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Blackhawks Summer Shopping: Defensemen

As Blackhawks fans look to the 2016-17 season, one of the areas the team needs to address is the blue line.

We already talked about blue line prospects in the system. In the wake of that piece, the Hawks also signed Gustav Forsling. So there are some pieces – known commodities and young prospects – to consider. There are also ongoing rumors that the Blackhawks will sign KHL veteran Michal Kempny.

But adding a veteran is a distinct possibility; Chicago struggled running three rookies out against the Blues.

Obviously the Hawks have limited financial flexibility this summer and have some restricted free agents – specifically Andrew Shaw – to consider. There are some unrestricted free agents hitting the market that might be on the radar, though.

Here are five players to keep in mind this summer.

David Schlemko
Age: 29
Shoots: Left
2015-16 Season: 67 games, 6 goals, 13 assists, 19 points, 88 blocked shots, 48.93 5-on-5 SAT%
2015-16 Cap Hit: $625,000
Schlemko averaged 18:38 per game for the Devils last season, contributing on the power play and penalty kill. He is coming off a low cost deal and had a nice season with 19 points and was one of the better defensemen in New Jersey overall last season. Undrafted, he has played 298 regular season games for the Coyotes, Stars, Flames and Devils since making his NHL debut during the 2008-09 season.

Ben Lovejoy
Age: 32
Shoots: Right
2015-16 Season: 66 games, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, 154 hits, 106 blocked shots, 51.34 5-on-5 SAT%
2015-16 Cap Hit: $1,100,000
Lovejoy is still playing with the Penguins after a nice regular season in which he averaged 18:52 on ice per game. Brent Seabrook as the only Hawks defenseman to register more than 100 hits and blocked shots last season, making Lovejoy a player who would fill a couple roles for a team that needs another stay-at-home d-man. Lovejoy averaged a team-leading 2:29 per game short-handed on Pittsburgh’s sixth-ranked penalty kill unit last season.

Matt Bartkowski
Age: 28
Shoots: Left
2015-16 Season: 80 games, 6 goals, 12 assists, 18 points, 141 hits, 42 blocked shots
2015-16 Cap Hit: $1,750,000
Bartkowski averaged 18:37 per night for the Canucks this season and broke into the scoring column with the first six regular season goals of his NHL career. After appearing in games for the Bruins at some point over the previous five seasons, Bartkowski finally got an every night role after signing a one-year deal with Vancouver last summer. He averaged 75 seconds per game on the Canucks’ penalty kill. Bartkowski produced three points (one goal, two assists) in 15 games while with the Bruins during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 postseasons.

Mike Weber
Age: 28
Shoots: Left
2015-16 Season: 45 games, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, 108 hits, 61 blocked shots
2015-16 Cap Hit: $1,666,667
Weber split the 2015-16 season between Buffalo and Washington. We wrote about him before the deadline, and his lower cap hit might make him an option again this summer. The Caps gave up a third round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft to acquire Weber, who averaged under 14 minutes on the ice in ten regular season games in Washington.

The Wild Card:

campbell

Brian Campbell
Age: 37
Shoots: Left
2015-16 Season: 82 games, 6 goals, 25 assists, 31 points, +31, 52.61 5-on-5 SAT%
2015-16 Cap Hit: $7,142,875
Coming off the contract he signed with Dale Tallon in Chicago (finally), Campbell would be a known commodity to coach Joel Quenneville and the front office. He would also be a tremendous mentor to the young puck-moving defensemen in the organization, especially Trevor van Riemsdyk and Erik Gustafsson. The question is how much of a pay cut he would be willing to take to return to Chicago, and how long the Hawks would want to lock-in a player who turns 37 later this month.

36 thoughts on “Blackhawks Summer Shopping: Defensemen

  1. I wouldn’t be against Soupy and another move. It can’t just cant be Soupy. I like Weber and Schlemko, but if its Soupy & Kempny thats a home run in my world!

  2. Interesting list Tab. I posted this last week under the Forsling thread on this site

    I think the question on Campbell is more of a, do the Hawks want him ?

    He was a Tallon signing. Stan traded him for cap reasons.

    I bumped into Scotty at the Buffalo airport back in 2009 and asked him about Campbell. He said BC plays with absolutely no structure, runs all over the ice and gets out of position.

    When the Hawks lost to Vancouver in 2011, there was video of Scotty Bowman screaming at Tallon in the Hawks box after a Canucks goal, because Campbell was caught chasing the puck in his own zone and Vancouver scored.

    Keep in mind, Scotty still has a lot of say when it comes to the Hawks and he is not a fan of Brian Campbell. I doubt that has changed.

    I am wondering if Stan pursues a trade for a defenseman at the draft.

    Q had Rundblad, Gusty, Svedberg, Ehrhoff and Roszival all at his disposal for the St. Louis series for third pairing D. I’m still perplexed that he unlocked his dog house and inserted both Gusty and Rundblad.

