Blackhawks Problems: A Change Chicago Should Make

With fans in Chicago begging for the Blackhawks to make a move that might not be available, there is one move GM Stan Bowman could make internally that might make an impact.

One trade needs to be made, and could happen immediately between the Blackhawks and… IceHogs.

Since returning from a concussion in early January, Marcus Kruger has been a ghost. He has only three assists in the 10 games since coming back, posting a point in only two different contests.

In January, Kruger posted one assist while averaging over 16 minutes of ice time per game and winning only 22 of 48 faceoffs (45.8 percent).

The 21-year-old continues to get top-nine minutes, but has made no impact on the offensive end of the ice and has not been able to be a physical presence on the ice.

Working in the first full season of a two-way contract, Kruger possesses something Bryan Bickell and Sami Lepisto do not: the ability to be reassigned without requiring waivers.

Sending Kruger to Rockford wouldn’t solve the problems on the blue line. And it wouldn’t send shockwaves through the dressing room if a rookie lost his roster spot. This absolutely is not the answer to fans’ prayers.

But Jimmy Hayes showed enough in his limited action with the Hawks that he could certainly bring two things to the team that Kruger hasn’t all season: size and scoring.

Hayes had four goals and three assists in 13 games with the Hawks, but also piled up 28 hits while averaging just 12 minutes per game in Chicago. He was fast up and down the ice, but lost his roster spot when the Hawks acquired Brendan Morrison over the All-Star Break.

But further inspection of the roster indicates that perhaps it should be Kruger, a natural center, who should have moved out rather than the bigger, more physical Hayes.

Morrison, a center, give the Blackhawks five players that could work at the dot. Certainly Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland will stay at center, and Morrison will primarily work there. But Jamal Mayers has been more than adequate at center this season, and at some point Patrick Sharp might end up back in the middle as well.

Chicago has depth at center, and the truth is that Kruger’s been mediocre in faceoffs all season (46.7 percent).

Now that Morrison is in the mix at center, the question should be who can help the club the most at wing. If the choice is between Kruger and Hayes, the answer should be obvious. Moving Kruger to Rockford and bringing back Hayes should happen, and soon.

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59 Responses to Blackhawks Problems: A Change Chicago Should Make

  1. Brad Beatty says:

    I would be all for that move! Can we get rid of Frolik too?

  2. KC Hawk says:

    Good suggestion . But why not put Lepisto and / or Bickel on waivers? Who cares if someone claims them ?

  3. Joel Gaeta says:

    Cuz we would most likely still have to pay for their contracts or part of their contracts. And then we cant use them in a trade. They are still worth something in trade.

  4. KC Hawk says:

    Ok , then let’s trade them . Fast

    By the way , what is the reason Lepisto neve plays ? Is he a ad a Scott ?

  5. KC Hawk says:

    Sorry — is he as bad as Scott ?

  6. Tab Bamford says:

    why isn’t Lepisto on the ice? he’s bad. pretty simple.

  7. Alan says:

    Agree with bringing up Hayes, why trade for a big winger when we have one?
    Our best player do seem to be Jekel and Hyde, tonight Hossa and Sharp just had no ability to beat any of the opposition, Kane had a up night but he has not shown up some nights. Our best player have to be impact players and they are not latley.

  8. Logan Reilly says:

    I wouldn’t disagree with that. I saw some chemistry between Bolland and Hayes too. I really wish they would just put Sharp as second line center, Bolland as 3rd center and Morrison can collect jockstraps or something.

    Ah Morrison…what a pointless trade. He’s just another added to the list of players on this team that will be scraping for an NHL job next season (if there is one lol)

  9. Matt says:

    Is it just me…(and this is something I haven’t seen mentioned) or has Morrison contributed absolutely nothing since we acquired him? I agree that losing Hayes off the roster was a blow to the team, but the reasoning, at least in the immediate sense, was the acquisition of Morrison. Am I missing something he’s provided to the team? If so, I’d love to hear it.

    The top guys certainly had some bonehead moments tonight (Keith, Seabrook, Toews, Stalberg). This was ugly. Maybe the soft early schedule made this team look better than it truly is, and we really belong in that #5-7 seed range. I mean, does anyone think we’re better than any of Detroit, St. Louis, Nashville, Vancouver, San Jose…or even possibly Los Angeles?

