Blackhawks To Build New Practice Facility

On Wednesday night, reports surfaced that the Blackhawks and the City of Chicago have agreed on a new facility being built on the site of Malcolm X College. Crain’s Danny Ecker tweeted a few images of the future project, which is slated to begin construction in 2016.

80 thoughts on “Blackhawks To Build New Practice Facility

  1. More amenities that will make other players want to play for the Hawks. That can only be a positive, like flying first class : silverware, meals and drinks constantly refilled.

  2. So perhaps this is where some of those WJC games take place?? In any event, after what happened last summer with that guy at Johnny’s and how there staff handled the situation glad they’re moving. Long overdue that they have all facilities in house.


    You are absolutley correct. Ask anyone that receives a paycheck from the Blackhawks and they will tell you the Blackhawks consider themselves a luxury brand, not just a hockey team. This has been the philosophy since John McDonough was hired, it will continue to be this teams mindset as long as he is employed there. Make no mistake the Hawks have their sights set on being the number 1 franchise in town and that includes that team from Lake Forest

  4. Looks like a great place.

    I would think these sheets could be used for practices for WJC, but I think they would need something with more seating for the other games. For the 2nd rink they could use the Horizon or the Bradley Center, or the BMO. There is nothing that says they cannot use rinks in 2 cities for prelim round games for pool “B”. Then when they begin the elimination games they would all be at the UC. A few years back they did games in Saskatoon and Regina during the prelims (180 miles apart) and next year they use Toronto and Montreal.

  5. Now that is refreshing to see. They will actually build this facility without fleecing the tax payers. AND it will serve the community. I’d say, pinch me, but this kind of grace from this organization does not surprise.

  6. Yet another example of why this organization is so highly regarded. Always do the right thing, give back to the fans and community and don’t threaten crazy actions if the taxpayers don’t ante up with huge dollars. What a stark comparison to the “freak-show” that is the NFL where teams are demanding ridiculous amounts of money to stay in a city (see Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego). Well done Rocky!

  7. Thanks to Lewis Gross’ horrendous negotiating on behalf of an uninformed or illinformed Saad, the Hawks can build this beautiful facility.

  8. Iceman- Stop. It’s done. He ain’t coming back. And the Hawks could be better off in the near future.

  9. @ ICEMAN

    Have you looked around during this free agency period to see what guys are getting paid. Michael Frolik is making over 4 million a season. Holtby 6.5 million, Tarasenko 7.5.

    Brandon Saad is a 1st line winger and he’s pretty much been that since day 1 here. NHL players only have a limited shelf life. The only one at fault is Saad for making comments about it not being about the money; when really it was all about the money. He’ll likely score 30 goals and possibly be an regular all star. Unfortunately, the way the roster is constructed and lack of moves of certain players the Hawks can’t afford another player in that bracket. No sense in worrying about it anymore and certainly that has zero to do with a new arena.

  10. And further…..It’s always all about the money. SSHM players just shouldn’t comment about money at all. Think about it. Saad is a 22 year old stud. His agent (and parents maybe) are buzzing around his head, take the money while it is there.

    The only players who do give up money are those close to the end of the line and want to win a cup (Richards) or want to go back home (Vermette).

    Even IF Bickell and Versteeg were moved, Hawks still were not gonna pay Saad $36mm for 6 years.

    Voracek extension…..$66mm for 8 years, $8.25mm Cap hit

  11. $36 mil for Saad a little too risky at this point in his career, even if you have cap space. Agree with Ernie: No problem with the trade SB made here. I can almost hear the UC crowd: “Dano, Dano, Dano,…”.

    Flyers made mistake with the Voracek contract. They are going nowhere and will be in a weak cap position to improve next year. Better to negotiate his contract next year. If he is offer-sheeted, you walk away with two firsts, a second and third round picks.

  12. Actually the longer Stan waits, the more confidence I have. He is waiting for his phone to ring from teams that are looking for nhl players. Bickell, morin, tropp, maybe garbutt.

    And much like the Leddy deal last year, somebody will call. The calendar turned August and it is worth noting that the Hawks are the Champs (again) and 29 other teams want to be just like them.

