Hi all welcome to our weekly Hawks chat. In this case our first postseason chat...No prac to go to, no plane to catch..it all ended last night with that great performance by Mike Smith..I know you have plenty of questions...Ill do my best to answer considering the end of the season is barely 12 hours old...cant tell you exactly what will happen this offseason just yet but there is sure to be plenty of changes after back to back 1st round exits...fire away!
Jesse,All the "trade Kane" talk is rediculous. Don't people understand his special vision and passing ability? My dad says he's the most skilled guy w/ the puck on the Blackhawks since Savard (and probably even better). I would prefer the move a guy like Sharp, Keith, Hjallmarson, or Bolland before moving #88. Thoughts?
Obviously there is some validity to what youre saying but its not always about who is "better" or "worse" its about making your team better and the point now is the Hawks have to assess their core group..listen, getting into the playoffs might be the goal every year and then you hope for the best...look at the "upsets" etc. So maybe this core is fine together..but if they break it up, you cant say Kane is a perfect player in the vain that Toews is so sure he can be traded...you better make hte right trade though..sharp is older, prob get less...what if the best goalie on the market is avail and they want kane? just giving up an example..so its less about choosing who to move but whats the right deal..now, maybe you can accomplish both..move the guy you "want" and get the right return..hes not untouchable but I do doubt they trade him..
If the Hawks try to trade a "core" player, which player would they be most willing to trade? How can the Hawks address there issues on Defense through personnel? Especially, since they have a lot of years and dollars tied up with the players they currently have.
See last answer but if they had their CHOICE and got the right return I think Keith would be at tip of list to be moved..heck, he might want to be moved..you move keith and it answers your question..at least in part
Any chance the hawks would look into getting luongo??? Not that craw was terrible, just seems he never really bails us out when we need it most... Also Seems to be trending, the bigger goalies are having more success, Rinne, Smith, Luongo( Regular season).
I am shocked at the amount of people asking me this question, on twitter, etc. hies being paid a ton of money for a whole bunch of years and what kind of mental state would he be in coming here...you think fans turned on crawford? hes not that elite anymore anyway...decent but no way for the yrs/money...move on
Jesse, who if any, are the untouchables on this roster?
I would say Toews and probably Seabrook...the moment you trade them you're looking to replace them..hossa prob cant be traded..not to say others will be traded but I think those are the untouchables as much as you can say that about anyone
Do you think this was a typical sophomore slump for Corey Crawford or is this exactly the reason why it took him so long to make the jump from the AHL? Also, is this the reason for picking up Carter Hutton?
First off, youre always trying to improve so Hutton is just aprt of that but your first question is the $64,000 one. I like or at least liked his technique...I like or at least liked his mental make up...but to know for sure if its a sophmore thing or he just isnt cut out for it, too hard to tell and maybe too early..hawks sent leighton packing, he went to the finals...craig anderson might upset the 1 seed though he gave up a lot of goals in reg season...my guess is they give him another shot..both goalies are back..I could be very wrong but as of today thats my guess
Jesse, whats more important/needs to be addressed this offseason, 2nd line center/top 6 forward or top 4 big body D-man? Any intriguing names that are free agents?
Not going to do the free agent thing today..dont have list in front of me. HA. But time for that. There is no doubt they missed a 2nd line center...kruger did his best but they played him out of position..too much too soon for him...I would put that near the top..another big body wouldnt hurt but you saw 5 on 5 they didnt miss hte big body cause they had/moved the puck so well in this series..they miss it on the PK...sean odonnell was a mistake...that spot could have been a big body (which he is) that can play
Jesse, will Jimmy Hayes be suspended going into next season for the boarding major/game misconduct last night?
Good question. Have not heard anything this morn..I imagine he might face a little something..was pretty violent..could see a game..maybe max fine
do you see the blackhawks attempting what the flyers did last year and do a couple of big trades to get some new "core" members in the mix?