    There has been so much made of the Hawks need for a #4 defenseman to allow TVR to move back and be the number 5 that Stan and company have to know that is a key hole that needs to be filled.

  3. “When the Hawks lost to Vancouver in 2011, there was video of Scotty Bowman screaming at Tallon in the Hawks box after a Canucks goal, because Campbell was caught chasing the puck in his own zone and Vancouver scored.”

    Scotty Bowman was screaming at the GM of the Florida Panthers during the 2011 playoffs?

  4. I remember that video, it didnt run locally it was only shown on the CBC feed and I believe it was Chris Campoli you are thinking about not Soupy

  5. Here we go again. Weber, Bartkowski or Lovejoy look like the stay a home d-man the Hawks need . This guy s will HIT you.Stan needs to be on the same page with Q.However, noticing how Q loves reunions with ex Hawks , ( Versteege , Ladd,Morin, and Rundblad ) Soupy will be his choice. The smoke coming out of Q’s or Stan’s mouth ready to go up our ASSES is the he is Familiar with Q’s system.

  6. The question begs to be asked (again). Why was Scotty Bowman yelling at Dale Tallon, who was then the GM of the Florida Panthers. Had been there since May 2010.

    Someone asked Stan about Rozsival… Bowman said he isn’t ruling it out, haven’t made that determination yet. And he’s a guy that knows how to play in the league. (Insert four letter word)

    Campbell has said he’d like to stay in Florida.

    I might add Jordie Benn, Kyle Quincy,or Goligoski. With so many teams being up against the cap a few guys may take less on a shorter term.

  7. https://youtu.be/3TbJ-SKrsYs

    CBC feed after the loss. Dont see any of Hawks manavement there. Just see the Canucks looking like idiots after a first round win.

    Totally forgot about Fernando Pisani and Ryan Johnson. Jassen Cullimore,Jordan Hendry. Collectively they played 2 NHL games after that game 7.

  8. Your right, it ain’t Soupy, It’s Campoli, who tried to clear the zone backhanded around the net in the hand of BURROWS instead of wheeling it behind the net, not sure who was the others guys on the ice, but the last guy who gave away the puck to BURROWS is Campoli… Soupy was horrible in is own end too…

  9. I got my dates crossed up. It was 2009. But it wasn’t the Campoli giveaway. It was earlier in the series. Campbell got caught running around and Scotty had a cow in the press box.

    Tab’s right, Tallon was gone by the time they met in 2011.
    Sorry to the sidetrack this thread.

    Again my point being, Scotty Bowman is not a fan of Brian Campbell. I highly doubt they bring Campbell back.

    I think Ernie’s right. He stays in Florida for another year or two then calls it a career.

  10. re: Jordie Benn, Kyle Quincy,or Goligoski – Benn won’t leave his brother in Dallas if he’s smart & the Hawks can’t afford Quincy (and shouldn’t) or Gologiski.

  11. Tab it would be nice if the Hawks could somehow land Benn.Money has been known to come between brothers.Payback for Johns?

  12. I don’t think a paycheck comes between a 6th defenseman and a Hart Trophy finalist… Jordie stays w/ Jamie in Dallas.

    And Johns is a better player than Jordie Benn. Taking him out of Dallas actually helps Johns get more ice time. A lose-lose

  13. Read this in purple. Sarcasm is often missed in writing.

    How bout Cam Barker? He led the KHL in scoring! Sami Lepisto was up there too and rumored to be wanting back.

  14. Campbell would be nice if he’s willing to sign cheap. Hopefully they sign Kempny and he’s an adequate 5/6.

    Keith-Seabrook
    Hjalmarsson-Campbell
    Kempny-TvR

  15. Guessing USA/Czech game will be on TV Thursday… so I will get my 1st look at Kempny… seems like he logs the 1st/2nd minutes for Czech D guys!!!

    Fins- shut out Canada… seems like the Fin Hockey has really improved over last few years… including some World Junior Championships….

    1st pick??? I luv Matthews… but Laine, Puljarvvi are very BIG and have won in Jrs. (and I still think Sebastian Aho is under radar stud/ all ready drafted)…
    Barkov, TT

  16. Q loves reunions with former Hawks players? Maybe Versteeg and Ladd – okay. But Morin? And Rundblad? I don’t think he loves either one of those players at all. He had no choice but to take a chance on Rundblad, because Rosival can’t skate anymore. I don’t even think Morin was issued a Hawks jersey before being shipped off to Toronto and then onto San Jose! Come on!

    As for defensemen – please no more Campbell. They guy likes to wander too much and then he can’t hit anyone. Weber would be the best choice, but the Hawks simply are not going to have the dough to make a big splash at defense.

