Afternoon Hawks fans, beautiful day to talk some hockey in June. Free-agency is around the corner and Ill do my best to answer your questions..make sure you check out my blog at this time of year for breaking news,etc. You can follow me on twitter as well @espnchihawks. Ok, trade Stan might be done for right now after moving 3 guys this week, lets see what Friday brings...fire away with questions!
Meant trader Stan!
Hey Jesse, How good would Joel Ward and Max Talbot look for the bottom 6?
Both would look good. They are on the list for sure..Just a matter of who else might want them, opportunity, etc. The good news is Chicago is VERY attractive to free-agents these days. I like Ward for sure...not a huge opinion on Talbot either way..havent seen as much of him obviously..
Any chance the Hawks do a Hossa-like deal for Richards? Make his cap hit around 5.5-6.5?
As the week has gone on Im starting to think, yes. First off, the Hawks have been quiet when it comes to the big name type of guy which is when they usually strike..since the offseason started theyve talked about rebuilding the 4th line and adding size but since sat they have "new money" and here is the key..after richards there isnt another 2nd line big ticket center i think I or they would want...so go for him..see if he'll take a little less to play next to hossa and with less pressure compared to say the rangers. they and he would be dumb not to kick the tires..but i cant tell you if it would happen..too many teams interested and with cap room
Top 5 reasonable forwards you'd go after? (Connolly, Bergenheim, Talbot, Joel Ward, Konopka)Top 3 reasonablt defenseman you'd go after?(Sopel, Shane O'Brien, Andrew AlbertsI Already got mine!
Answere this a little already..Ward, konopka, Talbot...NO on Connolly....Sopel I would consider and they probably will..too easy not to..500-700k..PK guy..splits time with scott back there..blocks all the shots hammer wont have to..makes sense as a depth guy who will play with his heart on his sleeve...but between he and scott some slow foot speed back there..maybe the ycan afford with the other 5
Why get rid of Brouwer? I know he deserved a raise but he's a gritty 60 point guy with toughness who arguably is a second line forward. Why just give that away?
You make some good points..the best point is that he can play and adjust to any of the 4 lines..but its about value for your roster..if kopy got 3 mil..then brouwer has to jump on into 3.5 or 4 though that sounds too much and it is tallon afterall..anyway, they do need replace his size but he did underwhelm alot of the time..its $$ for value and at his new price, whatever it is, was going to be too much for a POSSIBLE 4th line player
I meant Kopy has Tallon paying him and Tallon likes to pay his players..will be interesting where Brouwer goes salary wise but he is arb eligble and the "numbers" are good but I still think it wasnt a "bad" move by hawks..like him but have to get value out of roster..
It looks like Andrew Brunette and Erik Cole will both be UFA's come Friday. What are the chances they'll be wearing the indian head this fall?
I like Brunette..who doesnt like consistency..look at his numbers...82 games a year..18-25 goals..he'll slow down eventually but no signs right now...just not sure about Cole..I dont know if either is on their radar..top 9 wingers, to me, isnt a priority...centers, yes, 4th line ,yes...
There are players like Rostislav Olesz and Viktor Stalberg on the roster (yes, Stalberg needs to be signed, but has been qualified), but where do they fit if the Hawks have a ton of upcoming talent and plan on adding to the top-6?
First off, define "ton". Lets not get carried away. Ben Smith and Kruger are the sort of "newcomers" that should make the team..maybe Morin but have feeling all 3 dont so Morin might start in minors..If stalberg isnt traded hes turned into a pretty good top 6 insurance guy who is handling 4th line duties better now than when he came here. Little energy, mixing it up some, great wheels...if stalberg was on the 4th line with 2 gritty guys I would have no problem..he just cant be the grittiest of the 3...jury way out on Olesz..not sure where he fits in just yet
Why did the Chicago Wolves affiliate with Vancouver? Couldn't they just follow the Thrashers/Jets to Winnipeg?
No, the same people that own the jets own a team in the AHL so the affiliation there was a done deal
With Bieksa, Pitkanen, and likely Erhoff gone from the ranks of UFA defensemen, who do you see the Hawks trying to acquire? Could we really be looking at a 3rd pairing that includes John Scott?
I know Q likes Scott..simple as that..he likes toughness and likes his hockey smarts..I think he gets time there..30-40 games maybe..but with someone else..its why I mention Sopel..no way they go big money on a D-man..they have enough tied up in top 5..bring in a little depth and thats how you do it until the deadline
Going to write a blog about this tomorrow but here is a preview and important to remember: team in october wont necessarily look like team in April now that hawks have money to spend in-season..they knwo they are good..they will save some for a possible HUGE acquisition when they see thier team thru 50 games or whatever..just rememebr that when Bolland lines up as 2nd line center opening night and kruger 3rd line...doesnt mean they will be in playoffs
If Yzerman can't get Stamkos an offer he likes, is there any chance the Hawks take a look at him to fill our 2nd line hole? I know we have cap space to play with, but word is that Steve is looking in the neighborhood of 8-9 mil / year.
