Jesse will be along in a few minutes so keep the questions coming ...
Ok, thanks for waiting all. Just finishing up practice with Q's return and all. He lookds good. Says ulcer had nothing to do with stress. Hes been taking an aspirin a day for yrs and it caught up with him...lets talk some Hawks. Fire away with questions. Thanks for being patient!
22 games go. Are the next 4 the most important games in that stretch? We've got Nashville, Phoenix, Minnesota and Calgary...Do the Hawks have what it takes for 4 grinder games in a row?
They are not the MOST important...unless we look back at 0-4...if they go 2-2 then they're prob in the same boat they are in now...final 10-12 games become REALLY important in this instance...they needs to stay alive and iof possible move into a playoff spot, simple as that...what you dont want is a 4-6 pt deficit with 10 to play..harder than it seems to make up
Are the 'Hawks eyeing anyone in paricular that would help them on the Penalty Kill?
Yes, I posted a few names in my blog..IM sure there are more but I havent anything new...Smid on Edmonton and Hunwick on Colorado seem to be the frontrunners in my opinion but IM sure there is a name or two flying under the radar..these arent the biggest names in the game so little less attention...think m.stuart would have been nice
Now that we've seen how much more effective the team can be when they win faceoffs, can we officially be done with putting Kopecky as a center? Or do you think we'll revisit that before long?
I think its done for now...In my opinion johnson has moved ahead of dowell for that reason alone..not sure the team sees it that way...who knows, with pisani back, someone has to come out unless he stays out...pisani might play center for dowell but either way I think Johnson is the key...
Of the 6 who will be RFAs at the end of the season, do you think we'll see all of them return? Are there any UFAs that might get a new contract?
Yes on brouwer (i think but you never know), Prob no on Kopy unless the Hossa factor plays a big part, yes on crawford, and for now yes on seabrook, its quite possible, no on stalberg, dowell, pisani, and frolik...little educated guessing there off top of my head
A few games in now, what's your opinion on Frolik? He seems to be generating some good chances even though he hasn't managed to dent the twine yet. Do you think the coaches will want to see him back with Hossa now that he's adjusting to the Hawks' systems more?
Reminds me a little of skille so far..havent seen a finishing touch--thats either playmaking or scoring...but obviously he has it...Ive liked him better down on the 4th line...I dont think they will change it..bickell looked fine with bolland and hossa...frankly bickell has played more skilled than physical all yr so why not put him on a skilled line...frolik top 6 insurance right now
JR! Glad to see the 2nd PP unit coming through! What are the chances Q/Havi replace Kopy on the 1st unit with let's say Bicks or Frolik (a bigger body with hands) and keep the 2nd unit the same? While Kopy has been solid at times, it's frustrating because he is the reason most of the time the Hawks lose possession on the man advantage. Thanks!
I could see it happening but they do like how Kopy frustrates goalies..prob the best at it of Hawks now that BUff is gone...but youre right he's always a candidate to be moved around
Any different trade possibilities on the horizon now that some of the other teams have done some dealing? Which one of our current players is most likely to be the next shipped out?
I think Stalberg could be dangled for sure..obviously Boynton..doubt Kopy...im hearing Mccabe could go to columbus...cant believe the jackets are still around.
"The near obsession over Patrick Kane's off-ice habits, which popped up again recently, is borderline pathetic." Perhaps the best line you've ever written. I had quite the "conversation" on twitter last weekend with "bloggers" and 2nd rate media (i.e. guys that work at the Score) who seem to know what's best for Kaner and think he's the next Theo or Rob Ramage. Why they are after the kid is beyond me, but my question is does the Hawk brass work with the players on issues like this? McD is all about image so I worry what he's thinking.
Ha! Good stuff..You better believe they work with them but there is only so much they can do...Im sure the Hawks didnt love when Keith cursed to me in a postgame rant and we printed it but you cant control people...you can educate and help them along but its up to the player to project the image they want...the team can trade, etc. but they cant tell a guy what to do for lack of a better phrase...Listen, I hope the kid is careful like I hope anyone is but all I really care about (like any fans, etc.) is how he plays...let his family and hawks worry about the rest. You know what IM saying. Hes playing great. SOMETIMES tired of the gotcha thing going on UNLESS THERE IS REAL TRUTH to it not insinuated stuff...gets old
Jesse, do you see the Hawks getting an extra jump with Coach Q back behind the bench?
