Total Pageviews

Friday, July 22, 2016

Blackhawks Have 3 Open Forward Positions Available For Young AHLers

First off,...I apologize that is has been a long time for me to fill in my old shoes as a writer.
Many of you will know that I had criticized Bryan Bickell for YEARS prior to his four year extension. In addition, I also was blown away at the length and particularly the size of his contract. He handcuffed the Hawks last season. Nobody wanted him and finally he was sent down to Rockford. This year he was FINALLY sent to Carolina along with one of our young stars, Teuvo Teravainen.
Before I go over the 7 forwards I believe have the best shot of making the Hawks out of camp, I still wish to do a little more review...if that is okay with you.

The biggest lost from the 2014-15 season was Patrick Sharp and their Defensive depth. It was thin if you recall in the playoffs. The playoffs it was really about playing 4 deep...I was worried, but our top 4 were so strong. Last year however, that strength got knocked down to 3 deep. Hammer, Duncs and Seabs.
The rookie TVR is still is learning. He is skilled, but they lacked that DEPTH...until now. Welcome back Soupy!!!!! Brian Campbell returns back to Chicago on a hometown discount. WOW!!! In addition, the Hawks are looking to strike gold again with another KHL standout in Defenseman Michal Kempny from Cz.
He and Soupy could interchange with TVR if needed. However, I do believe that Soupy will get the benefit of the doubt for the top 4.

To fill out the healthy scratches Hawks may go with 8 defenseman. We shall see. Let us assume they do for now, and only go with 13 forwards. If that is the case, Hawks have re-signed Michal Rozsival (I didn't see that coming last year,...and I certainly thought after this post season's performance in St. Louis,...I thought he was done). Interchange Viktor Svedberg (I call him Sved-groot) and another Swede in Erik Gustafsson. The last Swede (David Rundblad...another player I beat up on), his contract has been bought out.

Now for the Offense that has only ONE line of scoring. YIKES!!!!!.

Okay, let us go over who we have first.

Panik(Possibly, but I don't think he'll last on the first line)  Toews, Hossa
Panarin, Anisimov, Kane
  -    Kruger -     (Possible DesJardin and Tootoo)
Mashinter - Rasmussen -

Okay...Mashinter and Rasmussen are Coach Q's, though Mashinter isn't on MY team, I checked my credentials...shit...I'm not the coach. Moose did okay. He's a big Swede and he showed some signs of filling the net. He may stick.
However, if both stick, Hawks bring up 2...which is probably more likely cuz Coach loves stability even if they suck (e.g. Rundblad, Rozsival at age 38, etc...)

But, I think you have 7 guys possible with a strong possibility to make the team sometime during the year. My favorites probably won't stick...cuz Coach Q must read my mind and always let go, send down or trade my favorites........grrrrrrrr (Pirri, Morin, name a few)

Let's go with a possibility structure of making the team from what I think and what Coach Q will  probably do.

My top 7                                                              Coach Q's (Probable top 7)
Ryan Hartman                                                      Dennis Rasmussen
Nick Schmaltz                                                      Vinny Hinostroza
Tyler Motte                                                          Nick Schmaltz
Vinny Hinostroza                                                  Tanner Kero
Dennis Rasmussen                                                Kyle Baun
Tanner Kero                                                        Ryan Hartman
Kyle Baun                                                            Tyler Motte

WILD CARD to make it above the top 7 in the Hawks system
Alex Debrincat (5%)
Graham Knott (7.5%)
Mark McNeill (1%)
Anthony Lewis (3%)
Fredrik Olofsson (10%)
Roy Radke (3%)
Matt Iocapelli (2%)
Matthias From (2%)
Luke Johnson (17.5%)....I think he would be the favorite out of this group to make a jump. He's played with Nick Schmaltz and the Hawks bragged about him. Imagine Motte - Schmaltz - Johnson..... could work.

Hawks are lacking someone to fill that net front presence after Shawzy was traded to Montreal.  The best one WITHOUT A DOUBT is Ryan Hartman. He needs to play with grit every single day to impress Coach Q. That is why he loved Shawzy. It was who he was. Gritty and a pain in the ass to our opponents. Ryan is actually bigger than Shawzy,...but is he as tough as Shaw? We'll find out.

