Hi all. Welcome to our off season blackhawks chat. Thanks for stopping by. Finals just about over which means the offseason will heat up...free agency still 3 weeks away...Fire away with some hawks questions!
Are you comfortable with corey crawford in net this year? I personally am not at all, i want to see the hawks put some money towards bernier or harding.
Comfortable might not be the right word..I dont have a crystal ball but as Ive been saying you can make the case for him just as easy as you can against him...We know the case against him...for him is simply that he doesnt have an OBVIOUS flaw (like too small, etc) and he did have a good first year AND many goalies have had sophmore slumps as they became first time, full year starters but then bounced back...so I am willing to give him another go...
Want to add something though...if the cap does indeed go up to 70 mil that changes a lot...now it may be all relative since its going up for everyone but it does allow the hawks to take on a bigger salary committment, lets say in goal, if they want...so they have something to play with there if a premier netminder is avail..I guess Luongo is the only one we know for sure...so things open up a little or change a little if the cap goes up that much..assuming the new CBA allows for it etc
This may be the time to start thinking about it....but I believe everyone else is wrong...Duncan Keith should not be traded, and its almost IMPOSSIBLE to do so at this point, 2 bad years, and that contract? I know what they're wanting out of this, but it's not 2010 anymore.
First off, around the league they would not call it 2 BAD years, def not this past one...they just arent close to his Norris trophy year...and his contract is not THAT bad...if the cap goes up to 70 mil and further after this year..his 5 mil cap hit is going to look better and better...I think the contract is tradeable because if a team has money he's no worse than a very good #3 if not #2 and again, 5 mil isnt so bad....he would have to approve a trade though
The thought of going into next season with relatively the same roster makes me sick. The Hawks need to get bigger and meaner. How about moving Bolland/Hjalmarsson for J.Staal/P.Martin. The Hawks finally get their #2 centerman and a pretty good D-man.
I would do it as I wrote in a recent blog...in a heartbeat...again, cap up to 70 plus trade possibilites, we might have to rethink same roster...I dont think Bowman intends on same...the blue line (and maybe goal) I think is up for grabs...forwards seem more set in stone UNLESS they get that #2 center like you say...People dont relaize STaal helps take care of like 4 prob at once...thats why hes so valuable
Hayes, Shaw, Saad, Olsen....Im assuming Olsen is the odd one out to not make the team next year? I don't want Olsen ending up being the next Jack Skille....1st round pick, lots of buzz in the first couple years, then dies off, and becomes trade bait when he finally DOES make the team.
Who is to say they dont all make the team? I havent done all the numbers but on a 23 man roster they could all be there...right now Olsen is #7 right? no reason he cant be there...
Is there any reason why they WOULDN'T put Kane at full time center? I don't see one.
Plenty. He cant be there for 82 plus playoffs...hes not a center just like brent seabrook isnt a center but I bet seabrook could play some games there if you know what I mean...Kane can play games there of course but to RELY on him to win a cup at 2nd line center, i think is wrong and many in hockey agree for all the variety of reasons youve heard (defense, faceoffs, wear and tear, etc.)
JR - how does one get their name on the Cup/qualify for being on it? I thought of this when Gagne came back - would he not have quailfied if he remianed out? How does that work - please enlighten.
Play 41 reg season games OR 1 game in the finals..there are exceptions for extenuating circumstances, etc but thats bascially the criteria
The Oduya signing has to indicate that Hammer is being floated as trade bait, right? We can't honestly put the same defense back with the same goalie and expect different results
I would say yes, they are floating that out there but have not heard specificially of a deal or anything..he just doesnt fit in , in my opinion..hes not a puck moving , point producer and he doesnt really play big...my opinion...def could help another team..the only caveat is the hawks know (as does everyone) you can never have enough on defense so maybe they keep all and even add from there with new cap room...dont assume anything...remember, team played well with oduya until playoffs at least...so breaking it up only takes you a step back...I think they explore but dont go nuts trying to move someone
Should look more to guys like Gaustad, move bolland up to 2c, or Hudler for possible UFA signings?
