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January 12, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers

Jesse Rogers
  (1:02 PM)

Hello Hawk fans, welcome to our weekly chat here at espnchicago.com...Hawks and Avs just finished their morning practices...Peter Budaj is in net for Colorado..maybe that will change the hawks fortunes..they are 0-2-1 against colorado this yr. Big game for the blueliners. Btw, Budaj and Anderson have similiar humbers so on paper not really a back-up, though Andy was hurt...anyway, same lineup as last game for the hawks and why not, they won 5-0. fire away

Lawrence (Toronto)

With the 1/2 mark of the season just passing, do you think the Blackhawks are in panic mode, and looking to make adjustments with such a tight western conference?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:04 PM)

Not really panic mode..even if it stays this tight the rest of the way, they will be in the hunt..they like their team..maybe not how theyve always played but they believe the stars can play better...I think it comes down to the blueline for the most part...if keith and seabrook can play some less minutes and play better, hawks should have a run in them...no panic. Toews does not panic

Brent (Lombard)

With 5 points seperating 4th and 11th place, will it be that close all year or eventually the top 6 teams will seperate?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:06 PM)

Its been tight this long, probably will continue..teams in the hunt get confidence the longer they are in it..personally, i think a team like L.A. and MAYBE the hawks will establish themselves in the top 8 so there may be some seperation but then again i thought anaheim would be dead by now and even phoenix...not happeneing

Geoff (Aurora)

How will the Hawks handle the Nick Leddy situtation? He seems to work just fine up here, and I like seeing the pairing of him and Jordan Hendry better than seeing the Boynton/Cullimore disaster on a regular basis, but I know Leddy is approaching the 10 game mark, affecting his contract status. Assuming he continues to play well enough, will he stay regardless?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:07 PM)

Yes, Yes, and Yes. The 10 game thing was never a factor. I have mentioned this before...they were DEVELOPING him at their pace..this was the plan for him all along..to contribute more in the 2nd half...I think they will leave that pair alone as long as they can

Katie (Hoffman Estates)

Do players like Leddy just stay in a hotel while they're called up to the NHL team? How exactly does it work for a player that gets called up midseason for a stretch of games?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:08 PM)

They stay at a hotel, paid for by the team for like 3 weeks..its all in the CBA...then they are on their own...i think johnson is just now getting out of the hotel or at least he has to start paying for it on his own...or they can stay with a teammate of course, etc.

Caitlin (Hospital)

Will we see Ben Eager back in the Hawks sweater? PS My dad thinks the Hawks will not make the playoffs. I disagree. I am smart...too bad he has air in his head. Thanks Jesse! Go Hawks!

Jesse Rogers
  (1:11 PM)

Im not going to say no on Eager like I might with ladd or Buff as far as returning...Im hearing he is on the block and the hawks could use his forecheck..they have a fighter in scott so they dont need him for that..remember he had some big shifts with the top line last yr in playoffs..think he might have a few contenders interested from what i hear...would not shock me if hawks got him back

Jim (Normal, Il)

Hey what are your thoughts on having a NHL all star game outside?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:12 PM)

In a year in which they didnt have another outdooor game I would be for it..in fact, when the current edition of winter classic gets old, thats what they should do, move it to the all-star game for a yr or more...why not

JFC (Inside your keyboard (weird huh?))

Any world on the starting goalie tonight?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:12 PM)

Crawford vs. Budaj

Chris (Chicago)

What do you think about the statues of Mikita and Hull? Will there be a jesse rogers statue any time soon?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:14 PM)

I think its a great idea...in fact all three. :) Its weird that it comes so many year after they played and retired but this whole organization is playing catch up so you cant criticize them for all the headlines they make..they're trying to do 30 years of marketing in like 2-3 if you know what I mean. will be cool to see...

