Blackhawks Updates: Toews, Kane and Hayes

Heading into the weekend, there are a couple minor updates to Blackhawks news items.

On Friday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun quoted Pat Brisson, agent for both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Brisson indicated that he has spoken with the Hawks about the two superstars.

“I have spoken with Stan a few times already, we’ve obviously talked about extending both players,” Brisson told ESPN.com Friday. “We’re working to get something done by July 1, if possible.”

Regarding 2010 first round pick Kevin Hayes, two Chicago outlets are reporting the Hawks maintain hopes of signing the young forward.

On May 28, ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers reported that Hayes’ agent was waiting until after the Hawks’ season to negotiate with the Hawks. Robert Murray, Hayes’ agent, told Powers that Hayes had not yet decided whether or not he would sign with the Blackhawks.

Fast forward to Friday, and CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers echoed what Powers reported a week earlier. Myers’ report included the following quote from Bowman:

“We said since the day [Hayes] finished school – we’ve been talking to him all year and all four years of college – we want to sign him,” Bowman said. “I think he just wanted to take his time and decide what’s best for him.”

The Blackhawks hold Hayes’ rights until August, and could trade his rights at the draft if he decides not to sign.

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81 Responses to Blackhawks Updates: Toews, Kane and Hayes

  1. ebonyraptor says:

    Even a couple crumbs help ease the withdrawal pangs.

  2. Pete says:

    Since some fans believe that the Hawks had the most talent available for this years playoffs and still lost, is it time for an honest discussion about Q and whether going forward he is the right coach for the Hawks? I didn’t feel this way after the Hawks lost to Vancouver and Phoenix in 2011 and 2012 Apparently this subject is totally taboo just like it was for fans of the Miami Dolphin at the end of Don Shula’s career and for the fans of the Dallas Cowboys at the end of Tom Landry’s career. In my opinion the fans should be allowed to discuss the issue without reflexive recrimination based upon past successes.

  3. Mike says:

    I get that Hayes does not to get “Morin’d”, but come on. Seems like he has a pretty damn high opinion of himself. I am not sure he is worth the hassle. Maybe the Hawks should get what they can for him before the draft.

  4. Hawks2010 says:

    I second the motion Pete for an honest discussion on coach Q. Some areas of discussion could be his willingness/intuitiveness to field his best players, line management, adaptability on the PK and PP and utilization of young talent.

  5. DropThePuck says:

    Other areas of discussion might be the two Stanley Cups in four years, the fact that we were one of only four teams still playing last Sunday, and we were one unlucky bounce from going back to the finals.

  6. Tab Bamford says:

    what makes me chuckle is that, 12 months ago, Hawks fans were thrilled by the prospect of Hayes going away. Now, after a good senior season at BC, fans are upset that he might not come to Chicago. He’s got good size and matured a lot on and off the ice. I wouldn’t mind seeing him w/ the guys in Rockford for a while – healthy competition makes for better prospects. Many of us forget too quickly how mediocre the players were in Rockford 2-3-4-5 years ago…

  7. Bernard walsh says:

    Let’s not forget, this is the Hayes that retweeted Brandon Pirri’s #freeMorin. That doesn’t seem like a good omen to me.

  8. Pete says:

    I would think everyone would want Hayes since he was a number one pick 4 years ago. Drafting players in the first round and never having them play in the organization is not good. The bigger question is why wouldn’t Hayes want to sign with the Hawks? The Hawks are obviously a top organization in a major hockey market, so that is what I am wondering. I also want him signed because I went to BC.

  9. Bernard walsh says:

    He didn’t like the way his brother was treated here. Pirri and Morin as well. Don’t think young prospects are not afraid of playing for Q. Lines from a blender, all players on thin ice that are not superstars or named Bollig.

  10. Vod says:

    I read the blog a lot but this is my first post. I agree wih the comment about having a discussion with coach Q. Year in and year out he has the best talent in the league but his in ability to utilize the young kids, especially this year, cost us the Stanley Cup. After coming off a Stanley Cup season and an Olympic season, we needled to roll four lines throughout the playoffs. Why handzus, versuck, and bollig continued to get minutes over morin, nordstrom, and even regin blow my mind. Coach Q continues to go to the well with the top 8 guys an we get worn down. He has potentially 5 maybe 6 HOF players on this team and to not be in the finals this year is on him. Bowman has to force his hand in to playing the youth and get a number two center. TT is not the answer in the western conference with the size and speed.

    That’s all for now. I’m not happy watching.

  11. Pete says:

    Bernard, didn’t you read the above post from Drop the Puck? We aren’t allowed to discuss Q or whether the handling of the playoff lineup(including dressing the completely useless Bollig) MIGHT have made the difference between repeating as Cup champs for the first time since 1998. Thats off limits. In an incredibly close series we aren’t allowed to state that maybe, just maybe, not playing a useless player and instead giving other players that might contribute a chance, could have mattered.

  12. EbonyRaptor says:

    On Q (pardon the pun) – I think it’s easy to criticize the things Q does that we deem to be mistakes. What rarely (if ever) is brought into the discussion are the things that Q does well, some of which is undoubtedly not in public view. Another aspect that should be considered when discussing the job Q does as coach is that he approaches decisions with many years of experience at the highest level of hockey, both as a player and coach, which gives him a deeper and broader perspective than any arm chair message board coaches. He is less prone to knee jerk reactions and more willing to be patient and stay the course than the message board experts. Is he perfect and never makes mistakes? No. Is he a good coach and able to take a team all the way to winning the Cup? Obviously yes.

