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October 24, 2:30 PM ET
Chat with Scott Powers

Scott Powers
  (2:28 PM)

Hi all, hope everyone is having a good Thursday. I may have to cut the chat short today, but I will be here for some time. Hope I can help with some answers.

Alan (Rockford)

Scott, what's going on with Kyle Beach? He's leaving the team in Sweden he was assigned to?

Scott Powers
  (2:30 PM)

Alan, I don't have all the details yet, but I believe HV71 made the decision on Beach not returning. I assume he's headed back to Rockford, but there should be an official word soon. He had a game misconduct yesterday for boarding, so he doesn't leave Sweden on a good note either.

Erick (Lyons)

Does Brandon Pirri have what it takes to make an impact

Scott Powers
  (2:32 PM)

Erick, I think it's too early to tell, but his offensive skills look up to par. Quenneville has been complimentary lately about him. Pirri's still not getting a lot of ice time, though. He had the second lowest on the team on Tuesday. I still think he's fated for the second-line center.

David (Chicago, IL)

Scott, is there any chance we will get to see Annti Raanta in net for Da Hawks in the near future?

Scott Powers
  (2:33 PM)

David, I don't think the near future still unless Khabibulin gets hurt or looks really bad in a few games. From all reports, Raanta is doing fine in Rockford, but they'd like to give him more time to adjust. I do think he'll be up at some point this season, maybe the second half of it.

Dustin (Chicago)

Pirri seems to be looking pretty good eh?Maybe good enough to center Sharp and Kane within the next week or two?

Scott Powers
  (2:35 PM)

Dustin, I think Pirri deserves a chance there especially since the second line hasn't been clicking with Handzus. The top two lines really haven't done much since Quenneville switched up the lines. I would think the next move is to try Pirri alongside Sharp and Kane if the offensive doesn't start producing soon.

Robert (San Antonio)

Is Roszival nursing an injury too? It seems like he hasn't been in the lineup for a couple weeks now, and even though Brookbank and Kostka were both playing well it seems odd that Q would bench a guy who was pretty critical in the playoffs last year.

Scott Powers
  (2:37 PM)

Robert, it looks like Rozsival will be in tonight. He played a few games ago and wasn't great, and the next day he was said to be sick. I had asked Quenneville if Rozsival had played ill, but he wouldn't confirm that. With Kostka being injured, I think you'll see Quenneville switch off between Rozsival and Brookbank like he did last season.

Keith (Naperville)

One thing I don't like to see is Q using Hossa and Toews on the PK. Why risk injury to your best offensive players blocking slapshots form the point? They should use their 3rd and 4th line players in that role.

Scott Powers
  (2:40 PM)

Keith, I believe Quenneville does it partly out of necessity. Ideally. you'd use third and fourth lines players, but he's not confident with a lot of other players there. I thought Saad looked good there last game, so maybe he gets more chances.

Jon (Genoa)

With seven defensemen still on the roster even with Michael Kostka out, it doesn't look as if the Hawks will need to call up any talent from Rockford. However, if circumstances required them to, who is first up on defense now that Ryan Stanton is no longer with the organization?

Scott Powers
  (2:41 PM)

Jon, Dylan Olsen or Adam Clendening would be the next defensemen up. Clendening is more offensive and is leading the IceHogs in points now. Olsen is more defensive, but his offense has improved. Both are off to good starts in Rockford.

Quinn (Chicago)

2 questions here: what seems to be our problem/goal differential in the third period of games this season?Who do you see the Hawks pursuing for that second line center position, if any?

Scott Powers
  (2:44 PM)

Quinn, I think the Blackhawks need to be more aggressive offensively in the third period. While the opponent is taking risks while down, there are chances to counter and create odd-man rushes. They need to look to do that more. They are shooting less and obviously scoring a lot less in the third period. As for the second-line center, I don't see them going outside of the organization. It may be Pirri at some point this season, and I would think Teravainen next season.

Jason (Northbrook)

Who is considered to have the higher upside: Morin or Pirri? And do you expect Teraveinen to be with the team next year?

Scott Powers
  (2:47 PM)

Jason, I think both Morin and Pirri have a lot of offensive upside. The thing is it's hard to crack the top 6 in this lineup, and it's going to be harder in the future with Teravainen coming. The potential for Morin and Pirri is probably on the third and fourth lines going forward because you already have Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp and either Saad or Bickell as top-6 forwards, and I think Tervainen plays second-line center next season.

IHateBieksa (Chicago)

With Kostka out for a while and an extra roster spot already being available after Nordstrom was sent down, who gets called up? Another defenseman like Peckham (who can throw down) or does Hayes come back up? And why was Hayes sent down in the first place?

Scott Powers
  (2:51 PM)

It looks like they're going to hold off on calling anyone up for now. Unless someone else gets hurt defensively, Quenneville appears to be set with seven defensemen. I do think another forward comes up because they'll want to give Handzus a day off at some point. Morin may be the next one to get that chance. As for Hayes, it sounded like they wanted to give him more consistent playing time in Rockford. His play was noticeable at times, but he wasn't playing consistently.

skip (aurora)

do you think the hawks would amnesty hossa after this year to free up some money against the cap and open up some room for younger players

Scott Powers
  (2:52 PM)

Skip, they used their two buyouts last season on Olsez and Montador. If they were going to do something with Hossa, it would have been with one of those buyouts. He's likely in Chicago to stay.

Matt (Colorado)

Do you think Brookbank can handle 12-15 minutes a night? Looked pretty decent the other night.