Not necessarily...I did LOVE how things went with him out...very seamless..was talking to soupy campbell about this...didnt have to go so smooth..teams are about routine and this took them off their routine, let alone Haviland's routine...very impressed by him and how they responded
If the Hawks make the playoffs....Do you think Vancouver really wants to see them in the first round?
I know Kesler does and Im sure if youre a competitor anyone would...as for Luongo, who knows!
Niemi seems to be playing lights out since getting more time in San Jose.... Could this be Dominik Hasek all over again? Both got "late starts" to their NHL careers playing incredibly well in the playoffs.
Possibly..I just like his clutch play..proving it wasnt a fluke last year...I know everyone knows Im a big fan..but didnt surprise me at all he struggled at the beginning..he was stunned not to be back..in comfort zone here...he's quiet, new enviornment, took time...but he's got big cahones..love his clutch play
7 Teams with either 70 or 68 points.... for 4 spots....What 3 would you say are out? Dallas is in complete free fall and are looking to move Richards.
I think Minny is in...impressed too long not to give them the nod...Anaheim out cause of hiller but they've hung around a lot too, calgary out..the run has been amazing but they have 2 games in hand and I think the slide starts...still have a southern cal trip to take..does that get them in? top 3, L.A., nash, SJ, hawks, minny...not in that order necessarily
What are the chances of seeing Beach or any of the prospects filling in on the fourth line by the end of the season? Or having Kruger fill in on the second line?
Prob none. Def not Kruger...next yr for sure
Any chance we have interest in Buffalo's Rivet since he was placed on waivers today? Your colleague LeBrun didn't think so, but have you heard anything otherwise?
No, but I think it puts MOntador back in play for sure...been quiet on his front so could see it happening
I would like to see more players like Ryan Johnson and alot less of these so called skilled players. We need more grit up and down the lineup. I think Bowman is going to have to make some tough decisions on some of the more skilled guys and go with more grinders on the lower lines. What is your opinion.
Agreed, kind of my point with Bickell..may as well play him on a skill line...when is the last time you saw a 3rd or 4th line player deli ve ra forecheck hit on opposing D? Doesnt happen often..I can remember 3 in the first 5 min against the Hawks in Calgary..I thought this would be addressed before deadline but it for sure will be in offseason..get a 500k nut bag who will hit everything...
Jesse!!!! Hawks have had several great wins in the last 5. I see all lines crashing the net and winning face off's. Do you think this team is finally on a roll?
I guess so...the key is points in 6 of 7...so thats a run right there...big comeback against blues, thats always a sign...light week..no reason not to beat nash who has been struggling...
Will Leddy be back up for tomorrows game?
He's sick...so if healthy they will recall...if not, they will keep him down to save money
Jesse, will Stahlberg be traded? If not, does he have any future with the team?
Im starting to think not much future..prob cant afford much of rasie for him...could see him sent packing
Why did they change up the defensive pairings? Do you ever see them going back to the original pairing? I thought Campbell and Hammer worked well together.
When they do it, its for balance..cant argue with it..I kind of like it...last game they mixed and matched a bunch so you'll see it some but Im not sure they go back to the old pairings again this yr...except in crunch time perhaps...gut feeling
Who do you respect more as a journalist? David Kaplan or Joey the Jr. Beat Reporter?
If everyone is healthy, who do you have playing on the 4th line?
Good question..Like I said before..wouldnt surprise me if they trusted Pisani cause of experience, he played some center for Dowell...HAVE to have johnson is, hope they've fig that one out..or stalberg comes out...tough call..but something like that...
Hey Jesse I am getting worried about Seabs, no contract extention yet, what is the latest? <3
There is no latest..his agent is quiet..doesnt even return calls at this point...I would be worried..BUT hes thier property..if he gest an offer sheet, the hawks would get a massive package in return but picks cant play defense...this one is anyone's call..I heard Seabs was looking for 6..he wont get it from hawks..tough one cause he'll use Buff and other contracts like Hamuis as examples and the hawks will say "we dont have that money to spend like Atl". very tricky
Do you think that Q was able to get a better perspective of his team from watching them on TV instead of live?
