Hi all. Well, that was some parade wasnt it? Oh, sorry, wrong year. Anyway, hope everyone is enjoying the offseason. Welcome to our sometimes weekly offseason Hawks chat. Hawks have some work to do and it should heat up starting with the draft and aftermath leading to July 1 free-. Fire away with questions
Do the Blackhawks have any interest in Jagr?
No. Stan Bowman said as much this morning...though Stan said he saw him play in Europe and he liked what he saw but no interest from Hawks
Toews had 93 takeaways compared to Kessler's 65 and Datsyuk's 71. Toews had to shoulder more of the load with Chicago's lack of center depth, won faceoffs and had over 70 points. Yet it seems as if he might be the third place choice. Please make sense of this.
First of all, forget about takeaways...very subjective..I voted for the award and didnt even look at takeaways..the eye test tells you what you need to know..we are splitting hairs here...Kesler fans can make a case for him and of course Datsuyk doesnt need anyone to make a case so right now it might not be Toews turn since he's a first time finalist and those other guys have been there before..cant lose with any of the 3.
Jesse, with the salary cap going to a respectable $64M, does this help the hawks maybe take a sniff around at a Brooks Liach or a combination of a Aaron Asham/3-4 liner that we need/hard nose D man?Much obliged!
I think the answer is yes but not as much as you think UNLESS they mover Hammer or someone...any good team that wants Laich gets help in the cap dept as well plus a lot of bad teams will need to spend now even more so they might make an offer he cant refuse...If for someone reason he really wants to come here (always a possiblity) then i think thats the way it happens without a trade somewhere else
BTW, I did vote for Toews for Selke but not cause Im a homer but because of what I just said..so close and I see him every day..I would have to be looking NOT to vote for him...diff for others in cities without a finalist
Do you see the Hawks trying to bring in a veteran goal tender or will Salak be handed the backup job behind Crawford?
Bowman was asked that this morn and basically said its Salak's to lose...think we knew that when they gave him a one way contract..if a vet is brought in during camp its probably just window dressing
Do you expect Jeremy Morin to start the season with the Hawks?
I actually dont but its June...he didnt play a good portion at the end of the season because of a concussion...we know ben smith and kruger are making the team barring craziness so I think like last year Morin is first "off the bench". Of course 7 goals in 3 games in preseason could change that but right now thats how I feel.
So happy that Vancouver didn't win the Cup, what are your thoughts on that??
Hey Jesse,Do you think the Hawks can package Niklas Hjalmarsson and perhaps one of their 2nd round picks in the draft for a #2 Center? As much as I would hate to see Hjalmarsson go, he seems to have the easiest contract to move and if the Hawks can re-sign Campoli, the back end should still be solid.
In thoery, yes. But Im not sure about the Hammer situation..diff ways of looking at him considering his young age..I asked Bowman today about his 6 entrenched D returning this season..he praised Leddy big time, said Hammer, Keith and Seabrook can still improve...no mention of campbell or campoli...would be dumb to read into that too much...but he offered up Hammer improving etc. and we know they believe in D., its a tough call..Im thinking more and more now they dont trade hammer...
What do you see happening with Bolland next year? 2nd line center with Hossa, or 3rd line with Frolick or what other scenario?
This is my (educated) guess. Bolland STARTS the season as the 2nd line center...Kruger STARTS the season as the 3rd line center...and fill in the blank starts the season as 4th...Johnson, etc. BUT, HOW THEY START HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW THEY MIGHT FINISH..I cap that cause its important to understand and remember
What did you think of Turco's job as an NHL network analyst during the playoffs? Do you think he has a future in it?
yes, he has a future if he wants. i told him that during the season and waved me off..i think he still wants to play and doesnt want to hear of it just yet!
Missed you........are Stalberg and Frolik going to be resigned by the hawks?
Missed you too...For sure on frolik..I would say pretty sure on stalberg...doesnt make a lot..could be traded though..def possibility but these RFA's will be signed ot traded not just let go
when is the regular season schedule coming out
Since you missed me, ill give you another question..tomorrow or the next day
Are the Hawks interested in bringing Madden back?
A lot of people asking me about Madden. I can tell you they are NOT, NOT interested if that makes sense. I know he would love to come back but so would eager, Buff, steeg, etc. so thats not really news...im sure he would take a cheap contract cause he can play for incentives..i would say after they do their due diligience if they dont like what they have at the 4th line OR they want someone to groom Kruger or something liek that than yes..so its a possibility but i dont think come July 1 they are announcing the return of Madden. could change but thats what i think. I did talk to him the day Minny beat dallas in reg season finale and he said he's "love to come back" for what its worth
Any sense on what the plan is for Brouwer. Do they trade him?Does he get another shot to play with the top 2 lines?
