The Blackhawks Suck: Now What?

Thursday night’s loss in Philadelphia was the sixteenth game of the 2017-18 season, meaning roughly 20 percent of the season is now in the books. And the Chicago Blackhawks suck.

No more are we sugarcoating the results with “they’re still figuring out the chemistry” and “the sample size is too small.” Entering Friday, Chicago is already 11 points behind St. Louis in the Central Division; of course the rest of the Central isn’t forcing a sense of urgency on the Blackhawks as four of the seven teams are at 16 points or lower.

Six weeks ago, if I told you Brandon Saad would be tied with Connor McDavid in goal scoring on Nov. 10 you would probably be thrilled. But while that is in fact true today, the fact that Saad and McDavid are tied for 45th in the NHL with six goals is both sad and frustrating for fans of the Oilers and Blackhawks.

Other than the performance to date of Corey Crawford, there isn’t much for Hawks fans to get excited about right now.

  • The Blackhawks rank 20th in the league in offense, scoring 2.75 goals per game.
  • The Blackhawks are allowing 33.7 shots on net per game, the sixth-highest average in the NHL.
  • The Blackhawks power play (12.9 percent) ranks 29th, which honestly makes me feel awful for fans of the Sabres and Blue Jackets.
  • Compounding the amazingly awful power play is the fact that the Blackhawks have had a league-leading 70 opportunities with an advantage this season. They’re getting chances but continue to be terrible.
  • The Blackhawks aren’t staying out of the box, either. The 61 penalty kills the Hawks have had on this year is the eighth-highest total in the NHL entering Friday.

So now what?

Internal Options

The Hawks have some internal options they could consider.

A couple days ago, Scott Powers at The Athletic wrote about the great reviews Matthew Highmore is getting in Rockford. Highmore, 21, has five goals and four assists in 12 games with the IceHogs and has a cap hit of $775,833 this season.

Vinnie Hinostroza has NHL experience and has had some success in a bottom-six role with the Blackhawks. The 23-year-old center leads the IceHogs with five goals and eight assists in 12 games, and has a $717,500 cap hit this year.

The Hawks traded a third round pick to Detroit to get Tomas Jurco last year, but he’s buried in Rockford right now. Jurco, 24, has nine points in 12 games with the IceHogs, however, and has a $800,000 cap hit.

What do these three players have in common? They’re producing at Rockford and their cap hits are lower than Lance Bouma ($1M) and are in the neighborhood of the cap hit of Alex DeBrincat ($778,333).

DeBrincat might be better served getting professional experience and minutes in a top line role in Rockford more than grinding on the Hawks’ third or fourth lines; he’s averaging under 14 minutes per night right now.

Both Hinostroza and Jurco will be restricted free agents at the end of this season.

Trade Options

It’s still incredibly early in the year, but we’ve already seen the Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators engineer a blockbuster three-team trade with Colorado to improve areas of need. If the Blackhawks were going to try to get a game-changing forward up front, the market became more tricky when the Avs did as well as they did in the Matt Duchene deal.

Stan Bowman will be handicapped if there is interest in the 2018 draft class – that is supposedly a good, deep class – because the Hawks do not currently own a pick in the second or fourth rounds (Chicago does have two picks in the fifth, however). Chicago does have some intriguing players in the system, however, including the three forwards named above. Defenseman Erik Gustafsson (10 points in 12 games) is off to a solid start in Rockford as well and may have some value.

Clearly Colorado is selling, but Gabriel Landeskog is probably going to be too expensive for the Blackhawks both because of his $5,571,429 cap hit this season and the likely package it would take to get him out of Colorado with three more years after the 2017-18 season remaining on his current contract.

Arizona is trying to rebuild as well, and are off to a predictably terrible start. But a deal for Derek Stepan’s $6.5M cap hit would likely require both the Coyotes to retain salary (not necessarily out of the question) and a nice package of prospects/picks that Bowman might not be able/willing to move to make his team even more financially top-heavy for three more years after this season.

