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 favorites..so, 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, Dano...to 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.