Again, thats a great question..its possible..I dont think they know...going back to what I wrote..they can rationalize getting in is whats important and you dont generally manage the team just for april/may...so maybe tweaks are needed and you go for another run...mid-seaosn you think the kings were happy with their group? so they need to sit down and balance the questions "do we have major problems here or are these more tweaks, etc.? dont they know just yet
jesse, i enjoy following your coverage but to be honest you're kind of a hater. im not saying that you should sugar coat things and not be honest but it really feels to me like you're happy to be in "i told you so" mode after the hawks crapped themselves out of the playoffs. do you ever have moments of blind faith and unrealistic hope in what you've claimed to be your favorite team? anyways again i do enjoy you're coverage and i know you're just trying to be objective but don't be afraid to interject some partiality once in a while.
Not sure what you mean? I have no agenda..that makes it easy on me..Im not in any I told you so mode..the only thing I pointed out was facts..that PK, PP and goalie numbers were bad for 82 games so to predict turn arounds in any and all 3 would be hard to do..and since 5 on 5 is tight--see the series just played--that stuff needs to be a factor..lost the series for those 3 things..I take no pleasure in it..in fact, as I tweeted last night, I feel bad for you guys, epsecially at $95 for cheapest playoff ticket..could care less about told you so...heck I was wrong about enough stuff too
Jesse, thanks for the hard work this year here and on twitter. I just wanted to say, I think fans are too eager to say 'well, that's just how it goes when you play a hot goaltender,' and partly thats true, but let's not forget the hawks have glaring holes to address. Which is the biggest? (I think 2nd line center is top of the list)
Great points..and yes, 2nd line center is up there..and people have to realize its not about needing more offense..not as simple as that..its about the lines and rotation falling into place..kruger had a bad start to the series and that caused Q to shake things up...but expecting kruger to be great was a stretch...
Do you think Stan will address the goaltending issue in the off season? I know Crawford and Emery are both under contract next year, but neither of them are making a ton of money so it wouldn't be too hard to move one of them. Or even bury Crawford in the minors if they have to. Huet's contract comes off the books this summer remember.
Again, my gut says thats the tandem next yr...not sure Q will be happy with it but thats my gut..as of today
Hi Jesse i think firing one or two assistants is just not enough of a response to this failure who's should shoulder the blame?
yes, but the special teams issues are partly on them..even to change for change sake they have to do it..one special team at bottom of league is one thing, both, is unaaceptable..id be surprised if both assts are back..very surprised..kitchen prob was near gone mid-season..Q is going to have to let him go and get something back in return. that PK was so bad I cant put it into words..no blocks, guys right in front of craw all yr..its the one break Ill give craw but he didnt do enough to work around those screens, but still
Crawford has got to be better, that is clear. But, it seemed like every single goal they scored there was a man parked right in front of him either screening him or getting a deflection. NO ONE was trying to clear anyone out of the way sos Cro can't be blamed totally. Aside from that, do you think the Hawks are going to try to trade for a goalie? Crawford is not a championship calibur goalie, screened or not.
I just wanted someone else to say it...watch replays of just about any pp goal all year..85% came like that...I will ask Q about it one final time tomorrow and maybe get a answer, maybe.
Good stuff this season Jesse, do you think the Hawks will consider Hossa as trade bait this off-season? Yes he is an elite player but he's also spotty goal scorer and seems to rack up various injuries through out the year perhaps due to his age...recent concussion excluded. That being said, do you think his concussion would make it harder to try to trade him?
Only makes him harder if he continues with symptoms but I dont think at 33 Hossa is getting traded unless some team thinks hes the final piece and will take on contract that lasts until 41 I believe...plus he does do a lot of stuff..I see him finishing his career here as a good 3rd line player..not yet of course...but as the years go on..kind of like what modano did..
Is there anything to be read into the fact that every year Q has coached the Hawks, we've had goalie issues? Is this a result of the way he handles them, typically with a rather short leash? Or is it more a result of the organization just not having a standout number 1?
Personally, I think there is something to it..go back to years in St.louis and colorado major issues there..maybe a coincidence..but from what I know that isnt exactly a strength of his..now I know other coaches dont deal well with goalies (keenan) but at some point you want a guy that will let you thrive..the untold story of niemi is he wasnt that unhappy to move on..they gave him little "backing" and he still thrived but that was no gurantee in the hangover year and beyond..anyway, I dont think its a coincidence but it also doesnt make Q a bad coach..maybe a weakness or a blind spot or something...