Fitz (My Cube)

JR what are you keys for tonights game? Outside the normal obvious stuff...thanks

Jesse Rogers
  (1:16 PM)

Well, I think keith and seabrook have to play their best game of the season to prove they can deal with the speed and skill of the Avs. This reminds me of last years matchup with san jose..the hawks could do no wrong against them..it feels that way about colorado..and if the hawks lose this one, I will have no faith in a hawks/Avs matchup in the postseason...defense really has to think defense first and let the forwards worry about the offense and see how it plays out

Frank (Naperville)

Everyone talks about the loss of Buff, Ladd and Versteeg, but is it possible the guy that might be missed just as badly is Madden considering how bad our PK is? Is there a way they could have signed him and instead they took a cheaper route with Pisani?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:19 PM)

Its a good question. I think they felt since Madden had dropped to 4th line, they didnt want to pay that position any more than the minimum..he's making double that..I know his agent looked into an incentive based deal which you can do with +35 year-olds but it never happened...but its not like its all on pisani..ive seen sharp,toews,hossa, and certianly keith and seabrook out there during a lot of bad PK

Meagan (DC )

Jesse - you mentioned earlier you have heard of a couple of people who are available. Who is in the mix and have you heard of any trades specific to the Hawks?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:21 PM)

Nothing specific to the Hawks except for maybe eager and he is available...Mcabe with florida, Pitkanen (if carolina drops out) would be enticing..but they make money though so I dont know if it can work..but those are some names Ive heard on defense...obviously, boynton is available here...think they would part with skille for sure..thats some of what i know!

Grant (Wheaton)

How would you rate Leddy's play since rejoining the Hawks?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:22 PM)

I like it. I know he got burned once but that will happen..There was a one specific, little play against the Islanders that showed me something..He had a normal breakout and instead of rushing he paused and found the right outlet..showed maturity and Q saw that as well...hes coming..

dum dum alouwishes (Mpls, MN)

Jesse.I'm convinced it was Jake Dowell on the Trade block when Q scratched him ESPECIALLY while Dowell was playing out of his mind (in Jake Dowell terms). Did Q ever acknowledge a solid reason for Dowell sitting? and who do you think is on the Trading Block on the Hawks?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:25 PM)

He never did give a solid reason except ot shake things up with a healthy lineup and they had lost a couple in a row...I dont know..usually you hold out a guy if the trade is going down that day and you are pretty sure..not for several games..doesnt work that way..I mean he benched him in the third period before the healthy scratches so did Q get words in the middle of a game? No, of course not. This isnt holding Gretzky out cause of trade, this is dowell...he would have at least played in the 2nd game if that was the case...anyway, boynton, skille like i said..maybe kopy but i doubt it..cant tell you about the minors but i could see them dangle beach id the price was really right

Jesse Rogers
  (1:26 PM)

If the price is right that should say

Chris (Chicago)

What happened to John Scott on Sunday? He was dressed and skated in warm-ups 15 minutes prior to the game but didnt play. He might have put #36 on the islanders in place a little bit

Jesse Rogers
  (1:28 PM)

They often dress more for warmups than will play in the game. You are allowed to do that..In fact I think all 23 on your roster (if you have that many) can warm-up. Anyway, Q went with speed over size..someone has to sit

Erik (SF)

You mentioned, per your tweet, you heard names available. Are you referring to Hawk players that are available to other teams?With the sudden depth we have at the Blue Line throughout the system (olsen, vishnev, lalonde, etc) do you see those guys getting moved for other prospects or draft picks?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:31 PM)

I mentioned the names in other posts but I highly doubt the Hawks would trade their young D EXCEPT for the fact that they have locked up so many current ones they are relatively young...have to have insurance if seabrook leaves I suppose but anyway, good, young D are a commodity so if they have determined they have a legit player or two they will keep..anyone else is available i imagine

joe ( lincolnwood)

do people confuse you and Judd Sirrott often?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:31 PM)

Yes, such an insult

DJ (MN)

What are the odds of Buff coming back to the Blackhawks someday?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:32 PM)