    On Hayes – prior to this year he hadn’t really done anything to be excited about. He had the potty incident and maybe one of two other things that made you question is judgement if not his intelligence. And then he got the nasty injury that almost ended his career. Up to that point there was nothing much to hang your hat on. But then, whether it was coming so close to losing the ability to play hockey or whatever, he seemed to get focused on working hard and improving his game. He played his senior season like a new man and all of a sudden his game was worth getting excited about. So, I don’t think it was fans being fickle, I think it was Hayes waking up and taking hockey seriously and having results that are worth taking note of. Even though he is a better skater than his brother, I’m not sure his skating and quickness are good enough for the NHL, at least not more than as a 4th line type of role player. Hopefully he signs with the Hawks and surprises us.

  13. Big Indian says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that there should be allowed discussion on Coach Q’s status going forward. It can be done in a civil manner. And as with players, one cannot go totally on the merits of past performance. But I will state that I am more in line with the points brought up by Drop The Puck. IMO, there are certainly some issues which are troubling, particularly the special teams play, and the ability of the team to close out periods without giving up goals right before the horn sounds. But in these playoffs, regardless of questionable moves in some peoples’ minds about line construction, scratches, etc., I think one needs to look at the players. Defensive lapses all around by players who normally don’t do such things on a regular basis hurt badly in the playoffs. LA jumped on these. I don’t know that you blame Q for turnovers by Keith, Sharp, Oduya…..People want to focus on the choice of playing Versteeg and Bollig, but did that really cost the team 4 games in the LA series. And Q did apparently put together the line of Shaw, Saad and Kane that helped to almost pull out the series. It was a long season with lots of Olympians…..I don’t like it when a coach is a sacrificial lamb for players’ poor play (like you see in baseball, etc.). NOW, if there was a strong feeling in the team’s leadership that Quenneville was not adequate (i.e. from Bowman(s), McD, Toews, etc.) and that there was no fight or positive morale….that’s another thing. But this situation in Chicago is not like in Pittsburgh with Bylsma where an incredibly talented team just horribly underachieved. IMO! All dissenting ideas welcomed…..good discussions should be just that!

  14. Big Indian says:

    Sorry, meant to say turnovers by Seabrook, not Sharp, in the post above.

  15. EbonyRaptor says:

    On Hayes hesitancy to sign with the Hawks – could be simply he would prefer a quicker path to the NHL than what is realistic to expect in the Hawks organization.

  16. DropThePuck says:

    Pete :
    please take a deep breath and reread my post about the Q “discussion”.

    I did just that (reread the post) and can’t find anywhere that I said a Q discussion was off limits. I was just suggesting that a “discussion” ought to include some of Q’s positive accomplishments such as the 2 Cups in 4 years and the items that Ebony Raptor lists above.

    Meanwhile, how about enjoying the rest of the SC series? As Millbury and Keith Jones have said, this is one for the ages – with skill, speed, and great goaltending taking center stage over the goons and whiners.

  17. EbonyRaptor says:

    Big Indian – good post. I think too often the “discussion” on Q narrowly focuses on one issue and doesn’t fully consider the ripple effect the fan’s preferred change would have.

    Maybe had Q done things differently the Hawks would be playing in the Finals. Equally probable is had Q not done the things he did maybe the Hawks don’t even get to the WCF, or even win the Cup last year.

    Speculation upon speculation. All fine and good and the lifeblood of message boards. But probably taken a little too seriously by all of us from time to time.

  18. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    How far away is Hayes? Most scouting publications have him below below McNeil and Danault but before Dahlbeck is he 2 years away best case?

  19. Mox17 says:

    Pete,

    Here’s a shot out of a cannon: you’re a moron. 4 Conf Finals in 6 years. Two Cups in 4 years. Presidents Trophy. Clearly Q is a problem. Give me a break. The Hawks ran into a better team, own that. There’s a reason no team has gone back to back since 1998.

  20. Dave says:

    We can certainly discuss coaching, but my contribution to that discussion is that Q is still, with very little doubt, the best guy for the job. I disagree with the notion that this year’s team had the most talent. From my perspective, that occurred last year, followed closely by 2009-2010.

    Further, at the end of the day, it’s the players who must be accountable for their performance on the ice. I have no doubt that what Q is teaching them, instructing them to do on species teams are effective strategies. It’s up to the players to execute the strategies, and that’s where we have fallen short, IMHO.

  21. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    As for Coach Q unless the Hawks are confident in getting Mike Babcock he don’t walk away from Coach Q. Is he prfect? No, do some of his roster choices and minutes drive me crazy? Yes! You don’t launch a HOF head coach without a strong backup plan

  22. Pete says:

    Drop the Puck, I get your point totally. My point is even Hall of Fame coaches can start making bad decisions. For instance, usually the defense of Q’s decision to dress Bollig in the WCF is he’s the 12th forward playing very minimal minutes and it wouldn’t have mattered. However, in a very, very close series with so much on the line I think that decision should be scrutinized. Also, COULD the handling of the lineup/development of young players be a factor going forward in the signing of players/prospects? Again, I don’t know, but its worth discussing. And it seems like whenever Q is questioned many people immediately go on the attack saying “he won two cups” and “what do you know” etc. As a paying fan I would like to understand why Q was right to dress Bollig in the Western Conference Finals(other than he just knows more than me) and how that gave the Hawks the best chance to win. On the other hand, if he was wrong on that then isn’t Q an issue fans should be able to openly discuss without being accused of being ungrateful for the past 4 great years.

