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December 8, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers

Jesse Rogers
  (2:06 PM)

We will start in a minute

Jesse Rogers
  (2:10 PM)

Hello all. Welcome to our weekly Hawks chat. Sorry for the short delay. Im at the United Center. Hawks and Stars just finished up practice and meeting the media. Rob Klinkhammer will make his NHL debut for Hawks. Crawford in net. Lets get to those questions!

Steve (Chicago)

So did Morin actually go back to Rockford and practice with the IceHogs in his two days of being sent down? How exactly does it work for players who are running the I-90 Shuffle?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:11 PM)

Yes, he went back. They just have to go back and forth, simple as that.

Steve (Chicago)

With the cap expected to go up even more next year than original projections, does that make Seabrook's return an even greater likelihood? Any updates on progress with that?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:13 PM)

No update which is probably good news. Leaks are more likely to happen when things are going poorly. Definitely helps if cap goes up, however without knowing that for sure right now, I dont think Bowman can really factor it in...It will help down the line but not so much now if they intend on signing Seabrook before the end of the season.

Terry (Chicago)

How was the season ticket holder party last night? Any amusing incidents you witnessed?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:14 PM)

Yeah, John Wideman playing auctioneer. It was fine. I ate like a 10 year old and Im feeling it today

Katie (Naperville)

What do you think the lines should be while we wait for Hossa and Kane to return? Did the practice lines seem effective at all today?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:16 PM)

Effective at a morning skate and effective at night are two different things. They are thin, no doubt. Have to win some low scoring affairs and keep that pp going. I think Sharp, Kopy, Morin is the best line right now...I dont mind Toews, Stal, Skille but I want to see production..I kind of like how q has it but not a ton of choices

Gabe (Chicago)

Early predictions for which Blackhawks actually make it to the All-Star Game?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:18 PM)

Toews, Keith for sure...still think Kane will be there if hes back before end of year and feeling good...if Sharp keeps it up, kind of think he will make it as well...and how could someone pass up Hossa if they are picking so I'll go that route

Steve (Milwaukee)

When is the earliest Hossa can get off IR?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:20 PM)

Like tomorrow. Its retroactive and he has to be out 7 days..this was just to open up a roster spot since they have pisani, hossa, kane down and are carrying 8 defensemen...no worries..he can come off anytime...Q said today he wont travel to san jose or denver this weekend

Chris (Lockport)

In this stretch without Hossa and Kane, who do you think will step up? Will it be a forward who fills in scoring for them or do you think the goaltending needs to come up big?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:22 PM)

Q is claiming it has to come on defense and can you blame him? How do you replace Kane...would like to see that Bolland line with Browuer and Bickell contribute kind of like that did last game after Kane went down so Ill choose those guys to step up

Chris (Lockport)

Do we have a chance in Hell to beat San Jose at home without Hossa or Kane?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:23 PM)

In San Jose Saturday? Absolutely. Look at the schedule. The Sharks play in Buffalo Thursday...finishing a road trip and then all the way back home for saturday game against hawks. Hawks are going in tomorrow. will be in SJ watching sharks in buffalo by tomorrow night so it really favors the hawks.

Grant (Wheaton)

How do you think Morin has played so far? Also how well do you think Q handles young players.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:26 PM)

I like that I've seen different parts of Morin's game emerge..in camp it was speed, first time up here he was getting off his shot, now he's playing physical...like his whole game is coming together and hes figuring it out in front of our eyes..lets see if he keeps it up...Q handles them well--save maybe goalies. Thats not his strong suit in my opinion..not specifically young goalies but goalies in general...he lets the dressing room handle the kids and they do pretty well..heck, most are kids anyway

Richard Burbridge (Brattleboro VT Nov. 2010)

Did the Hawks do the right thing is not resigning niemi?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:27 PM)

I perosnally do not think so...as it looks now, they really could have had a great 1/2 combo and great competition with two young guys and I didnt love the turco signing but there was a lot going on...plus I do believe niemi is better if hes here though he is starting to come around. beat det in det the other night..he has a great record there.