Probably almost none. I think they will announce him to a huge deal in Atl. sooner rather than later..before the end of this season

Erik (San Francisco)

Do you travel with the team on road trips? other sports have beat writers tag along on flights, but it seems like you have to find your own way. if not, is that a 'Hawks reason, an ESPN1000 reason or a CBA reason?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:35 PM)

Its a Hawks reason..VERY few media people get to travel on a team flight in any sport..there is a few..all the broadcasters do but not radio/paper/internet reporters...And in NJ even the broadcasters have to take commercial because Gm there is an A@@ about it. I would like to get back from st. louis after the game instead of waiting till the next day for a 45 min flight but im not complaining

Rick (Chicago)

Where's the logic with having a full 23 man roster when we're as close to the cap limit as we are?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:37 PM)

Options for Q..they like scott when they need him...you might see someone go down with such a light schedule but the scratches are all making min type money so it shouldt hurt that bad...I think it also pushes guys when they know there is someone waiting but I think they go back to 22 soon

Tim (Naperville)

Jesse did you have a chance to talk to any of the 61 Alum the other night? I am wondering what they think about the current Hawks, and Glenn Hall what did he say about Crawford.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:38 PM)

Talked to a couple...Hull and Mikita were over the top about the statues...Hall couldnt believe how easy they take it on the goalies in practice..no one shoots high, etc. In his day they shot all over the place and he didint wear a mask! Didnt say much about crawford..probably hasnt seen him all that much

Greg (San Rafael, CA)

Jesse, based upon the performances of players right now, what would be your number 1 line? And THANK GOD that Cullimore is never coming back!

Jesse Rogers
  (1:40 PM)

Tough one cause they do want some balance and they need sharp at center...but I guess based on play and all I would say Sharp, Toews, and Hossa...(or kane of course) but certianly thats in a vaccum

Colin (Chicago)

I know that Seabrook is up for a contract at the end of this year and Sharp has one up next year. Is there a chance that the Hawks will attempt a salary dump with the Brouwers and Dowells and Skilles of the team in order to keep Sharp and Seabs?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:43 PM)

Ha. Hard to dummp salary that makes 500k to a million. I mean dumping dowell and skille does you no good. you have to repalce them and they are making the minimum...browuer makes just double the min. so will have to make tough decisions elsewhere or let one go?? we'll see how it plays out...If you ask me today and Ive done very little research on it cause we are not there yet Im not sure how they keep both sharp and seabrook for big money, long term...you can only have so many making the minimum..my guess would be sharp would win out but he's a yr away so we will see...no one huge comes off the books for a long while..

Joe Koperski (Lisle)

Why didnt Buff play in Chi the way he is in Atlanta?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:45 PM)

Its a tough question...he was a role player here still learning the game..he goes there and they expect him to help lead them out of the wilderness and he rises to the occasion..also, he has freedom there he would have here on defense..plus of course a contract year...I think he matured a little as well so bunch of things

Frank (Naperville)

why do the hawks have 5 days off next wk and then 4 days the wk after? It seems like poor scheduling.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:46 PM)

Awful scheudling. Thats why these 6 games in 16 days before the all-star break are huge..plenty of rest plus playing contenders...dont know why it happened. there is no reason..computers I guess

Kait (Canada)

do you think Seabrook will leave?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:48 PM)

All along I have thought no and Stan Bowman has indicated that but of course there is a chance..when you have no less than 5 players locked up long term, not sure how many more you can afford IF the demands are way out there...so I would I still think he stays but no one leaving from here on out would be a huge shock..too bad for Sharp this isnt a contract yr, he might get one of those massive ones!

Steve (La Grange Park)

Jesse...like your take on Leddy. I can totally recall that exact play you are talking about and i said the same thing. It was a great show of patience. I like his energy too. What about Morin? Will we see him again anytime soon or will his injury in the WJ keep him down for a while?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:50 PM)

Money always a factor and the hawks are healthy right now so maybe not right away but I do see hiim returning at some point.