  23. Hawks2010 says:

    I agree Q “is less prone to knee jerk reactions”. He has the opposite problem, he is VERY slow to react. It took him all season and the 5th game of the third round of the playoffs to get 26 away from 88. Anyone who has even played pond hockey knows how frustrating it is to play with a guy that can’t keep up. He is patient with veterans, nobody can argue that. How else can you explain his insistence on playing 52 all season long. I guess his “deeper and broader perspective” allows him to see something in 52 that nobody else does. Take a look at the PK game plan. How long will he employee the small box theory when most teams are moving away from it to an aggressive style where the PK front men attack the point? He finally changed up at the end of the LA series. HOWEVER, when it comes to rookies or young guys KNEE JERK is the very definition of Q. One or two mistakes and they are back on the pine. Leddy, Morin and Pirri come to mind. 26 and 52 made repeated defensive assignment mistakes in front of the net during the playoffs but they were pencilled in on the lineup card every night. Seems like old slow veterans are given a long leash and young players are given no leash. Leddy would probably be further along in his career if Q would let him play more to his strengths.

  24. DropThePuck says:

    Nice post, Dave.

    I totally agree that the Hawks were not the best team in the playoffs this year. LA accomplished that when they picked up Gaborik (sp?). I mean, Mike Richards was their FOURTH line center. No disrespect to Daryl Sutter, but IMO, Q takes that team to the Cup in 16 straight games, with his eyes closed even.

    Second, remember that the last 2 seasons have been grossly condensed, first with the strike and then with the Olympics. I’ve read several times that most teams hardly EVER practiced. The opportunities for Q and his assistants to actually teach were very limited. And how does a rookie learn to fit into a team game when the team never practices ?(Iverson would have LOVED the last 2 years with NO PRACTICE).

    Looking at the roster, you’ll note that Q has added rookies Hammer, Leddy, Crawford, Shaw, Bickell, Smith, Krueger, Saad, Rantii, and Bolig during his 5 year tenure. And this year, Q handed Nordquist a job, but 42 wasn’t quite ready. With the schedule returning to normal next year, I gotta believe Q will playing 2 rookie Ds and 3 Fs in the SC finals next June.

  25. morrison says:

    SS Hawk,
    Theres good and bad in all coachs, etc. I really like Q and no one makes the right decisions all the time, but unless theres someone better like Babcock. Q is the best coach we could have.

    I would like to win a moar cups with Q. Then when Q retires, have Scotty Bowman bring Babcock over. We deserve to get payback against the redwings a little at a time during these 20yrs.

  26. Mike57 says:

    As much as I have questioned Q’s lineups, as much as I question how our power play isn’t better, as much as I wonder why it took SO long to put Kane with Shaw and Saad when many of us were begging for that or a similar center for Kane since mid season, as much as I fought with my son over what Q should be doing, as much as all that ——- WHO BETTER?

  27. Tab Bamford says:

    Great question/point Mike

  28. EbonyRaptor says:

    Hawks2010 – you don’t think that is was only one or two mistakes that sent the young player to the pines, do you? There’s an ongoing evaluation of how the young player plays. If the young player has to work on something and needs to do better with it in a game and then reverts back to his habits once or twice – would that be a knee jerk reaction or would that be a continuation of the issue Q doesn’t like about the player’s game?

    A lot of hypothetical – but but I really doubt that there is one or two isolated mistakes that cost the young player ice time or a spot in the starting lineup.

  29. Hawks2010 says:

    I am not advocating for Q’s dismissal. I am pointing out that in a very close series decided in ot in the 7th game coaching does matter. Q was out coached in this series. In fact I think his decision to play 26 and 52, thereby forcing him to shorten his bench and only play 3 lines at crunch time, had a big effect on the outcome. If 26 had been on the 4rth line from the beginning of the series and away from 88 I think the Hawks would have put them away earlier than 7 games. The players are ultimately responsible for executing the game plan. The coach is responsible for drawing up the plan and putting the best players on the ice to execute the plan. Q did not do that in the LA series.

  30. Hawks2010 says:

    I am not advocating for Q’s dismissal. In a close series decided in game 7 in ot, coaching does matter. Q was out coached in this series. Playing 26 and 52 forced Q to shorten his bench at crunch time in this series and go with 3 lines. This had an impact on the outcome. Skating 26 with 88 until game 5 also had a dramatic impact. My sense is that if 26 was not dragged around by 88 the Hawks would have won the series in less than 7 games. The knock on Morin is that he is not responsible defensively. I will buy that. But is he less responsible than 26? Morin has a good shot and is tough on the boards. That in itself is a big upgrade over 26 and 52. The players are ultimately responsible for executing the game plan. The coaches are responsible for drawing up the plan. Q’s line management was terrible until game 5 and the personnel he put on the ice did not give the Hawks the BEST chance to win.

  31. Pete says:

    Mox17, guess what, I disagree. Basically you don’t want to talk about Hockey, you just want to insult another fan. Why don’t you answer my question as to how Bollig helped the Hawks in the WCF. If you want to fall back on it didn’t matter either way because he’s the 12th forward not playing much anyway, that’s fine. Maybe that’s the answer. However, I’m just wondering if there is another argument for playing Bollig that I am not aware of.

  32. Pete says:

    Mox 17. Guess what, I disagree. If you support all of Q’s decisions why not defend them substantively as opposed to name calling.

