
My personal feeling is Niemi is just coming into his own at 27 and Turco is 35 coming off 2 ok years..meanwhile niemi already has WON the cup..logic, in my opinion, says Turco has to prove something, not the other way around
Are there any areas you anticipate as weaker than last season? Any areas you anticipate as stronger? Thanks!
I think it would be natural if the PK and PP switched places a little..no way their pp will be as bad, especially at home. PK, you can make a case its just as good but they lost a selke winner in madden and even versteeg turned into a good one...toews and hossa are the best and bolly and sharp are damn good but a little lighter after that..
Who do you think is going to be the breakout rising star for the Hawks this season?
Hmmm..Im hopeful brouwer puts it all together for 82...after that, tough call...i guess if morin makes it he has a chance but so hard to predict the long reg season compared to short preseason for a rookie
Do you think that after this year Niemi can return to the Hawks?
Anything is possible but I doubt it..im sure politics play a part
What are the details on the ring cermony tonight? Any of the former players returning - I think I heard Versteeg?
Steeg an Burish...private thing...photog opprtunity for media then closed to everyone..cant tell u where!
Jesse, what have you seen from Kyle Beach? Could ge take Skille's spot? Also, do you believe Makarov and Lalonde have futures in the Hawks lineup?
Beach not ready. No chance to make club. Makarov can be a nice little addition is the yrs to come.Maybe this yr but prob not right away...will def see time in the NHL this yr in my opinion, though. Skille's spot would be in jeopardy from morin...like everyone else that is an "incumbent"
Are there any roadtrips/away games you're particularly looking forward to this season?
Toronto..then they goto to florida and tampa bay...late in yr. so hockey mecca kind of thing then on to nice weather...you can have that bermuda triangle in western canada in january or feb...dont mind the circus trip..team is taking a detour to vegas after vancouver so no issue there!
Do you think nick leddy will see any time with the hawks this year?
Im thinking yes..because there is bound to be an injury or poor play of someone that gets him called up...could go either way but i think he sees SOME time, like makarov....diff is makarov could win a job, dont think leddy can...
Hey Jesse,How close are the Hawks to locking up Seabs for an extended period of time. He is surely owed some coin no?
I dont think its imminent...my guess is he gets 5 mil+
Will any of the former Hawks be present for the banner raising ceremony? Any talk of Tallon attending?
None for banner raisinig..the whole league basically plays that ngiht
I was most upset that Ladd had left the Hawks via trade. Any way you could see him traded back to the Hawks before the trade deadline?
Again, anything can happen..but dount it. there is a 1 in 30 chance! or less cause they prob wont trade him!
Do you see kyle beach playing for the hawks at all this year?
No..or very doubtful
Who will have a better season this year, Buff or versteeg?
Steeg is my guess
Jesse are you on Facebook?
Yes..you want to be my friend? lol. Man, that sounds..oh forget it
Jesse, have you had much opportunity to get to know any of the newer guys and if so are there any good personalities that we should look forward to seeing this season?
How many games do you expect John Scott to play?
total guess: 40?
So did the media get an invite to the ring ceremony tonight or is it more private than that even?
Photog opportunity only...my ring must be in the mail
is john scott a lock to make the team
i think so
Jesse so what do you think about Igor Markarov?
Like him a lot. Love his hands, etc. Could stick..sleeper compared to morin it seems like though I wrote about him early in camp
What stuff have you guys done to break the rookies in so far?
Well, I made Skille do a video interview with me..on the website here...and i just made bickell do this chat..and i went to brian connelly the other day and he was shocked someone even wanted an interview so just asking them questions, wihch they havent had a lot of in their life, I guess is breaking them in
I have been laughed at all across the board for me thinking the hawks may be better this year then last. The guys they lost wont hurt as much with the type of guys replacing them. We also have a healthy hossa and bolland. Do you think the hawks can be better then they were last year?
I think they can be better in one way: if Turco fits like a glove then they may spend even less time in thier zone and their transition game will keep opponents honest or be deadly...but if turco is just avg then things go the other way
With Burish's departure, who should Sharp's new pranking partner be?
I guess I'll go with skille..hes about the only one thats willing i think
Which Hawks do you think we'll see competing for some hardware at the NHL Awards next year? Can Toews/Kane/Hossa make a run at MVP with Crosby and Ovechkin in their prime?
I think Toews can...hes got the complete game but he needs the points...so not sure if he can get there..
Burnside has Hawks giong back to SCF in his preview. Where would you place the odds on that with what you've seen so far?
Its always about the competition...we were talking today in the stands..vancouver is the new san jose and before that it was dallas..ya know the playoff underachiever so I need to see it to believe it (though i do think niemi could be the finals piece to sharks puzzle) anyway, det. is toughest compeition in my mind...odds are decent..last year i picked pitt over hawks in finals...ill go with same prediction
What are the chances of Brian Connelly making the big club?