  10. Johnny says:

    With Lepisto and Bickell’s contracts about 1.25 together, and it’s more than half the season, they’d cough up approx 600k. Way worth letting them go. I honestly believe both would end up clearing waivers.

    I’d love to see Brandon Pirri up for Kruger. That kid is a stud.
    Bring up Jimmy Hayes and get rid of the combo of Bickell/Lepisto. Still have a lot of cap left.

    Bobby Ryan wants out. How about this wild trade. Visnovsky and Ryan and their 2nd rounder for Hjalmarsson and………….Kane. Yes, I said it,……Kaner goes.

    Another one I’d like to see is Suter and a 1st rounder from Nashville for Duncan Keith.

    wild trades..I know. But, definitely intriguing.

  11. Debbie Guidi says:

    I asked before on Twitter & I am asking again. I am no expert but can only relay what I see (or think I see). I think the trade for Morrison was a dud. We have 28 games left to the end of the season. Our defense in a large part & our Special teams more so are not good.

    I am not running screaming in the opposite direction yet, since I think they need to shore up the defense & try to get our D-men to remember that being caught out of position is not good. At what point do we reasonably begin to look at the fact this may not be our year? I’m certainly not saying give it up yet, but when does reality show which way we’re going?

  12. JB says:

    While we were sleeping the ‘hawks gave up another dozen odd man rushes and 5 more breakaways.

  13. shamrock says:

    I couldnt agree more with bringing Hayes back. I wrote a few days back that I thought the Hawks should have kept Hayes and sent down Shaw. Obviously it makes more sense to send Kruger to Rockford. I am not sure what the Hawks see in him. Kruger doesnt really do anything that makes you take notice and say “he’s a keeper”. Even if Hayes doesnt get another point this season(unlikely) his size and strength will wear the opposition down.

  14. Bonehead says:

    Hayes should have never been sent back to Rockford so get him back regardless of what it takes. I understand why they aren’t putting Bickel on waivers, but Lepisto is a different story. Its apparent he is not going to play in Chicago & he is only signed through this season. He has no trade value & eats up a needed roster spot.

    I really think the constant line changes are hurting more than helping. Forwards are lacking confidence and any feel for where each other are on the ice. They need some stability. Almost hoping the colapse continues, maybe if the Hawks miss the playoffs some real changes will occur.

  15. James M says:

    If we care at all about this season and next season, we will bring up folks from Rockford to see what we have and where they are at. I can only presume this isn’t happening because Bowman has something in the pipes that will clean out those who are wasting roster spots. I think he would have made this move by now if he didn’t think he could potentially get something. I do hope that, even if we’re starting to think about next season rather than this, we make a serious play for Suter. I don’t know, it’s agonizing waiting for something to happen, in part because we are close but also because it’s Chicago – let’s face it, we’ve been accustomed to GMs not getting what is required (a wide receiver for Cutler, now a top 2 defenseman)

  16. KC Hawk says:

    Tab : I like your suggestion of Kruger for Hayes.

    If you could make 3 other moves ( of any kind) in the next weeks to improve this team , what would you do ??

  17. wall says:

    Agree, Hawks need to keep Hayes- just his size intimidates others.

    While I think Pirri has a “Sharp-like shot/release” he is a liability on “D”, and wimpy like Kuger.

    As bad as “D” is– Olsen needs a look!

    Bottom line- they have alot of $$$$$ in this D-core and they have been awful- Keith continues to play as if he has a concussion. There were several 2-1’s last nite, the first few were broken up because D man did proper thing- take pass away – squeeze “O” into 1-1 w/ goalie… Keith stood in middle like a frickin TURNSTYLE!!!

    Oilers 1st goal – Keith decides to jump off ice -when Oilers have puck control 20 feet above blueline- leaving other d-man out to dry!!!

  18. Colin says:

    Good God people need to stop with the Kane trades.

  19. Tim says:

    Tab- Not sure if you saw my post in the other thread, but what would it take to get Jack Johnson and Johnathan Bernier from the goal-starved Kings? Could we make a package centered around Stalberg? He has a nice stat line and the Kings need another scorer. Stalberg with someone like Morin and another prospect packaged in? or would making a package involve too much to get both JJ an JB?