So what do the Blackhawks do? Only the Coyotes (2-6-2) are worse in their last 10 than the Hawks (3-6-1) in the entire Western Conference. Clearly something has to change quickly to get the train back on track.

65 thoughts on “The Blackhawks Suck: Now What?

  1. This season has been painful to watch… the first two outings got hopes up and then….BAM! Only bright spot right now is Crow…

  2. Interesting post, time is becoming of the essence.

    Tampa Bay is playing the way the Hawks used to. Speed, pressure, slanting the ice in opponents’ zone… anyway, it’s a fun team to watch.

    How about speed to burn and offensive skillset line of Highmore, Hinostroza & Hayden? This will require Bowman bailing out on Bouma and as Tab stated Debrincat going to Rockford for awhile.

    We will all find out in due course.

  3. This is a good thought provoking post……and shows the dilemma that Bowman and Q and the Hawks braintrust are in. Those guys are smart, they see what is happening. And they have looked at the options Tab mentioned and also see that there are no easy answers or solutions at this point.

    To a degree they have backed themselves into this position. That 2nd round pick we needlessly threw into the Danault trade is going to look A LOT worse when Montreal makes that pick. There is not a lot of talent in the pipeline that is near NHL-ready that other teams would covet. There is a lack of draft picks next year. The only thing we have going for us is the Hossa cap space.

    It will take a bold move to utilize that cap space. I don’t think they can give up more picks in next year’s draft. I don’t think they will get any front line players for what we have in the minors or juniors. So you are left looking at some kind of blockbuster type deal. Toews for Tavares kind of thing. Not that that would happen. But like the Duchesne trade, major pieces being exchanged.

    If no one will waive their NTC, then we are stuck. The only change you will see coming is calling up likely the guys mentioned in this post from Rockford and shuffling around the bottom end of the roster, hoping the rest of the guys pick it up. Honestly, it reminds me of how Pittsburg was scuffling around when they made the Trevor Daley-Rob Scuderi trade with the Hawks and replaced their coach with Mike Sullivan and installed a new system.

    Is it the system or do we just not have the players with enough talent regardless of the system? Personally, I don’t think this team has the horses, even if you bring in another coach / system, to be elite. We need to bring up the talent level, and that means holding onto our picks and possibly selling some parts at the deadline. Forsling, Rutta, Hartman, and Schmaltz all will be good to varying degrees, but need more time and experience.

    Also, I think we miss Marion Hossa being around more than anyone thought we would. Don’t underestimate his influence on the rest of the Hawks core / leaders. Sort of like David Ross with the Cubs.

  4. Q the easy target. Sending down Drbrincat and another roster move to recall Hino and Highmore may give a spark. But to me until they find some body to be Keiths partner the pieces won’t fall into place. He needs to be part of the offense and not worrying about whether his partners can get back and cover in time or are in the right spot etc.

    Murphy was supposed to do that so far he hasn’t shown he can. Seabrook not that guy anymore, ditto Franson slower and defensively suspect. Rutta been a pleasant surprise but still prone to too many rookie mistakes to be confident of in that role. Maybe a trade to fill that role needed.

  5. I think the huge contracts for star players hurt the team and league. If you had a roster full of 3mil cap hit players, you would have a team that is far more manageable in all situations. NMC are stupid for teams to include in contracts. Chemistry is critical. But if you can move things around then you have no chance to succeed. The hawks have had a good run. Its time to rethink the next ten years.

  6. Teams full of $3M cap hit players look like the Coyotes. If you have superstars you have to pay them superstar money. Bottom feeders don’t have the problems the Blackhawks do.

  7. I think if the Hawks can settle in w/ Rutta-Keith, TBD-Seabrook, Franson-Murphy they’ll be OK. Forsling’s learning curve continues… and Oesterle is a nice player but he’s sucking up a roster spot and not playing right now. Might be time to reconsider carrying 8 defensemen as well.