jason (anna,Il)

With all of the injuries we have now do you think there is any way the blackhawks could fall out of the playoff picture?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:29 PM)

Short answer, yes. But I doubt it. Every team has injuries and none that the hawks have are REALLY long term so they can survive but they do need a run...they are on a little one here..winning 2 of 3 works for me...need to keep it up

Chris (Madison, WI)

Should it really come as a surprise that Crawford is at least threatening Turco if not taking over as the number 1? It seemed like he was in line to be the started after Khabi until Huet and Niemi were signed in 08.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:30 PM)

You're probably right. I know the hawks goaltending coach is a big supporter and he's been waiting. Probably another reason they were ok with letting niemi walk..they got 2 goalies basicallyty for the price of niemi

Bill (Deerfield)

Why Klinkhammer instead of Beach? Beach playing that poorly down in Rockford?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:32 PM)

Q said today you could make a case for half dozen guys..bowman said recently that Beach was on the cusp so I think hes close..reward Klink after 234 AHL games plus better defensively..think they want beach to have a little more seasoning...he's close

Paige (Cleveland)

Do you see a Goalie contraversary coming? Seems like the fans like Crawford more that Turco, what do you see??

Jesse Rogers
  (2:34 PM)

To me its not a controversey if one is clearly playing better than the other and/or the team is responding to one better. Crawford probably is the winner on both points..we are already there in terms of Craw possbily taking over though Turco will get a chance once this run ends but with every passing game his leash shortens...today is telling. people in hockey around here are pretty chocked hes not going against his former team...Mclellan chose nimei against the hawks hoping his team would rise to the occasion for their goaltender and they did..Q is not using that strategy..

Jesse Rogers
  (2:35 PM)

shocked...not chocked

Gary (Tinley Park)

How much effect do you think not having the personalities in the locker room like Byfuglien, Ladd, Burish, and Eager has on the Hawks? Queneville has even mentioned the locker room is alot quieter this year. Those guys seemed to take alot of pressure off guys and instilled confidence in the rest of the team.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:36 PM)

There is something to that. I asked Burish about it today and he said players have told him its different. Doesnt mean you cant win, just means its going to have to happen a different. Bottom line: last year was special. We thought so at the time and looking back, we know so.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:37 PM)

a different way that should say.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:38 PM)

Just got word..Lehtonen not playing cause of tightness somewhere..Andrew Raycroft playing..hes done ok in back up role...3-1, 1.65..stars getting a back up here

Jay (Chicago)

Does Burish drop the gloves tonight and if so, who does he throw with?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:39 PM)

I would say little chance. I dont think hes stupid enough to challenege Scott and NO WAY he does it with a former mate...no chance

Adam (Villa Park)

Was it strange meeting with Burish in a Stars uniform? He, in my opinion, was such a favorite.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:40 PM)

Yes, very strange seeing all these guys in different uniforms..and Burish said it was strange for him too...

Paul (Schaumburg)

I have been sticking up for Skille all season, i feel he has the talent to be very productive player. he showed it last year while bouncing up and down from Rockford. Now that he has the spot on the roster he seems to be struggling. what are your opinions on Mr. Jack?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:41 PM)

Love his hustle and his up and down play...I worry when thrown into a first line role however..he was starting to get used to that energy role..dont want to see him get too fancy with the puck..I would like to see him keep same energy attitude even playing with Toews/Stalberg..if he tries to score, he wont..if he just plays his game, he'll be better...hes up and down, fast. not much more

Chris (Lockport)

I've heard Kane has an ankle sprain and will be out 3 weeks. Is that 3 weeks minimum or maximum?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:42 PM)

Q said max but you never know..these are estimations..