  33. Boy Named Sioux says:

    Allow me to weigh in on the Coach Q Factor in light of some of the themes explored post Game 7 Western Conference Finals.

    Blackhawks game is based on puck possession and speed. To fully exploit this brand of hockey during playoffs a team needs to be able to roll four lines and not be afraid of who that fourth line skates against. Absent a strong 4th line too much is asked of the top 9. The “grind” (four games in seven nights, e.g.) of skating too many minutes lessens their speed game and their ability to strongly support the D-Men, be it defensive zone coverage lapses or not coming down far enough to help on fast, clean break-outs.

    Most posters are in agreement the Hawks were only able to field three good lines in the playoffs. The 4th line, whatever the combination of players, would be a liability, especially against a top 3 line from LA. Many reasons why the Blackhawks were unable to field a strong 4th line in the playoffs have been discussed. I won’t revisit those reasons.

    Going forward, I think it is on Coach Q and his staff to develop a strong 4th line during the 2014-15 regular season. I don’t care who comprises that line so long as the team is able to skate a strong 4th line in next year’s playoffs. I am willing to give up some regular season points in the standings to make sure a strong 4th line option is ready for next year’s playoffs. Mission accomplished and healthy players then I fully expect the Blackhawks to be playing past June 1.

  34. Hawks2010 says:

    I am not advocating for Q’s dismissal. He was out coached in this series. Clearly 26 should not have been on the same line as 88. As soon as 26 was removed from 88 the series changed. 26 and 52 were major liabilities. The coaches are responsible for the game plan. Ultimately the players are responsible to execute the plan. Q’s line management and roster decisions did not give the Hawks the BEST chance to win this series.

  35. terrible says:

    On Q:

    1) The Penalty Kill – has been very good, or very bad. Some nights it’s an absolute nightmare – and can lose us a series. Some nights it’s a game changer / saver. The static defense makes for tense moments, but ultimately you have to chalk this up as a success for Q.

    2) The Power Play – more often than not, it is a nuclear disaster. No one-touch pass plays, too much hesitancy, too long to adjust to zone coverage strategies, too little traffic in front of the net. It’s possible this is a wholesale team failure at execution. But year after year, Hawks power play has left a lot to be desired. As a speed / skill team, the PP has to be rocking or we are significantly disadvantaged by the clutch/grabbers. For a top team, our PP is not tops – and tends to suck when the chips are down. That has to at least partially be on Q. Fault = Q.

    3) The Depth Guys – Bollig, Zeus, Steeg. This is really hard to argue. Zeus on 2nd line was pretty obviously a bad decision. Zeus intimated this during the playoffs, improvements were noted when Smith centered Kane and Sharp, yet Q put him back at 2C for series #3. We can have hypothetical arguments about what’s going on in a back room, but then I will suggest to you that maybe the #freeMorin thing suggests other conversations and frustrations among the new young talent that may brew to be a big problem in the next couple years. This is tough one to call as a non-coach, non-expert. My eyeball test though, particularly watching Morin late in the season and liking Brookbank’s play a lot better than Rozi’s, is that Q might have messed up his depth management in the playoffs. Q = A wash.

    4) Past performance. Hard to criticize Q for 2 cups in 4 years and lots of deep playoff runs. Sometimes I wonder if Q is a mustachioed genius who engineered a Hawks system for success. Less often, I fear he has just been riding the unbelievable talent on his roster and is in fact a drooling moron. I don’t know enough advanced stats or historical stuff to really say. Advantage Q.

  36. Pete says:

    Terrible, I find your point #3 interesting with respect to the impact on new young talent. I agree there is a lot of speculation there, but the whole idea of a number one pick appearing to be reluctant to sign with the Hawks got me thinking on that issue.

  37. Big Indian says:

    Bollig is a very interesting topic going forward. Although he is certainly not a top line player, he changed his game from being pretty much an instigating goon in 2013 to a much better skater who scored a few goals during this past season. He himself acknowledged that the game was changing and he had to change with it. He worked in the off season to improve his skating and his offensive potential. Now, with that all said….even with a step change in his skill level in this off season, does he really help the team? If he’s out of the lineup, I hope it’s to give a kid a chance. I know he isn’t a center, but I’d hate to see his spot taken by the likes of, let’s say, Steve Ott…..a guy with talent but who will still give you the stupid penalties and seems to not fit in with the character of the team. Bowman says there won’t be big changes, but the changes that do occur could have quite an impact on the team for 2014-2015.

  38. Iceman says:

    Bollig five regular season chi and rockford 20 goals. Morin four regular seasons 88 goals. Ok, Q says bollig is “defensively responsible”. Sure. Bollig overall regular seasons chi and Rockford -17. Morin overall regular seasons chi and Rockford +29. Overall morin +46 v bollig. Further, bollig new contract albatross (3 yrs 1.25m per yr) tx bowman. Disgraceful.

  39. Iceman says:

    Oh and by the way (bowman), why the rush to sign bollig to albatross contract during the season? Were teams going to bombard bollig w offer sheets? More important, what is Ben smith worth now? I wish I were his agent. Moronic rush to (mis)judgment. Good job bowman.

  40. Morgzie says:

    With all the statical metrics the Blackhawks have, there must be something the coaches/management see that goes beyond what is obvious to us.

    In the regular season Bollig certainly provides protection. Against St.L he brought the physical play we needed. Zeus was stellar on penalty kill and face-offs.