He said he did. Its inevitable..didnt really elaborate but Im sure a coach sees things different on tv than closer to it
If Seabrook is extended, are the Hawks essentially locking into this core for the next five or more years? If so, they'd better be certain this year was a fluke and it wasn't last year that was the fluke.
Well not necessarily all of them..Hammer could be moved, always a chance at campbell, Bolland as well..so you never know
Back on the Kane subject... The kid is young and rich, what person his age doesn't like to go out and have a good time every once in awhile? As long as he's playing good hockey people need to get off his back. Chelios was a notorious drunk and I never recall him getting all the grief Kaner does.
I dont know about notorious drunk but trust me, the players from last generation and before and thanking god there was no such thing as camera phones and twitter...ALMOST ALL PLAYERS PAST AND PRESENT go out and have fun...some more than kane, some less...Ive been out with them in the past..Kane is no different and as long as hes not mean to people or hurting them, I dont have a big issue..the cab thing was bad...and the more bad "situations" he puts himself into the more bad results could happen BUT for now, I could care less
are thanking god that should say
do you think it would just be best if the hawks didnt re-sign seabrook cause then it would open up money to bring other players?
I go back and forth..Seabs is still valuable but at some point you cant pay every D-man...you have an emerging cheaper guy in Leddy so you could make your case HOWEVER, size, and shotblocking, and a pretty good passer arent easy to come by...all depends on the money....between 4-5, yes, closer to 6, no...
To me Crawford has taken the #1 goalie spot, do you see the Hawks riding him the rest of the way?
YOu better believ it. Without a doubt..Turco will get, at most, 5 games....at most
What is going on with Pasini, does he have a concussion?
He practiced today for first time...doesnt rememebr much..hasnt watched a replay of hit in dallas...feeling better...could play tomorrow but yes was head injury
In the event that the Hawks miss the playoffs, which of the following is the primary reason that will be inscribed on the epitaph? Loss of Buff, Steeg, Ladd, Niemi or inability of stars to play like stars or something else
Prob the stars thing...I mean maybe youre getting more out of sharp and about the same from toews and kane but Hossa/Keith/Seabrook/Hammer...even soup with his point total...all kind of down yrs...not so much soup but a little in terms of his strength..
Going off a few questions on Kane...I think he gets grief because people realize he's not that likable. Have you ever seen this guy out at a bar? He's a jerk!
All about timing..I have seen him and hes been fine so who knows...all you can do is go off persoanl observation...Im sure wen he has a few he acts like hes had a few..whether thats good or bad, i dont know
I assume the Hawks will be coming in to Nashville this evening. Any where in particular that I might spot THE Jonathan Toews? Its always worth a shot...
His hotel room? Game night..guys is serious...Im sure he'll go to dinner...good luck
Assume no long term deal for 7, and he gets an offer sheet in the offseason that (if the Hawks matched) would force out some RFAs/UFAs...at this point is it wise to match? I really don't see him as a $6MM man and maybe giving Leddy more of a shot (plus the increased payroll flexibility) is the better way to go.
If it gets to that I dont see them matching an offer sheet...its prob going to be big...I see arbitration before an offer sheet
Given McD's demand for excellence, if the Hawks miss the playoffs this year will Bowmand and Q be on the bubble next year?
Hmmm...good question...Prob both a little...maybe Bowman more since he has less time and experience under his belt and it was his job to replace who left with capable players, etc.
Jesse, do you travel to all of the away games?
All but a couple..taking tomrrow off...getting ready for stretch run...thank god we mostly go east now..
JR, Brian Campbell's contract is going to keep us from keeping Seebs, Sharp and Brouwer, and also limit area's that we need help in. Is there a team with cap space that would take that contract if we throw in someone like Lalonde or Beach?
Toronto..if they send some money back. Kessel?
If the Hawks make it (and they better!) do you see them making any noise? We have played well vs Vancouver, Phx, SJS (at times) and believe our experience can contend. Just need that grit.
I think its def possible...in the nhl if you get in, anything truly can happen...so yes, i do.
You are probably sick of my Marcus Kruger questions, but the kid is the youngest player on his Djurgarden team, and leads the team in assists and points,but bad on faceoffs, would he play center for the Hawks next season?Or wing?
Center..third line, to start. Book it.