  8. The problem is that the top players are all struggling, particularly the forwards. I don’t see a few changes on the bottom line making a difference if the stars don’t get it going. What is most frustrating is the lack of energy. When things aren’t going your way you need to focus on what you can control and that is effort and intensity. We are a “bigger” team than in recent years yet I see almost no physical play in recent games from Panik, Saad, Hartman and even the 4th line with Hayden has trailed off. A big hit can change the momentum quickly and physical play is more likely to lead to greasy goals. This is more important than bringing up some more speed from Rockford at this time IMO. We were supposed to be tougher to play against this year with some of the changes and that is clearly not the case.

  9. re: iceman’s mention of Tampa – true. But let’s see how comfortable they are in 12 months when Namestikov gets a raise & in 24 months when it’s time to re-up w/ Kucherov…

  10. This Blackhawks team is more physical than they’ve been recently but they aren’t turning that into offensive opportunities, which they did 7-9 years ago. Being hard to play against doesn’t just mean you’re hitting people – it implies that you’re watching the puck head the other direction while you get up off your ass. This Hawks team doesn’t control the puck well at all.

  11. Last paragraph. So what do the Blackhawks do.

    Since the guys who are not producing as they should are your franchise players, you can change the parts around them and see if they jel with somebody else.

    Hinostroza, Dauphin, Gustafson would all be hungry and production wise could not do any worse than what we are currently getting.

    What would changing coaches do ? Light a fire under the core for roughly 5 games and then this cast of characters would like then sink back to what they are a 500 team at best. We already saw this with the huge wins over Pittsburgh and Columbus, mostly on emotion and energy.

    But if you are going to change the Coach it cannot be for a young up and comer like Housley or Tocchet. They are off to rocky starts because they’ve never been a head guy before. It would have to be a hard ass who rewards good play with ice time and unapologetically sits players who don’t produce. Their are very few guys with that streeet cred. Daryl Sutter would have nothing to lose. Come in and crack the whip.
    If it does not work find somebody else in the off season,

    In the meantime we watch the definition of insanity play out before our eyes night after night. I expect the same in Carolina tomorrow.

  12. A few years back the word was anyone on the Toews line looked like a superstar because of Toews talent as a centerman. Even Bickell shined when paired up with Toews. But the last two years saw Johnny’s production come in well below expectations, especially during the quickly aborted two playoff runs. Then the “party line” became ” the reason Toews production is down is because he doesn’t have a good left winger. So the team went out and acquired Saad again… for Artemi Panarin. At the time I thought it was a good move too. But in retrospect ( and hindsight is always perfect) what did they do? They broke up one of the most dynamic and high scoring lines in the league…. Panarin, Anisomov, Kane… to juice up Toews output and fix the #1 line.. That #2 line of last year had chemistry.

    Now Saad is not even playing with Toews anymore. And Kaner looks lost out there.

    The other problem is Coach Q. He was terribly out coached during the recent playoffs… and frequently failed to make necessary adjustments like pulling Crow when he was having a terrible outing and putting in Darling. Hey it worked a couple of years ago…why not try it again. And now every day Q has shuffeled the deck so the players have no chance to develop and line chemistry.

    There is enough blame to go around. So what should the team do going forward? How about putting Saad back with Toews…. after all that is why they went out and got him back. And put Debrynkit and Anisimov back with Kaner. Maybe the 19 year old kid can show some flashes of Panarin.

    Please excuse my spelling. Thanks.

  13. Tab not trying to portray Forsling as a game changer but his speed on the blueline is a needed asset. Also my point on Keith needing a partner is if your offense is sputtering and you have a future hof dman who can help spark it and you don’t take advantage of that and give him the opportunity to play his game, good things are probably not going to happen.