    There is no desperation. Stan will have the Hawks cap compliant by the start of the season.

    It’s been a crazy July. Sharp traded, saad traded in late June, tikonkov signed, Daley and garbutt added. Johns traded. Visinten signed, possible steal in the pipes.

    Should be interesting to see how Stan pares down all these forward and still gives Denault, Hartman, McNeil, Ross and Baun a chance at camp.

  13. Galchenyuk signs a 2 year bridge deal with AAV of $2.8M. Saad is a year older but they both started in the 2012/13 lockout year and have almost the identical stats (ppg – Galchenyuk missed about 20 games in 2014/15 so his points total is a little less).

    Saad wanted to be paid NOW – not because he “earned it”, but because he had the leverage to demand it. I hated to lose Saad, but the Galchenyuk deal is more evidence that trading Saad for Dano and Anisimov may be a blessing in disguise.

  14. Side note on Visentin. Icehogs gave him a contract so he doesn’t count against the 50 spc list. He became a free agent when Arizona didn’t tender a qualifying offer. He was essentially usurped by Louis Domingue who rejected Arizona’s a 1 year 2 way contract with Arizona and will play in Europe. Arizona had signed Lindback but you have to wonder if they would have tendered an offer to Visentin, had they known Domingue was heading to Europe.

  15. I have to think that once Lou Lam settles in, in Toronto he will br looking to add NHL level players who will at least make the Leafs competitive. He is smart enough to look at the Hawk roster and see roughly 17 forwards. A few of which might be able to play on the Leafs bottom 2 lines, while perhaps being just “fringe” players for the Hawks.

    In some senses it is almost like supply and demand.

  16. I don’t think Toronto cares much about being competitive this year. They’re looking at probably 2 years from now. They don’t need to trade Phaneuf because he’d still be serviceable in that timeframe. Contract aside, he’s not as detrimental to the locker room as Kessel was perceived to be.

  17. Also with Toronto. They want to keep space clear to offer Stamkos a giant contract. Stamkos with Kapanen and Nylander. That’s a good start.

  18. When the Blackhawks won the Cup in 2010 I read a blogger who said that this was great because the pressure is now on the Leafs with the longest drought. Toronto last won when the NHL consisted of just the Original Six teams. 2016 will mark 49 years without a Cup for them, tying the 2010 Hawks. The longest losing streak was the Rangers at 54 years. Will the Leafs break this record? It looks like they are finally getting serious about turning their franchise around, with the hiring of very experienced management and scouting.

  19. Morrison, I’m not trying to be the spell check police and I’m not calling you out on it because I’ve seen others do it – but when did it become acceptable for the word “more” to be spelled “moar”? I wouldn’t say I’m the epitome of “well read”, but I’ve read a lot in my 61+ years and I’ve never seen it spelled “moar” excelt for the last couple years on the internet. Is it an internet thing like “lol” ? Serious question.

  20. Moar is an alternative name for two languages: Bimoba language, Niger-Congo language spoken in Ghana. Liki language, Austronesian language spoken in Papua, Indonesia.

  21. Somebody tell me when dead weight Bickell and overrated Versteeg will be outta here. Sick of waiting. Need resolution.

    Craig, I hope you are correct about the wait paying off.

    Tab, Wall, Hofmeister, etc: chime in. When will the deals be done and the roster be set?

  22. Wednesday October 7. Come back often flatliner. Maybe you can add something next time. We all love to talk Hawks and hockey in general.

    As for Versteeg being dead weight. I posted stats of players involved in trades directly or indirectly involving Versteeg. Jimmy Hayes, Reilly Smith, and Dylan Olsen. Olsen flamed out. Smith was traded along with Savards dead weight contract for Jimmy Hayes. Of the trip of active NHL players. They all posted similar ppg numbers but Versteeg edged out all three last year. Of the three, Versteeg will have the lowest cap hit.

  23. If Bickell goes, I guarantee Bowman wants to hang on to Versteeg. With the departures of Sharp, Saad and potentially Bickell, there is little LW depth.