When the season ended I figured they would trade him cause he's due a good raise..I still believe that but with the cap going up maybe a little better chance of returning..if they dont get that big name expensive center i see less turnover for the Hawks...so I guess it just depends
Do you know much about Scott Nichol? He's a centerman, would the Hawks have any interest? Can't have enough center depth...
Nichol played here for a bit a while ago and i do know him..Off the top of my head if he was a little younger he'd be the type of player they could use..grittier version of dowell..not sure whats left in the tank..prob could handle it but they prob want better...but that type isnt a bad thought
Whats your take on this years draft? Anybody/Position the Hawks are targeting??
Stan said todat that for the first time in a few years they are just taking guys they like that are left on the board..center Mark McNeill if he drops they would take...winger Niklas Jensen, Brandon Saad..oh and Tomas Jurko..ive seen one mock draft with the Hawks taking him..my guess, without a trade they take one of them
Of the young guns--Morin, Beach, Leddy--which figures to play the largest role in the team next year?
The obvious answer is Leddy..upset choice would be Morin
How is Kyle Beach coming along? Am I only one that wants to see him come up?
Bowman spoke of him today and tried to make a case..said he needed to "round out" his game..im not buying it too much...he wasnt recalled with the other prospects for to watch the playoffs..hes nowhere near ready is my guess but they have openings for "edgy" type guys so this would be the year to impress..I have my doubts
Has Kaner been behaving himself?
As far as I know..I talked to him a couple weeks ago and he said he was going over to his parents house everyday but he never said at night as well. :) Think hes going to Disneyland or something in a few days..so if mickey gets punched out we know where to look...lol. thats a joke, Kaner!
Is there anyway possible to move campbell for an overpriced 2nd center?...Hes got a ring and can move the puck...thats got to be valuable to some team, right?
2 words: Dale Tallon...his payroll is so low right now, he wouldnt even notice the 7mil campbell brings..well, he might notice since he signed it in the first place...I just dont know..they've tried so something must change for someone to do it..still think toronto would be a place that might but I just dont know
Rumor Central shows David Backes is one of a handful of players available out of St Louis. At a Cap hit of $4.5 mil/yr (admittedly steep and runs through 2015/16), does his big body, 31 goals, and +32 plus/minus make him an attractive addition via a trade?
Not if you want to keep Sharp.
Have you ever been to Winnipeg and how big a deal is a team being back there? Hopefully they're still the Jets because anything else would be criminal.
The Hawks opened the preseason there last year and that was the first time I went..dreary place but they were excited for toews return..yeah, they are pretty into it there but rained for 3 days...course think of where we live lately..
a mutual friend said that 'Big Buff is still pretty hurt about being traded last year around this time. You are friends with him Jesse, what's your take?
Hurt isnt the word..he would have liked to stay but he knew the landscape, they all did..in fact his girlfriend was more borken up..not much fazes buff so yeah he was dissapointed but didnt take it personally one bit
What is it about Kruger that the I hear he may be a lock as a starter? Isn't he kind of small on a smallish team?
Q loves his hockey IQ first and foremost..they will bulk him up over the coming years..not all at once..i dont think they care he's small if his hockey skills and sense are top notch...hes making the team..we'll see from there
Will Tomas Kopecky be back next season?
Im guessing no. Bowman said today they made decisions on a few players that wont return..I think he's one of them..
Any thoughts on free agent targets, we definitely need to rectify the #2 center situation, I just don't think that Bolland is a #2, your team is so much deeper when he plays the #3 center role.
I wish I had some specific names for you...this is the time of year--despite what you might read or hear--teams keep it close to the vest. they dont want the world knowing who they want--especially the Hawks. they really keep it close to the vest...there arent THAT many No. 2 impact centers...Laich can play there, Connally, handzus? Im simply dont know who they're target is if in fact its a free agent..they might be looking for a deal..so its a tough call until we get closer to july 1..then you start hearing things..4th line guys are the usual suspects out there...find the best, gritty guy, for minimum type money..thats the goal
when will Sharp be resigned?
My guess is once the season starts simply because under Bowman we've seen that formula twice now with kane, etc. and then seabrook this past season...no rush needed
Where do you see Ben Smith at the start of the season?
I see ben smith skating next to bolland and hossa to start the season...10/19/88, bickell, kruger, brouwer....obviously if those guys return..thats my top 9..did I forget anyone?
Is Hendry going to be resigned? He'll be cheap plus not a bad 6th or 7th D man. Especially if Hjalmarsson is dealt.