  14. So here is some food for thought. Blackhawks are ranked 3rd GA/GP at 2.75. The Blackhawks are ranked 20th at GF/GP at 2.44. I wonder what that goals fielded stat would be if you threw out the first two games….. This means the defense isn’t that bad, Corey Crawfard is amazing and Toews and Kane really really suck. The game has changed the last couple of years, two way fowards and all the back checking and the defensive mentality in the nhl has changed. These things are relevant but not as relevant as scoring. There needs to be a change in the way the hawks play on the ice not always back checking and worry about defensive responsibilitys. This is so evident in the power play becuase the players and the coaching staff have no idea how to organize the offense of this team and are structured more to stop pucks not score goales. Fire Q and get a coach to run a system to own people on the power play and 5v5, the NHL has changed the hawks need to also on how they play the game. I’m sick of seeing the same team the last two years and talking about defense and not talking about the no goal scoring…….By the way Toews and that ranking of being 12th in NHL centers seems to be legit he’s doing nothing to lead this team by scoring and in turn winning. Also the first round exit last year of getting destroyed by the preds was not because the preds were scoring at will on the hawks the hawks fielded 3 goals the whole series…………START SCORING NOT CHECKING!!!!!

  15. I just think the window has closed for this team. Some talent in the AHL, but nothing that with improve the team that much. The “Core” has had a great run in Chicago, but right now they all range from ineffective (Kane), to flat out finished (Seabrook). I have no idea what could be done, but trying to re-upholster this particular team will be very difficult, and prolong the inevitable. Us Blackhawks fans have had a great ten years, better than I ever dreamed. Now it looks like we are in for a lengthy stretch of lean ones.

  16. I would just add that what I am seeing is not a deficiency in Q’s coaching. What hasn’t he tried that would be the silver bullet to fix everything? He doesn’t have the horses…..but if you want to change coaches, it would be because someone close to the team sees that they are not engaged with Q anymore, or too far in a comfort zone.

    The Hawks play a puck moving puck possession system, and due to the player turnover they have had since 2015, they are a bad team at those things. They can’t out possess the puck and outshoot (or out quality chance) most teams like they used to do regularly. They also are not equipped to play a heavy game.

    That is the dilemma that Q or any coach would have with this team.

    I agree with the poster that said we don’t have a number 1 pair dman to go with Keith. That is why I was and still am against the Hammer deal. It came one year too early. He still has two years on that deal. And there is now no one to play with Keith. The closest guy is a KHL free agent that we didn’t even know for sure could play in the NHL this year. And NO ONE is trading the Hawks a number one pair defenseman. Last time that happened….Weber-Subban. Or Larsson-Taylor Hall. So unless you want to move Keith, or Toews or Kane, no one is giving us what we need in that area. Which is exactly why hanging on to Hammer for this year would have made sense, along with all the other trades and signings we did.

  17. Avs fan here who goes to WMU. Any chance Matheson Iacopelli sees some ice time with the big club this season? He was a really fun player to watch while he was playing for the Broncos. Sat next to him in a math class. Hoping for the best for him.

  18. The 2nd pick we traded for 24 we got back for 65. Therefore, Debrinkat is that 2nd pick.

    No core player or top 6 player was used to get douchknee. 1st, 2nd, 3rd pick and prospects were. You donot have to trade a top 6 player to get one.

    We will trade a pick, maybe not a 1st, when ever we want to to do a trade we feel is worth it. We also will get that pick back, unless it’s a 1st, when we donot keep a player going for a higher cap hit, like 36/65/etc.

    We need and want to be creative. Like adding a good player as a UFA and trading one that gets us a prospect or good pick. Like adding a good top 4 adman player with 81 lair and then selling/or trading a defenseman at deadline because we have more then we need by adding and having 9 and then you add a good prospect or pick at deadline as well as adding a face off guy.

    Top 3 GA is outstanding. 20th in GF (after a two game 10 and 5 output and a 1/2/3 goals for 10-15 games) is not so hot. Sounds just like LA and BOS when they were good type teams. We’re not going to be this bad and we aren’t this bad on OFF. Does anyone really believe our elite players are going to get shutout for 70 games in a row.

    We do need to do what we need to do, in addition to having a normal sch for certain stretches of the 82 games. There are 3 long stretches where we play 7-14 games in a row with a normal fucking sch. Which will allows us to do good record wise, we just need to play and make whatever adjustments/and trades moves along the way.

  19. re: Goldenrug – people thought the window had closed on Pittsburgh 4 years ago, too… it’s about rebuilding a COMPLETE roster around your superstars. This is still a work in progress and there are a few areas that could be addressed to change the dynamics

  20. Iacopelli…probably not this year. Have better options.

    Craig, what guys would go out or move down if you make those call ups?