  17. Just my novist opinion and from what ive been reading but this doesnt appear to be a very strong draft. The fact the Laine has come from NOWHERE to now being regarding as a top prospect makes me question how much talent is actuallt in the draft this year. Only time will tell.

  18. Campbell plays the Hawks style – he doesn’t hit but he moves the puck up. It’s probably a pipe dream anyway because even if he would consider coming back to the Hawks, he would probably want more than the Hawks can afford.

  19. Laine hasn’t come from nowhere. He was a highly thought of U18 player and played a big role on the Finns Jr teams. He, Puljarvi and Aho were the main forwards in the last couple Jr World tourneys/

  20. I’m w/ ebonyraptor… Laine has been on the map for some time. Just because he’s overseas and not getting magazine covers in the US/Canada like Matthews doesn’t mean he didn’t exist

  21. @EB

    Fine I will accept that the Euro scouts have been watching him, but now he is a top overall pick? To me it just screams weak draft. I just went back and looked at the 2012 draft. 4 years later and that looks like a bad draft. Forsberg and Tuevo may be the 2 best players.

  22. SSHM- Laine has not come from nowhere… I think I mentioned this guy 3 or 4 years ago… I mentioned I watched youtube videos of him… kid was like 6’2″ three or 4 years ago skating versus guys who literally came up to his sternum… skating thru and around them like they were pylons… I suggest you look it up for a Laugh!!!

    Obviously – giant and others were “scared”… but actually skated well for Giant kid that young!!! NOT fair to be that Huge and still move well at that age…

    kinda like Durant-unfair to shoot that well and be that big/agile…

    In WJC-20’s… he didn’t skate like Kane or anything… but didn’t think he was slow either

  23. I cringe at the thought of Campbell coming back. He had a great career but is way past his best before date. As for being a tremendous mentor, what’s wrong with Keith and Seabrook?

    The reality of the cap limits what the Hawks can do on the open market, quality defenceman don’t come cheap. Time to trade a forward or two in order to get a solid defenceman , otherwise develop what they have in the system. Rock or hard place, take your choice.

  24. Here’s an interesting article by Dimitri Filipovic, take a look at where Lovejoy and Campbell fall on the chart relative to the Chicago players listed. I think it’s safe to say that Campbell would be a big help in breaking up zone entries and transitioning to offense, which plummeted this season.

    Article: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/defencemen-can-control-play-protecting-blueline/

    Interactive Chart from Article: https://public.tableau.com/profile/publish/Zoneentrytargets-round2update/Dashboard2#!/publish-confirm

  25. Both Laine and Puljujarvi have been known commodities for a while. Puljujarvi had been thought to be be better prior to this year. Both are studs. Anyone see Douche Perry take out Laine?

  26. XJEFF7296: It was just sarcasm about Morin and Rundblad.Rozsival couldn’t skate last year and got resigned.Rundblad, I’m scratching my head that he’s not on the Sweden’s team playing at the World Championship games. Ehrhoff is playing on Germany’s team at the same tournament. Just more sarcasm.

  27. Question is would everybody want Soupy at 1.0m/1yr. We wouldn’t do a caphit we cant. Same thing when Sharpy current contract is up, would everybody want him back for a low (1 or so/1yr at a time) caphit.

  28. Its time to move hossa and free up some money, package him with bickell and then you will have some money to sign ladd and shaw

  29. BARNEY STONE for GM! thats what 8 million a season for 2 players with less then 20 NHL goals last season what GM wouldnt want that move???

  30. SothsideHawksman: Mr. Stone forgot to throw in Marcus ( 0 goals and 4 assist 3 million $ s ) Kruger and if he trades now’ they also get FREE David Rundblad plus FREE shipping.

  31. I seriously get Kruger is a valuable player and what he does is important but OMG the guy has zero offensive touch and at 3 million is WAY over paid. Sorry my Hawks arrow continues to point down! How much is that group, and all recent Stan moves

    Bickell @ 4 million-not an NHL player
    Kruger @3 million-ZERO offensive game
    Runblad @ 1 million isnt horrible but his play in his own end is downright scary!

  32. And because of this moves , there might not be enough money for a well deserving Hawk Andrew Shaw. The guy with the biggest COJONES on the team.

  33. As usual, a spirited blog orchestrated by Tab. Man I love Brian Campbell and he can still outskate 95% of the D-men in the league, but he would have to take a HUGE pay cut to come back home.

    I like the fact that we are looking to get younger on the D-line. Stan is doing the right thing, sign a promising player and try to develop him correctly. If he doesn’t work, you find another young player and work on him. You will never win just bringing in over paid free agents. We have to find out if we have “true NHL” talent in our farm system.

    The Kings and the Blues are finding out the hard way that the “heavy game” has gone the way of the dinosaur in the NHL. It’s speed, skill and defensive technique. Right now, the Sharks look like the Hawks of 2013 and the Blues are packing their golf clubs.

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