Hi Hawks fans. Welcome to another offseason chat. Prospects camp has come and gone...next up the fan convention this weekedn where we'll get our first look and chat with Marian Hossa since his injury plus Kane since Wis headlines plus crawford ,etc. etc. So check out my blog this weekend for all that...But right now lets talk some hockey. Fire away...
Thoughts on the hiring of Jamie Kompon?
Its more about the loyalty to Q it feels like...I know every coach likes to hire those that he knows but it doesnt seem Kompon's resume jumps out though he was an asst on the Cup winners...he doesnt seem like he's the sure thing fix on special teams though its hard to know what asst is..so bottom line, have to give him a chance but again, now Q has "his" guys in place so thats prob more important than anything...
Why do I keep hearing that Marcus Kruger could be a second line center? He scored 26 points last season in 71 games. What do the Hawks see in him?
That was last year..essenatially his rookie yr...and his offense is the part of the game he needs to work most on...Ive said this before and will say it again,,dont underestimate him...another offseason of workouts...another year of being more comfortable...Im not ready to say he IS the answer but my point is dont rule him out based on last year...think of this...he was the final cut out of training camp..comes back one game into the season...plays 4th line center...then 3rd line wing...then joins the pp..then 2nd line center...now it has to mean something that Q likes him that much...he's smart, savvy, and only getting better...I dont know if its enough but have to give him a chance.
JEsse, if it were up to you would you move Saad up this year? If so, would you try him out as the answer at 2nd line C?
No, I would not play him in the middle but sure I would give him a real chance at top 6 minutes...lets see how camp plays out...
The Hawks don't need to trade for a second line center. They already have one on their roster. Patrick Sharp. Played there during the run to the cup. Why isn't he being given a look?
Combo of things...I dont think he wants to play there no matter what he says..he just had a great year at wing..great plus/minus and production...cant go off that stanley cup year alone...team was stacked...think its simply a last resort which people might say we're there now...but really kane and sharp at center, to me, neither are the answer...both are wingers playing out of position...Sharp has more defenseive skills, no doubt, but it doesnt feel right either way...
I feel that the power struggle between Coach Q and Hawks management hurts the dynamics of the team and lessens the effectiveness of the team on the ice. Doesn't Rocky see this and why doesn't he step in to either get everyone on the same page or make some decisive changes?
Its a good question...its prob more subtle than it appears...its not like they are at each others throats and its not like good hockey people havent been hired..the problem is where the loyalties lie...when a tough decision has to be made, some will side with Q , some with Bowman but always under the premise of whats best for the team...which Im sure both want but you know how it works..with divided loyalties you dont always get the best answer...hope I explained that right
And I'm hoping to hear you say that some of our young guys will get a shot this year (i.e. Saad, Beach, Smith), especially if guys like Frolik and Kruger struggle again.
Im sure they are all going to get a shot..hawks are pretty good at rewarding people and not just giving them jobs...we know saad gets a good chance...Im sure the others as well..its up to them to perform
Is there any real chance Doan ends up in Chicago? Please say yes.
I would say no. Sorry. Thats the indication Ive gotten from the start so unless something changes...
Hey Jesse- Any names being thrown around out there as possible acquisitions - specifically big bodies that we desperately need on PP and to clear our crease?? That's the one thing most players said was missing last year, and yet not a peep has been heard... Thanx and keep up the great work!
HOnestly, its been quiet...Stan kind of re-terated that at prospects camp and I think he was being truthful...I mean we have guys that want to be traded (nash, luongo) and they havent been so its quiet everywehre...has to pick up soon but Im not hearing much at all...doesnt mean something isnt perculating
Are there any surprise rookies who could have an impact this year, like Andrew Shaw last year?
Adam Clendening I suppose as a mideseason call-up...Saad would be surprise of course...maybe a chance at Mark McNeil..but those are top round picks...the shaws of the world come around once a decade if that...
Everyone is worried about how to improve are squad this off season. But in reality instead of trying to get the top forwards or defensemen in the league shouldn't we be getting a GOALIE!? Crawford isn't the answer
Sure, tell me who is the answer? There is no sure thing within reason...please dont say bernier...please..they would just be starting over
Is it safe to say with the new Assistant Coach hired, that if the Hawks were to endure a 9-10 game losing streak this year, something major would happen coaching wise? Since, as you pointed out, this is now all Q's own guys.