Is there any way the Hawks could get Sopel back?
Doubt it. Too much money Im pretty sure
When he's been healthy I really like what Ryan Johnson is bringing to the ice, is anyone else seeing the same? His energy and work ethic are awesome...similar feeling about Frolik so far. What do you think?
Agreed, No issue with his game. Toews like him. Takes the pressure off him in faceoff circle...like what Ive seen
Do you see Hawks trading Seabrook,Hammer or Campbell
I think there is a standing offer to any team that wants Campbell...365 days a yr. Not making fun...serious. They might need to re-think Hammer..Ive been harping on his 7 points cause I just think if youre not around the puck enough to get more what are you doing? But he has been blocking shots, I'll give him that...3.5 mil a lot though...still think seabs is more valuable than hes showing or people believe but dont think hes a true number 1 or anything
Do you have any information on what will happen when the team goes to DC? Doesn't seem fair that guys who also won the Cup won't be there?
Thats just the luck of the draw with the former hawks..no announcement yet but they are going that weekend for sure...hopefully my background check doesnt keep me out!
Do you think the Hawks regret matching SJ's offer to Hammer?
In hindsight, maybe...but only cause of emergence of Leddy...I dont think they thought he would take the step he has or hammer would take one back...did anyone? so, again, only in hindsight
Do you think Kopy will remain on the 4th line? I like him there
Yes...unless bickell falters then he might return to hossa and bolland..that spot is in flux
Is it possible Andrew Ladd could be back? He only has a 1 year deal with Atl.
No..captain..will get it done just like Buff...plus still too expensive for hawks
Is it a foregone conclussion that Turco won't be back next year?
Yes. 100 percent
Why not move someone with a bigger contract back and fourth from Rockford instead of Leddy?
Waivers...they could be claimed...leddy doenst have to clear
Do you believe Hossa has been hurt most of the year again? He started off like a firecracker and has recently been playing much better again. I still believe that the Bowman's need to find him a skilled offensive center to play with.
At times he has been...unfortunately, he needs a center, he cant do it on his own..he started out hot with who next to him? 19...but kane needs toews too...can we clone him?
With Turco gone next year, who will be the backup?
Cant tell you a name, though I have do have some in mind...in my opinon, it will be a 500k guy that no one wants who is big and might be a "project" but they think they can turn into a serviceable back up...BIG is the key
Or one of their own like Salak or something but I think they go outside organization
It seems to me the Hawks defensemen have been playing much deeper in the offensive zone the last couple of weeks. Do they feel they need this to pressure other teams?
As in picnhing in? Q wants them to do it more..he wants defense part of their offense..puck posession ,etc.
Jesse, I have no faith in this squad. We can't put a streak together. We are gonna miss the playoffs. Its just easier to accept this now and not let them string us along like they have all year. (Tell me why I am wrong)
You might not be...60 games is more than enough time to know youre team...I simply dont think some of these other teams are "better" but I guess we'll know after 22 more if they are...so even though mediocre play, they are still in it...
Jesse-I know Bowman has talked about a D-man that can eat up PK minutes, but long-term (beyond this year), I really feel like a #2 center is a huge need, maybe more than another D-man. Just don't think Bolland is a #2 and then the question becomes can you pay a #3 center $3M+? Your thoughts? Thanks.
Kruger will be the #3 center to start next season..and bolland will start #2...they might switch by years end which means you get a cheaper #2 but more expensive #3, all evens out..everyone wants to stockpile centers so easier said than done...could trade bolland as well but doubt it
You would trade Bolland? Am I wrong to think he is untouchable? great 3rd line shut down center(except for the awful FO%)
Not untouchable...but still have value on your team..have to replace that position so unles scan get the same for cheaper htey prob wont but not untouchable...not at 3.5
Other than #19, who on this team shows leadership like last season's Ladd, Madden, Sopel?
How many starts do u see Turco getting in these next 22 games? Keep in mind there are 6 back-to-back pairings... & one more game in Dallas. Does Q give him more chances? Or is it all about Crawford getting the net-time to prepare for his first playoffs?