Should we expect to see more of Saad next year? Any chance McNeill or Danault see time with the big club for any considerable stretch?
I would think Saad has a good chance to make the club, sort of doubtful on the other two but things change dramatically for young players..they did for jimmy hayes over the last yr so you never know..but Saad, yes..as long as he keep working, etc.
Given how will he finished out the year, does Shaw have a fairly secure spot on next year's roster?
After seeing Ben Smith lose his spot obviously starting with the concussion, no, I dont think any young player has anything locked up..hes not a "natural" so I dont see that for sure..
I feel like everyone (outside of Canada) is letting Bowman off way too easy on this one. Let's not forget he was the guy that traded Brian Campbell and told us that money would be spent to make the team better at the trade deadline. The power play dropped from 5 in the league to 26, meanwhile Brian Campbell was leading the point on Florida's #7 power play this season. I'll admit, I was just as happy as everyone else when we dumped Campbell's huge cap number but had you told me then that Oduya would be the only addition made with that money...
Not sure Bowman is off the hook here in Chi. Just the opposite..Going back to Campbell..right move mainly because of the way Q was using him..right or wrong, they werent getting near value for the 7 mil..2 and 7 passed him up on depth chart, etc. but you are right, they were supposed to get a 2nd center with that money and did not..thats the fatal flaw
I am one of the few that believe goaltending isn't our most glaring need. I think an improved, tougher defense relieves a lot of pressure on Craw. With that being said, what are the chances we can sign a sutter or weber to help our defensive game/ powerplay/ grit, assuming the preds can't resign both?
Would only happen if one of the d-men were moved..keith or hammer..and even then not sure..heck they both might re-sign there the way things are going..I dont disagree with you about the D but they have chosen for a mobile defense..craw needed to make some bigger saves cause its not like he was facing 40 a night...though some chances were very good cause of poor D, still save pct tends to tell a story...both teams are going to get chances..weird in the series the team that had more lost..wonder why?
Hey Jesse, I've heard analysts talk about "the playoff window" as the number of years a team with its immediate components and farm system can compete in the playoffs. I'd like to think with the Hawks have the core in place to compete for many years but in the past two years it's become obvious that without a good goalie and depth at all positions that the core players can be slowed or even stopped. Do you see management making a big move and changing the game plan or just trying to add that depth and those last few pieces in the offseason?
Very hard to answer going back tomy past reasoning..they got in, literally anything can happen once you do..I do think in a perfect world, if you had a top 7-10 goalie then he makes you look a lot better in front no matter who is there..didnt smith just do that for phoneix or did David Schlemko on defense impress you? bottom line, easier to fix netminder cause its just one guy and dont have to deal with systems, etc. just stop the puck..of course finding an elite one is another story
What role do you see next year for Marcus Kruger? It seems he is a quality player without a role - he is not a top 6 forward, lacking the scoring touch and size to be a second line center, and he doesn't seem to be the kind of "energy" player you'd want on the fourth line. It almost seems that he is a perfect fit for third line center, except for the fact that Dave Bolland is a much better player in that role. Will Kruger become trade bait?
Very good quetion..thats a story too..why cant dave bolland be inspired to take on that 2nd line center role cause you are right Kruger is a good fit on 3rd line..in that perfect world I just wrote, thats the scenario that could have played out..especially in this series where kruger could easily handle the other teams top line,etc. but bolland just cant be the playmaking/scoring guy for 82+ I guess...needs to work harder..seems satisfied with 3rd line role, get offense when it comes
Jesse,Looking at the cap for next year, Montador and Hammer stick out like sore thumbs in terms of limiting flexibility. Over 6M between the two of them. Will Bowman have options to move them? Could the Hawks be players for any of the big name free agent D-men if they did? Also - have to ask - what kind of a package of prospects/picks would you trade to Winnipeg to get your boy Buff back?
No way they can move Montador..3 yrs left at near 3 mil..maybe hammer..I could see people thinking he has more upside..3.5 mil isnt a killer for the cap..and he has SOME grit but no offense..its possible..buff would take a top prospect for sure..and more..