  20. Tab Bamford says:

    Bernier is intriguing, but would likely cost more than Stalberg. Rumors are that Jeff Carter or James vanRiemsdyk are players that LA would want in a deal for Bernier… higher profile than Stalberg.

    I’ve had a few people ask about Johnson via email, and my response has been pretty consistent: right player, wrong contract. It’s hard to see a scenario in which the Hawks take a contract that big/long onto their books w/out either Montador or Hjalmarsson leaving in the deal… and the Hawks are in a position to add a guy to their blue line right now, not swap one for another. the Kings do need scoring, and the Hawks have prospects to work with, but you have to consider the contract as much as the player.

  21. BradK says:

    This team is soft and predictable……minimal hitting and no traffic in the slot. No one is standing in the crease disrupting traffic; yes, a broken record comment but painfully obvious. I would like to see them bring back Ben Smith from rockford. Not a huge guy, but has a habit of always being in the crease at the right time, not afraid to take the hit.

  22. raf says:

    Maybe a problem with Q coach?

  23. Mike says:

    I know I am like a broken record. Success in your own end. We need 2 tough D men to shake things up. I am not for rushing players (ie:Leddy) into a situation above their ability or experience. I love Hayes, Smith, Morin, Shaw, Olsen, Leddy and others. All will be solid NHLers But they need more time in the AHL. And right now I am not worried about the offense. A solid top 4 will take a lot of back pressure off the front so they can do their thing in the offensive zone.

    Take a couple of D men at deadline but don’t give away the store. Do the best you can this year…..look towards rebuilding the entire D core next year.

  24. shamrock says:

    The question the will be coming very soon is when do the Hawks change from buyers to sellers before the trade deadline?

  25. Logan Reilly says:

    BradK….not Ben Smith. He’s been pretty much invisible on his callups. Probably why he’s been sent down.

  26. Austin Purkey says:

    Shamrock- Really? Is that sarcasm? We turn into sellers when we are not in freaking 6th place in the Western Conference! Good grief. WE ARE STILL IN THE PLAYOFFS RIGHT NOW. Anything can happen from there. We desperately need an upgrade. Some may come from the minors (Hayes and Olson). Others may come via trade (defenseman and/or goaltender). Sellers…wow. Not even close to that; not yet anyways.

  27. KC Hawk says:

    I agree with Shamrock . This team is as soft as pudding . Reflects the coaching — no heart .

    I hope they do a turn around but I do not expect it . They have quit on this coach .

    I expect them to play well vs the Sharks and lose by one or 2 goals . They play hard every once in a while — despite Coach Q and Coach Kitchen .

    They are changing the abbreviation for the Hawks’ PP .

    Will now be called PO — Power Outage .

    With all this talent . This is sad.

  28. Glenn says:

    Sorry Austin, I’m with Shamrock on the buyers/sellers topic. But I don’t want them to trade any of the good players we’ll need down the road – I mean try to peddle Bickell or Montador or O’Donnell or Frolik. Stan couldn’t get much for them but it would open up roster spots to bring some of the prospects up and get them experience. It’s not like Olsen playing instead of O’Donnell is going got be a big downgrade. But at least some of the young guys get a chance to cut their teeth and will be that much better next season when they can play a more prominent role.

  29. Austin Purkey says:

    Glen (and Shamrock)- Fair enough. I guess I don’t consider trading Bickell or Frolik as being a seller. I think that is like taking out the trash. I see what you are saying and I agree. I suppose I thought being a seller was giving up on Kane, Stalberg, or Hjalmarsson; which I don’t agree with (I am ok with trading Hjalmarrson but you’d have to get a couple of defensemen in return otherwise it does nothing).

  30. wall says:

    SELL!!! SELL!!! SELL!!!

    Don’t care if it is Kane or Keith…. but of course you have to get either 2 Hard working, tough smart players like Ladd or Marchand Types— or 1 big stud like Parise or Shea Webber… Chances of that probably slim— so sell Bicks or Frolik or Steve Mistake-ador and load up on picks… lot’s of hidden talent in Europe draft this year!

  31. ray says:

    Tab, What do you think of Matt Greene from LA as a possible piece to trade for? His cap hit is only 2.95mil and has 2 years left under contract. He would a big stay at home defenseman that will be able to clear out the crease. We would have to trade some offense to acquire him but I think his style of play is what the hawks are lacking. I like Jack Johnson, but not at 4.35 for the next 6 years.