Schmaltz and Motte are net fillers. And Luke Johnson is a play maker as well. The best playmaker out of the entire group is Alex Debrincat. But, this kid is going to have to shit the Star Spangled Banner out of his ass for him to get a shot. I think the best shots out of the top 7 I wrote are Luke Johnson and Fredrik Olofsson.

I wrote down what I think Coach Q's top 7 are, cuz he pisses me off sometimes. Everytime I like a player, he never ever fucking picks them... Hence  (You notice I purposely avoided picking a certain Fin who is playing in Rockford on defense right now? Hopefully,...this kid gets his shot by me not mentioning his name). Good luck to (that play to not be named).

My top 13 would be this

Panik - Toews - Hossa (LW is still a problem unless : Debrincat or Motte or Schmaltz)
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Hartman - Kruger - Tootoo   (3rd line muscle)
Motte-Schmaltz - Hinostroza  (Rasmussen)  (Mashinter replaces Motte...Coach Q's choice)

Whatever the choices are going to be it will be exciting. I want to see who comes up and surprises the Hawks brass as well as the Hawks fans. We have about 2 months or so to ponder these possible line up rearrangements before camp starts. Then all eyes will be glued. Remember the World Cup some players won't be present for training camp. This will be a weird camp. So, hope the Hawks are prepared.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hawks Bring Up Dano, Send Down Bryan Bickell

Well, the words FINALLY come to mind.
…FINALLY they send down or get rid of the EXTREMELY overpriced and overpaid Bryan Bickell. He had been given a warning by being put on waivers and the fact that no one picked him up, should have given this knuckle head a wake-up call. But,…no, it didn't. After next year, his 4 year 16 million dollar contract expires,…hope he has plans outside of hockey…cuz he's gonna need it.

FINALLY they send up Marko Dano. In many Hawks opinions, they were SHOCKED when he got sent down to begin with. Heck, it shocked even the reporters close to the team. This kid mega talented and finally he gets his call. I hope he kills it.

The Hawks are seriously dinged up right now. Hossa and Keith are out. Hossa is short term, and Keith still has approximately 4 more weeks to go…The Hawks have brought up some players to see what chemistry works or doesn't work.

They started off by keeping Kyle Baun. Well, he certainly was not the right call. He doesn't have a point in the NHL and he doesn't have a point in Rockford.

Then they brought up Vincent "Vinny" Hinostroza for 4 games. He played well, but the Hawks are going through a period of not scoring,…they needed someone to fill the net NOW.

Defensemen: Ville Pokka: sent up and never played. In fact, it appeared he was going to play, but coach didn't like what he saw…sent him back up for another swap. This time it was Viktor Svedberg. Or some fans are calling him SvedGroot: because of his size, his inability to move and he looks often awkward on the ice.

SvedGroot has 10 games and 1 goal on his stat sheet.

Erik Gustafsson has been called up and played in Minnesota and plays again tonight. He looked really good. He is a self-admittedly offensive defenseman and it showed with his wonderful tape to tape passing that led directly to a goal and his first assist in the NHL. Keep it up kid!!!

Tanner Kero Ryan Hartman and Marko Dano played some time together in Rockford. The chemistry is there. So, the new 3rd line could be what the Hawks need as Teuvo was moved up to Kaner's line and Panarin is on the line with Jonny.

Hawks need to find that chemistry. It looks week. Hopefully they don't sink without Keith and Hossa tonight.

However, I am tickled to see Marko Dano up with the Hawks where he FINALLY belongs.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Summer NOT From Hell. Not A Repeat of 2010

The Blackhawks don't have to shed half their roster like 2010. However, since the cap has been set at $71.4m the Hawks have 14 members already under contract,  and need to sign 8-9 more to get a roster at 22-23 members.