    Or maybe there is an intangible thing about them as teammates that we don’t see because we aren’t around the team as much. Bollig seems like one of the leaders and character guys – maybe he keeps everyone loose and is more effective at it when he’s in the line up (I’m thinking about that stick handling video he did early in the season & him high-fiving like Toews after games).

    I assume all the coaches and management talk about this stuff and have reasons they are all on board with (why else would they sign Bollig for 3 years?).

    Or maybe Q is playing favorites, doesn’t like certain young guys, or is being unreasonably stubborn for some reason, and can’t see it. This seems so implausible, but if it is the case then a serious conversation needs to be had. This would be the scenario where Q could be blamed for costing them the series and Cup.

  41. Tab Bamford says:

    You’re right, Iceman. That 3-year deal worth $1.25M per is the definition of albatross…

  42. Iceman says:

    Bollig (and versteeg) happens to be the poster boy for bowman absentminded and Q stubborn. Rolling 4 lines wins cups. Kings got smart halfway thru season, dumped Colin Fraser Jordan Nolan etc for Toffoli and Pearson. Hawks 4th line won cup last yr. hawks 4th line players were on 3rd line in playoffs this yr and didn’t have 4th line. Kings 4th line this yr mixture of top 3 lines from last yr. Its not bollig’s and versteeg’s fault hierarchy cost hawks 3rd s cup in 5 yrs. These are akin to business decisions of entity that results in millions ($) in losses.

  43. Pete says:

    Iceman, Q has won two cups and been in 4 conference finals in 6 years. How dare you question these decisions. See Mox 17’s post above. P.S I couldn’t agree with you more.

  44. Iceman says:

    PS Based upon his own stupidity, bowman is saddled w/ multi yr wasted cap space ($3.3m) bollig and versteeg contracts, and will be forced to trade steady, durable d-man oduya who makes apprxly same amt $. Tx bowman

  45. Tab Bamford says:

    The last comment gives it away. Iceman is Oduya’s agent!

    If you’re using “saddled” when talking about the contracts of two bottom-six forwards, you’re either clueless or trying to keep a guy that’s easily replaced on a championship-caliber roster.

    A reminder to the meatballs suddenly destroying Bowman (looks directly at Iceman): Bowman successfully traded both John Scott AND Dan Carcillo – and actually got something back! If you’re really, truly concerned that the Blackhawks are sunk because they have $1.25M committed to Brandon Bollig next year, my advice is simple: go home, you’re drunk.

  46. EbonyRaptor says:

    I’m a long time hockey fan and observer, but I have never played organized hockey at any level. The only hockey I played were pickup games with the guys in the neighborhood in my teen years and horsing around with friends and our kids when they were young. So I am by no means an expert on the nuances of the game or team dynamics.

    Maybe my opinion of Q is wrong. Maybe a different coach would have made the moves that resulted in the Hawks beating the Kings and they would now be playing for their 3rd Cup in 5 years. On the other hand, maybe a different coach wouldn’t have guided the 2010 and/or 2013 teams to win the Cup. I’ll never know because I’m not privy to the internal machinations and dynamics of the team. That’s why I temper my criticism of Q – there’s a lot of facts that I don’t know. I’m probably not qualified to pass judgement on Q if I had all the facts but certainly not when I don’t have all the facts.

    I found it interesting when I read that Lombardi had a difficult time convincing Sutter to play the kids (Toffoli and Pearson) because Sutter, much like Q, was more comfortable playing the old veterans. To Sutter’s credit, he finally did make the switch and Lombardi has been proven right because the 70’s line has been a huge factor in the King’s success. Bringing that home to the Hawks, it appears to be a similar situation with Bowman advocating for the kids and Q being more comfortable with the veteran players. The difference seems to be that Q doesn’t hold Stan in the deference that Sutter holds Lombardi. If there is a rift between Q and Stan, as has been discussed numerous times over the past few years – then that is something I find more troubling than whether Q played Handzus or not.

  47. Mox17 says:

    Pete,

    At a certain point in time, the players in the ice have to be held accountable. The coach can only do so much. Who knows why Q dressed Bollig? Would it have made that much of a difference to give Regin or Mo the 5-6 shifts Bollig got? No coach is perfect with every decision. Q is right more than he’s wrong. He certainly does things I don’t agree with. A lot of people wanted Zus benched for game 5. Q skates him limited shifts throughout regulation, and he comes up with a big goal in OT. Who saw that coming?

  48. Pete says:

    Mox 17. I actually agree with your last post. Am I whining and not letting go of this loss. I would say yes. However, this was a huge loss of an opportunity that may not come around again and it bothers me that many don’t feel the best 12 forwards available were dressed regularly in the series. Would it have mattered? We will never know. The only defense I’ve heard about dressing Bollig is that he didn’t play that much and it wouldn’t have mattered. Maybe that’s true, but the series could not have been closer so you wonder. I did not whine like this after the Hawks lost to Vancouver. I enjoyed that series. Against Phoenix I complained a lot about Torres’s illegal hit on Hossa. I would like to understand Q’s decision better so I can let it go and move on. I was hoping the knowledgeable people on this board could explain it beyond Q knows more because he won two cups etc.

  49. Paul says:

    2 Stanley Cups in 4 years and 4 WCF appearances in 6 years. How much better can you get? Obviously winning the Stanley Cup or getting there every single season is better. Those are just unrealistic expectations though, especially in the minefield that is the Western Conference. Winning the Stanley Cup with a young team, losing half your roster, and then demolishing an NHL record on your way to another Stanley Cup with an almost entirely different roster just 3 years later is a pretty solid performance (understatement).