Nah...think it weakens two areas...not sure hudler would fit as #2 center though I like him...but bolland prob isnt the answer there either..or he would be there...could have been there this year and kruger at 3 but that never materialized
In your opinion, what is one thing the Hawks MUST address this off season?
I think 2nd line center to solidfy that whole thing...kind of locked in on defense but one more big guy would be nice...that can play of course..
Jesse, what does your gut say? You think things will be relatively quiet two months from now or will there be a surprise trade/movement out of nowhere, we'll all be talking about. (Kind of like the year Hossa was signed, I know that's FA and but I'm talking trade market)
Somewhere in between? I think Bowman's instincts are not to panic though that is the wrong word because if its the right thing to do its hardly a panic..but again, as Ive stated in various places..he could easily make the case that 1) craw will rebound.. and 2) our special teams will be better...those things alone make the hawks better so why go nuts with moves...but again, with extar cap space you might see a move we dont see coming...so kind of a mized bag there...its hard to predict cause the hawks (on paper) have so many assets so they should take the ferrari out for a spin and see what they can pick up..
Why in the world did the Hawks re-sign Johnny Oduya? Haven't they figured out a D group full of 6'0" 2 way d men who can't hit anybody, get the puck out of their zone, or play D isn't going to allow for any type of real success? This team needs more Seabrook type d men and less Duncan Keith types
In theory I agree with you..I gurantee you that if Hawks brass answered that question they would say they agree as well but where do you find the Seabrook's? They dont grow on trees...so they go with the style of D that they want to play with...and again, taking away the phoenix series cause a lot went into that loss...the D was MUCH better after Oduya..he helped the top pair do thier thing and moved Hammer down to 3rd pair and that helped as well..but I dont disagree..plus, what kind of point producer has he been...if youre going to move the puck etc, get some points! that helps win games right?
Is Duncan Keith past his prime, or can he come back and play better next year?
Its a good question...all those minutes getting to him? Maybe we just need to lower expectations as I indicated in another answer...if he never won the Norris and he played as he did last year we would be less annoyed with it and his numbers indicate that...although his mistakes seem to be more glaring...hes a hard one to figure...maybe not part of the elitle, elite anymore but still pretty good?
I think the team will be even younger next year. Thoughts?
Well, no Odonnell or brunette plus shaw,etc for a whole season..maybe saad then yes will be younger
Jesse,Was Stan Bowman told last season that he could not spend any more big money? Was that the reason that he left so much cap room after the Brian Campbell trade? My friend has insisted to me that Stan was handcuffed- I do not believe that that was the case. Can you please shed some light on this?
Was NOT the case...he just could not find the right place to spend it on, apparently
it seems like we are a few moves away from being truly powerful. who is the one player out there that you'd really like to see come to chicago? and who is the one player we have in the wings that you really want to see have a chance?
Saad and Staal
Lots of message board/blog speculation about Hossa's status to begin next season. You seem to be right on more times than not with this type of thing. Will Hossa be healthy enough to play come October?
There is speculation simply cause its a concussion and no one knows but Ill say yes simply based on the math...most guys with a whole summer off can come back from that even though it was a devastating one and we've seen a FEW that take longer like crosby etc but they still seem to be the exception more than the rule so yes.
Do you expect Ben Smith and Brandon Bollig to get resigned?
Jesse, if the Hawks are indeed planning on a quiet offseason, is it more because they are preparing for a lockout or is it because they have faith in their core group plus the development of their younger players?
Its what I said before...make the case that goalie rebounds as does special teams and they could be back...but again with extar cap space, and plenty of assets, maybe there will be more noise than first thought
They need to stay the course. Toews, Kane, Kieth, Sharp, Hossa, and Seasbrook, all need to be in Hawks uniforms for the forseeable future. Theyre only two seasons removed from a Stanley Cup, settle down people. Once they aquire a solid scoring second line center, and get rid if Hjallmarsson, they will once again be a force to be reckoned with again.
Dont disagree as long as Craw rebounds...but you propose a scenario like its a done deal..they didnt get a 2nd line center for this past season, who is to say they will for next?