Under Contract: Forwards;                        Restricted Free Agents:                   UFA's
Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Shaw,            Saad,                                               Kruger, Desjardins,
Nordstrom, Bickell, Teravainen,                                                                        Carcillo, Richards,
Versteeg                                                                                                              Vermette,
Under Contract: Defensemen;                          
Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson,                                                                          Rozsival, Rundblad,
van Riemsdyk                                                                                                    Timonen(retired), Oduya

Under Contract: Goalies;
Crawford, Darling                                                                                             Raanta

Gustav Forsling - D                        Phillip Danault  - F                  Kyle Baun - F
Stephen Johns - D                          Dennis Rasmussen - F             Mark McNeill - F
Viktor Svedberg - D                       Ryan Hartman - F                    Garret Ross - F
Michael Paliotta - D                       Artemi Panarin - F                   Matt Carey - F
Erik Gustafsson - D                       Fredrik Olofsson - F                 Tanner Kero- F
Ville Pokka - D                              Nick Schmaltz - F                    Vinny Hinostroza - F
Carl Dahlstrom - D                        John Hayden - F          

**Nordstrom is on a 2 way contract.


1) PATRICK SHARP: reports from CSNCHICAGO.COM have reported that a trade is "imminent" by this week. The reports have stated that Patrick Sharp was already called into Stan Bowman's office to give a list of 10 teams that he'd be interested in going to if a trade is considered.

2) BRYAN BICKELL: His name has been floating about because of his $4m contract and that he hasn't lived up to that contract.

3) COREY CRAWFORD: His name has been floating about whether unloading his $6m per year contract would not only give the Hawks the room they need, but is it a good idea to consider Crawford as a viable option.

4) KRIS VERSTEEG: His name and his contract have been considered. I think unloading Versteeg would be a bad idea. Hawks saw what this guy was like when he was healthy and what he did during the finals. Every now and then he needs a "swift kick in the ass" to get him going, but he is definitely worth the money they got him for.

5) BRENT SEABROOK: Believe it or not his name has been floating as well. The way the Hawks were in the finals and having only 4 starting defensemen, unloading Seabrook would be stupid. No other word to use than that.....just  "stupid".

Hawks have made no secret they have EVERY intention in re-signing Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger, as well. Expect the Hawks to make every effort in re-signing Andrew Desjardins, as well.

That being said, with only $7m left on their cap space, the Hawks have to unload 2 guys on that list in order to sign Saad and Kruger, Desjardins and re-sign Richards (who has made it known that he wishes to return).

I expect to see 3 names from that list of prospects on the Hawks. Artemi Panarin has a "make it or break it" deal. He either makes the big squad or he returns to Russia.
Erik Gustafsson is another play I predict will make the Hawks roster in September, as well.
The player I think could be a "steal" would be Ville Pokka from Finland.

Stan Bowman really has given David Rundblad every opportunity to show that he can play at the NHL level. Hawks fans "are not impressed" and I don't think the Hawks are either. However, he's a cheap 6th or 7th defensemen option if you can't find a decent replacement.

I like Ryan Hartman and Phillip Danault to give the Hawks a headache in deciding if they should make the roster as well. Both play the Hawks 2 way style of hockey.

Mark McNeill has never even had a "sniff" at the NHL level and he could be someone the Hawks would consider moving in a trade because he is close to NHL ready, but for some reason, the Hawks are not impressed with him. (I am not certain why that is either).

Dark Horses to make the team: Baun,  (Rasmussen, Olofsson (because both are Swedes and the Hawks love their Swedes)), Ross, Oduya (Hawks need him, but his salary is just too high).

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

2015 Stanley Cup Champions Will Need To Re-Tool Their Roster

In 2010, it was the hope of winning a cup. The city hadn't seen a victory lap with Lord Stanley's Cup in 49 years. Finally, it was a reality.

In 2013, it was the absolute THRILL of it. The 21-0-3 record setting start that got pushed to it's limits being down 3 games to 1 against Detroit, to a spectacular finish in game 6 that erupted the city.

This year's Hawks…it was about precision and it will be remembered as the first time the Hawks won the championship at home in 77 years.

So, what happened this year?

They didn't dominate all year long. There were spurts of greatness throughout the year, but a lot of things led me to think that although the Hawks had the talent, they just might not want it as much. Then,…the playoffs started. How I was SO wrong. The mix of old and new players blended in nicely.

*Trevor van Riemsdyk (TVR) was the surprise out of camp. He played on the third pairing until he broke his patella. (Ouch!).

*Daniel Carcillo re-signed with the Hawks. Often a healthy scratch, and often confused by why he was signed by the Hawks when they had players in their system that could have taken that slot.

