Ok, hello all from the United center. The hawks just finished practice and are on the way to the airport where I will be going as well after this chat so we wont go longer than 2 pm. Season is a day away..start the countdown now! And fire away with questions
Dear JesseWhen are the Blackhawks going to the White House?
Good question..dont know but will ask!
What would you call realistic expectations for Leddy in the first ten games?
Another good question..I think we need to set the bar low and hope for the best..i dont care how talented he is..19, defense, not easy no matter who he's playing with. Like to see him just play D, and not worry about any offensive part of the game...Al lthings being equal, if he's an even player after 10, thats a success in my book
Jesse, with the injury to Campbell do you see Leddy getting some time on the PP to start the year?
Jesse, do you sense that Jeremy Morin's move to Rockford was a result of salary cap or was he simply beat out for the job by Stalberg?
I asked Q straight out about that yesterday and usually hes honest about that stuff and he said no, it was purely a hockey decision. Not just stalberg...skille and dowell arent for sure 100% here for the longterm but I do think Stalberg needs to show something or they could switch places.
WIth the current Blackhawks roster, how does the salary cap situation look? With Campbell injured, does he still count against the cap? Might we get a look at Morin later in the season if/when the Hawks are more comfortable with their remaining cap dollars?
Campbell counts against the cap...I guess they could have long term IR'd him IF they wanted to have Morin here and they needed the room..I envision Morin here and Leddy down there at some point..Not sure how it works if they are both here plus campbell..pretty sure they cant do it as constituted BUT there are htings you can do...If its stalberg that goes down that's ALMOST a wash with morin so plenty of ways to go
What do you think of our chances for a repeat are this year? I know there hasn't been a repeat champ since 97-98, but is it logical to think we can do it again? I think we can, escpecially with all of our core guys returning.
I go back and forth...I LOVE, LOVE the hawks leadeship with Toews, Sharp, Keith in particular...thats the reason to believe no complacency BUT its hard to repeat and they need the new guys to fill some tough roles...Ill have a full preview in my blog by tomorrow morning but yes they have a chance, its just not like last year's team..at least not yet!
Jesse, do think Stalberg has the ability or drive to succeed on the 4th line? We know he's a big body with some speed but I saw him doing a lot of drifting and waiting for the puck, and I haven't seen a lot from his forecheck.
Yes, I think he'll have the drive because where do you go from the 4th line: to the bench or minors so he knows hes on a little thin ice...He was MUCH better in final 3 preseaosn games so lets see if that carries over
With pranksters such as Adam Burrish, Kris Versteeg and even Dustin Byfuglien gone, who helps picks up the slack with Patrick Sharp and Brent Seabrook?
Some info on that will be in my blog...Sharp told me earlier in camp, hes taking resumes..I think Skille emerges, that is, after he takes the brunt of Sharp's abuse for a while..In my blog in a while. I talked to sharp for a bit today. he was funny
Hi Jesse-Of all the components we lost off last year's championship team, what piece do you think will be most critical early on as the hawks begin their quest to defend the cup?
Well, its tough, the Ladd/Madden type player is my answer. I would call them--with no disrespect--vanilla type players..did we say "wow" about Ladd, no, but hes a good player who knows how to play his role...did madden ever throw a check or steal a pass...not often but he was smart and stopped plays from beginning...young guys want to score and do everything but some of them--skille is a good example--will have to play that vanilla role every so often..you'll see that word--vanilla--in my preview tomorrow.
Jesse,How does the salary cap work with injured players? When Campbell is injured, does his salary count against the cap? If not, then why would the decision to send Morin down be a financial one? Also, would the Campbell injury put the Hawks in a better position to get a 'rental' player at the trade deadline because they will have more cap room?
It counts against the cap no matter what..the only difference is you CAN get some relief while he is out..but they didnt need the relief cause they say Morin went down for hockey reasons...campbell's injury does nothing to help you later..just if you need to replace him now. complicated but thats the gist
What's Coach Q's thinking behind Pisani playing on the 2nd line? I would think Brouwer or Stalberg would be more capable in that role. And Pisani seemed to play well in the checking line role he was in during preseason.
In my blog today..I asked Q that today..i agree Brouwer with kane and sharp--i love--and pisani with bolland and bickell makes sense..Q said Pisani "earned" it so maybe its a nod to the veteran..he also said it could change quickly..I know Q likes to have the lines interchangeable so thats kind of what he's done...I think it will change..by the way he said kopecky at this time last year and now is like night and day
I LOVE my players big and plenty; Over/Under on Scott's fights is 22.... what do you got?