Curt (Cubicle)

How do the Hawks handle Burish's trash talking tonight? I would think that a fight would be a bad idea because you're either beating up a former fan favorite, or lossing a fight to Burish and giving the Stars momentum. Thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:42 PM)

They will laugh at it. There will be no BUrish fight. Maybe a few hard hits but no fights

Eric (Chicago)

Jesse, I will say that I like to watch/follow sports in seasons: summer - baseball, winter - football, after football is basketball and hockey...are the 'Hawks being hurt right now by viewers or attendance because of the Bears being good or am I just talking out of my you-know-what?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:43 PM)

Def hurt by bears and even bulls buzz...not in attenadance numbers but in water cooler talk and maybe ratings

Curt (Cubicle)

When will Hossa return to play? I heard this weekend to start skating... but how much longer til we see him in a game?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:44 PM)

I think it will be when they return from 2 game road trip...

Brian (Chicago )

I'm not like most the Brow haters out there I enjoy his play and what he brings on his overall game. But why is he so inconsistent, doesn't the staff let him know that his hits almost always directly convert into goals?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:46 PM)

Yes, they let him know but to play with that edge you have to be committed to it game in and game out. Sometimes guys fall in love with their skill, sometimes they THINK they are "bringing it" when they are not...Im with ya, I would have thought they could have gotten through to him..I know him well..he even knows when he's not doing it..why its not happening is a bit of a mystery..i do know when his confidence wanes, hes; in trouble..he needs Toews to grab hi, by the collar and say "play like you can. enough is enough."

Grant (Wheaton)

Stats don't always tell the whole story, right now CAMPBELL leads the defensemen with a +/- of 10. Do you think he has the been the Hawks most consistent defensemen this year?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:48 PM)

IN some ways he's been very good. Dont think hes taking as many chances since the injury and the points are a little slow to come by but I like his game...hes been fine

Josh (Lisle)

What is the likelihood of Crawford claiming the #1 goalie spot by the end of the year from Turco? I see the Huet / Niemi situation unfolding again this year

Jesse Rogers
  (2:49 PM)

Def has that chance based on the play so far..Not shocking at all..Huet/Turco=not bailing defense when needed...Niemi/Craw=clutch play and bailing out D

Dino (Chicago)

why has hendry not been givin an opportunity to play much this year? granted, boynton and cullimore have played better lately, but hendry seemed pretty stellar at the end of last season.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:50 PM)

Stellar is too strong a word..I know this might sound crazy to some but I just think Q trusts the other guys more..he knows what to expect..plus, hes liking his defense right now so wont change a winning thing

Frank (Naperville)

Who do you see getting more playing time with the extra minutes available due to Kane's injury?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:51 PM)

Bolland..on the pp..maybe Stal a little on 2nd unit

Sarah (Chicago)

What are the PP lines going to look like without Hossa or Kane?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:53 PM)

From what we saw the other night and in practice I think Bolland kind of replaces Kane on the top unit and Stal gets time on the 2nd one..something like that..top unit is toews,kopy,bolland, sharp, seabrook...morin maybe some time as well

Ed Koperski (Tucson)

Do you think that Niemi could come back next year?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:53 PM)

Doubt it highly.

Jay (Chicago)

You know them better than I do, but I'm saying Burish goes with Dowell tonight. Battle of the Patrick Sharp roommates, old vs. new. You have some pull with Sharpy, right? C'mon Jesse, put a bug in Sharp's ear.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:55 PM)

Dowell and Burish are Wis boys...no way. And im not putting a bug in anyone's ear..almost got in trouble for misunderstanding this yr already...thats for another time..no way does burish fight. forget it folks

Nate (Evanston)

Hey Jesse. You mentioned a few weeks ago that you were saving judgment on this team until they had 30 games under their belt. Tonight marks game number 30. What are your thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:57 PM)

Im definitely liking the defensive look better...I think Craw is giving them a better chance to win and he might just take the job...I said about 2 or 3 weeks ago I thought they were headed in right direction and as long as kane injury doesnt kill them, I think they will be ok. Playoffs yes, top seeding no.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:57 PM)

And really like 7 and 2 back with 4 and 51 as well

Ryan (St Charles)

Morin and Nick Leddy have been placed on the prelimenary WJC USA roster...will the Hawks allow them to play in the tournament? Any chance you can compile a list of all Blackhawk prospects participating once the rosters are finalized?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:58 PM)

They will only play if they are not needed here.