  32. Tab Bamford says:

    Common sense rhetorical question as answer to Ray’s question about Matt Greene: why would LA trade with the team 3 pts ahead of them in the playoff race?

  33. ray says:

    Point taken. However I feel that is a much more rational, real-world scenario than trading Patrick Kane for anyone or trying to entice the Preds to trade us the rights to Suter or Weber. The Kings have some flexibility with their defense, have the second best goalie tandem in league, but are near the bottom in the league in scoring. The opportunity to improve their scoring by trading for a package including Stalberg (who is at the height of his trade value during a career year) might entice them to make the move. I think he is one defenseman that would immediately improve the Hawks struggling blueline.

  34. Tom Jaremka says:

    Well, over the last year, this team has stopped finishing their checks. I realize that we want to be a “puck control” team, but there are times when we chase the puck around like a bad men’s league team. We don’t finish our checks and that turns into odd man rushes against our goalies and defense. We have a habit of losing puck battles on the boards when we have the other team OUTMANNED!

    We don’t have anyone in front of the net in the offensive zone, either. Even on the PP, we struggle to get good, quality shots off from the point men. And when we do get a quality shot, there are no bodies in front of the net. We make it easy for other teams to play against us.
    We need to do four things better: 1. Defend our net. 2. Win the board battles. 3. Finish our checks. 4. Attack the net in the offensive zone.

    Let’s not fire the coaching staff, yet. Hopefully, this team is going through a “funk”, right now. Let’s get this out of the way and get into the playoffs and see what happens.

  35. Patrick says:

    some people are forgetting about our goalies…do we honestly think crawford can be that number one guy that will lead us into the stanley cup? i dont think so. and same with emery. i dont consider either of those guys number one goalies. what would you guys think about gettng khabibulin back? he has been pretty good this year. other than that i would like them to try and get a shut down D such as Hal Gill. but if that doesnt happen i say give olsen another shot, i liked him alot. kruger is worthless. so definetely send him down for hayes. and can we get rid of frolik? im regretting getting rid of skille… he may not put up a lot of points but he provided a lot of energy and some grit to his game. i would absolutely prefer him over frolik.
    Morrison was a waste and a half. he is another old piece of shit that cant move his feet. bowman has a lot of thinking to do within these next few weeks

  36. Tom Jaremka says:

    Patrick, I agree with you about our goaltenders, they are not playing well, this year. However, with the way we play in front of them, I’m pretty sure that Patrick Roy wouldn’t do much better. But good ‘ole Patrick would take his goalie stick and beat some serious ass in the locker room. He held everyone accountable, including himself!

  37. Rusty says:

    I am still hesitant to say that the Hawks need a new goaltender. I’d like to see how much better a solid Top 4 D-Man added to the lineup would do (was hoping for Tim Gleason until he signed that 4 year extension, DAMN). Names like Carl Gunnarsson, Hal Gill and Luke Schenn are coming up a lot in trade rumors. I can see the Hawks go after Gill or Gunnarsson (not Schenn as Burke believes he will be a top 2 defenseman and wants a lot in return). Once we stop this carousel of crap for our 6th defenseman (Ole Donnell, Lepisto, and Scott), we can pay attention to our goalies. Although these Nabokov rumors seem to be getting stronger everyday, I don’t see this as an upgrade over Emery.

  38. Brad Stevenson says:

    Tab’s suggestion about going after Suter is still the best idea yet. The fact of the matter is, neither Keith nor Seabrook is a true #1 DMan…at least not anymore. And the Hawks aren’t going anywhere without adding a bonafide Defensive LEADER…someone strong, physical, and smart.

    Suter fits the bill, but not the circumstances. I just can’t see David Poile EVER trading a top flight player to his arch rival. But the fact remains, that this team needs a true #1 DMan, so whether we trade for one, or wait and hope that players like Weber and Suter make the open market and then go out and get one, it has to be done.

    But the other problem is Bowman has tied up HALF our salary cap in 6 enormous contracts, leaving little room for radical changes, instead all you can do in this model is TWEAK little problems around your core. But what is our core as determined by Stan Bowman???

    Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Keith, and Seabrook. Add to that overly large contracts to Bolland, Hjarlmarsson, Crawford and Montador and YOU HAVE A CORE THAT DOES NOT STACK UP AGAINST OTHER CONTENDING CORES. It is that simple. Bowman, in a proverbial sense, put all of our eggs into one large basket (thought of as the core) and this basket does not compare nor compete against what other teams have done, and we have few options in trying to change it.

    So, what can Bowman do? Other than make massive, blockbuster trades (that would signal to the entire league that he was dead wrong on estimating his talent), he has to, by definition, make small tweaks and tow the companies powerful brand recognition. We are the Blackhawks, we are perennial contenders, we are the greatest show on Earth…

    But these are merely tired words, and sooner or later (likely later, as the average person today is half asleep and will swallow any crap they are told to), people will figure out the sham.

    Wake up people and realize the following:

    Jonathon Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp (that’s Sharp and NOT Kane) are the only 3 large contracts on this team that are money well spent…Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Bolland, Hammer, Crawford and Montador are all large, or larger, contracts that don’t make sense or possess value. We are paying Keith, Seabrook and Kane superstar dollars to be inconsistent talents, or even worse mediocre players. We pay Bolland and Hammer 2nd status contracts to be 3rd line players…and what we are doing with Montador is beyond adequate description.

    In my estimation (and it likely won’t happen because it would be Bowman admitting his large mistakes), there are only 2 ways that this team rights itself and becomes legitimate Cup contenders again…one, trading away parts of their Big Named but underwhelmingly talented core in return for the real deal…i.e. Kane for Perry or Nash…Keith, Prospects and money for Suter…or you supplement your entire corp with the young prospects you have in the system, and give them a chance to grow together into another strong team…this one isn’t an overnight fix…it would take 2 years at least, but it is “do-able”. Maybe Dylan Olsen becomes a Suter-like stay at home talent that becomes our true #1 DMan…maybe Ryan Stanton becomes what Hjarlmarsson was supposed to be…maybe Shawn LaLonde and Joe Lavin become legitimate players. The talent and character is there for some of these things to come to pass, so the longer we delay the longer it takes to find out.

    As forwards…Hayes, Shaw, Saad, Pirri, Smith, Morin, McNeil and Danault all have legitimate shots at becoming successful top 6 providers…again, they just need the chance. And I would rather take on 2 years of legitimate growing pains to get there as a young, deep and dynamic team than playing this ridiculous game of pretenders any longer.

    Right now it’s up to Stan…he got us here…Tallon got us a Cup and serious Cap problems, but its Bowman that turned us into expensive pretenders. He has to know this evaluation is right. Keith isn’t still in some post 2010 hangover, he simply isn’t the player we thought he was when we had that awesome puck possession game. Seabrook has had 3 significant concussions and very little time off to recover, and he is not the same player. When we choose Hammer over Niemi, Bowman described him as the next Nik Lidstrom…he isn’t even the next Marvelous Marv Throneberry. Bowman was wrong…he overpaid, and now we have to correct these misjudgements.

    I don’t care which way he chooses to go, just as long as he gets on this journey sooner than later, and starts operating out of reality and not some storybook ending. The Hawks are NOT what their impressive marketing machine has made them out to be. They do not fly and they certainly do not leap tall buildings in a single bound. They are 3 great players that need help, and the sooner they get it, the sooner we will start winning games.

  39. pete says:

    What about getting rid of Montador, Brunette, O’Donnell, Morrison in the offseason and clear off more cap space and then throw huge money at Weber so Nashville can’t sign him. That way you are adding to our team without giving up our “core”. Next year the younger players will be more ready to be brought up/contribute and then we run with it over the next few years as the younger players get better and our older players(ie. Hossa/sharp) are still good. I guess Nashville could still sign Weber, but it would be a poison pill to their team economically. I can’t take anymore of these over the hill players on their last legs slowing down the team.

  40. Rusty says:

    There’s no way Nashville is giving up Ryan Suter. Unless they go on an epic losing streak and a group of their forwards go on the IR, it’s hard to believe that Nashville would part ways with their elite defenseman.

    Pete, I feel that Brunette and O’Donnell will retire after this season (let’s face it, theres not much left in the tank for either of them) and I wouldn’t have any long term plans for either player.