    For his price tag, he’s a good player. I don’t know what some of you expect from him- 60+ points? He’s still servicable, has good chemistry with Kane, and has the best rapping skills in the locker room.

    Many of you like to think of his play in the 2014 playoffs or 2015 post Winter Classic battling injuries. His play is more of what we saw last fall and in the Stanley Cup Final.

    His Points Per 60 Minutes last year were ahead of Nathan MacKinnon, Brendan Gallagher, Ryan O’Reilly, and Ryan Kesler. It was close to players like Saad, TvR’s brother James, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

    (Side note: Marko Dano ranked 26 in the league, wedged between Stamkos and Getzlaf)

    At $2.2 million, Bowman should look to keep him and trade the Bickells, Morins, Tropps first.

    Any ideas where Tikhonov fits on the roster?

  24. Yeah, I’m in agreement Ernie, I don’t think Versteeg is dead weight at all. If I recall correctly he was playing very well on Kane’s line for the first few months last season until he got injured in the outdoor game on New Year’s Day. He can play RW or LW and on any line. He’s a pretty good player for $2.2M. I think the only reason he is spoken of in trade discussions is he’s not a player the Hawks look to keep long term and removing his $2.2M would help the Hawks cap situation. I don’t think most Hawks fans would quibble that Versteeg isn’t worth $2.2M, it’s just every penny counts with the tight cap.

  25. Agree with Ernie and Ebonyraptor on Versteeg. His season overall was reasonably good. He has speed and smarts and will be a contributor if he remains. But being in cap hell at the present time means that Versteeg is very much in play if they cannot move Bickell. We may have to wait until October before this gets settled.

  26. Repeat: I never called Versteeg dead weight. Please read.

    However, I do stand by calling him overrated. He skates half his shifts on his knees. He’s knocked down easily. He hesitates with the puck and gets stripped frequently. Every once in a while he makes a decent pass, but for the most part he is average at best. Hence–overrated.

    I suspect that any of the youngsters in Rockford would be adequate replacements–and cheaper.

    I realize he’s not a huge cap hit, but to get Kruger–dump Versteeg asap. No regrets.

  27. Yes I think its going to be a while before we see some movement across the league and from the Blackhawks ( Bickell ) …not 100% sure but I think the arbitration hearings end this upcoming week and then things will open up as everyone knows where they sit dollar wise. Several teams really have done very little in terms of trying to fix things and I think they are all holding out looking to pick up bargains but as I’ve previously stated, if they all do it then it won’t work. Training camp is a ways off yet, then exhibition games and opening night even longer…enjoy the summer, have a BBQ, wear your Blackhawk jersey, T shirt, or cap, bask in the glory of the Stanley Cup win and let Bowman worry about the dilemmas and the $’s. It’s going to be fine…better than fine.

  28. Mining Man, that helps. Thanks.

    I’ll now only scour the Internet for trade updates 50 times a day instead of the usual 100.

  29. Flatliner, the hustle play on the game winning goal in game 5 against Tampa in the third period was all Versteeg. At Tampa in a 1 to 1 game. vermette scores. Hawks hang on and win, then bring home the Cup with a win on Monday June 15. Anybody who says “yeah but…” just has zero understanding on how hard it is to win the ultimate prize.

    Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen might never in their careers make a play like that. But go ahead, flame away at Versteeg at being anbatross on then salary cap.

  30. Craig, I never said he was worthless. Just overrated.

    He’s decent. He makes solid plays here and there. Yes, he did good in game 5. He was hot with Richards and Kane for a brief stretch in November. But for long stretches after that he was brutal. Watch the tapes of the games from January on. That’s an average player.

    And to compare him to Olsen and Hayes is silly. Olsen plays defense. Hayes is a hefty leadfooted winger, unlike Versteeg. Those comparisons don’t work.

    I just don’t get why you and others jump up to defend a guy who’s really not that special. And please spare me the condescending “zero understanding” BS. C’mon.

  31. Flatliner. We (and I say that cuz we are on the same page). This is our team.
    We have won 3 Stanley cups, an embarrassment of riches and a repeated joy truly never seen before in our lifetime as hawks fans.

