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December 7, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers

Jesse Rogers
  (2:03 PM)

Hi all, welcome to our weekly Hawks chat....Hawks just finished up practice and are headed to Long Island for tomorrow's game...Ray Emery will start in away, lets talk some hockey!

Jesse Rogers
  (2:03 PM)

Hi all, welcome to our weekly Hawks chat....Hawks just finished up practice and are headed to Long Island for tomorrow's game...Ray Emery will start in away, lets talk some hockey!

Jay (Raleigh)

Jesse, clearly we need to upgrade the blueline mix. With Nashville having to resign Weber and Suter, and maybe not having the cash to sign both, why don't the Hawks try to grab one of them? I'm thinking Hjalmarsson, a couple top prospects, and a couple picks.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:05 PM)

Because it would be a terrbile thing for that franchise to trade within the division when they arent rebuilding or one thing if nash was just horrible...teams dont like to take PR hits like that for a payoff years later...bottom line: if nash wants to move one they'll have suitors a plenty and not from just in the division...never say never but close enough on this one

Ryan Miller (Boise, Idaho)

Hey Jesse,It's obvious the Hawks need help on the defensive end and could use an additional centerman. I know the trade deadline is a few months away, but wouldn't it be better for them to address those needs now? If the Hawks do make a trade or two, who would would the Hawks trade away?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:06 PM)

Everyone wants center and D-men and no one wants to give up players now...sure, they would have addressed it yesterday but unless you want to grossly overpay there prob isnt a realistic deal to be done at the moment...itll come though...and why panic, you have a fine record...I know people want more...but so much easier said then done in terms of a trade...

Sam (Naperville)

What's your opinion on the Marcus Kruger at second line center experiment? Still going well? Good enough to permanently fill that need or will we still likely see a trade before the end of the season?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:08 PM)

If they can get a center they will still do it..Kruger isnt ready for it but for now, he's been ok...think he'll be better at home than on the road for matchup reasons and more games there will grow some chemistry with hossa and sharp but I dont think hes ready for a playoff run there...ask me in 3 months and I might feel different because so far he's been a sponge but not sure he can learn that quick

Bernard (Seattle)

Do the Blackhawks need to take radical steps to address their goals against situation? Is the problem in goal - specifically Crawford? Are we now seeing why he languished in the minors for so long?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:10 PM)

I was a pretty big crawford supporter coming into the season but willing to admit the jury is out..I still call this a slump which every goalie goes through however, it is a concern...has to get back on top of his game or we might have another switch in the making....defense at times has been brutal though..his slump is more recent in my opinion

JoeMan (Chicago)

What is the point of Lepisto? Playing O'Donnell & Scott more than him is a joke.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:12 PM)

I asked Q that today...didnt give a great answer but sounded like some D changes might be coming...5 and 6 were benched friday and on the ice for goals agianst phoenix...little unclear why lepisto isnt in there but i think they trust judgement of others more...dont think 5 would sit but 6 could tomorrow..maybe scott again...

Mark (chicago)

The game saturday in STL made me proud to be a Hawks fan. We owned the game AND the stadium, we may as well call it the United Center South. Rocked the anthem, standing ovation at the end it gets no better...To the players ever comment on that? Do they get as excited by the ridiculous road take over as the fans?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:14 PM)

They notice it and appreciate it but not sure it makes a huge diff on the ice...but they def hear it on the ice

Tom (Oak Forest)

Jess, can you please explain to me why we keep seeing Victor Stalberg on the first line. He clearly is not a top 6 forward, yes he is fast but he just doesnt know how to finish around the net.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:16 PM)

I tend to agree with you more than disagree but he has shown improvement...I dont think he's a top line player on a Cup team, however, so there is def room for a top 6 player to come in via trade..BUT he is getting used to Toews and the two are finding some chemistry so Ill give him that but yes, finishin is an issue...was thinking would he have finished on the 3rd goal against phoenix like kane did? not sure

Don (Columbus, OH)

Jesse- I chatted with Scott Burnside on Monday and he agrees the brass is not too happy with current goaltending situation. He had mentioned if NJ continues to falter that Brodeur might be a possibility. If not Marty, what possible veteran goaltender would be available to come to the Hawks?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:17 PM)

Boy, trading for a netminder was about the last thing I thought about going into this of those Islander guys is prob available...Dipietro? havent really considered it though...that would shock me but maybe I should start thinking of it

Rob (Willis Tower )

I have to say that Kane and Toeths belong together. They are both way better together than apart. With that being said wouldn't it be great to have Campbell and Campoli on our roster? Everyone is talking about acquiring a good "D" man, we had 2 that we practically gave away for nothing. I don't understand if they're willing to eat Olesks contract why they just didn't keep Campbell?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:20 PM)

I tend to agree with you on Campoli not was still the right thing to cannot tie up 7 mil on a guy that is ok on the pp, doesnt play pk, cant play against the best in the league night in and night out...unless IM wrong about all that...Campoli thing doesnt make a lot of sense..I know his agent, coming out of the draft, thought they would have a deal pretty quickly and things went south..maybe he overvalued himself but stil, something could have been worked out I would think..he could help but he's not lidstrom either..