    The Kings are also a really good team and 3 WCF appearances in 3 years and 2 Cup Final appearances in 3 are unrealistic expectations too, but they didn’t have the roster blow-up that the Hawks did in 2010. 17 of the players who were on the Kings Cup winning team from 2 years ago are on this years team. The Blackhawks had 11 players on their Championship team last year who were on their 2010 Cup year (one of whom is Corey Crawford who didn’t play in the 2010 playoffs). You’d say two forward lines or three defensive pairings worth of players from a previous Cup Championship team is pretty significant, no? Expecting greatness is a good thing and yes, we should have questions about what went wrong. Asking whether or not Q is the right fit for the Hawks is a knee-jerk reaction though. Other teams are going to win things sometimes. It’s inevitable.

    I think when you look at Q’s entire resume with the Hawks, rather than the tiny sample size of this year’s series with the Kings, it’s clear that he is the right fit. The Blackhawks are not going to win the Stanley Cup every year but at least they’re a serious contender (and a legitimate favorite) for it, every year.

  50. Fan Since 2010 says:

    This is what I’ve been saying about Q all along, but tab deletes my posts because he loves Q.

  51. Tab Bamford says:

    Nobody has deleted any posts. But we are still waiting for something original from 2010…

  52. EbonyRaptor says:

    Paul, I think it’s only 9 players from 2010 were on the 2013 team – Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Bolland, Versteeg, Keith, Seabrook & Hjalmarsson. Bickell and Crawford were in the organization but they didn’t play enough to get their names on the Cup. Granted, those 9 were the best players, but your point stands because unlike the Kings who didn’t lose players of any significance, look at the players the Hawks lost off the 2010 team – Ladd, Byfuglien, Brouwer, Campbell and Niemi, along with a few other guys who weren’t stars but good depth guys like Kopecky and Madden.

  53. Ernie says:

    To get Kane and Toews signed up I think they need to shed salary. I’ve got a bit of a different idea on how to get it done. Most people talk about Oduya Rozsival Leddy as tradeables. Throw Versteeg in there too.

    Would any of you being opposed to trading Seabrook to get at Ekblad? Whether that be a three team trade with the panthers or Sabres and another team. I love Seabrook, but Ekblad is 10 years younger and could be better. And cheaper. At least for the next 3 years.

  54. Mining Man says:

    Interesting comments. Nordsrom/Morin/Regin combined 14 game appearances in playoffs, no goals, no assists, no points, combined -6. Bollig had a disallowed goal ( wrong call, ref in incorrect spot) and a beauty assist from behind our own net up the ice, AHL style. Is this some kind of “ageism” creeping in? Game 7 could easily have gone to us…first LA goal was offside (Carter) and then stick above crossbar but ref said ok…video review not allowed to disallow goal only “confirm” …I really don’t get it! Winning goal was a slash on Leddys stick, had it broken play was whistled dead and penalty. Leddy no where near the puck and the stick, unfortunately did not break. Should have been a called a penalty anyway for interferance. In light of these things, people want Q hauled on the carpet? …As Ebony pointed out we have a great team going forward, with much promise of chances ahead. It was one stinkin goal in OT! Could we have got there sooner with others?…some think so, making them some kind of genius or what? Thats laughable. Well heres some ageism for you….we won the cup in 1961 with a young up and coming team and thought for sure there would be several more. Mikita, Hull, Hall, Wharren, Mohns, wow….then again with Esposito and company and again with Balfour and company but never did it again. This guy had to wait 49 years! Hope you fellows dont go through that. LA incredible good team, and it bugs me to no end that we lost to that stirring intellect, Sutter, but we did and we should have beat them with all those leads….Rangers are finding out the same. 2-0 , 4-2 leads mean diddly against LA. Not Bolligs fault, not Q’s fault, we did the best…refs really let us down and inmy very humble opinion, did throughout the year….who had more goals called back than us, calls are very tough on defending champs. Thats the way it is. Why don’t you get together and send a registered letter to Q and one to Bowman and simply ask your question. I’m certain you will get a reply. This buisness of “Versuck” and “Q-Stace” and put downs on Bollig are pure nonsense.

  55. Mining Man says:

    Yes, 2010 team not that long ago and was super exciting team to watch. Sopel on D in his twilight years was instrumental at times in the playoffs. Too bad we lost Johnsson that year to a concussion…never came back. We lost Burish, Eager, Hendry, and Fraser as well. Depth was incredible.

  56. Reg Dunlop says:

    After having a week of trying to clear my head from the game 7 loss, I have come to the conclusion that coach Q made a huge mistake in game 7 and it will haunt him for many, many nights.

    Why would you even think about putting Versteeg back into the lineup when Brookbank helped stabilize the 3rd and 4th lines in game 6?

    I think that it all comes down to coach Q living too much by his numbers. Q is an analytical coach, no doubt, but sometimes you just have to go with what works and go with your gut. I don’t blame the players and I certainly don’t blame Leddy or Crow. But I think Q went home after the game 7 loss and everytime he looked in his rear view mirror, he saw Sheldon Brookbank staring at him.

    As great as all the announcers believe the Kings are, the Hawks were a bad bounce away from winning game 7.

    Came opens in 102 days!!