*Hawks get rid of a few of their top prospects for a bag of pucks.
Okay,…not literally, but what the hell did they get for Jeremy Morin, Adam Clendening and Klas Dahlback. In the Anaheim and Tampa series I wish they could have called upon Clendening or Dahlback.

* Hawks lose a sizzling hot Kris Versteeg in the Winter Classic series with a broken hand. Versteeg was near the top of the Hawks scoring list when he broke his hand. He went from that to being a healthy scratch and being scratched half of the playoff series that were played.

The turning point? Had to be when Patrick Kane fractured his clavicle allowing the Hawks to bury his cap space and get Antoine Vermette, Andrew Desjardins and Kimmo Timonen. Did the Hawks give up TOO much for Timonen? Absolutely. They gave up a second rounder for a guy that barely cracked 6 minutes a night and was sure to retire by the year's end.
Vermette the Hawks had to cough up a 1st rounder for him. The last 19 games of the regular season, it didn't look good. But WOW, did he come alive in the playoffs. Lead the Hawks in face off %, was a force in late goals and connected with Teravainen and Vermette. What a lovely trio they were to watch.

The Hawks struggled with defensive pairing in the playoffs, especially when Michal Rozsival went down in round 2 against the Minnesota Wild. It was a carrousel of players (Rundblad, Cumisky, TVR and Kimmo).

The Hawks on pure GUT won this cup. They faced a Tampa team that was pure speed. Faster than the Hawks. The "Triplets Line" was to be feared. In addition, the first line that included Alex Killorn and of course,…Steven Stamkos,…plus the savvy veteran 3rd liner Ryan O'Callahan.   But, the Hawks with a combination of limiting the Lightning to good opportunities, missed opportunities by the Lightning when they did arise and the post on several occasions being the Hawks best friend, managed to hoist their 3rd cup in 5 years (6 seasons).

Re-tooling time.
Everyone is aware the Hawks have to re-tool. They won't have to shed 60% of their roster like after the 2010 season, but there will be major changes partly because of Toews and Kane's enormous contract.

Okay,…who will be gone.
1) Michal Rozsival: 100% He's done.
2) Johnny Oduya: 90%. I would have said 100% until I saw how desperate the Hawks need that 4th solid defenseman. But, he is going to take too much money to keep and the Hawks need the space.
3) David Rundblad: Although he's a Stan Bowman pet project, he hasn't amounted to "shit". Let's put him at 75% only because the Hawks really wouldn't have to pay him much to retain him.
4) Daniel Carcillo: I wouldn't see any reason they'd keep him. But, hey…I didn't see why he came back either. So, what do we know? 75% he goes.
5) Bryan Bickell: I think the Hawks will TRY to unload his $4m. 65% he goes.
6) Patrick Sharp: Hate to say it, but he will be considered for the right price. 35% he goes.
7) Brent Seabrook: Hate to say this one as well,…but, money and offers will dictate this.  20% he goes.
8) Brandon Saad: Unless a repeat of S.J. loading up on an offer happens, he'll be retained. 15% he goes.
9) Marcus Kruger: He is a dependable 4th line centerman and I don't believe the Hawks will have to cough up more than $2m to keep him. 10% he goes.

The NHL is probably going to be somewhere in the $71.4m range and is that going to be enough to keep their staff?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Teuvo Time…Once Again

The New Year started off with a poorly officiated ending and a Kris Versteeg injury.
However, I think this will ignite the Hawks, rather than set them back.

Versteeg's replacement? A rookie. Yes, we've seen him before. Teuvo Teravainen. He has been on a tear of late, and has earned the right to come on up due to Kris Versteeg's injury.

Recent news. 5 Blackhawks made the All-Star squad by fan vote. What? That is awesome. BTW,…Sharp and Hossa also cracked the top 10, just missing the automatic bid.

The Hawks will be playing for 1st place for the remainder of the year. Anaheim, St. Louis and Nashville will battle them for the President's Trophy and/or the Conference title. In addition, the Hawks, in my opinion will make 1 roster move.
What will it be?