Think there are 5 back to backs left? anyway, thats the most he gets..the dallas thing is done and over...he doesnt have to start there (and prob wont) so 5 at most unless something goofy happens..maybe he gets florida and crawford gets tampa or something like that
I know Hossa has had a down year, but I personally believe it's because he hurt his shoulder again when Boynton hit him in practice. The last 4 games the Hossa we all know is starting to emerge again. Don't you think we need to finally get this guy a 2nd line center that can assist him rather than inhibit him in the offensive zone?
Yes, but for what he's paid he has to make others better and do some on his own...I ask him all the time if hes healthy on and off the record, always says he is but does admit timing is off sometimes cause of injuries
Hey Jesse, could you describe a scenario where the Hawks keep Sharp long term?
There is several..he takes a hometown discount, they go longer term to spread the hit out, they trade someone before he's up...can work if both sides want it to...players have to realize "market value" is unique for every team so to speak cause of what they can spend..
Jesse...first off great article on the first 60. Now for my question... I know the hawks have been linked to Smid from edmonton. What do you think it would take to get him? And why not consider moving Seabs to get Smid, Brule and maybe swapping some picks to balance things out?
Would not take much for smid or any of the guys they are thinking about. talking draft pick...maybe some mid level prospect..you trade seabs you give up on this season, simple as that. And that would be dumb...
Offseason is another story..anything possible if talks arent prodcuing much
What are your thoughts on why Hossa has underperformed this year? Is he burned out from 3 consecutive deep runs into the playoffs? Are injuries catching up? Is he just slowing down?
Id say in order...3 finals, injuries, slowing down..but number 1 more than anything..with some number 2
Do you see Haviland getting a head coaching gig in the near future? Why did Torchetti leave?
Torchetti closer to a job as associate head coach there plus a team like atl in flux hes nect in line...and yes on haviland..not sure timetable
why dont the hawks just bury campbell in the minors like they did with huet?
Cause rocky's pockets not that deep AND BTW hes had a good yr. cmon...
If Toews were gone, who would be the best C out of Sharp, Keith, and Seabs?
Wow, thankfully will never have to face that..tough one...I guess sharp..seems the most evenkeeled
6 back to backs: 2/27-28... 3/4-5... 3/8-9... 3/13-14... 3/28-29... 4/5-6
There you go. thanks
You tossed Kessel's name out earlier, and I assume it was at least half-joking. BUT, Kessel is making about 2 mil less than soupy. Thoughts on shipping campbell and a prospect for kessel and some cap relief? I know it leaves us even thinner for that PK type D man, but we would have a little more wiggle room cap-wise.
Its why I tossed it out there...now that Kberle is gone, etc. And Kessel/toronto mot mixing well..why not...have no idea how Burke feels about soup but it makes sense on some levels
Do you ever see Kane wearing the "A"?
You know what, I do. He takes the game seriously...and in a few yrs I do..hell, if Buff can wear a letter, anyone can
thoughts on trading seabrook before he becomes a ufa?
Ill just say I think its possible but not probable
Do you see any way the Hawks can repeat as champs this year?
Yeah, you could make a case, especailly considering what lower seeded teams have done in the past...lets say they get number 8 and have vancouvers number like we've seen..all of a sudden confidence skyrockets..plus I wouldnt put anything past a team that #19 is on
On Saturday Seabs will be at Hawk Ford, it should be packed. Doesn't that make a difference to Seabs on wanting to stay in Chicago? And would it make a difference to say something to him, would he even listen??
If you tell him I told him he should stay and take less money he will snarl at you for sure..would be funny...go ahead and say something..he'll be cool
Who do you think will be the next 50 goal scorer for the Hawks if anyone?
I think kane has at least one magical year in him..if he starts out hot, he'll do it
Couple more...carpel tunnel setting in...(is that how upi spell it? no idea)
Assuming the Hawks make it into the playoffs as a 6-8 seed, of the three top teams, who would be the best match up for the Hawks? Who would be the worst?
Honestly, prob det or vancouver would be best...van lets them skate...and I think the Hawks would have goalie advantage against Det. who plays similiar style to hawks...crazy but PHX might be worst...mini-nash...frustrating and well coached
Thats going to do it for today. Record numebr of questions. Thanks all. Hope I asnwered enough to your liking...follow me on twitter @espnchihawks for the stretch run and check out the blog..will be putting up a video of Q's first day back...plus all the other news..and tune it to espn 1000 for reg reports as well...you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. talk next week. thanks again