I would say, yes, but thats without knowing HOW things are going down...cant just make a blanket statement..but there is no doubt this is the year the heats on everyone over there...no doubt
With both the Wings and Preds currently not looking as good as last year, what's your way-too-early read on the division? (I'm at a loss for things to ask in mid-July with the Hawks generating minimal off season water cooler talk)
See, thats thing...Im on board with all the critcisim but still dont see how this team doesnt get over 100 points...if, and this is a big if, they go .500 during that 9 game losing streak..they prac win the presidents trophy...now i know you cant look at things that way...but special teams are weird...just a new year can bring change...I say there is little chance both units are near the bottom of the league..just dont see it....and I see a diff Q holding guys accountable...you can make the case the Hawks will be right there....and you can make one saying they wont be! but thats what a great offseason move would do..eliminate some doubt
Hey Jesse big fan hope to see you at the convention, so are the Hawks looking at trading Hammer for a legit #2 center?
Hammer is not getting you a legit #2 center..no chance...would take more than him...people were thinking gagner from edm comes back for hammer..no chance...maybe a 2nd or 3rd round pick..he doesnt fetch a top 6 forward by himself..no chance.
Jesse you said you rated Sutter 3.5/5 and Webber 5/5 for defensemen in your previous chats. How would you rate each Hawks defensemen?
Hmm...based on recent play...seabrook 4, keith 3.5, oduya 3ish, leddy 2.5, hammer about a 3, montador 2..something like that...dont hold me to it but you get my drift..and rememebr 2.5 isnt a 1 or 2..its decent...maybe nothing special...if hammer earned a few more points I would make him a 3 for sure...right now he's about a 3..
How much credibility do you give to the Shane Doan to Hawks possibility?
Not much..Ive stated this several times
Jesse, which do you think will be more improved this season: the penalty kill or the power play?
Great question...tough answer...Ill say Im more sure of the PK cause I think Q is committed to the right personnell decision, etc. as well as strategy...but with the firepower the hawks have the answer could easily be pp...I just dont know for sure..but Ill be surprised if PK isnt better...it wont take much for it to be better
Will Andrew Shaw, Brandon Bolling, and Jimmy Hayes all make the team? If not, which ones do you expect?
Think Shaw will...Bollig serves a roll so can see him..Hayes might get caught in a numbers game but Im not ruling him out...I dont have a crystal ball about training camp..it comes down to performance but thats how I would rank them...
In your opinion, How do the Hawks get special teams back on track?
Q HAS to make changes on the PK...No Hossa, sharp, and maybe even no bolland...dont tell me about shorties...I could care less....shaw, kruger, mayers, toews, maybe carcillo, frolik if hes playing..thats who should be on it...PP, thats tougher...shaw in middle for sure..need one more there...not sure what to do at the point..theyve tried everyone...leddy HAS to step up there or his value as a player decreases..and right now, Seabrook is your best shooter along with sharp when things are working for him...kane has to make a committment to making it happen..huge expectations for him there
I have not seen Oduya on the list of attendees for the Hawks Convention, while they do not get paid for it why would he not be there??
No idea, could be anything...vacation planned, family obligations, anything...
What ever happened to Kyle Beach?
He's still around...I would imagine this is a make or break year for him in this organization..though I may have said the same thing last year but he got hurt...I could see a trade to Mtl or something...Dudley always liked him and he's with Bergevin there...but he gets one last shot in camp and I guess in rockford..who knows
Jesse, I hear a lot of good things about Carter Hutton. In your opinion, is he near an NHL level, and does he have a chance to come up this year if Emery of Crawford Struggle/get injured?
I say yes to both questions from what Ive heard...he's up and coming..not sure of the ceiling..
Jesse, How do you maintain your cool and not blow at up people when they ask you about rumors that are complete nonsense (like the Hawks having any interest in Luongo)?
I dont know, its my job...and I know there are people looking for attention so they write anything online..I dont look at any of it..only react when people bring it to me...it is what it is..not a big deal...only annoying part is repeating yourself but even that is no big deal..not eveyone can read everything all the time
So - in your opinion - IF the Preds are forced to shop Weber (even though I know hell would have to freeze over for them to move him to Chicago) would you consider Kane in a deal that brings back Weber? Even better, would Nashville be swayed by an offer including Kane?