Last one from you Dave..Answer No
With Chris Drury being bought out, is it possible that he could fill a lower line role that we need? Granted he has health issues is he worth the shot?
No. health issues, age, etc.
Do you think UFA prices will be inflated with so many teams needing to reach the salary cap floor? If so, how will this impact the Hawks FA plans? Do you think they will pursue trades instead?
Its a good question..I would say yes to both..they seem to have some quality prospect pieces to trade and there isnt a ton of good centers out there so it remains a possibility...and i think a few UFA's will be inflated because of that floor
When should we hear on the contract status of our RFA's?
My guess is by Friday at least 1 if not all will be signed but no huge rush...stan was wrong last year about offer sheets but I dont think he will be this time..still, better safe than sorry so I see all 3 getting done very soon
Do you expect to see Jake Dowell back?
Tough call...I just dont know how the other 29 teams think of him..IF anyone offers a one-way contract then no hes not back...if no one does than yes i could see it since the hawks are thin at center..hed prob be first call up from rockford if he didnt make the team...i think there was some interest in him before QO's were due so now that he's free to go for nothing I guess Ill say hes gone..
How is your offseason going? What do you do on a day to day basis?
any RFA's the Hawks might sign to an offer sheet? Possibly Andrew Ladd? Any UFA former Blackhawks you expect to re-sign?
I dont see the Hawks making RFA offers..just doesnt make sense based on their needs and whats out there..again, i thnk sopel has a very good chance of being back...I would put maybes on Eager and Madden..i say Eager is a back-up plan for whatever size/grit they are looking for..
Can you please shoot down the inane Kaner rehab rumor? I'm beginning to think there is a small faction of trouble-makers trying to run 88 out of town....probably Sabres fans. ;)
Sure..people been asking..dont know why its blown up now..as a matter of fact I know right now hes about as far from rehab as you can get at Universal Studios in florida..but people have been asking me since the season ended..there is no proof or even whispers in the hockey world hes been in rehab
Do you think Nick Leddy is ready to fill the void that was created by trading Brian Campbell?
Its not going ot be just him..if it has to be just him than the answer is no. The guy is learning..its a combo of him and campoli and hammer all doing more..
Jesse, what makes Frolik better than Brouwer or Kopecky? Isn't he going to be paid around the same $ amount? And would they have traded Brouwer if they got rid of Campbell before him?
Money not the same.. Frolik is going to make no more than 1.5..Kopy is at 3 and brouwer will be similiar if not more..I wrote before there was a whiff of campbell being traded that brouwer was gone..he just didnt fit salary wise or whatever..I said earlier in chat hes valuable cause he can play on any of 4 lines but that also is a criticism..he hadnt found a place and could have ended up on the 4th line for 3 mil. no thanks..but again i do like him as a player..
What's your take on Brouwer saying that some current Cup winning Hawks are frustrated by the continued dismantling of the team?
Not a big deal..they miss their friends..they arent dealing with the cap..if they didnt want the team dismantled they shouldnt have all taken the money...7,2,88,19 all had extensions during last 2 yrs so they cant complain...
As for possible locker room mood, are Hawks mature enough to get over the change of roster? I can understand it's really sad seeing your buddies go away, but can those who stayed understand it, too?
Of course, though they do need an infusion of personality in the room..i think the Hawks know that..Q said as much several times thorughout hte season and offseason..bottom line: 2010 was a special team with personality and talent..not going to get the same team but trying to find a similiar mix is the goal
Are we taking a step back again this year with so much turnover again? They claim that led to their slow start and now they are doing it again!
No, step forward.Browuer is the only one you can make a case for in my opinon..now they need to re-tool still but remember what I said about in-season moves...if they arent complete by Oct they will be by April or at least they will think they will..never know how players perform..
How seriously are the Hawks considering Richards?
Cant tell you for sure but i would be surprised if they didnt at least ask..maybe the guy is dying to play here..im sure they would hear from him then but the point is there is money, hes a good player, the hawks and chicago are desireable..and they have a need...but so much in play there I cant tell you for sure right now what happens
How much money are we talking for the average desired fourth-liner? I can appreciate beefing the line up, but at the same time we're only talking about 5-10 minutes a game, right?
I think they would be willing to go to 2 mil if they found the right guy that can also move up if there were injuries..a better version of eager would be perfect..some hands/skill..good fighter, etc.
Any Chance we see the Wizzer Back? With no Erhoff available now I think he has priced himself out of the Hawks.
No on wizzer...too much...
Lot of repeat questions here about FA and d-men etc. I just dont see an expensive D-man coming..they are pretty set there other than some a 6/7 d-man..
Jesse, any chance the Hawks buyout Olesz before July 1st to increase cap space?
This is a good question..he would qualify since Im not sure they want to deal with a project making 3 mil a year. I have not heard that though
Between Toivenen & Salak, which one do you think has the better potential to back up Crawford? Haven't heard or seen much of their play.
Defintely Salak..best goalie in Europe last year they say..one way contract, etc. he's first up for sure..