Nick (Chicago)

Seabrook hasn't been exactly playing up to par this year. Do you think the Hawks are going to extend his contract after this season?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:51 PM)

Like I said, if the money is right for the hawks then yes but if its not than no. they cant overpay like some other teams, etc. He really has to fit in..problem also is keith plays better with him..I know he'll have to learn with someone else but its a tough call...i think it depends on the demands and I dont know what those are

Jesse Rogers
  (1:51 PM)

Like I said, if the money is right for the hawks then yes but if its not than no. they cant overpay like some other teams, etc. He really has to fit in..problem also is keith plays better with him..I know he'll have to learn with someone else but its a tough call...i think it depends on the demands and I dont know what those are

Jimmy (Chicago)

Best road venue to see the Hawks would be???

Jesse Rogers
  (1:52 PM)

Vancouver or San Jose...but of course I have never been to Montreal or Toronto..this year I will be but in the west those two for sure

Nick (Chicago)

Sharp is one of the most significant parts to any success the hawks have. Do you think he is one of the most underrated players in the league?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:55 PM)

In some ways, he's underhyped..I dont think underrated. People know about his speed and now they are finding out more about his scoring..Ive seen every game of his since he came here..and the first 25 games he didnt score...then he had a 36 goal season...my point being, he wasnt a sure thing like kane and toews so the hype has come later..

David B (Lincoln Park)

Hey Jesse, I have a thought on the penalty kill woes of late. Last year, Hjarlmarsson and Sopel were human kevlar, blocking every shot. Sopel is still on a solid pace this year, but definitely not Hjarlmarsson. Is this issue being addressed in the locker room at all?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:56 PM)

I think Hammer has done a decent job..the differnce is thats what sopel was there for...hammer has to play a complete game and its not easy taking those shots and then playing serious minutes so their roles are different..those guys look at blocked shots as a macho thing so its talked about but eaiser said than done...my issue they arent in the shooting lanes to block the shots

Paul (Chicago)

Priority #1 in the offseason: Seabrook or Sharp?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:58 PM)

Again, just as a reminder...seabrook is a restricted free-agent his offseason, sharp has 1 more yr on his deal so the answer is seabrook

Ty (Westmont)

I know I'm in the minority but I truely believe Kaner is one of the more overrated players in all of hockey... never happen but I wouldn't shed a tear in Bowman dealt Kane elsewhere... Ideally Kane for Parise would be out of this world

Jesse Rogers
  (2:00 PM)

I could see how some would say that and he is certainly no toews BUT last season he was very consistent and this yr hes still right at a point per game pace...someone has to score and set-up..thats his job so dont come down too hard on him..you have to take some bad...how many pp goals would sharp have without Kane? not 10, thats for sure..and again this is a down yr yet he is contributing so I see both sides

Mark (Chicago)

I'll try asking shorter...why do we drop the 2nd forward down on the PK..it leaves the point completely exposed to shots and deflections while not improving coverage down low.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:01 PM)

Not suppose to happen that way..maybe forwards want to help out a maligned defense..i dont know but they arent being smart on it...

Paul (Chicago)

Sorry for the follow up to my previous question. So, unless traded, Sharp will be back next season. Do you think he will be safe, or will the Hawks try to move him?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:02 PM)

After the yr he is having??? I dont think hes going anywhere

Gary (South Siiide)

Could you see Hjammer getting moved this offseason and them bring back Seabrook as a result? We're gonna need $$ to go out and get some veteran character guys in my opinion. Thats what this team is missing.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:05 PM)

Now we might be getting somewhere...there was no doubt in my mind then and now that hammer is overpaid..maybe they were projecting him to develop into what hes making..they were prepared to give him about 1.5 until sharks stepped in...if they want to keep 2 and 7 together (though watching this yr they might not!) then i could see a hammer deal, that is if they can find a taker for a guy with 6pts though hes up to plus-4..anyway, hes overpaid and they have a pipeline--seemingly--of young guys co I could see it happen..but again thats mostly cause soup,keith, are locked up...and seabs and ketih might need to be together..so hes kind of logical