Thats a good one..Yes, I would do that deal..then trade another D-man for a little offense back cause you cant replace Kane completely...right now, there are only a few guys I would NOT trade for Weber...I mean, in the league...Toews and Crosby and Malkin...guys like that...I dont know, the top player on defense in the league is worthy of just about anyone, right?
After the firesale that took place following the Hawks' Stanley Cup victory, the team went from a rough, hitting team to mainly a puck possession team. Do you think that puck possession style of hockey gives the Hawks a legitimate chance at making it back to and winning another cup? I don't think it will, because while our offense is awesome, our defense seems to have suffered greatly.
See this is where it gets tricky..making blanket kind of statements...let me ask you guys...what did the hawks pp failures have to do with lack of rough, hitting team...what did PK failures have to do with it (you can make the case a rougher, hitting team is better on pk but it comes down to blocking the shooting lanes and clearing rebounds so its a bad case to make) and for that matter...what does lack of rough/hitting have to do with Crawford struggling...now everything is tied together so I suppose a grittier team gets the puck out of danger mor often and craw is put in less dangerous positions but I think you get my drift...even with lack of "rough" and "hitting" their record was very good but it was a first rund flameout..point is there is no easy answer and there are diff ways to win...plus, isnt carcillo, shaw, bollan,d kruger, toews all gritty...bickell led all in the league in hitting in the first round..so bscially I dont know what the answer is but its not a simple one..
Do you see Patrick Kane having a break out year if healthy and all?
Now thats not a fair question..he's had a 80 point season right? He won rookie of the year over Toews...what would constitute a break out season at this point? Is he ready for a big one? I dont know...if he did everything the same but was better on the pp his numbers would look a lot better..we know he's capable
Coach Q is staying correct? No rumors of him leaving or change in management?
Haha, no. Not yet at least...lets see what the season brings
Do you think the Jackets would go for Hammer and some prospects or some picks for Nash, or are the Hawks going to wait until the new CBA is in place before making any moves?
NO, I thnk they want more.. and prob even more from a central team but I dont know that for a fact...they want star for star..so does Van Im sure..prob is those teams dont have much leverage..dont think CBA has much to do with it
How many roster spots do you think will be available for the young guys to grab at training camp this year? Have to take into account Carcillo will be back from injury.
Very, very few...assuming Shaw makes the team..doesnt leave much else unless someone is dumped...can I get credit for being in front of not giving frolik that massive raise..they didnt need to go that high but they did..I remember fighting with people last summer over it...
You said in your blog that the heat is now on both Quenneville and Bowman. If the Hawks have another early playoff exit or miss the playoffs entirely, who would you say has that better chance of being fired?
Better chance? Q..but as I tell people that's without seing how things go down..it depends HOW they lose, if they do...but Q is first in my opinion..no doubt
How many years will it take before we see Teuvo in the NHL?
Maybe only one...two at most? sound about right..if he really lights up in finald , who knows, maybe they bring him over like they did kruger..at the end of the year but tough to say..he looks to have the skill...I say a year
Jesse, what is your current feeling on the second line center? Would you prefer Saad or Kane at that spot?
I prefer Kruger...Kane over Saad
I try and give powers that be (in this case Bowman) benefit of the doubt...they are privy to facts that neither fans nor journalists are. That said...I dont see why Stan has not made any FA pickups (top 4 dman and/or 2nd line ctr) to truly help this team given we have so many quality prospects and avail future draft picks...I think I speak for most Hawk fans that see us a player or two away from being a real contender....help me understand? Is there really no avail players that fit our needs? I am not talking about trading the farm away neither!
Its simply not as easy as it seems..now Im not saying he's pushing the right buttons..as you say we dont know the full story on a lot of things BUT top 4 d-men arent avail unless you do give away the farm sometimes...at least ones that are sure things...who is trading those guys? A few do move and maybe Bowman needs to be more creative/aggressive..there is this feeling he's too conservative...I dont think he wants to rock the boat too much...101 points isnt 81 and he doesnt want it to become that...but sometimes you have to be bold and pro-active
Which defensemen ( IF ANY ) do we have in the minors that can provide us the size & mean streak we so desperately need ???????
Olsen is as close as we'll get...and they are still high on him
What are the plans for getting back to the finals? Seems like we sign a lot of castoff FA's.
Maybe, but not really..last year there were a few...Carcillo is interesting..they have made a big committment to him..not $$ but in faith...we'll see if its justified
What about Holmstrom to add some size, grit and net presence on the PP. Hes old, but a 1yr deal may not be a bad idea. Thoughts?