Jesse - I heard your interview on AM1000. Why the scorched earth outlook, here? Kane did not score, so trade him - really? Sharp is 30, so toss him out, too?? I am really bummed that the Hawks did not move on, but the future still looks very bright to me. Keep Kane, Keep Sharp & the rest of the "core". How many prospects would it take to get a guy like Ladd or Burish?
You mis-interpet..I said IF you are examining everything and I know they are, then those are the guys you consider if you think it cant just be 6, 5-6 mil guyes and the rest near minimum..maybe they need more 2-4 mil guys up front (not brunette)...shaw, rookie, hayes, rookie, bickell 500k, morrison/mayers, very litte money, carcillo was 750k..so top end and bottom end..maybe sharp gets you 3, 2 mil dol guys...you examine EVERYTHUNG when you flame out like this
So who is at fault for the horrible pp, players or coaches and what changes should we expect?
Defintiely both are responsible..get a pilot to run it from the point...its not seabrook nor keith..maybe its leddy, but prob not on the team right now..one big body in front would be nice..brunette was the guy on that top unit for a long time..underwhelming
I don't think Kane's style of play is a good fit in the playoffs. He needs space to be effective and "open ice" is at a premium in the playoffs. The finesse style of play does not translate well in playoff hockey. What are your thoughts?
Agree..once in a while you get a seires or game that is wide open but not often..not in the last 6 games..he dhould have had the word "frustrated" written on his helmet cause thats what he was..
Is Patrick Kane a Hawk to start next season?
Most likely..almost for sure,yes
The Hawks had a problem clearing the front of the net all year. I imagine it would be easier to go get a couple d-men before addressing average goaltending? Thoughts?
easier in obtaining? yes, suppose so..not easy to get the right fit I guess...I think thats why they liked montador..thought he could do that plus untapped skating/offensive potential..not sure why they thought that but yeah they need a body on the pk to move some poeple..even slightly move them
Jesse, I love Q but some of the blame for this year has to be placed squarely on him and his staff. I have a feeling Q is going to stick around but can we expect the assistants to be replaced? Personally I like Haviland but Kitchen seems to rub me (and it seems like some of the players) the wrong way...just dont see how some heads dont roll with all the talent we have, another first round exit and all the power play woes...
Yup..in a blog this week I will prob assign blame just between he and bowman at 40/60 in favor of bowman..How can anyone say the special teams problems are on bowman? you love that core right? you swwon over sharp right? hossa, toews, seabrook, etc...they play pp..they play PK...so either you dont like those stars or they are being coached up wrong..I know the latter is true and who knows maybe they're over rated..that remains to be seen but dont tell me a 26th pp and 27 pk is on bowman...MAYBE he doesnt have a net prescence..thats about the only thing...and PK is ALL on coaches meaning Q at the top..I think Kitchen is more than likely gone
To be clear I mean 60% on bowman but not a lot more than that...
Hey JesseWhat is the story with Brandon Pirri? He puts up great numbers and Hawks need a true 2nd line center. I am thinking he could step in next year and produce. What are your thoughts?
Its possible..need to see what steps hes taken..think iwould like a bigger guy but cantr be perfect...need to see where his game is at but not ruling it out..should get a chance at some point
3 names I don't want to see wearing the Indian next year. Morrison, O'Donnell, Brunette. Will my wish come true?
Yes, may all retire..tells you a lot if they do..
It seems like the Hawks had a tough time winning board battles and getting the puck out of their own zone all year. How do you think management will try and fix this problem? Will they try and get a more physical defensemen or a 2nd line center?
Not sure if you mean just D-men but thats where those 2-4 mil forwards come in..maybe they arent crema of the crop but they can play and win battles ,etc..dont mean to just judge a guy by money but it does tell a stor where hes been, what hes done...