    Uninspired.

  21. Morrison: Not correct. The Blackhawks straight up got picks 39 (DeBrincat) & 45 (Chad Krys) from Montreal for Andrew Shaw.

    The Hawks 2nd round pick in 2018 was dealt to Montreal with Danault for Tomas Fleischmann & Dale Weise.

  22. I didn’t mean the actual pick, just that it was a 2nd for 24 and Debrinkat was a 2nd and we got for 65. So basically that was the same, 2nd pick.

  23. Or we could be tanking on purpose since it’s virtually tied for teams records, a couple wins diff your a 7 or 8 seed and your a lottery pick. How about us getting a top 5 pick. Dive Dive Dive.

  24. I prob wrong on that, just saying we got a 2nd back essentially around the same time on the 10 yr time flow and got Debrinkat for a 2nd.

  25. I saw Coach Q yesterday in an interview defend his everyday line changes … saying that every player should be able to play with every other player. So he doesn’t believe in chemistry on the ice???? So then tell me Q, what did Kane and Panarin have last year?

    Time for a change.

  26. re: coaching change – who are the Blackhawks going to go get that’s better than Q? Sincerely, not being sarcastic… are we saying hand the roster to Dineen? This is an organization that’s in win now mode.

  27. And they are not winning. I hear talk that Q has lost the locker room. Unfortunately in so many things it is….”what have you done for me lately”.

  28. Q has lost the locker room. This team has tuned him out. Q talks all the time about net presence and hard work. Look at the heat chart and tell me how responsive the team is to his direction. Sucko PP is mostly coaching and scheme. There is talent out there. Kane has not forgot how to score. Even HOF coaches get fired in the end. There scheme do grow old and they lose their effectiveness.

    This team is not getting better by means of personnel changes. Too many NTC and low and minimal draft picks have ensure that there are no young guns sitting in the AHL ready to save the day. Restaffing the 4th line is not answer. Leadership is proven during tough times. It’s time that the captain gets called out. In hockey more than another sport, the team is a reflection of the captain. Look at the Blues once they figured out that they needed to move Backes. Never the less Toews is not playing as he once did. I am not referring to his scoring output. I am referring to his ability to fight for pucks, and his willingness to post up in front of the net. If the captain does not do any dirty work why should his team mates. That makes it much hard for Q to drive the team’s direction. Maybe it’s his back or maybe he needs to eat more meat, I don’t know. It will have to be his leadership that helps turn this around because he is not going anywhere for a long time.

    Trade in the kale for a rib eye. Go Hawks

  29. whenever I read someone say “I hear” I have to ask “where? from whom?” because reading it on Twitter isn’t “hearing” it from a legitimate source.

  30. Agreed hear say should be limited. I used the example of how the team is playing and the shot heat chart as an example that the team seem to be ignoring Q’s directions.

    The lack of shots from around the net was very telling

  31. Nope.. I didn’t hear it from HHNL …. but it has been pretty obvious to me for several weeks…in fact very obvious in the playoffs V. the Preds.

  32. I don’t know if it’s fair to say Q has lost the room (as I said this type of discussion gains momentum like a snowball going downhill) but I believe he’s had his run—

    it’s best to look at the Hawks post Q–it’s really hard to go from the top and Cups to middle tier with the same guy giving the message–and the harder things get he will go to what he thinks works best–and it may have expired.

    I agree with Tab that there might not be anybody better now. The more interesting question is how much does the core have left-i.e. is it time to really change direction (as best you can) or battle through this?