    Brad, I definitely agree that we overpay some of our core. Bowman did compare Hjalmarsson to a “young” Nick Lidstrom when he matched San Jose’s insane offer sheet. Bowman was completely wrong as Hjalmarsson has proved that he doesn’t have any offensive skill. I also thought signing Montador (a guy who was scratched for that Game 7 playoff series against the Flyers last year) to a 4 year deal 2.5 mill annual cap hit is a bonehead move.

    Here are notable defenseman that get paid between the Montador and Hjlamarsson range:
    Alexander Edler (VAN)
    Denis Seidenberg (BOS)
    Joe Corvo (BOS)
    Nicklas Kronwall (DET)
    Ian White (DET)
    M.E. Vlasic (SJS)
    Doug Murray (SJS)
    Dan Girardi (NYR)
    Matt Greene (LA)

    I’d consider all these guys an upgrade over both defensemen. The point is the Hawks lack depth which is an obvious crucial element they need to be a cup team again. Just look at Boston’s and San Jose’s roster.

  41. pete says:

    We have an advantage on some of the other teams that are losing money and can’t afford to max out on the cap. We need to play that card, keep our best players and bring up the kids.

  42. Logan Reilly says:

    Detroit won again. They’re now 9 points ahead of Chicago.

    San Jose lost to Calgary at home. Guess who’s gonna be ornery against the Hawks tonight.

    Can you say ‘7 in a row’?

  43. pete says:

    I can take losing if we have young players improving in the process and your building for the future. I can’t take this over the hill/players on their last stop before retirement thing. We have too many of the latter now.

  44. wall says:

    Brad for President! You gracefully did it again… You have captured all of my incomplete thoughts and wrote a great Essay- “Hawks- Too Many Chiefs And Not Enough Indians”

    People- John McDonough ran the Marketing for Cubs- AKA- luvable losers-AKA one of most successful- shitty brands in sports!
    Are the Hawks becoming the Cubs????

  45. Shane Chaves says:

    even worse, are they going to become the leafs?

  46. joey Zamboni says:

    Hawks = “Maverick” from Top Gun…… King of the “fly-bys”…..

  47. Mike says:

    Brad you are right on !!!! I chose your second thought. Keep the young guys and you know you will be back in a year or two. That is what the Hawks did 5 or 6 years ago. We got to watch Big Buff, Bolland, Brouwer (the killer Bs as we called them) Versteeg (06/07), Kieth and Seabrook (04/05) and others grow together in Norfolk, Hawks AHL 1997 to 2007. Hawks have good young talent, keep it and grow it. Bowman will have to tweak for now.

  48. Jeff says:

    Comparing the Hawks to the Cubs? This dude’s high as a kite.

  49. Tim says:

    Tab- I know you dont like throwing around Kane rumors, and have tried to ward them off, but with names like JVR and Carter up for Bernier, could we legitimatly offer up Kane? Kane would be the best name offered, and i think we could ask for Bernier, Johnson, and a prospect like Jordan Nolan? I know you said you didn’t like Johnson’s contract, but it would be the extra D man we need. I know we would have to part with Hjalmmarson or Monty for monetary reasons, but we have 5 Mil in space right now, and couldn’t we deal with those contracts in the offseason? I feel that Johnson be an upgrade over which ever one we did get rid of anyway. so we keep all three for the playoffs, and next year Olsen can replace the one we trade away.

  50. wall says:

    Jeff- I wish I was as High as Kite!

    Fact is- alot of Hawks (and Cubs) road games have Indian Heads in stands (just like Cubbie blue dominates several road games each year)-

    Fact is- McDonough marketed both to near the top in their Respective leagues (in market revenue)

    Opinion- each Team’s fans are too in luv with the product- to realize the product is average- the BRAND is bigger than the PRODUCT!

    Opinion- neither will win as is!

  51. Brad Stevenson says:

    This just in from John Jaeckel:

    “In addition to the Hawks being at the center of the Trade Rumor Mill yesterday—involving Andy Sutton (first reported here a week ago), Evgeni Nabokov and Adam Burish (which are plausible), and Tuomo Ruutu (much less plausible)— I heard late last night that there might in fact be a problem in the Hawk dressing room.

    What I heard is that a number of players, if not all of them, are immensely frustrated with aspects of the defensive scheme of the coaching staff. This information allegedly leaked out via a current player venting to an ex-teammate.