22? in this NHL..maybe 2 or 3 seasons worth...ill say 8
Hey Jesse...heard from Silvy recently that you appear in Ferris Bueller's Day Off...one of my favorite movies of all time...i'll have to watch it again to see if I can spot you! Anyway, back to the Hawks...how do you expect the special teams to perform this year w/out guys like Buff, Versteeg, Madden and Sopel? And what are some names we can expect to fill those shoes?
Look for me limping in gym class. Greta fake limp. The best ever done! I think they will be just fine on PK..I know they lost madde and ladd and even steeg but hoss, sharp, toews, pisnai, etc. are just fine...Turco will help with dump-ins going right back out as well..PP, I also think will be good. Bickell and Kopecky right now are playign the buff role in front..I saw them work 5 on 3 today and Hossa was on the point..PP is hard to figure from year to year..they are due for a good one afte a mediocre one last year..just a gut feeling
Sorry for mis-spellings. Im typing like I have to catch a flight..oh, wait
Better chance to get 100 points, Kaner, Towes or Hossa?
Definitely Kane. Several reasons including most likely to play 82 games
Jesse,Any chance of the Hawks being able to move Campbell and his contract this year?
Not in the next month and doubtful anyway, plus they need him so its a catch 22..
Which Hawk has a break-out year? Bolland? Kopecky? Someone else?
Good question..Either of those are good candidates..Bolland especailly, if hes fully healthy..we'll see the offesne return..I still like Brouwer ina contract year but he has to play on the top 2 lines...having said that, I dont know why but Kopecky might be on the 4th line by next week..I think most know what Im talking about...he looks the part of a good player but doesnt always follow through...
Jesse, do any of our players look like they've physically put on some muscle during the off-season? I heard Kane hit the weight room. With Leddy filling in for Cambell do you see the ice time for Dunc and Seab's going up or are they going to split up the gruesome twosome?
Keith looks a little bigger. Kane about the same but he put all the muscle on last year so the same is pretty good. keith and seabrook together and will get a lot of ice time like normal
With so many new faces, Coach Q looks to have a lot of flexibility in his offensive lines. Any thoughts on some different line combos we may see in the next few weeks? What can we expect from the Hjalmarsson/Leddy defensive pairing this month?
I could write several pages on lime combinations..I think we will see kane and toews together at some point with brouwer...then hossa, sharp, and ____. thats my guess. dont know when
Why did Torchetti make a lateral move away from a team that won the Cup? Was something going on behind the scenes between him and players / coaches?
Dont think anything behind the scenes..This puts him closer to a head coaching position. Hes associate coach there and c'mon, Q isnt going anywhere...
Hi Jesse, last year I remember alot of people questioning the Hawk's toughness even though they guys like Seabrook and Byfuglien on the team. Do think the absence of Buff will stir up that talk again?
No, cause Buff didnt always play tough..maybe more in the postseason...they need to replace some forecheck and some grit..dowell and bickell are here for that among others...we'll see
HI Jesse, One thing I thought was missing from the Hawks offense during the pre-season was their ability to cycle the puck. I thought they were one of the best teams last year in the league in doing this. Besides that one incredibly long cycle in the final game, I haven't seen much of it in the pre-season. Your thoughts?
I thin kthat was due to different line combos more than anything. Without the chemistry, its hard to get that going plus maybe guys didnt want to go in the corners and do that kind of grunt work to avoid injury..just a guess on that last one but we'll see it more as the season goes..espcially with hossa line
The season is here! Thanks for the time Jesse. First, what are the chances that Leddy sticks after 51 returns, I know the front office really like him...and 2, what is a realistic expectation for the team this year with the cup hangover and all the new faces? Go Hawks!
My personal opinion, not having seem him play a game yet in the NHL, I would say he goes back down. Realistic expectation is 100 pt season and conference final appearance for sure.
Jesse, what do you think the chances are that Kane reaches 100 points this year?
I like it a lot.or very close
In terms of this season, do you think the Hawk's goalie situation is better off with Turco instead of Niemi?
No not today but it can be. I guess Turco needs to prove it to me but I think most that follow me know I was a big Niemi fan..I think of all the goaltenders out there (including Turco!) that have never won the Cup and this guy did. I think he could be special. And please dont tell me the defense won the Cup..NOT TRUE in the playoffs
Is Nick Leddy likely to live with someone else while he's up here, similar to how Kane lived with the Bowmans and Toews lived with Seabrook their rookie year?
Another good question i dont have the answer to but I will ask!
Has Skille's time finally come...what are realistic expetations
Jury still out. Hes not going to get top 6 minutes unless he earns it on the 4th line...Im simply not sure what to expect...