  33. the cap, father time and a few too many concussions to key players leaving them shadows of their former selves have all succeeded in rendering the hawks a middling team that may not make the show in april and will exit early if they do. I hope I am wrong but it looks like the entire team has lost their sense of urgency, will to win and most importantly, confidence.

    down 2 with the net pulled and a minute to play last night, kane meandering around in his own D zone, killing clock with no real plan and zero sense of time or urgency, pretty much tells you where this team is.

    adding insult to injury, there are not many ways out of this box tho the reset of a new coach and retooling of systems and lower end personnel might be worth a try given how well pens did with that 18 months ago. but NMC’s have the bowmans handcuffed on any major player changes. the constant blowups and remakes of the bottom 6 fwd and 2 or 3 defense has been amazing the last 10 years, but you can only beat the entire market so many times on players paid under 1M and this current crop including rockford boys just won’t beat the lower8-9 players of nash, toronto and a few other fast young cheap skilled teams. we were there in 2009 on the cusp of a great run. we are no longer close to the top teams in the nhl in skill or speed, the two major trump cards in the game today.

    I am grateful for a great run but the smart money says it is done for a while.

  34. Ogie,

    I would send D-Cat down. He’s a goal scorer, who at 19-years-old, is not scoring goals at the NHL level (there’s now shame in that). Hinostroza is NHL ready and would bring energy (which the Hawks are lacking)

    I would move Kempny for draft pick in 2018. Q does not seem to like him. He is not going to resign here to get yo-yo-ed around. Forsling has passed him on the left side. Gustafson and Oesterle can split his games and likely be glad they are not in the “A”

    I would send Kero down on conditioning, to play games instead of practice and recall Dauphin. Insert Dauphin in place of Sharp. Younger, quicker, perhaps hungrier.

    Yes it’s rearranging chairs and a wing and a prayer. But just seeing the tweets of new line combinations at practice everyday is uninspiring as well.

  35. My dumb opinion???? Take the core off the power play. Lets the Blackhawks have the only powerplay in the league with 4th and 3rd liners on it. Seriouisly how can it get worse. Be honest; if the powerplay was clicking…or heck just not near last in the league they would have 3 to 4 more wins

  36. 1- of the Hawks main problem is-
    the game is moving too fast for many of the youngsters(pace-wise)
    And too fast for our vets(speed-wise).
    You see guys like Schmaltz dust-the-puck-off and by the time they see a play, the window has closed.
    Couple that w/the (seemingly) lackadaisical play of (vets) like Kaner, Saad & Panik
    and you have a recipe for a mediocre team

  37. Try to sell keith at the deadline if he will waive his ntc to go to a contender. Its time to build for the future and hope they can do it before Kane is gone. Get rid of Q. I dont know who to replace him with but the real problem is Bowman mortgaged the future to win now in recent years and Q screwed it up with his playoff lineup against st louis two years ago and its been downhill ever since.

  38. The honest answer is no one in RFD is going to make much of a difference and the guys not playing to their contacts aren’t going to be able to be moved. So you just play it out, and if the Hawks are on the outside at the deadline you mobe some sencondary players for picks. Kempny, Ratta, Forsling all have upside. Artem Anisimnov, Schmaltz, Hartman, see ya! Many of the “negative” posters on here have been seeing these cracks in the foundation for a while now. The worse this team plays the more likely Q does not return if Q leaves this is a full tear down in my opinion.

  39. It all goes back to that playoff series against st louis. That Hawks team was built to repeat at the expense of the future and Q botched it up big time. Hawks should have gone back to the finals that year. Now the team is dealing with the downside of that strategy.

  40. One last point, the Hawks have raised ticket prices so high people are starting to think twice about whether its worth paying. That makes it hard to rebuild and sell at the deadline so we end up with the back to the future signing of Patrick Sharp to try to sell fools gold to the fans paying for the tickets. Its a common problem in sports and the Hawks are in the midst of the downward spiral right now.

  41. To start, the Hawks miss Hossa, immeasurably.
    Toews is now a good 3rd line center.
    Kane s in a funk exacerbated by the fact he doesn’t have an elite line mate to play with.
    Schmaltz potential was last seen in Game#1.
    Saad and Panik have gone into hibernation.
    Sharp has nothing left.
    DeBrincat isn’t the savior.
    Hayden and Hartman are vying for a 4th line winger role.
    Keith still hasn’t realized he doesn’t have an NHL caliber shot so he keeps shooting like it’s something the helps the team.
    Seabrook can still make a good play every now and then in between the not so good plays.
    Murphy is no Hjalmarsson.
    Forsling, Rutta and Kempny still have potential to be good d-men, but that potential has not yet been consistently realized yet.
    Forsberg … I’m kind of afraid the see him again, aren’t you?