    But for anybody to single out a guy who has delivered all the way back to game 5 against the flyers in 2010 then again in game 5 against Tampa for counting 2.2million against the salary cap ?

    Wow. Glad you are not my boss, cuz everything He did to help build this thing then is worth nothing ? Just dump him cuz we are close to the cap ? And that is specifically the 2 million we “must” get rid of ?

  32. Flatliner – oops, sorry I jumped on the Versteeg/dead weight thing – misunderstanding – mea culpa.

  33. Craig, thank you for making my point for me (that he’s overrated), because you continue to overrate him. A few facts:

    – We won the cup without him in 2013.

    – He was a healthy scratch through a lot of the 2015 playoffs. (One goal, one assist in 12 games.) If he was that solid/important, why did Q bench him?

    – He was a different (better) player in 2010 before the knee injury, so the Philly note is now irrelevant.

    – In terms of “just dump him”–yes! He’s replaceable. You know why? Because HE’S AVERAGE.

    Kruger is many times the player and has many times the value to the team that Versteeg has. So if it takes dumping Versteeg (and his averageness) to retain Kruger–amen. Job well done Stan Bowman.

    It’s not personal, Craig. Just business.


  34. ER–no big deal.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your commentary for years and thank you for your contributions. I’ve learned lots from you on this board. You have a lot of hockey knowledge. As does Craig Nigrelli.

    Nonetheless, I think Versteeg is overrated and we should dump him!

  35. Well Bowman is gonna have to move someone, or two someones because he needs to sign Kruger and I think he wants to deepen the defense.

    They may do something creative like LTIR someone (Bickell?) but back to Versteeg:

    He is getting a knee issue cleaned up again this summer, supposedly arthroscopic so not major but a concern. I’m betting other teams will want to see him in exhibition season although he (probably) still won’t be 100%.

    Plus he’s only got one more contract year so that affects his value.

    We can talk about his contributions and wanting to keep him due to his versatility, but if he stays someone else has to go. Versteeg’s biggest value is probably to the Blackhawks but can he fit with the other things they want to do roster wise?

    I’m just not seeing who else they can move except Crawford, and I don’t see that move for another 12 months, if then.

  36. Flatliner, you are correct that you said overrated opposed to dead weight. But overrated by who? Fans? Who cares what we think. Bowman and Q know his value. And he was scratched when he was playing below himself. Injuries have a lot to do with it. Didn’t he also have food poisoning and an injury to start the year? At 2.2 million, I don’t know what you’d expect. Even if you dump Versteeg and call someone up from Rockford, is there one player in Rockford that is good for 40 points in the NHL? You’d save only1.4, just enough to get you below the cap…and Kruger still isn’t signed. If its Kruger at 2.5 or Versteeg at 2.2 I’d probably take Kruger, but its closer than you think.

    Versteeg at his 4.4 salary, yes overrated. Versteeg at 2.2, bargain. We can compare Versteeg to Hayes. Similar production. Both have their faults. Hayes doesn’t use his size like a 6’6 guy should. How about Versteeg and Reilly Smith? I could argue that the Hawks have a more comparable player in Rockford for Kruger than they do for Versteeg. Versteeg is easier to move, but moving him merely gets you compliant and a call up. It does nothing to get Kruger signed. Hawks are over the cap and there ceiling is 700k lower than everyone else’s. Removing Versteeg for 2.2 and adding Kruger at 2.5 the math still doesn’t work.

    Frolik Navidad- careful with those advanced stats. I have no idea why, but depending on the source I’ve seen Dano anywhere from 6th to 8th to 26th in pp60. The last source his 5v5 pp60 had him 8th. Have to play with minutes total elsewhere and then he’s 6th. Either way, he looks like a good one.

  37. Hof- they’d still need to be compliant at the start of the season to LTIR Bickell or anyone else. Retirement on the other hand….well its not gonna happen. Oh well.

  38. Depending on the price Kruger wants I’m not sure if the dollars here make this trade(s) work. But here’s a proposition.