Jesse Rogers
  (2:05 PM)

Now we might be getting somewhere...there was no doubt in my mind then and now that hammer is overpaid..maybe they were projecting him to develop into what hes making..they were prepared to give him about 1.5 until sharks stepped in...if they want to keep 2 and 7 together (though watching this yr they might not!) then i could see a hammer deal, that is if they can find a taker for a guy with 6pts though hes up to plus-4..anyway, hes overpaid and they have a pipeline--seemingly--of young guys co I could see it happen..but again thats mostly cause soup,keith, are locked up...and seabs and ketih might need to be together..so hes kind of logical

dave (wonder lake)

Jesse.The Ice Hogs now have Dylan Olsen, the Shawn LaLonde, Ivan Vishnevsky, Brian Connelly, Garnet Exelby, and Jassen Cullimore ... the Hawks need a tough shot blocking body. why the hesitation with Exelby?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:07 PM)

I havent scouted them but you have to play defense as well...Q is liking the leddy/hendry pairing..not sure what else you can do...looks easy to just bring someone up but and if exelby was lighting up in their minds, he'd be here

mike (chicago)

Many people have been asking about buff coming back. I would rather see Versteeg with his energy and explosiveness come back. Any chance of that?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:07 PM)

Doubt it. Dont need him..at least not in the salary cap world where you have to make tough choices..

Stacy (Chicago)

You said Hawks may go back to 22 soon, who would you send down?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:08 PM)

Boynton I guess..or Johnson..I kind of like JOhnson but you could always go get him

Paul (Aurora)

People forget that 3 major players on the team just got big, long term contracts (Toews, Kane, Keith), add that in with winning a championship. I would say Kane, Keith especcially are showing some cracks this year,and I understand these guys are human how much do you think these factors are affecting their play?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:12 PM)

I think its the major factor with Keith...Again, if Kane doesnt get injured his numbers are prob looking much better...I dont have a major beef with 88..he is what he is and hes darn good at it..hes disappeard for a few stretches but hey, take the bad with the good...Keith is a different story..fighting it mentally..needs to simplify..if I could sum it up..too much too fast..he was a nice little player a couple years ago, good plaus/minhues, improving and all and then he has this monster yr with a monster contract..hard to come back from that unless you are simply one of the greats in the game year in and year out..that remains to be seen if he is..fatigue a factor for sure

Brent (Lombard)

What is Leddy's ceiling? Top 2? Top 4 defenseman? More Keith or Hendry??

Jesse Rogers
  (2:13 PM)

Def more of a keith then a hendry...havent seen a booming shot yet or REAL playmaking ability so a 3 or 4 is what I see right now based on his skating and his know-how...

Cullen (Philadelphia)

Jesse, Any chance of the league getting rid of the salary cap anytime soon?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:13 PM)

No chance

Dan (Northbrook)

Kyle Beach, your thoughts? Is he on the table at the trade deadline?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:14 PM)

Between yes and no, I would say yes. But it has to be something juicy for the hawks obviously..

Gary (South Siiide)

Package Bolland and someone for Iginla! Would 20 to 1 be too good of odds?! haha

Jesse Rogers
  (2:16 PM)

Can Iginla play center?? than I would do it...actually bolland cant win draws but hes so great in his own end, Im not sure they can afford to lose him...but it would be hard to pass up! sharp would never play wing again! Iggy does have a lot of miles on his body but he can still fill the net

Jesse Rogers
  (2:18 PM)

Thats going to do it for today, folks. Thanks so much for the questions. next week, same day, same time..looking forward to this game tonight. gotta beat the avs. follow me on twitter @espnchihawks..tell a friend as well and tell them to check out www.espnchicago.com...you can email me at jrogers@espnchicago.com

Jesse Rogers
  (2:18 PM)

Take care!