None but I have liked him..now there is always a chance leddy or connelly go to denver for one night cause boynton is suspneded but their top 7 D are pretty set...leddy is closer than first though but things conspire against him
first thought. it should say
Is the NHL going to finally give some love to Kane and Toews?? I am so sick of hearing about Crosby and Olvechkin
I dont blame them..every league tries to highlight big rivals or guys that dont like each other..i mean how far can you go with the odd couple thing...would be better if they never spoke to each other but played on the same line, then we would have a story!
Hope you had a nice summer...How come MArcus KRuger didn't get a chance to try out for the Blackhawks team?Do you think in a year or two that he could be a prime time player for the Hawks?
Couldnt get him over here this time for a deal both sides liked...yes, mark this down folks, Kruger will be your 3rd line center next yr (or something of that nature) swedish player...good
Jesse, any way that you will ever accept Tomas Kopecky as an important player on this year's team. As a returning player for last year's Cup Squad, it seems like 'Pecker will be a top 6 foward (usually matched up w/ Hossa), and could take a leadership role. So again, any way you will finally get on the 'Pecker-Train?
He played alright..and does show flashes..and usually wherever Hossa is so is Kopecky but there are more dynamic players out there with more skill like Morin...kopecky is fine on a 3rd or 4th line and once in a while a cup of coffee higher but you want 6 highly skilles forwards..he doesnt fit..fights the puck too much
any chance of kane/toews splitting up like they did in games 5/6 last year? kane w/Sharp and Towers with Hossa/Kopecky?
yes, definitely...kane, sharp, and bickell have been working most of this preseason..i dont like it as much as kane/toews..and sharp/hossa but any of these combos could work
Jesse, can you set the record straight for me: can the younger prospects like Leddy and Morin log time in the AHL or are they too young?
They can both go to the AHL...Leddy cause he played college first...Morin was a weird exception..he was drafted BEFORE going to juniors so that allows him to leave..i think thats the deal but yes he can play in rockford
Who is in the lineup tomorrow night?
Turco all game...similiar lineup to last night but I dont know for sure..some of hte vets might switch out but the young guys will play again..final chance for some..more cuts come friday
Jesse, I am going to assume that Morin, Leddy, Beach and Makarov are all heading to Rockford. If we assume that is true, who is the odd man out right now to be part of the top 12 each night from Pisani, Potulny,Dowell, Stalberg? I am assuming that Skille and Bickell are in to start the year but it still leaves one of the above guys getting scratched..And who is the D-Man in same spot from Hendry, Boynton and Scott?
Boynton opening night..we know that..then I think the D rotates a little..hendry prob ahead of the other two...offense...its either dowell/potulny..most likely...nothing to say those others to see bench every once in a while..and how long before even a small injury dictates things but thats how i would look at it..something about potulny im starting to like
How is Toews knee that he injured in the finals last year?Hossa's shoulder and knee?Should we be worried
Should not be worried..with hossa you never know but right now he lookd good. Toews fine
If Turco suffers an long-term injury (*knock on wood*) - have Toivenen or Richards showed this camp that they could come up and back up Crawford? Or do you think going outside of the current depth would be needed? I know that's how Toivenen got a break a few year's back in Boston.
Toivonen has talent but have not liked his camp...I think they would go out and get someone if that happened
over under 90 pts for Kaner?
Who leads the team in points this year?
See last answer
So if I send you a Facebook Friend request will you accept it?
Prediction time: assuming he's on his game and things coordinate well with the D, how many assists do you think Turco can get this season?
I already am on record saying double digits...the record is 14..and yes i know its a bold statement to predict 10 or more but what the heck...at least 5!
Hey its Paige from Cleveland, wondering about Kopecky's future with the Hawks. Do you see him with the team next year? I know he is a UFA at the end of this year
How long is Hossa signed for?
Thats a joke. Tough call...if the money is right..as in no raise they might re-sign him..lets see how he plays
Will any of the new guys be able to replace Burish in media spotlight? Who's good for a good quote now?
Skille..I have no other go to guy..Kane can be..
do you think kane/toews have maxed out their scoring potential?
No way..def not toews and I dont think kane either
Alright that its for this week...Next wed. I will be in Denver for the opener!! Actually might leave after chat that day. whatever. join me then. All the roster questions will be answered this weekend..follow me on twitter @espnchihawks..tomorrow's game in not on tv or radio so Ill provide updates, etc. Today at 4:25 pm im calling into sportscenter to talk about versteeg's name being misspelled on the Cup. kind of weird thing to discuss but they fixed it. saw the cup up close last night. pretty cool seing 2009-2010 hawks on there...have a great week everyone..we are almost there!