    Trade Bickell for Doan at 50% retained. Trade Versteeg elsewhere and sign Kruger for 2.5.

    Hawks have 1.05 in savings. Bickell is gone. Versteeg gone. Kruger signed. And we have an NHL left wing with an expiring contract. Everybody happy??

  39. Flatliner… guessing this goes thru to near the start of season… unless- SB- finds another “Great bargain” like AA + Dano (which most likely -does not happen)…

    Perhaps- SB waits for injuries/during camp/pre-season from other teams- and suddenly 29/23/others might have a little value…

    Guessing- 16 will need a contract/to attend camp/pre-season… Rumor is- that if SB can’t clear room before then… 16 will just sign a 1 year cheap deal…. But both SB/16 are hoping to dump $$$ prior to camp- to sign 16 to a longer term/reasonable $$$ hit…

    which brings us to the last rumor- Crow- as trade bait (cuz 29 is getting minimal interest/and yields minimal relief…) and SB will be under the $$$ weight next year- so actually moving CC now – kinda kills 2 birds (Cap summer hells) with one stone… Does Pavelic + Darling= Crow… probably not… but the Cap Issues will only continue next year… and One can imagine Crow/Hawks having a down year with lot’s of new faces/possible injuries/or just being tired from this run… and Crow’s worth/trade value going down (like 10 this year)… so SB might take the easy “out” by moving CC, sooner than later…

    But- none of have access – to what deals/players SB is really being offered – so who knows???

  40. Doan is due 4.55 million this year..I assume you mean Arizona retains half his salary, not us paying half of Bickells. Another old guy without a cup..well it worked with Mayers and Timonen. Yikes.

  41. Doans cap hit is 5.3 and yes I meant Arizona retain half of Doan’s contract. Not the Hawks retain Bickell.

    Doan had 36 points playing with garbage. Bickell had 28 on the Hawks. Then again, look at what happened with Vermette when he came here. I remember Toews courting Doan to come here when Doan signed his last contract in Az.

  42. Even if the numbers can be made to work on a Bickell for Doan trade there are a couple points that make it highly unlikely.

    First, Doan didn’t want to leave his ranch and family in AZ when he had offers to almost pick his destination a few years ago, and since he has a NMC he would have to approve the trade. Maybe he would consider taking a one year shot to win the Cup with the Hawks, but if yes, that brings us to the second point.

    Arizona is a budget team and since they’re already over the Cap floor they don’t have need to take on more salary and therefore probably wouldn’t unless there is some other incentive for them to do so. Would adding prospects/picks be enough for them to exceed their budget?

    I think those are two pretty big hurdles to overcome for this trade to be considered anything other than very unlikely.

  43. As the proverb says “idle minds are the devil’s workshop” and hockey junkies like us have too much time in the off season where our minds are not engaged in real hockey news so we find ourselves conjuring up all kinds of thoughts based on nothing but our insatiable need to fill the void. And I confess this thought is from just such a dubious source – my idle mind …

    I wonder if Stan came to the realization that he’s not going to be able to trade Bickell and therefore will not be able to re-sign Kruger unless Kruger re-signs for less than he made last season ($1.3M) – maybe even as little as $900K which is what it would cost to have Danault replace him in the lineup.

    And in true “fever swamp” thinking I built on that and thought that Stan more or less resigned himself to have to trade Kruger but he thought he would wait to trade him because he’s already strung him along for a month and wants to make it appear that he tried everything he could to re-sign him but in the end it just couldn’t be done.

    But then, Kruger’s camp got wind of it and in chess like fashion made their move to block Stan’s gambit by announcing they would take a 1-year deal. That put the onus back on Stan to somehow find a way to re-sign the good soldier who is willing to sacrifice for the team. It put Stan in a position to have to insult Kruger with an offer of less than what he made last season to make it cap neutral for the Hawks and the optics of that wouldn’t be something Stan (and McD) want.

    You’re move Stan.

    … I better go mow the lawn. It won’t engage my mind but at least the grass will get cut.