Love it..but doubt he would come here...talked to agent a while back..sounds like retire or be a red wing...but yeah, he had as many pp goals as any hawk..in a down year for him..even if he repeats with 9 or 10 on pp, thats not bad
I have met Stan Bowman and talked with him quite a few times since he's been with the Hawks. He is very nice and very knowledgeable, but it appears he still can't make the right deal or get the right players. They have needed a second line center for 2 years now and they got nothing. Do you see this as a make or break year for him? Also, do other GM's not like him?
Not like him is a strong statement...Im sure they do like him...but hes prob not part of the old boys network though he does have 3 GM's in tallon, chevy and bergevin that he's close with...but yeah , IF IF IF a big deal is needed to be done, remains to be seen if he can pull it off
Jesse, team Quenneville vs. team Bowman? I think someone's been watching too many Twighlight movies.....I don't believe ownership would allow that type of thing to exist.
Haha, thats funny...like I wrote before..Im sure over there its more subtle..but trust me, its there...how more obvious do you have to get? Q did not agree with Barry Smith helping on the ice..that was Bowman...Q gets rid of the coach that isnt his guy..more of bowman's....then he hires his guy...then the front office hires Gauither..bowman's guy..bowman wanted kitchen gone, Q doesnt allow it....again, trust me on this one...those are the teams...they work together but if things go south again, it'll surface...
Have you heard any additional discussions regarding realignment? Could that be a point of contention in the ongoing labor talks or is that strictly an issue for owners?
Sounds like that is the least of the problems...much more to address before that
Back to the D rankings...Keith is only a 3.5? What happened to the guy who won the Norris trophy just 3 years ago? Too many minutes or did he just play out of his A** that year?
Well, yeah, back then he was a 4 or 4.5..but based on recent play Seabrook is ahead..again, not a perfect science...minutes, comfortability, not sure...I think its telling he went to the worlds and was the best player on team canada but didnt have that type of season here...cant put a finger on it
Is John Madden still playing? I know he's old, but I think he'd be worth picking up cheap just for faceoffs and PK.
I know he would like to play...hawks are pretty loaded on their roster in terms of numbers unless they get a sure thing upgrade..think they wouldnt look that way
Can you explain Stan Bowman's lack of movement this offseason. I am hearing a lot of players don't want to come to Chicago anymore because of the obvious rift between management and coaches among other things.
Thats kind of out there but I cant tell you for sure the validity to all that...I mean Parise and Suter turned down some good franchises and cities as well..doan will be outpriced...I love the guy but no way does he get 6-7 mil if thats what hes going to get...so hard to say..not a lot of "A" players out there...teams lock them up to these big deals...
Have you talked with Toews, how is he doing, are the concussion symptoms all gone
Yes, says hes fine
Jesse, Bettman lessened the suspension of Torres a few weeks ago, which is total BS. What if anything has the Hawks Organization said/feel about that.
Very little..will ask Hossa about that on friday...i dont think they have a overly strong opinion..was still 21 games...pretty lenghty
In response to a previous post...the Hawks did not have a tough, hitting team in 2010. Our strength was puck possession...we made full line changes without over leaving the offensive zone. Its why we beat SJ so easily in the WCF. Why does everyone want to say we need to get big and tough?
I tend to agree with you...I think hit stat is very overrated...when youre talented like they were in 2010 and flying around, you just look better everywhere...I will say this, specifically, they havent had the same forecheck since then so thats legit...we'll see if carcillo, bickell, shaw, etc can bring that back some
Last year as a fan I didn't see Rocky and McDonough at all, they stayed out of the spotlight. Why was that the case?
Because they were losing? lol. No, actually they've been more in the background since they won the cup...def McD has been less visible..prob the right thing..though in tough times top brass does need to address the fans..they did do that a few times but your observation isnt wrong
hjalmarsson will be at the convention this weekend. Still see him getting traded before the season? or do we keep him and see how everything pans out on D?
Unsure...the talk has died down..i think there are deals on the table if the hawks want to make them but they prob dont want to weaken the blue line without improving somewhere else or making sure olsen is ready etc. so not sure at this moment
Thats going to do it for today..sorry I didnt get to all your questions...email me at firstname.lastname@example.org..follow me on twitter @espnchihawks..Ill be at the convention this weekend so check out my blogs as well...thanks for all the great questions...look for another chat soon...