Will Raanta stay or be traded? The Hawks might not be able to re-sign Raanta at the end of the year for they will be cap heavy,…once again, and there will be many suiters out there for him. Not a bad idea to trade him and bring up Scott Darling.

Rundblad, Erixon…who stays? Who goes? The Hawks are loaded on defense at the AHL level as well as Europe…as well as Trevor van Riemsdyk will rejoin the team late.

Michal Rozsival is probably in his last year, as well. I don't think they will trade him. I think he'll finish out his contract and then retire…or move on.

Johnny Oduya, a name that was on the lips of people before Nick Leddy was traded to NY Islanders this past September. It is the end of his contract, as well. I think the Hawks are in a situation they NEED him for the playoff run. But, this may cost them when it comes to re-signing.

Brad Richards…I think he stays, but he could go also. He signed a 1 year deal. But, I do believe his experience in the playoffs will be important and he didn't cost the Hawks much at all. Little to lose by keeping Richards around.

Daniel Carcillo. League min' salary. But, he's their muscle. I don't think he'll end up leaving either.

Brandon Saad…no way, no how! Hawks will re-sign this kid. There have been teams that have offered players/picks for Saad and the Hawks have repeatedly said that Saader is off the table. So, he stays.

Sad to say that Matthew Wuest the founder of has shut down due to health reasons. This is a sad day for all. Many people used cap geek for their information. We certainly wish Matthew the best. Get well Matthew.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

5-1 On The Road Trip.

The Hawks were struggling in late October to the beginning of November. THEN, they showed up and played Blackhawks hockey. Even the game they lost in Vancouver, they were in that game until the third period. They looked as if they ran out of gas in that back to back game. The Hawks dominated the Circus Trip and now they head back home playing the hockey we all know and love. Kane-Richards-Versteeg played OUTSTANDING. Versteeg, Richards and Kane have averaged a point a game during the last 10 games. The line should be players of the week. Add Crawford in that mix too. He was utterly ridiculous in most of those games. Hawks are second in the league (by 2 goals) with points allowed. Hawks lead the league in the PK. (sound familiar to Frolik and Kruger a few seasons back?) Raanta didn't play a single game during the road trip and when he was supposed to play, he was sick. Not good, especially for a man trying to earn playing time. The Hawks are ready to enter December in 3rd place in the division and 6th in the playoff hunt. Only 3 points out of first place and the wheels are rolling. They're scoring and what was disappointing earlier in the year,…not being able to get at least a point in the close games, they are now winning and taking control of the 3rd period. Hawks still have not shown any trust in Jeremy Morin and by the looks of it, with Carcillo doing very well, it may be a while before he sees the ice again. In addition, Rundblad wasn't too impressive. Clendening got a few NHL games under his belt and Nordstrom is trying to make a difference on that 4th line.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Final Cuts, Mandatory Trade

The Hawks finished the preseason and look at a cap hit of slightly over 2.2m that must be dealt with immediately. Here's what we know. 1) The last two games NICK LEDDY has been out of the line-up and with Coach Q's coy answer on looking at things organizationally,… it appears that Nick Leddy may be the odd man out. Usually when there is an imminent trade, that player is off the ice because they do not want to fear injury to that player canceling any trade. 2) Klas Dahlbeck was brought back up from Rockford shortly after being sent back down to Rockford. ($ 613,333 hit). 3) We know that rumors are flying that with the interest of Nick Leddy by certain team(s) that Stan wants to attach Kris Versteeg's contract to that deal. There appears to be no takers. 4) Kris Versteeg's play this preseason looks quite good. He may be back to his 2010 status. So, the Hawks may not be so willing to part with Versteeg. 5) The Hawks, according to have ALREADY signed up Dan Carcillo to the league minimum of $550,000. Let's work some numbers out. has currently taken Teravainen off the Hawks roster and has put Daniel Carcillo on the roster…Hawks are still OVER the cap -$1,872,628. IF the Hawks only get rid of Leddy and his @2.7m contract, this allows the Hawks to fill that last position with someone like Klas Dahlbeck. The Hawks have been dying for a "Big man…or a tough guy" and Mashinter appeared to be the guy. However, the Hawks like Daniel Carcillo and he can play on many lines and add that toughness the Hawks need and want. This will give Teravainen time to develop in Rockford.