Tom (Lombard)

Jesse, who do we miss more on defense Sopel and his shot blocking or Eager and Burish for their toughness ? Adam shouldnt you be painting your house ?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:59 PM)

I would say Eager and Burish..they lost a lot of forechecking in those guys along with Ladd...Hammer has been a shotblocking machine

Frank (Naperville)

I thought a turning point last year for Niemi was when Q finally gave him a longer leash and stopped starting Huet every time Niemi had a bad game, so he didn't feel like had to be perfect to keep playing. If Crawford is the man, when does Q have to give the same leash.

Jesse Rogers
  (3:01 PM)

I think it will happen much sooner for several reasons..I think they know and trust Crawford more at this time than they did Niemi last yr and they cant mess around too long..remember, Huet's record was decent cause the D was so good but at 15-12-2, they cant "allow" to play the weaker netminder

Jesse Rogers
  (3:02 PM)

The question becomes when this run for Crawford is over and turco plays..when he loses, how quickly does Q go back to crawford? That will be the telling sign...playing the winning goaltender is easy but when there is a real decsision to make we'll learn more

Kevin (California)

Just joined, so sorry if this has been asked... But why on earth are Boynton and Cullimore still playing while Leddy is sitting in Rockford? Any chance will see the kid soon?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:04 PM)

Not a bad question. I asked Stan that question directly in L.A. on circus trip...He said its a process..want the kid to learn..used Hjalmarsson's situation as an example..played a lot of year in minors then came up and played in playoffs...after new year and into feb i think you see him if progress continues, etc.

Captain Awesome (A Chair)

Do you see any of the players from last year returning next season w/ the salary cap increase?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:06 PM)

Nope...No way does Atl. let any of them go..in fact, I think Buff will sign there sooner rather than later...Ladd is locked up and is captain...ship sailed on niemi,etc. I dont know maybe steeg someday... but i cant believe these teams would trade prospects for these players and then let them leave unless of course their plans change, etc. so no one immediate comes back

Wendy (Naperville)

Jesse....How does the "call come in" for a player to be pulled up from Rockford. Does their cell phone ring and it's Stan on the line? Or does it come to them through the Ice Hogs coach?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:06 PM)

Pretty sure Rockford coach but not unheard of from GM or asst. just depends where they are when decision is made

tom (geneva)

what's your best guess on how many points it will take to make the playoffs?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:07 PM)

92

Dan (My Cube)

what is the scouting report say about Rob Klinkhammer?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:08 PM)

Good size.Banger and crasher...sound in own zone

Aaron (St. Charles)

If Hossa is back next week with Kane still out, he'd have to be on the top line with Toews, right?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:09 PM)

I would guess that would be the case, yes

Rick (Chicago)

Since "Hammer" is already taken, what's Klinkhammer's nickname?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:09 PM)

Has to be Colonel Klink!

Brent (Highland Park)

In my mind Crawford has already surpassed Turco as our number one goaltender. How much longer do you think until Q makes it official?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:11 PM)

He wont make it official, in my opinion. At least not in his words...Out of respect for turco..he'll just simply keep playing Crawford and we'll all just say it..thats pretty much how he did it last yr as it became obvious...I still think when crawford loses turco will get another shot..as I wrote before, the question is, how long of a shot?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:13 PM)

Thats going to do it for this week. Thanks for jumping on everyone..email me at jrogers@espnchicago.com if you want and check out my blog..Ill make sure I get the scoop on all he trash talking tonight with Burish! Should have a ltitle preview on game in blog this aft. follow me on twitter @espnchihawks...over 5,000 followers. thanks all. lets get to 10,000! talk to ya tonight..should be a good game for sure..hawks need to grind a few out without kane and hossa. thanks again