Jesse -- this isn't a question for the chat, just a HUGE thank you for all of your efforts in covering the team. Between the blogs and twitter, you do a tremendous job covering the Hawks and make it possible for an out-of-town fan like myself to keep up with the team. I also truly appreciate the integrity with which you approach your reporting. It's not uncommon for a person dedicated to reporting on one team to fall into the trap of pandering to readers or simply trumpeting the team's party line. I think you do an incredible job of being reasonable and providing honest reporting and analysis. At the same time, you do this with a sense of humor and acknowledgment that you don't have all the answers. I've followed a lot of teams and read a lot of beat writers over the years, and I can say that you are without a doubt among the best.I hope that you get some well-earned R&R time this offseason. Thanks again.Eric@FrisbeeShore
I just want to thank my brother for writing in. Appreciate it bro..and you too Eric! thanks..like I wrote its easy when you have no agenda..and love the sport of course
Jesse - I know that Stan wanted to save some cap room for the deadline, but do you think in hindsight he would have been better off using it to sign a center in the offseason? The guy we needed either wasn't available at the deadline or he was too expensive.
Hindsight is a tough one here...after brad richards there wasnt alot but if they wanted to move bolland up then the possibilities were better..this is a results oriented business right? he failed in getting a 2nd line center both in offseason and in-season..the hawks will say there were extenuating circumstances (not right one avail,etc) to which you could say there were extenuating circumstances with your season ticket renewal check not getting in the mail...im kidding but you get my drift...
Meaning move Bolland to 2nd line cause there were some borderline 2/3 guys..woul dhave at least fortifed temselves up the middle
Kitch or Havi in jeopardy due to PP woes?
I assume Kitch for more than PP..I think the PK points more to coahes but thats me..ubt kitch has Q in his corner..not sure if Havi does in the same way with history of friendship etc. Whispers say Q had to accept Barry Smith helping out or Kitch would have been gone by now..or a scenario similiar to that
Jesse, great coverage of the season, too bad it is ending too early! In your opinion the Hawks defensive issues are they skill related or coaching. We let them have a forward in front of our goalies on power plays, we dont chase the puck we cover zones but dont put enough pressure on the puck.
Im assuming that's coaching related...they are told to leave that guy alone..Its hard to get a staight answer on this cause no matter who says what someone is getting thrown under the bus..one thing I know is if I see on tape every day I rewatch the goals given up, they do too..and Q isnt so crazy to let it go without knowing hes letting it go..thats why I think Q is likely to blame goaltending more than anything when he talks with bosses..he could sum up everything in one swoop.."Stan, JOhn, etc. if we have ONE player play better we win..one player" it absolves himself and coaches of al lthat strategy, etc. course doesnt explain the pp...but that he could say is all the top money guys on the team.."what can I do if kane wont shoot?" that type of stuff..im being a little simplistic but you get my drift
Jesse,Its has to be obvious to Stan now that plugging in cheap veterans year after year to wait for prospects does not work. My question is do you think that we will see the same thing this off season from him this year?
Again, one of the bigger questions to be addressed..signing 5 guys to 1 year deals at 500-1 mil maybe isnt very productive..just spinning wheels..open some money for a few more 2 mil gues? that might be way to go..
While the goaltending wasn't great this year(very inconsistent) I feel like a lot of their struggles came from turnovers or mistakes from the d-men. Thoughts?
Look at every team..maybe the hawks blue line was over rated but do you honestly think it was SO MUCH worse than most? cmon. players make mistakes, on every team..great goalies limit the mistakes that get behind them..there WERE too many open side goals in first half of season but think about it, that problem dried up...he gave up softer goals as season went along and the PK was atrocious..so maybe SOME validity to what youre saying but still on goal especially when you look at shot totals..wasnt so bad, especially in series
Bowman is obviously not going anywhere so does that mean Q is gone? ...Players are no longer responding to his system plus these players don't fit Q's system anyway. Square peg ..round hole...Same issues came up in Colorado and Stlouis with Q..Please tell me Q is on the chopping block?