Who do you have Ryan Miller or Turrco in their prime?
Well, Turco, in his prime killed the Hawks. They would dump it in and he would dump it out..they could not skate in against dallas back then so im biased and say Turco cause I saw him Kill the Hawks..but Miller is damn good
Jesse, will they be raising both the Cup and Central Division banner on Saturday or will the division banner already be up and just Cup will be raised ceremoniously?
Pretty sure both and the conference one as well if im not ..and the quaterfinal playoff one. that was a joke
Sunday nights game against St. Louis the hawks looked just as strong as ever in the offesive zone i think there was 1 shift they were in the blues zone for well over a minute with complete control, question is in your personal opinon do you think the Hawks have a serious shot at contending this year? by the way Hossa looked about 3 steps ahead of everyone on the ice sunday night!
Hossa looks amazing. All camp long. yes, they have a serious shot at contending because of their talent AND leadership. Simple as that
Hey Jesse,It seems that the Hawks power play is going to get some attention this season as they will probably need an increase in PP goals to keep the same Goal Production as last year. Have you seen anything in practice that would suggest they are trying something different or is it same old, same old. Delayed entry setup then not much else.
There are some little changes with a new coach in there..but they are not re-inventing the whell..their 5 on 3's looked different as well..hard to tell in practice, need to see some games
Last year, the call-ups from Rockford were primarily for injury replacement situations; this year, with some of the new faces on the team, do you see there being more possibilities for promotions and demotions based on merit, with guys playing themselves in and out of Rockford?
I would say yes..Morin, Potulny, and couple of others are candidates...maybe beach but Im doubtful on him
Jesse - The Sharp/Hossa & Kane/Toews combos ended the season playing so well together. Why do you think Q now is splitting them up?
I dont know for sure...but Hossa is the key...With the shape he's in and having him at the start of the season I think getting him with a true, star, legit centerman was key..Doesnt mean it will stay that way and it has nothing to do with sharp its just that Hossa demands the puck and Toews might be best suited to get it to him..we might see bolland with him before its over..in fact i think we will
when is campbell comin back???
a month..maybe a little longer...with a brace so could clow him down a little
It could just be presason but the Hawks seem to be moving the buck more/better on the power play...is this the impact of a new coaching
Possibly but you are right its preseason...dont put too much stock in it
Jesse, Say Leddy plays so extremely well there's no point of sending him down to Rockford - what would be the Hawks next move... when Campbell returns that would be 8 D-men. Would they look to put Boynton/Hendry on waivers? Would it all work out salary cap wise with Leddy in for the year? What are your thoughts?
Well, yeah, someone would be sent down through waivers...simple as that..they can do it cap wise cause they are doing it now..in fact they would save some cause right now they are getting hit by all of them...
You tweeted that Leddy is wearing the #8. Is there a reason he changed numbers?
They gave it to him...d-men usually get lower numbers (once they make the team) unless they request a high one..he wore 3 and 5 before...they gave him 8
Couple more then I have to get going...
Jesse, Ryan Potulny scored 15 goals in 64 games fore a bad team - I was hoping for production from him this year. He was sent down - what is your sense of his abilities?
Decent player...nothing special...didnt do anything to lose a job but didnt win it either...he will make an appearance here is my guess
Who fills the Ben Eager role as the guy most likely to go after the big response hit after say Kaner or Toews takes a cheap one?
Not sure that Eager ALWAYS did it but I think Dowell on offense and Scott on defense will be the guys...
I'm interested to see how our goalie's work out this year. Turco will be productive because of his stick stills and he's a savy vet. What does Crawford need to work to become as reliable as Turco?
You said it, his stick...like to see more poise out of craw as well...and I have so far. turco 55 games if plan goes well
Jesse ESPN didn't pick the Hawks to be in the finals, what are your thoughts? Where do you see the Hawks finishing the season?
Yeah, a lot of "outsiders" see the changes and it mkaes them easy NOT to pick the Hawks. It makes total sense..People always picking against the repeat in the first place..I see them top 4 in the conference..i cant tell you exactly where..The key is the postseason..will guys buy into their roles a la steeg, etc.?? And will Turco be good in the Spring? Thats what im looking for...reg season will have its ups and downs like normal..the good news is we know they are a GOOD team, now we will find out over time if they are GREAT!
Thanks all..every wed. unless im traveling we will do this..check out my blog for up to date info..postgame, practice, etc. and follow me on twitter @espnchihawks..leaving for denver now..will be there for practice and game tomorrow so stay in touch. you can email me at email@example.com..we are off and running! enjoy the season