  44. Dog days of summer, agree with the idle minds commentary from Ebony. It was nice to see the board light up again for a brief moment. Doan is kind of a dirty player is he not? I think we fire sale Bickell, Morin, Tropp, Nordstrom and likely out of necessity Versteeg for picks and prospects and nothing else.

    I’m going back to the BBQ and do my Bobby Flay imitation.

  45. Ebony, you’re right, the correct grammar is ‘It’s your move, Stan.”

    I’m glad you corrected it there. Most people don’t correct their grammar, they’re too busy doing other things.

    This post brought to you by Webster’s.

  46. Get used to Bickell – can’t see anyone taking his contract (even if we retain a portion). In addition to his weak performance teams have to be concerned with the vertigo episode. Clearly he knows the pressure is on big time to contribute or he gets bought out at the end of the year. Versteeg on the other hand is much more marketable and will be in a contract year so he needs to perform if he wants another deal of any substance. Hof is probably right that teams will want to see him in an exhibition game before pulling the trigger. I also think Kruger’s number is no higher than $2m. I therefore believe the most likely scenario is Versteeg going along with a couple of the extra forwards (Tropp, Morin, Nordstrom and possibly Garbutt). We squeeze by this year with another challenge coming next year.

  47. I don’t think there’s anyway Garbutt is on this roster opening night. Too many dumb penalties. With Dallas retaining, he can be sent down and not be a “buried player”. No cap hit for the Hawks if he’s in Rockford.

  48. Maybe the Hawks hire someone to plant drugs on Bickell and the Hawks terminate the contract. Any volunteers?

  49. Ernie, I disagree regarding Garbutt not being on the team. Q may have softened his stance a little but a leopard can’t change his spots completely and Q likes some red-ass on the team and Garbutt brings that in spades. Look no farther back than opening night of the 2012/13 lockout season when Carcillo started on LW with Toews and Hossa. He promptly got injured and Saad took over that spot, but the precedent of having a red-ass banger with Toews and Hossa was clearly something Q liked. The gamble on Garbutt is that Q and the team leadership can keep him from playing dirty/stupid and that is a gamble – we won’t know for months. But if he can play smart without losing his aggressiveness than the he can make the Hawks a better team by giving them a very good forechecker with that loose cannon kind of reputation. I’m very optimistic that Garbutt will be a good contributor.

  50. I agree with Ebony on Garbutt. Plus his cap hit is low so they’re really not saving much even if they bury him in Rockford for a rookie.

    The other factor is Garbutt can really skate, he’s very fast and the Blackhawks wanted to get even faster. I too think he stays but regardless, they need to move a couple guys before October and I suspect nothing is off the table.

  51. I also agree with Ebony on Garbutt. You know that in Q’s more disciplined system that Garbutt has the chance to be a big contributor. He is an upgrade from Carcillo. He is a combo of fast, tough, sandpaper. He and Desjardins can rotate on the left side and you need insurance from possible injury. As Hof points out, his cap is a steal. I like him more than Daley in the trade.

    Older guys like Ebony and me (just turned 60) can contribute something after all. LOL!

  52. Agree on Garbutt- fast, agitator, forecheck, actually can put puck in net… and a steal for cap hit + SB always has option to use as a “throw in” on Handcuffs deal- as more and more teams refuse to take that anchor known as Bickell!!!

  53. Let’s face it. Stan, Al Mac and company probably have mapped out a dozen or so strategies on how to deal with the cap between now and the start of the season.

    The Bickell to LTIR would be very interesting. It might mean he sits for months right into 2016 and only comes back if he is 100 % healthy, perhaps even around March and tunes up for the playoffs, much like a trade decline addition.

    I would imagine guys like Tropp and Morin might be put on waivers and likely claimed by some team that needs depth.

    But as I think we are seeing, at the beginning of August clearly there is no rush to get this done.

  54. For fun, let’s assume Bicks and Versteeg are gone and Kruger is signed. The Hawks may not be quite as good as last BUT, IMO, will have fewer glaring holes in the lineup. No Handzus or Rosival or even Richards and Vermette in their first 25 games with the Hawks. Hmm, this fall all loses will be the fault of Rundblad !!!!!