Jack (Illinois)

With Duncan Keith's struggles over the past year and a half, are the Hawks and their fans going to view Keith's contract in the way the Cubs and their fans view Alfonso Soriano?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:22 PM)

Is it possible? yes. However, his deal is long but doesnt handcuff them cap wise every yr so he's even tradeable if it comes to that...I think its too early to say he wont return to form..I look at it this way, he's a point producer on the back end that needs to get back to playing better D..its not like his whole game is bad--you could make that arguement last yr--so maybe he's slowing coming around despite some peaks and valleys..not ready to call him the bust id call soriano

Joe (not in Chicago)

Crawford seems to lose his crease more often than last year and is swimming out of position. Is that 'cause he's pressing and lacks confidence or just challenging the guy with the puck too much? Is this what Waite was working on with him today?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:23 PM)

They work everyday on all that stuff...He is def scarmbling more but not sure why..pressing could def be part of it..just in a funk and not sure how long it will last

Dane (Avondale)

Is it just me or does it seem like we aren't getting much offensive production from the non core group lately? ex. frolick, bickell, stahlberg, etc..

Jesse Rogers
  (2:26 PM)

Definitely not getting it...I wasnt as high on that third line as a lot of people just cause they have one good playoff but what the heck has happened to bolland, frolik, and bickell...all are playing poorly right now...bolland is hurt a little but still that threesome has been so quiet for most of the year Q had to split them up...and I laughed at people thinking frolik was going to score 30...why? cause he played well in like 5 playoff games?

Derek (Deerfield, IL)

With Q mentioning the goalie situation will be game by game, do you see Emery getting more consistent playing time?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:28 PM)

Its pretty simple and we have the last two years as a blue print...yes, emery gets more time now until he falters...then Craw gets another chance and prob more of the benefit of the doubt, if his success is shortlived then back to emery and we will slowly see a changing of the guard.2 years in a row w esaw it but it doesnt happen overnight...Q always give the No. 1 guy a chance to reclaim...but to answer you, for right now, I would say its emery's net

Sean (Indy)

Do you think we would have enough depth at D to trade Hjammer? His offence is awful and he is only useful on D for blocking the occasional shot

Jesse Rogers
  (2:30 PM)

I'll say no way..Someone answer me this when keith, seabrook, even Campbell are in the lineup they are roundly critcized (including by me sometimes) but when they are out they are missed (by me sometimes as well) so i think its the same with hammer...he's needed cause the alternatives arent as good..and that's the bottom line..cant compare anyone to a mystery hammer better than 5,6,32, and guys in the minors, I owuld have to say yes pretty confidently..

Frank (Chicago, IL )

In your opinion, what is it that is wrong with the Blackhawks and what can we do to improve it, i am a life long fan and am disappointed to see such a good team basically go down.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:33 PM)

They are exactly are they going down? No one wants to hear it but the problem with this team is its december...simple as that...They've proven to me when they want to REALLY play they can take down anyone...its the only answer..look who they play well agianst and look who they dont...they stop slides right before they get really bad cause they know they can...i know its sad..we want a 50 win team causethey have the talent...but seeds dont matter come spring, winning does...e=you should enjoy this knowing they will make hte postseaosn..cause if they dont then they get barbecued..but they will

Jack (Deerfield)

Two questions. Why is everybody all over Hammer? Is it the contract, because you need good defensive defensemen?What are players first thoughts on realligment? Reseeding the Final Four could be interesting. Could you imagine a Hawks-Canucks Stanley Cup Finals?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:36 PM)

Cause Cullimore and O'donnell provide more offense? And he just hasnt advanced as a player who was the only one to get an RFA offer in the league 2 summers ago..he's hit a plateau, seemingly..cmon, get an assist more than once every 15 for re-alignment, I'll blog about this later..they arent thrilled with being in a conf with 8 teams and two others have seven..brunette talked about that, Q as well...course brunette might be in a 7 team one by next year but anyone that was the gist..not thrilled with it

John (Chicago)

This preseason a lot of our young guys looked very promising. I'm specifically talking about McNiel and Danault. Do you see Q bringing up anyone new in the next couple of months? The D has been struggling, but it would be nice to get someone who is better on the forecheck.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:38 PM)

You mean from the minors? I dont know if they are considering it. Tough to drop a rookie D-man into a playoff race so i doubt it..those other guys are far from ready..

jason (Houston, TX)

Great job as always JR, you're my lifeline to the Hawks...just want you to please tell all of these idiots that if a player like H4 or Dunc are struggling, this is NOT the time to trade them. Everyone acts like someone is just going to take our issues and hand over a top 6 forward or D-man. Gets pretty annoying to see them in here every week. Can you put a ban on stupidity???