No. Wirtz and John M already said hes safe weeks ago..unless they change their mind which is entirely possible.. There is bound to be some power struggles..but I think Q likes this job too much to not give in to what they want within reason..he "accepted" barry smith, at least for a while..but going back to being being impartial, which is hard for fans re a guy that won the cup--i understand that--but your point is worhty of SOMETHING..he's not the prefect coach..maybe after the cup he relazed..maybe hes too much of a players coach, days off,etc...not sure but you are not wrong..I still think he knows what hes doing..thats not the issue but doesnt mean like I said before there arent blind spots, weakneses, or a possible drop off since cup..I dont know for sure not saying I do..but would be foolish to just go blindly cause of a cup with stacked team..not that he didnt do the right stuff
Man, I cant type..meant to say relaxed...among other typos..apologize
After watching the Hawks come out guns blazing and playing up-tempo last night and completely overwhelming PHX, why did they not do the same thing in Games 1-5, and instead played right into PHX's hands with the slower, more defensive style? I know you might not have an answer for that, but it's a question I'd love to hear the coaching staff answer.
Its a great question..proper intensity wasnt there? Not a sexy opponent? Love themselves too much? Im not kidding about that last point..there can be a relaxed attitude when you know you are good..dont tell me a 9 game losing streak was just a chance thing..the longest streak in the league?? cmon, columbus didnt even do that...they dont always have hte urgency..and thats WHY WHEN IT WAS GOING ON I MENTIONED Q'S JOB..NOT FROM A KNEE-JERK TYPE THING BUT WHEN I SAW LITTLE "RESPONSE" AT A TIME IN THE PAST WHERE I HAVE SEEN IT, IT MADE ME START TO WONDER...so again, that urgencey to start wasnt there.it got better as the series went along but too late
You're saying Keith "might want to be moved"? Any reason for that comment that we don't know about?
Not really..just an overall frustration factor..he might believe he gets too much blame..if anyone misses the 2010 team, its him..his cap hit isnt so bad..if he was a #3 on another team, he could be the best 3 in league..playing too many minutes too...
I agree with Jurko.. the problem is Bowman. He is the Jerry Angelo of the NHL.. very bad talent evaluator. Oduya not enough, Morrison enough said, etc. What move has Bowman made that has improved the Blackhawks for the better?
Youre not wrong but its a LITTLE shortsighted not to mention--on his watch--they gave rasies to ketih, seabrook, kane , sharp, toews so money was getting eaten up...point being if he took that money and signed some big free-agent you would be applauding..signing your own guys not as sexy..still, o'donnnell, morrison (at least at start) brunette (on q some)...not good...and they were UNUSUALLY fortunate with shaw...great pick..but to have a 5th round pick contribute like that, thats pure good fortune...he gets credit for sure, but no one could have imagined that at all...
what are the chances bowman is gone next year. other gms have been on record saying how he is to timid and well lets face it he is not even close to being a good gm
He prob gets one more offseason/season...educated guess
Jesse ? I think the re-signing of Emery was badly timed. They have issues at Goalie, why not let it play out over the summer to see what makes the most sense?
Between agreeing and disagreeing with you I agree..same goes for carcillo
With Scotty Bowman in the mix, is it difficult to even discuss replacing his son as GM?
Its a two for one "firing" if thats what you want to call it...no way Sr. stays if Stan is gone..this is almost worse than the Savard situation..ya know the thought that it owuld be tough to fire an icon..and it was Dale's toughest day as GM, etc. Same weirdness here...maybe you like scotty's input but you dont like the decisions stan is making..simply cant keep one and not the other...
Are the hawks as currently constructed going to be remembered like the 85 Bears two decades from now - won title early with talented core but never got back to get another with that core?
We are not there yet..not with toews 23 yrs old..but in a yr or two..hossa production will go down, etc. minutes on keiths legs...will need a GOOD pipeline..maybe saad is next stud...or olsen, we'll see
Thats it for today..a ton of questions..some repeats so hopefully I came close to answering yours..maybe we'll do another one this week after they clean out their lockers and meet the media tomorrow..Ill shoot for thurs..hopefully have some answers..in meantime check out my blog for more post mordem stuff...will have grades of players..blame game, all tht stuff coming..thanks for all the support...we'll still chat in offseason..maybe not as often...sorry we arent talking about Game 7...offseason will be intesting for sure. Email me at email@example.com if you need anything..@espnchihawks on twitter for breaking news, etc...maybe some opinions there too..enjoy rest of playoffs...check blog all week..thanks again!!!!