Jesse, there is no way that the cap goes up to $70 million right? Isn't that just a guess and dictates the offseason. Isn't it going to be around $64.3 or whatever it was this year?
The commish recently said it might go up to that..its a formula based on revenue and the percentage that goes to the players..so though not official, its prob a close figure
Jesse - I know your thoughts on trading Kane and it only should be done if it improves team and it's because they want to trade him (not have to trade him due to behavior). What kind of package or player would he bring back?
It should be a star for star deal...maybe a star center who is redundant on another team who needs a winger...or maybe a power forward for a team that really needs a playmaker so..or for a star D man...not for prospects..not at 23...too many potential good years for him...at 30 you might trade him for top prospects etc but not at 23
If the cap goes up to $70M and they find a taker for Keith, might the Hawks pursue a Ryan Suter?
Heck, they might pursue him even without a trade...load up on D and rolll the dice...though they prob have to move some salary...but yeah, the idea that suter might like the hawks cause of the madison, wis angle i think is real...they just might not be the favorites and some things might have to break their way...just dont know if he feels det is too far to madison compared to chicago..cant jump in a car
Lets say the Hawks land Staal. Bolland becomes available in a trade for a D-Man? Let Kruger play the 3rd and Mayers the 4th. I like Bolland but he doesnt score and only really makes a difference come playoff time.
No, you need bolland to get Staal!! unless its kane for staal I suppose...bolland replaces staal for them and you give them saad for the pitt angle and we have a deal!
Way too much money tied up in third defensive pairing. Hjalmarsson and Montador, one of them has to go right?
Again, with a 70 mil cap, Montador's 2.7 doesnt look as bad but in theory, yes, too much money for so little production, etc.
Although Huet did not hurt the cap this past year, he was still on the books. Did his contract payment affect the Hawks' financial moves (or lack thereof) in the past season?
I really dont think so..rememeber Olesz was being paid big money to play in the minors...Now, I dont think the hawks would have sent a third player out making big money but I dont think it affected anything...remember, any trade deadline day deal would only cost them for a couple of months so no is the answer to your question
Do you take the over or under on me reaching 100 points this coming season?
Unfortunately under...unless you go crazy on the power play OR score some more dirty goals which I dont see happeneing...pretty/permiter stuff aint getting you 100 points...might get you 80-90 though...still pretty good..need more than 66
What happened to Hammer? He played so well the cup year and it seems like after his suspension a few seasons ago he has not played the same way?
Everyone points to that suspension...even he does a little I guess but I dont buy it...Money does weird things to people more than a 1-2 game suspension does..most players say they arent changing their game due to suspension (see carcillo) but he goes into a shell cause he hit one guy in the back 2 yrs ago? I say he got paid and put too much pressure on himself and hasnt found his groove,etc.since...
Who would you like to see at 2nd line center for us, ideally?
Staal..but from within, Kruger...DO NOT underestimate this guy...to think he wont be a better player than he was would be foolish..so if he gets more confidence in his offense and develops his shot--which I know he's working on--he MIGHT be able to do it...but MIGHt isnt what you want to hear in trying for the cup
Could you see the Hawks offering Corey Schneider a contract seeing if the Canucks would match it? Obviously, they have a lot invested in Luongo and it would steal one of their best players away from a rival.
No..not with two goalies under contract...how many offer sheets are there..canucks will sign him soon enough im sure..
Jesse, you talked about the cap going up to 70.3, but I've also seen other analysts say that this might just be temporary. That there is a formula that coincides with the Collective Bargaining agreement and when the new CBA is signed (which better happen) that the cap could stay at 70.3 or possibly fall down to less than it was this year. Obviously that's extreme, but they said it could potentially happen. Will the Hawks play around in both markets like they have 70.3 to spend or will they play it safe just in case? Cause then your talking about having to get rid of people before the season even starts, if in fact, the cap does go down and you've gone overboard.
Great question...I just dont know but I can tell you they wont spen to that 70 mil or even close..maybe they go above last year but they wont go nuts until they know, in my opinion...so somewhere in between and if they have to shed it wont be dramatic
Jesse - I've been debating this with some friends. What is a bigger need...a true 2nd line center, or someone other than Toews that can win faceoffs? If you had someone to take draws and handle the defensive responsibility of a Center, but allowed Kruger to be the set-up man, would that be so horrible, provided you used the extra coin on a tougher D-man?