  57. Iceman says:

    Bowman was able to trade away Scott and Carrillo — great! He was the same guy who signed them in the first place (and they both ended up w/ 2 yr contracts). So if he’s able to trade bollig and versteeg (we’ll see if there’s bowman clone out there he can dump one/both of them on), GM of the yr honors to him! I wish I was oduya’s agent — I’m not! I didn’t like that acquisition when bowman made it; I was incorrect. I give bowman credit on that one, and on saad and shaw. And even moreso on morin whom he stole from Atlanta. Morin has similar pedigree as Toffoli, kings were smart enough to slot him. Oduya is as steady as they come, it’s not easy to replace a player like that.

  58. morrison says:

    Besides the 3yrs at 1.25 capihit, is that Bollig was playing good until he got that contract.

  59. morrison says:

    Ernie,
    we only have to clear cap space for the ’16 season, were good for ’15.

    32, 23, 27 (probably or could be 8) & 52, are not (most likely) going to be on roster in ’16. We will have the younger guys on elc in by then.

  60. morrison says:

    Scott went to Rags.

    Carcillo went to Rags.

    Blollig…

  61. morrison says:

    Bollig (honest spelling mistake)

  62. Ernie says:

    I know were good for next year. I just thought if you could trade Seabrook now for the pick that could get you Ekblad, I think I’d do it. I don’t see Seabrook resigning when his contract is up. His minutes were trimmed by Q, for good reason. Yet, he is a known commodity and a right handed shooting defenseman…and so is Ekblad. Just think getting younger and cheaper with Ekblad might be tempting. If they can only dump one guy on the back end, I really hope its Rozsival. Played admirably last year, but was injured and an eyesore for the most part this year.

  63. Ernie says:

    Slats is senile, with a severe case of Brian Burke truculence…..yet they’re in the Stanley Cup final….

  64. EbonyRaptor says:

    I doubt Seabrook would get the Hawks the #1 pick because Florida is in rebuild mode where they need more than a Seabrook to make them a contender. And there’s no guarantee that Ekblad would be ready to step right in to a top-4 role and keep the Hawks in the top group of teams. Look how long #1 pick Eric Johnson took to become a #1 d-man (and he still isn’t in the top group of d-men), or #2 pick Victor Hedman or #4 pick Seth Jones. D-men at the top of the the draft don’t have the best track record – for every (#2) Doughty there a 2 or 3 other guys that either (1) never fulfill the promise or (2) take a few years to get there.

  65. morrison says:

    Ernie,
    yea that’s cool man, when I read it I thought that because of the trade idea. It is a good idea, like ER said probably wouldnt get the pick though/time to be a top4.

    I feel the same way about Rozy, he played really good that yr and this yr just had an off yr. I wanted to resigning for a yr at a time over and over until the ’16 season. I think it better to keep 27 and trade 32 as well.

  66. Sr. Brad says:

    Q’s system of team defence first, and his zealous approach to maintaining it, has helped to bring the Hawks 2 Cups in 5 years. Q’s system of riding veterans and undervaluing rookies/youngsters, and stubbornly sticking to his system without adapting to change around him, has cost us at least one Cup in 5 years…you take the good with the bad. And anyone who suggests that Q has shown favour/patience with ANY young player besides Toews and Kane, is lost in wonderland. Q has taken players like Shaw, Kruger and Saad and run with them, only after he exhausted all other possibilities on his roster. He is not a great supporter of the younger players, and he does not make allowances for them. He plays favourites and he ALWAYS HAS long before the Hawks.

    The one thing to consider with Q before you put the crown upon his head and the sceptre in his hand, is that he hadn’t won a significant series as a coach before he arrived in CHI. Again, that’s not all because of the players…Q was a good fit for the young, fast, talented CHI team that Tallon put together…but without this “once in 50 years” combination of skill and character, he wouldn’t have won here. The reason? Q can always be out coached or manoeuvred in a 7 game series because we don’t ever really change, and our or S Ts are so antiquated and predictable, making us relatively easy to game plan against. What is IMPOSSIBLE to game plan for are the skill and tenacity of this special group of players.

    So moving forward, is Q the right coach for Stan Bowman’s system? He could be, if he adapts to change. With Bowman locking up our core with long term deals, we will NEVER have lots of money to add significant pieces to the puzzle without dealing existing players. So the ONLY way Bowman can move the Hawks forward is through a combination of promoting youth from our system and by adding aging veterans that other teams under value…and that is exactly what Bowman has done now for 4 years.

    As we try and shake off the reality that we shouldn’t have lost to the Kings and likely would have won another Cup had Q simply dumped the players that hadn’t worked for him ALL SEASON, we come to this summer and next year. Bowman has already said he might add one or two small pieces, but he has also made it very clear that Morin will be on this team, TT will be given a chance (but not pushed), and that “youth” must come to our defence, likely in the form of Clendening and Dahlbeck (I would love to have Hammer’s Doppelgänger on Defence). He has also made it clear that Raanta did a great job and will be resigned.