    COREY CRAWFORD – YES!!!! MVP of the team AINEC. Vezina contender so far and I don’t want to contemplate where the Hawks would be without him this season.

    Yep, the team sucks.

  42. Agree with everything you said…. but would add one thing. Q has lost the team and the ability to be flexible and properly adapt.

  43. I’m not ready to lay blame at Q what so ever. Q is a great and arguably one of the greatest of all time. The talent is either lacking or not playing up to their potential. Q is likely frustrated as he should be. Stan has done a poor job drafting over the last several yrs and done some poor trades and contracts and this is the result. No easy fix at this stage.

  44. Pete – great post- it does back to St. Louis… and even further to SB drafting Schmaltz over Fabbri… Fabbri – was the difference in that series…

    Hawks would have won that series w/ Fabbri… and gone very deep… SC??? who knows

  45. Why is Tazer only a 3rd line center now, he’s obviously more like a 4th line center. Maybe a fringe player in a yr.

    This talk has become a joke.

  46. I agree with you completely…. he is living on his past laurels…. but playing the role of Captain to the hilt. Disgusting.

  47. Well, to be accurate, I called Toews a GOOD 3rd line center. Similar to Anisimov who would be considered an adequate, but not good 2nd line center whereas he would be considered a good 3rd line center.

    Let’s put it this way – Toews is closer to a 3rd line center than a 1st line center. His offensive game has deteriorated considerably. He doesn’t shoot or pass any where close to what he used to. He has trouble controlling the puck on his stick and often fumbles it away and loses possession whereas he used to be elite at controlling and possessing the puck. He chases the puck on defense far more than he used to in his Selke years.

    Toews plays the type of game where he gets physically abused and it looks to me that it has caught up with him after years of physical board battles and taking a beating standing in front of the net. Toews is not slightly built but he’s certainly no brick sh!thouse either. He is simply not the same player he was for so many years.

  48. Yes SB mortgaged the future for the present … and here we are. What we gave away for Weiss and Fleischman is just an example.

    I will give SB credit for rebuilding the team and winning the SC in 2013 after losing so much talent after the 2010 SC win.

  49. He has been that way for a couple of years and I can’t understand why. Girl problems? His new diet? Effect of that concussion…. remember he drove his Mercedes, I mean Chevy, into the El platform support on Wabash.

  50. In my saner moments I keep things in perspective and acknowledge I was in favor of mortgaging the future for the opportunity to win the Cup and 3 Cups later I still think it was the right thing to do.

    But then I watch a 2017/18 game and lose all perspective because I’m a fanatic and want my Hawks to win every game or at least play well and when they don’t I whine and complain a lot.

  51. re: “Mortgaged the future” – he didn’t trade DeBrincat in spite of numerous opportunities/asks. He hasn’t traded Forsling or Snuggerud or the rights to Sikura or Gilbert. To say he sold his soul to Montreal because he traded Phillip Danault is a bit premature… not many players with limited NHL experience/prospects who have been traded out of Chicago by Bowman have amounted to much at all.

  52. Bowman went for it two years ago trying to repeat. I agreed with him then and now even though they lost to st louis in 7 games. Q botched the playoff lineup in the beginning of that series. Fact check me on that. Then he figures it out(or Bowman had to do an intervention)and the hawks started winning games including blowout and the st louis goalie saved them in game 7. hawks should have won that series and after that who knows. Q botched that and he needs to be called out on that because its been downhill ever since. somebody check the playoff lineup for the hawks in the series against st louis two years ago. For instance Bowman acquired Weiss from the canadiens as a very good complimentary depth player. Q didn’t play him in the beginning of the series. There were other players as well. Now the hawks are feeling the downside of the strategy so the discussion is still relevant .

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