    Like all such rumors, it should be taken with a grain of salt. However it does seem consistent with what we’ve seen on the ice, both in terms of the players’ demeanors and the results.

    Does this foretell any significant changes? If true, perhaps. Or perhaps it might just bring about an adjustment in the defensive scheme.

    I should have more on trades in the next few days if nothing happens before then.”

    I have thought this for awhile now…there seems to be such a disconnect (for most of the season) between what Q is saying day in and day out, and what actually happens on the ice…the only times that his ideas are actually taken to heart by the players is after a huge loss…other than that, they seem to tune him out…

  52. Austin Purkey says:

    Wall- I don’t give a flying ___ how many games the Blackhawks or Cubs win or what the ‘product’ on the field/ice looks like. What I want to see (and I am assuming everyone else too) is Championships. I do not give a damn how they do it but just win when it actually matters. The Blackhawks did it 2 years ago. I know we shouldn’t dwell in the past, I get that. But seriously, comparing them to the Cubs???? No. Freaking. Way.

  53. Tab Bamford says:

    I appreciate the speculation about a disconnect between the players & coaches, but assuming the guy that brought the Cup to Chicago gets run because a couple guys aren’t happy is a bit too quick to the trigger imo. If they’re going to run somebody, it’ll be the guy running the defense (Kitchen) and not Q. I know there was a lot of loyalty to Torch, but the scheme isn’t why guys like Hjalmarsson and Keith are out of position on a regular basis.

  54. KC Hawk says:

    Tab : there clearly is a disconnect somewhere on the Hawks . You seem to know more than you are saying . Why not just tell us what you think is going on ?

  55. NavyLifer3 says:

    I hope the tradition of trying to spark the team by firing the coach doesn’t happen here. Kruger going down won’t hurt the product on the ice nor his progression. But where the Hawks are getting outplayed is in the corners…defensively and offensively. The willingness to grind is why Shaw is making NHL per diem. If we’re willing to expand the trade area to outside Rockford, the 6’4″ enigma named Brian Bickell can refuse to throw his weight around somewhere else.

  56. Jason Feigel says:

    it’s funny tab, you and others argued with me about this part two weeks ago

    “The 21-year-old continues to get top-nine minutes, but has made no impact on the offensive end of the ice and has not been able to be a physical presence on the ice.”

    but yet now it seems that you agree with my assessment…but i was so wrong two weeks ago.

    what magically changed?

  57. Tab Bamford says:

    Jason: What magically changed? The Hawks acquired a center & reassigned Jimmy Hayes to Rockford. My point before was that Kruger was doing an adequate job of developing as a center. With Morrison pushing Kruger to a wing now and Hayes (the only big, physical player we had at that time) now off the roster, there is a legitimate concern about the size on the team. So two fairly substantial factors changed in those two weeks.

  58. Don H. says:

    How can a team with this much talent be running amok? Enough is enough, fire the coaching staff, bench Kane, Emery starts the rest of the season, bring Hayes back up, trade Keith for a large defenseman who is willing batter any opposing player, Bickell needs to intimidate on the ice or play somewhere else. This team is too soft when it comes to hitting. This MUST change or they will be run off the ice every game. It’s not too late but change must come now.

  59. Bob Schmitz says:

    Last year when Brian Campbell was injured the Hawks didn’t do so good. I am not saying that letting Campbell go was totally wrong. It made money available to get a few good players, but the Hawks didn’t get their money’s worth. We got old men that can’t carry the puck out of the defensive zone and can’t turn on the offense like Campbell did.
    We are hurting at goal but let go the guy who helped win the cup for not too much more money, keeping Niemi was possible. Big Buff could provide the big power forward and great defense man who could knock people out of the rink. We needed toughness but let go the toughest guy, Big Buff. Chris Verstig had speed and scoring. The list goes on. The Stanley cup team that Dale Talen put together was dismantled by Scotty Bowman for players way past their prime. Maybe Bowman should be the one to go?
    One more observation is that there is too much line swapping. It is apparent when you see the turn overs. They don’t know where the other guy should be. It seems like they are just desperate to get rid of the puck and make blind passes where they hope a teammate may be. This may be why the players play without confidence. Dale Talen has taken big steps forward with the Panthers but Scotty Bowman has let a great team dismantle and slide backwards. We are trying desperately to get back what we once had.

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