Jesse Rogers
  (2:38 PM)

I guess you just did but no question is a bad one when we're talking Hawks!

Mike (Great White North)

How long will it be till the Hawks need to look to make a trade for a goalie, or do you feel Crawford can regain his past form?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:40 PM)

A lot of people asking about a trade for a goalie..first of all, lets see if Craw gets out of it..its been a few weeks, not 3 months..second of all, emery was a starter in this league and led a team to the playoffs last year...he might be able to do fact his game has been getting better so Im not ruling him out at all...I dont believe they will trade for a goalie..

Jonathan Schade (Columbus, Indiana)

Jesse,What is the solution to our defense weakness? Is it really the goaltending or is it the defensive pairings or the players themselves?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:42 PM)

Some of it is goaltending..even craw said he has to make a big save more often..but a lot of it is just bearing down on D...No reason Seabrook shouldnt be solid every night even if Keith has issues sometimes...bottom end of D an issue too..Stan will 100 percent trade for a that...maybe just not yet..

Steve (St. Louis)

Seems like teams who press us hard in their own zone have a lot of success defending against us (e.g., Phoenix). We seem to sit back on D and let things happen. Why don't we play more aggressively in our own zone?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:44 PM)

Good I can tell you is they just arent great at pressing the issue..they want the puck and if they odnt have it, its not the best of waiting for the opponent to make a mistake becomse as much of a defense as their own

Jesse Moers (Marco Island Florida)

What is the chance that the Blackhawks use the 6-7 million they have available on a big name during the trade deadline? And what player would benefit them the most during this years cup run.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:47 PM)

I think center is still thier No. 1 concern while defense is secondary in the sense that good d-men arent traded often..course neither are centers but going back to what I said before...puck posession is their best defense and another center gets them closer to that than an avg d-man..though again, they will get some D guy, just might not be the biggest name...hard to know what 2nd line center will be avail in 2 and 1/2 months

Jesse Rogers
  (2:47 PM)

I think center is still thier No. 1 concern while defense is secondary in the sense that good d-men arent traded often..course neither are centers but going back to what I said before...puck posession is their best defense and another center gets them closer to that than an avg d-man..though again, they will get some D guy, just might not be the biggest name...hard to know what 2nd line center will be avail in 2 and 1/2 months

Chris (So Cal.)

I really think shoot-outs have run their course. Winning what is basically a shooting contest is no way to garner that extra point. What about extending the 4 on 4 overtime an extra 5 minutes and if tie is not broken, give each team a point? This would be much more exciting and the teams would really go for it in the 4 on 4. Thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:48 PM)

I agree with everything you just wrote..people hate ties but I dont think there would be that many if you go to 10 minutes of 4 on 4..course the ice might get really bad, maybe you do a quickie run over it after regulation..maybe it will come p in next CBA

randy (Plainfield)

Is Bolland OK? Is he having any health issues? thought I saw some comments concerning he might not be 100%

Jesse Rogers
  (2:50 PM)

He is hurting..leg issues..swelling...hasnt practiced much lately but did today..has been affecting his game he admitted, at least a little

Jac (Chicago)

Has Q been telling carcillo to chill out a little? He still plays him with kane and toews occasionally to protect them, but carcillo doesnt seem to mix it up as much at all (i.e. legit fights).

