Friday, June 20, 2014
What Do The Hawks Do Now?
Well, the Hawks were one goal away from being in the Stanley Cup Finals. I guess, the Hawks can take a little solace in the fact that the Kings won the cup, but…that will not be the case. The Hawks, who are actually favored to win the cup next year, don't find ANY solace in losses. So, what do the Hawks do now? Who will they sign? Who will they let go? Who will they bring up? The Hawks started this process last week by letting go of veteran Michael Handzus, stating they are heading in a different direction. Michael played well the 1 1/2 seasons he was with that Hawks. He played steadily on the penalty kill, and filled in on the 2nd line many times during the season. He was a steady hand at the face off dot, but it is time for him to go. Who will the Hawks put at 2nd line center? Shaw, Saad, and Kane were a pleasant surprise during the playoffs, but is that what the Hawks are going to do? Peter Regin. Well, this is an interesting one. He did play well the last week of the regular season with Bickell and Morin. However, that line will not be assembled in 2014-15. I don't know if the Hawks will sign Regin back up, but with Morin most likely leaving, and Teravainen being a kid, this could happen. Jeremy Morin, was quite often a healthy scratch in the regular season when he was up with the Hawks, and he was so in the playoffs, as well. For some strange reason, he never could bust that line up. I don't know why. I personally LOVED him. In fact, I named one of my cats J-Mo in honor of #11. I am agreeing with many of the experts out there that the Hawks will trade Jeremy Morin on or before the draft so they can get something for him. He is a restricted free agent with a TON of value. Hawks will get a lot of interest in Morin. Ben Smith. I think the Hawks will sign Smitty. In fact, there are preliminary talks right now. He fits the team extremely well. That 4th line of Kruger Smith and Bollig was a solid line. Each of them was productive around the net. That's pretty darn good for a 4th line. Sheldon Brookbank. He was still a healthy scratch most of the season, but he actually played well in the playoffs. He was either used as a defenseman or on the 4th line. However, that being said, I think Brooksy is done with the Hawks. Antti Raanta will get some looks out there and may get that "unrealistic offer" to see if they can drive up the Hawks payroll….remind you of S. J. a few years ago when they gave Hjalmarsson a healthy offer, to in turn steal Niemi away from the Hawks? Expect that to happen again. However, unless the offer is insane, expect him to return. Players in the minors fighting to make the team. Teuvo Teravainen Kevin Hayes Stephen Johns…impressive graduate from Notre Dame. He'd make an interesting addition. (I actually like him). *Jeremy Morin (most likely will be traded,…so, so, so, so, sad.) Adam Clendening (Super skilled player that is in the mold of a Duncan Keith) Mark McNeill (centerman that probably won't make the team) Philip Danault (centerman….ditto ) Joakim Nordstrom…has seen time with the Hawks. Hawks like this kid more than Morin? Really? Wow!!!! Ryan Hartman (less than 40% he makes the team) Drew LeBlanc (less than 15% he makes the team) Alex Broadhurst (Slim chance) Garret Ross (Slim chance) Terry Broadhurst (Slim chance) Klas Dahlbeck (another strong defensman. I say,…less than 30% he makes the team.) David Rundblad: He may take over Brooksy's spot as the fill in. He may actually make the top 7. He has skill or the Hawks wouldn't have given Phoenix a 2nd rounder for his rights. I think he plays around 40 games this next year. Will that Hawks make a splash and trade someone? Could, but I don't expect it. Who is tradable? Sharp? Seabrook? Oduya? Leddy? Who is untraceable? Toews, Kane, Hossa (who wants that contract?), Keith, Saad. In order for the Hawks to trade either Seabrook or Sharp, that deal would have to be really good. Both those players have been staples in that lineup for 9+ years. Sharp is an alternate captain, and Seabrook has been so on occasions when one of their captains has been injured. So, don't expect them to be traded. It would have to be a block buster of a deal for that to occur. Who will the Hawks be picking up on day 1 of the draft? wil it be Nick Schmaltz the centerman out of Green Bay (USHL)? It appears a few of the experts think so. The general consensus is the Hawks will go after a centerman. But, could the Hawks go after a defensman. When they chose Dylan Olsen, he turned out being traded 3 yrs later to Florida for a little more than a bag of hockey pucks. We shall see. I do believe the Hawks will go after a centerman, but will it be Nick Schmaltz? Trade rumors for Joe Thornton or other strong NHL experienced centerman is slim to NONE. The cap is almost filled, and these players aren't going to continue eating salary opportunities to play for the Hawks. In addition, teams aren't going to continue eating half of the player's salaries (per Versteeg), in order to allow the Hawks to stockpile players for half the salary.