Scott Powers
  (2:55 PM)

Matt, Brookbank was in the lineup a lot last season and was seen mostly as reliable. I think a lot of people just remember him for being a playoff scratch and a disaster in that Kings game. He's been an NHL defenseman for a while now and does still have some skill. I think he'll have his lapses, but overall he'll do the job. I think you'll see him and Rozsival splitting time again.

Scott Powers
  (2:55 PM)

Matt, Brookbank was in the lineup a lot last season and was seen mostly as reliable. I think a lot of people just remember him for being a playoff scratch and a disaster in that Kings game. He's been an NHL defenseman for a while now and does still have some skill. I think he'll have his lapses, but overall he'll do the job. I think you'll see him and Rozsival splitting time again.

Michael (Chicago)

I know Bickell got big money, but he looks soo much more comfortable on the 3rd line. And Saad looks like a beast on the top line with Toews and Hossa. Do you think Q will stick with the current lineup (with maybe 2nd line center adjusting) like he did last season during the regular season?

Scott Powers
  (2:58 PM)

Michael, I think Quenneville will stick with these lines until they lose and then he might reconsider again. He's quick to change when things aren't working. I'm sure Bowman hates to be paying Bickell so much for being a third-line forward, but he is producing there. I do see a change at second-line center in the future.

Jim (Arlington Hts.)

Ed O has said a couple of times this year that the Hawks need to take more shots on the PP and quit trying for pretty plays. That said, what's your take on Duncan Keith on the point? The last couple of seasons, esp on the PP, he frequently hesitates on his shot and either ends up cycling the puck or getting his shot blocked up high. Other point men (Nick L for example) don't seem to have this problem yet Keith is always out there on the PP. Your thoughts?

Scott Powers
  (3:00 PM)

Jim, I think the Blackhawks have been more aggressive on the power play. They don't seem to be waiting for the perfect shot as they were last year. I actually think Keith has been doing a good job of that too, but his problem has been getting shots on net. A lot of shots from the point are simply missing and not allowing for second-chance opportunities.

Brandon F. (Tucson, AZ)

Good Morning, Scott. Two part question: What is it going to take tonight for the Hawks to avoid, or get out of, their non-productive 3rd Period trend? And are there any line changes to start the game?

Scott Powers
  (3:02 PM)

Brandon, no line changes for tonight. I think a key for the Blackhwaks is putting 3-4 goals on the board in the first two periods and play a little more loose in that third. But overall, I think they need to be more aggressive offensively in the third.

Colin (Chicago)

Why is Brandon Bollig still playing? No need for an enforcer who can't handle the puck in today's NHL.

Scott Powers
  (3:03 PM)

Colin, I actually don't think Bollig has been that bad. He's been better in the offensive zone than past seasons and has been creating some chances. I think he provides them what they need on that fourth line. I think he's there to stay.

mark (chciago)

Scott- Now that the Wings are out of the conference, do you forsee (not necessarily soon) but in the future, some trade talks or even a trade between the two teams?

Scott Powers
  (3:04 PM)

Mark, I think if there was a trade to be made that both GMs would consider it. Playing in different conferences certainly changes everything.

pamela (chicago)

with kostka out for 4-6, do the 'hawks call up another d-man or does morin or hayes get another shot on the big team?

Scott Powers
  (3:05 PM)

Pamela, Quenneville appears to be staying put with the defensemen. I think Morin gets the next opportunity out of Rockford. He's played well for the IceHogs.

Kevin (Chicago)

After the expensive long term deal handed out to bickell, Crawford and hjalmmerson this offseason, how can we afford to extend toews and kane in the near future? I'm assuming they will command around $8M per...

Scott Powers
  (3:08 PM)

Kevin, don't worry about those other deals. Bowman has been planning everything around Kane's and Toews' deals. They can begin negotiating in July. I would expect at least $8 million for each. The cap is expected to go up for next season.

Jason (Northbrook)

Given the depth of their farm system, it seems like the Hawks could consider trading 2 or 3 prospects for a key piece. Having said that, what do you think is the Hawks' biggest flaw this season?

Scott Powers
  (3:11 PM)

Jason, I'm not sure what key piece they need to add at this point. I think they will come into a problem - if you want to call it that - where they'll have to deal prospects or let them go simply because they won't fit into the lineup because they already have too much talent. I think the third-period struggles is the biggest flaw, but I think that's fixable. The PK needs to improve, too.

brian (hammond)

Scott, can you shed some light on what in the world the front office and the coaching staff see in marcus kruger? he has ZERO offensive ability. he cannot win a faceoff to save his life. he cant be a shutdown defensive center, because he will get manhandled against ..well everyone because hes just too small. and hes definitely too small for a fourth line type role. people can say 'oh hes a smart player; knows where to be' but it doesnt help if hes not skilled enough to take advantage of the positioning. hes just not an NHL player

Scott Powers
  (3:15 PM)

Brian, I think they see him fitting a role. He obviously excels on the penalty kill. He's solid defensively. His faceoff numbers have improved. No, he's not great offensively, but he can handle the puck a bit and is unselfish. Plus, you don't have to pay him a large contract.

Glen (Chicago)

Is Hossa completely healthly?

Scott Powers
  (3:16 PM)

Glen, I don't think his back is bothering him, but I'd be surprised if it's 100 percent. He said recently his timing still isn't there. If that doesn't show up soon, I think there should be some concern.

Lee (Skokie)

If the cap doesn't go up as much as expected, what does Bowman do?

Scott Powers
  (3:18 PM)

Lee, everyone believes it's going up because there's a new TV contract coming up for Canada. There shouldn't be any fear that it doesn't increase.

Scott Powers
  (3:19 PM)

Sorry, I have to run. Thanks again for all the questions. As always, please email me at spowers@espnchicago.com if I didn't get to your question or you want to ask or discuss anything else. Have a great weekend.