  55. Craig, the problem with putting Bickell on LTIR is that the Hawks have to be under with Bickell’s cap hit against the books. LTIR only helps after the season starts.

  56. Just checking in to see the latest with the “Committed Community”,…indeed idle times for hockey fans. Watched the NHLN special on Bobby Orr. For a hockey fan like me this was a real treat. Bobby was out of the league before I ever watched a Hawks game, as a fan of the game it was a great watch. Had to wonder what the Hawks were thinking for the Hawks vs Bruins trade, yikes!

  57. Hawkman, I am old enough to remember the Phil Esposito trade. As young as I was I knew it was a terrible trade. Espo, Hodge, and Stanfield were already terrific players. The Hawks were on the verge of a dynasty at the time. The previous two generations of Wirtz’s ruined the team.

    Regarding Orr, he was the greatest player of all time – not Gretzky. To be the best defensively and offensively at the same time is something we will likely not see again. I remember watching him almost single-handedly kill penalties. No one could take the puck away from him. A bad knee ended his career early. Today’s advanced surgeries would have given him many more playing days.

  58. O6, tweaking your memory dial a little on that P. Esposito trade, Fred Stanfield was far from a terrific player by the time that trade was made May 1967. He had been bouncing between the Blackhawks and their St. Louis farm team for three seasons, he had played in 107 NHL games over that span and totaled 22 points. He was a young player with promise, and that’s what hurt.

    Ken Hodge had played two full seasons for the Blackhawks, 131 games, 16 goals. Similar situation to Stanfield, young player with promise and Hodge had size.

    Esposito was much more established, about as established as Pit Martin.

    But they gave up size and two young players bursting with promise along with a budding superstar for really one solid NHL player in Pit Martin.

    A debacle of a trade to be sure but Stanfield and Hodge were hardly established terrific players at the time.

    I was six when that trade was made and was quite upset about it because I didn’t like trading away size up front and it was clear to me even at that young age that Phil Esposito was a gifted goal scorer, he had the touch.

    Tommy Ivan was in love with Gilles Marotte who was 22 at the time. Even though Marotte had an 800+ game NHL career he never fulfilled his promise as a two way tough puck moving defenseman. Lacked hockey sense and positioning.

    A disaster and Billy Reay had his fingerprints all over that trade too. He was always on Phil Esposito’s ass to lose weight and wanted him gone.

    Two guys who had jobs with the Blackhawks for way longer than they should have, Tommy Ivan and Billy Reay.

  59. Somewhere in the Quantum Physics Universes the Esposito/Hodge/Stanfield trade never happened…nor did Bobby Hull bolt to the WHL and there are millions of Blackhawk fans reminincimg and bragging about our record breaking 7 consecutive Stanley Cups. By the way Hasek lead us to 4 more in the nineties.

  60. To Stan:

    The vacation is over. Please correct the overflow of forwards we have on the roster, sign Marcus Kruger and, if possible, add another defensemen (not named Rosival).

    Most people, including myself, have confidence that you can do this before training camp starts.

    So put away the clubs and turn your cell phone back on. It’s time to get back to work.

    Hawks Fan Base

  61. To Jim Perkins:

    The vacations of 29 other GMs aren’t over yet. It takes more than one team to make a trade, and if nobody’s answering their phone it’s kinda hard to make something happen. If you have a magic wand, please feel free to forward it to Stan Bowman c/o Chicago Blackhawks @ the United Center.

    But thanks for telling the GM to do his job. I’m sure it slipped his mind that his primary penalty kill specialist needs a contract.

  62. Ernie,

    Russo bears worth watching. I went back and looked at the Hockey News draft guides and the scouts they site compared him to Clendening.

    I realize the Russo was a 4th rounder and Clenny a 2nd. But Russo had a really good senior year at Notre Dame and the accolades to boot.

    The way Stan and company have been loading up on the College free agents, signing Russo might somewhat replace Paliotta. In some senses though they are different styles they are on parallel tracks age wise, college experience wise and both came from the U-S national development program, which the Hawks seem to really like.

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