Dont know but if healthy I dont see what not..like you say...7th d man..knows the system..cheap..
Is Kevin Bieksa, going to draw any offers from the Blackhawks or is he 100% going back to the canucks?
Where would he play here? The Hawks are already paying their D a trillion bucks..prob back to canucks but i dont follow Bieksa's moves. Thank god. :)
Will Markov make the Hawks this year, I know he had issues with the english language
I dont think so..I think makarov is on his way out..
Any chance they trade a pick (1st or 2nd) for a player on Day 1? Or do you see Bowman hold on to the picks?
Ill just go off what he said today which makes sense since they arent looking for a specific type of player..he could trade up or down or keep..i know thats any year but it sounds like they are less married to a strategy this time around so if a player is sitting there a few picks from them and they feel they need to move up they will or vice versa..just dont know how it will unfold and how high they are on some of those guys i mentioned earlier
Does Patrick Kane actually put in the work off the ice during the season and off-season??
If you saw him from year 2 to yr 3 then the answer is yes..now last offseason no one put in the work so I think hes got a lot of pride and he's doing it..HUGE jump 2nd to 3rd year so you cant say he hasnt done it..I have very little issue with Kane's game and Ill tell you for near fact neither does Q so good enough for him, good enough for me.
Jesse, do you think that it's a fair statement to say that the considerably longer off-season, coupled with the "almost" comeback vs. Vancouver, topped off with seeing Boston raise the 'Cup last week, will all lead to a refreshed and refocused Blackhawks team next year? Could they even be one of the favorites again coming out of the West?
I think so..the rest more than anything..return of that desperate desire to win maybe they didnt have completely last year as well...I think they are one of the favs
If they could bring Brouwer back on the cheap and put him on a line with RJ and perhaps an Eager type, wouldn't that satisfy the need to have some sandpaper in the lineup, be tougher to play against and still not have a 4th line completely void of offense?
And how do you propose they bring him back cheap? his numbers say decent raise..like over 2 mil..thats not cheap..
What are the chances Toews goes to Winnipeg once he's a UFA?
There is always a chance but you think the Hawks will let him get to UFA in his prime? no way
The good thing about Toews is its not like he "grew up" a diehard Jets fan..they were gone during some formative years!
Jesse, don't you think that we have too much money tied up in the defense? Why wouldn't you want to trade Hammer, he will get you what you need which is a #2 center?
I think I would do it if he does get you what you need...I just know the Hawks put such a premium on the blue line he better be the right center...anyway, on paper, I do think they would do it
What are the chances the Hawks abandon the conventional grinder-type fourth line in favor of a Morin/Kruger/Smith type. The kids' offensive potential might be more disruptive Iand certainly more tangibly beneficial) than non-factors like Dowell.
I doubt it..need some grit somewhere in the lineup or other teams will just take complete liberites..nice thought but dont see it...
Some people asking about asst coach if haviland leaves..last yr I heard Kitchen's name early for Torchetti because of his ties to Q. This time around not hearing as much..Bowman said today they would address if/when he left but they must have an idea I would think but hasnt come out yet
Jesse, would the Hawks listen to offers for Keith or actively shop him because lets not sugarcoat it...he was TERRIBLE last year...and in my opinion is the most overrated D in the league. He's more likely to duplicate last year than any other year in my book...and we should sell high.
Not sure how you can say so definitively he will repeat last yr when its his first "bad" year of his career. I got on him as much as anyone and though bad for him still had some good moments, etc. ive thought about it and I think he rebounds
Do you see any big FA moves coming for the Hawks before the beginning of the season?
I do see some moves coming but i cant tell you who..at least not yet..def 4th line winger/center type for sure..and if they can snare that 2nd lince center..there as well...those 2 places are the needs, no question...they'll get their fourth line guy or guys...
Beach needs to "round out his game"... is that code for needs to "pull his head out of his rear"? I get the impression it's his attitude, not his game, that's keeping him out of the NHL
Maybe..def an issue..but on the ice he cant be a liablity..thats the key there
Do you think Haviland will be back? He's a good assistant coach would it hurt the hawks if he doesnt come back?
Haviland impressed me big time when he took over for Q...Chevy saw that up close..unless there is a tie to a coach going back a ways (john anderson again??) then I see havi getting it. but thats me, a lot in play behind the scenes.
Thats going to do it for this week. More questions get answered in mailbag going up today. If I missed one, email me at email@example.com Ill be at the draft on friday so check out my blog and follow me on twitter @espnchihawks. Thanks..good stuff...lots of news coming soon with your hawks!