Jesse Rogers
  (2:51 PM)

No, I think Carcillo has done it on his own..he wants another contract somewhere, right? so he's playing the game a little less crazy...thats good and bad of course

Nick (Vancouver, BC)

Are there any high energy guys out there that the Hawks could pick up? I feel that there have been a lot of times this year where the boys could use a spark but no body seems to bring one. Carcillo hasn't really done that this year and Mayers seems to be enforcing but no spark.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:53 PM)

I dont think they are looking for 4th line types...they are happy, I believe, with both carcillo and mayers...they've had their fare share of comebacks so the spark is there at some guys is not the problem...time of year is..and I know that shouldnt be the answer but I believe it is

curt (chicago)

can we officially deam the Brunette experiment a failure. he's minus 10 on the year and 4 of his 6 goals have been on the PP.This one goes in the fail column on Bowman's performance review.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:55 PM)

I would have to say yes with a small caveat that he's not that far off his usual pace of 18-20 goals..but I thought he would be better...they did too, hence his 1st line status for early portion of season but he should be making half of what he is if he's playing 4th line but there is SOME calue there...just not 1st line value and not for 2 mil

Jesse Rogers
  (2:55 PM)

sorry for spelling...have a bad day at it

Matt (Cincinnati)

Jesse, I agree with you that the Blackhawks are very talented and simply seem to take some games off. Is that an issue with this team in particular or is that a general trend with any talented team?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:56 PM)

I think its the general trend...look at the good one has some insane record out there cause there is no dynasty type team though pitt is pretty close to one I guess with crosby..and all the good teams have gotten waxed i na game or two already..if not all then most..

Matt (Cincinnati)

Which Blackhawks do you see making the All-Star Game this year?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:59 PM)

Toews, Kane, Hossa, maybe sharp...and maybe keith. I know that sounds crazy but his point total is going to be pretty good...if his plus/minus is decent at least, he might...thats the prob with him, we all think he should be norris like and get down on him for not being elite every night... but outside of chicago he still has respect..maybe im wrong but if his points are up there, he might

sam (calif.)

since Minny is winning playing a defensive style of hockey, and they are using about 4 kids, including rookies, on D, why is it so out of the question for someone in Rockford to be able to help the Hawks on D. Dylan Olsen looked like the best Hawk D prospect during the preseason.

Jesse Rogers
  (3:01 PM)

Two things...first off, lets see if Minny holds up..and second , no one is saying they fact the Hawks m.o. last couple years is to bring that "guy" they like up from the minors after world juniors or simply inthe 2nd half of the season..and especially on D...they did it with hammer and again wit leddy last thats when the move would happen...but i dont know enough to know if Olsen is ready, etc.

Jesse Rogers
  (3:02 PM)

But they will only do it if they think the player is ready not becuse they are faltering at the NHL level...then a trade would happen...they dont believe in rushing D-men..will come back to bite

Paul (Mt. Prospect)

Can we officially say that Stan made a mistake in not keeping Niemi?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:05 PM)

I can cause I loved Niemi and havent see a Hawks goaltender with more fortitude than him in a while..and its hard to state the situation niemi was in and he still thrived..he wasnt exactly the "golden boy" and handed everything...again, hard to explain...but anyway, I cant believe people were saying they needed to see more out of him...its been 49 know how hard it is to win 4 rounds? he did in his rookie year...thats special to me...and they sent him packing..Now, I like Craw's mental make-up as well, great kid, but not as much as I liked niemi.

Sue (Home)

Are there maybe any health issues with Crawford that we aren't being told about?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:05 PM)

Def not...or pretty sure not

Charlie (Culver City, CA)

What is the mood of the locker room? Everyone here seems to be complaining about this and that, but at the end of the day, they're still in a good spot.

Jesse Rogers
  (3:07 PM)

yeah, they are fine in the room..its dec. 7, they know they have a good team, a good record but can be better...does it really matter if they're better now or in the long as they get in...not saying they are coasting but they are playing out the year and not panicking....a huge slide would be differnt but they have responded evrey time they've come close

Nate (Chicago)

Would you deem the Hawks' new division next year the toughest with Chi, Dal, Det, STL, Minn, and NSH?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:09 PM)

I mean as of this moment it looks that way but not sure we can say that about next year...any conf with philly and pitt in it is going to be tough..I think long term, the hawks have it good in there..they should have no prob making the playoffs but those division games will be huge starting next year

Randy Johnson (Elk Grove, CA)

Just wanted to let you know that it is going to suck to not be able to follow the Hawks in person on the CA half of the Circus trip anymore. I've caught 11 of the 12 games the last 4 seasons. Plus, now the Hawks will only visit SJ, LA and Anaheim once each each season. Aghhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Jesse Rogers
  (3:10 PM)

Well circus trip not dead yet but think of the fans out east, they get to see the hawks every year so evens out..but yeah, one trip to those cities for now on...ahh, Ill miss vancouver...

Jesse Rogers
  (3:12 PM)

Thats going to do it for today..thanks everyone..good stuff...will have more on trade stuff closer to new year and beyond..its quiet now no matter what you read in silly blogs, etc. hawks will intensify things then and will start to hear names they are interested in...follow me on twitter @espnchihawks and check out my stuff going up later..thanks again, talk to you next week