I stopped reading after your first sentence...you go for that overall good 2nd line center...not just a faceoff guy...if he's good than that 2nd line guy probably wins faceoffs anyway, but either way, if he's good it takes the pressure off winning them in the first place
Any chance the hawks bring back Adam Burish? He could add some grit along with some skill while being a small cap hit.
Doubt it...they have shaw, carcillo, bollig (when he re-signs, Mayers) thats enough
What aspects of Crawford's game do you think they'll focus on during the off-season? Any chance they try to teach him how to move the puck, maybe let him relax and not overthink the net itself?
Yes, hes gotten better every year at handling the puck..he started off really bad so the improvement has been slow...also more in keeping his net (not getting out of position) ...and mental stuff..forgetting the last goal..that stuff is easier said then done..
Hi Jesse,I think the Hawks really need a number 2 center. Any chances of getting Derrick Roy from Buffalo? I know Buffalo is tight on salary cap space (pending the new salary cap number and similar to Hawks), Roy is 29, and will be an unrestricted free agent after this upcoming season. Any thoughts?
He wasnt avail during the season so not sure he will be now cause then Buff just has to replace but you neve know I suppose
the hawks need to get another top 6 forward, what do you think the best option for that is?
Not at wing..remember they like carcillo there plus stalberg...you have toews, sharp, kane ,hossa...just need that center if its not coming from within
Is the Johnny Oduya three-year extension more of Hjalmarsson's job being in jeopardy or the Blackhawks aren't confident Montador will be healthy next year?
I honestly think neither...its to have even more depth and again, if they play down the season like they did down the strecth with oduya maybe its the right move...he just was not good in the playoffs though
Is there any chance the Hawks upgrade the goaltenders? Why would they sign Emery so early before exploring other options?
I agree with you on Emery..not sure why they had to...but I think they are set there..although as isaid the potential extra cap space could throw a monkey wrench into it..but I doubt it
Unless a trade happens, are we looking at a similar team to last year in terms of roster and wouln't that be the definition of insanity?
Again, not if you believe craw rebounds as does special teams and you can make a case for all to happen...not sure if it can hold water but you can make the case and not sounds insane
What do you expect out of Saad? Think he makes the team as a top 6 winger, or starts in Rockford?
Its a great question and I just cant answer it..a summer of growing makes a huge differnce..his attitude, will he be humble or cocky..its wide open...they'll keep him if his arc is the same its been on, that much I can tell you..but is he truly ready? dont know
Why is Bowman so loyal to this group? In the last two years, we have lost in 7 games in the first round and now in 6 in the first round. The next step is either get swept in the first round or not make the playoffs at all. I'm all for loyalty but this team has not given any reason to be loyal. Will loyalty be the downfall for Bowman or can Bowman not just evaluate talent? $2.75 million/yr for Montador, really?
I'd like to say I was one of the first critical of MOntador signing..Another team front office guy said they had him at no more than 2 mil tops but anyway, I tend to agree with you...however i think Bowman just wants to get full value and you rarely do by trading a star unless its star for star so its not like there is an easy answer..I Do think the core needs a wake-up call..they are WAY too protected in general...they havent delieverd on their end of the bargain since the cup at least
Do you expet the Hawks to try and make a big splash during free agency or do you think they stay with this roster? Also, any chance in getting Suter?
UNless its Suter and even with the extra space (maybe) I dont see them going nuts..Stan so much believes in his drafts and prospects there isnt enough room for everyone and only 1-2 players that go on the market seem to be sure things...usually hey are re-signed by the their team so point being they wont spend big on an "iffY" player
That will do it for today..tons of good questions..follow me on twitter @espnchihawks as the offseason heats up...will be at the draft in pitt at end of this month and thats when the hawks have made moves last couple years so should be interesting..and of course read blog..new pieces go up every coulpe days as we work towards the bulk of the offseason..thanks again, we'll chat again soon...you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want