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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pirri, Smith, Morin, J.Hayes & Bollig: NOT Foregone Conclusion

Many experts are thinking it is a foregone conclusion that Brandon Pirri, Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Bollig are the successors to  the Stalberg, Carcillo, Bolland and Frolik  departure and the already mentioned Bollig.

As Lee Corso would say: "Not so fast my friend."

Although I would greatly agree that these 5 names are the leading candidates for the 2013-14 roster spots, there are a few other people who will INDEED give them a push.

I've run over scenarios in prior posts and many of those combinations are still probable/possible/and likely.

BRANDON PIRRI: The possibility that Pirri makes the team is high, but the Hawks will look at others to take that 2nd line center position. Coach Quenneville wants to look at Brandon Saad at center, as well as Kruger and possibly Handzus. If Saad becomes slotted at the 2nd line center, that decreases Pirri's chances of making the team.
1) Drew LeBlanc
                                                      2) Phillip Danault
                                                      3) Teuvo Teravainen (most likely will go back to Finland, but his impressive play is hard to ignore.
                                                      4) Garret Ross

BEN SMITH: Again, Coach Q has stated he wishes to slot Smitty as the "new Frolik".  Ben has had a string of bad luck/fortune, with injuries, but has shown enough to the Hawks Brass that he should be able to take on this role on the team.
                                                       2) Mark McNeill
                                                       3) Teuvo Teravainen
                                                                                                             4) Garret Ross
                                                                                (long shot)            5) Ryan Hartman

(new #22)
JIMMY HAYES: 4th liner, has had his stints with the Hawks the past few years, and at 6'6" is a commendable enforcer. Hayes has shown good stick ability and can fill the net when needed. He is a true winger and would compliment that line very well.
                                                        2) Mark McNeill
                                                        3) Brad Winchester
                                                        4) Phillip Danault
                          (long shot)             5) John Hayden                 

( new #11)
JEREMY MORIN: Speed, grit, size, extremely talented hands and puck skills. He can literally play on all 4 lines. I LOVE THIS KID!!! I didn't mention him as a Ben Smith replacement only because he is one of the 5 people presumed to make the team. Jeremy has the ability to play PP, PK, and has shined with Rockford in that role. I am extremely excited to see Jeremy get his shot. Maybe this time he won't have to give up a jersey number (gave up #27 to Oduya, gave up #26 to Handzus)...because THIS time he'll stick the landing!
                                                          2) Phillip Danault
                                                          3) Garret Ross
                           (long shot)              4) John Hayden
                           (long shot)              5) Ryan Hartman

BRANDON BOLLIG: Enforcer, and ,..uhm,....that's about it. His low salary, his ability to be a healthy scratch without affecting his play are all positives.
POSSIBLE REPLACEMENTS:      1) Brad Winchester (Proven NHLer and bigger than Bollig)
                                                           2) Kyle Beach (This guy can actually play!)
                                                           3) Mark McNeill (His NHL salary will hurt his chances this year)
                                                                                                                4) Hawks could go with a defenseman too. (Ryan Stanton)

A very likely scenario is that Bollig will start with the Hawks and when they feel someone should be given a chance, he will be sent down to Rockford. IF he doesn't clear waivers, they have Winchester on the roster to supplant that position. IF someone gets injured,  then the likelihood of LeBlanc, Beach, Stanton, Clendening, Kostka, and any of the others I previously mentioned that didn't make the 2013-14 roster may be given a shot. However, let's face it, the 22nd and 23rd roster spots are SHELDON BROOKBANK and BRANDON BOLLIG (if he makes the roster).


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