Jesse - What are your top 3 cities to visit on the road while covering the Hawks?
Need to mix it up...honestly , vancouver is a blast...wash was fun, phoenix has a great set-up, hotel, rink, food/drink within 100 feet of each other..
Are Hawks making huge mistakes by letting more players from title team go? At some point, certain players know how to play winning hockey and some will always just be good players that don't.
Not in this case..last year was out of necessity..this year they are picking and choosing and I cant believe some people still ahve doubts about campbell move...Like I wrote before we can argue brouwer, can go either way but not Campbell..brilliant getting rid of that contract..so dont worry about "knowing how to play" Ill trade that for "hungary to win for the first time" PLUS pretty sure kane, toews, etc know what they are doing and can pass it on fine
Which players from rockford do you see making the jump this year?
I really cant. i know at prospects camp next week I'll write some blogs saying 'watch for this guy coem sept" but do the math if you believe in smith (why wouldnt you) and they believe in Kruger (they do) than not many openings...maybe one on D but Leddy already young and playing, not sure they bring another guy to be a 7th and not play..Morin, of ocurse, would be one
One of my buddies will not stop talking about Andrew Brunette. I don't know if he has a man crush on him or he thinks there's a realistic chance of the Hawks getting him, but do you think he would be a player that would fit us well and if so might we get him?
Wrote before I like him but I dont know where the hawks stand..I'll have a blog on some players tomorrow but I guarantee come July 1 the hawks will surprise by picking up someone that hasnt been linked to them..maybe I'll just mention 100 players so I can say "I hear about him" agter it happens. Hawks are best in league at playing secerat agent man.lol
Sorry for spelling. Poor typing
At this point I think it's pretty clear Toews is probably a top 5 guy in the league. I know he's signed for the next 4 years or so but why not extend him for the next 10 years. If there was ever a guy to lock up for his career, its him.
Cant now..have to wait to July 1 of final year of his deal..why they didnt do it in first place? Im sure plenty of reasons..he can get a mega deal after this one..timing of cap stuff, etc. im sure all avenues were explored..
With all the trading/acquiring that Bowman is doing, who do you think is the most likely 3rd line Center? Or are we preparing for another shuffle the cards by Q?
Right now, Kruger would start the season there..but again, doesnt mean he will finish it there..if they sign, say, richards, then he's 4th line and bolland 3rd..
What kind of deals are you predicting Frolik and Campoli to get from the Hawks?
Campoli prob close to over 2 mil for say 3 year..3 yrs at 6 mil sounds good...at first look frolik would be due a huge raise after two, 20 goal seasons and a nice playoff BUT he has no leverage..no arb eligible...his base was 850k I believe so maybe double that..here is a good example of tallon's mistakes..frolik would be given like 3 mil by tallon but there is no reason he has to. Stan wont make that mistake..so 1.5-2..somewhere like that...double his salary..seems fair for 2nd contract
What are your thoughts on the realignment that's been discussed? Chicago would more than likely be the only Original Six team in the Western Conference.
Dont like it. I dont care so much about the original 6 thing..that arguement is getting old but there are some natural rivialries like det that would be nice..they should keep the divisions and go back to divisional playoffs...just move columbus or nashville..im sure det is bitching behind the scenes big time about being in west though. hard to blame them I guess.
Since everyone wants ex-hawks back on the team, what about Steve Sullivan? I could see him being a great third line winger and pk guy. Wouldn't mind seeing some shorties like the old days!
Ugh. take it.
Jesse, what are the Blackhawks going to do with the new guy from Florida? Will they keep him or bury him in the minors like Huet?
They wont bury him..they will buy him out or give him a chance to play..simple as that..but again I have hear no buyout talk which means it will prob happen tomorrow. :)
Any truth to the rumor that Jim Cornelison was traded to Florida? No really, what are the odds that there is a BIG deal in the works still for the Hawks... or are they just going to tweek from here?
With the money they now have--even though they want to be careful and have some for season and also not go right back into a trick bag with cap issues--they would be dumb not explore some things..again, Chi town so desireable..Toews captain, core im place..someone might take less to play here and they get more value from their roster...just dont know who that is
Please tell me Scott won't be a starting D. Yeah he's got size and attitude, but his lack of real hockey sense and skill sure don't compensate or suggest he can consistently play at a high level.
I think his hockey sense is better than you think..again, Q likes him..at least compared to what they have right now..they are working on foot speed, etc. this summer so its possible he plays 30-40 games on D, yes. Thats as of this moment.
Three ex-Hawks will be FA's come Friday ? Ladd, Madden, and Sopel. Who has the greatest chance of returning to Chicago?
Alot of repeat questions..Hope I answered yours. Will prob do again next week when we will prob be talking about some new faces..Again, check out my blog and espnchicago.com over the coming days for news and follow me on twitter @espnchihawks..great questions. should be fun. Stan has won me over so far..we'll see what friday and beyond brings..thanks again. You can always email me at email@example.com take care