    So will Q embrace these players? Will he have patience with them to work out their kinks over the 82 game season and then have us ready to roll 4 lines in the playoffs and rotate 7 DMen? Likely not, as he never has…the only way that he will for sure is if Bowman doesn’t give him ANY alternatives…in the end, its Bowman that was the architect for our own failure this season as he re signed Zus when he shouldn’t have…and gave longer term deals, that were expensive based on their performances, to Rozy and Bollig, handcuffing himself from adding more help at the deadline…the Versteeg deal looked outstanding for the first while, then Versteeg’s game suffered mentally and physically by the end…his contract, albeit with great value, pushed us to the limit of our Cap, making it difficult to keep Morin up in the NHL once Zus and Bickell came back. The harsh reality for the hockey team is this…we MUST take full advantage of the Toews/Kane years and the ONLY way we can do this is by developing MORE Saads, Shaws and Krugers…and as I said, the only reason that Q did “develop” these kids was out of necessity based on the roster, so that’s puts everything back on Stan Bowman…its up to him this summer to set the direction of this franchise…and if he fails to show confidence in his own system again, by bringing YET ANOTHER aging vet like Johnson or Handzus to play 2nd line Centre, instead of allowing us to fill that spot internally, HE, Stan Bowman, will have set us back once again, not Coach Q…as JS always rightly says…Q’s gonna be Q…you take the good with the bad.

  67. Sr. Brad says:

    Mining Man, to compare Bollig’s stats versus the other 3 is what’s ridiculous. No one here was advocating for more Nordstrom, HE WASN’T READY and its his numbers that skew the other 2 players you mentioned. But think of this genius, if Bollig was so good, why did Q bench his precious little toy, huh? Why did Nordstrom get minutes OVER Bollig by Q, huh? Because in the eyes of the coach he was playing better than Bollig and brought more to the table…which is a massive condemnation on Bollig because Nordstrom was AWFUL…I think he’s going to be a good player, but he wasn’t ready for these playoffs…Morin got one game, limited ice time, and was solid defensively…he missed a glorious scoring opportunity in front of the MIN net because he had NO CONFIDENCE to score that goal, and that’s ALL on the coach who has treated that kid like a worthless throwaway. As for Regin, he was freaking good for us…didn’t you notice him skating up and down the ice with the puck, setting up his wingers, taking the body and crashing the net? The only thing he didn’t do well at was winning F/O’s but neither did your precious Handzus. Regin plays wing and centre…he is truly a good defensive zone player (not alleged like Zus and Bollig) who helps us to move the puck out of our zone, something that Zus and Bollig NEVER did during the playoffs.

    So stop drinking the Kool Aid and come back to reality. Q’s decision to ride Bollig all season long, and then restrict him to minuscule minutes during the playoffs due to his HORRID defensive zone play and stupid penalties was a MASSIVE mistake by the coach, as we could have used Bollig’s minutes on the 4th line to have players like Morin, Nordstrom, etc, ready to contribute come playoff time. As for Zus, READ A F$CKING hockey article. Last week they were full of stories on how Q’s decision to use Handzus so prominently during the playoffs killed the Hawks chances…or were you asleep for that one as well???

    There’s good with Q and there’s the stupid with Q…you take them both.

  68. Peter says:

    Sr. Brad’s comment about Q not winning a series of significance before becoming the Hawks coach is accurate (one conference finals appearance in 11 seasons). The Blues teams in particular that he coached were talented, but imo devoid of some leadership. Q needs some special leaders to play the way he wants to and he has those here in Chicago.

    The entire system of the front office, coaching, and players has to come together for ultimate success…while not perfect, I would argue the Blackhawks have a good mix. Also, it is important to note that some friction between a coach and GM is probably a good thing for team outcomes. If you have too high a level of friction the team will perform poorly…if you have a GM and coach totally on the same page, the team is always playing to get to a certain level instead of actually doing something.

    Q baffles me because of his in game coaching (and sometimes what I perceive to be lack there of). Plus I do feel he won’t do anything drastic in a playoff series until he spots the other team 3 games (2013 Detroit and 2014 Kings). However, he saw an opportunity to repeat and took it and to do this he shortened the bench. He left players like Bollig and Handzus to sit…Handzus didn’t have to be resigned after last year, but he was. Bollig didn’t have to get his extension, but he did. Leddy took a bounce off the shoulder to lose that series and he consistently had to play with a different D-Man throughout the season (Rozy resigned for two years after 2013, BB’s whose contract runs through this season, and Kostka who was a Bowman pick-up…who also led the Hawks to put Stanton on waivers…wouldn’t Stanton make a good 7th Dman this upcoming year instead of Rozy at 2 million). There are ebbs and flows to this team. I feel part of this board backlash is in part to the ways the Hawks lost to the Kings who are now 2-0 against the Rangers after coming back from 2 2 goal deficits. The Hawks have some personnel tweaking to do, but I am not for a change to Q or Bowman after this past season. It is what it is, maybe the Kings are just good.

  69. LZHAWK says:

    Look it is completely simplistic to say Q has won two Cups and say that this is the end of the story. Q has had incredible talent to work with. There is a reason that despite statistical success Q is NEVER discussed as one of the great coaches. You don’t measure great coaches simply by wins and losses – you measure them on whether they make the teams they coach better. Q does not make the Hawks better he makes them worse.

    When the Hawks have had success it has coincided with Q getting out of the way of the way of the players and simply letting the players play. Q is solely the reason the Hawks are not in the Cup Final this year. His line-up choices were absolutely ludicrous. Handzus should never have played a single game. Q talked constantly about playing with pace and then he started a player who was so slow that it was pathetic. Any slower and he would have been going backwards. It doesn’t end there though – he forced Handzus on Kane and other key players dragging them into the abyss. Kane had 9 points in 3 games to finish his play-offs when combined with Shaw and Saad. This is what happens when Kane is given quality line-mates to play with. Why this isn’t a priority for Q is beyond me and beyond Kane too I would imagine – and for those posters who give Q credit for finally giving Kane line-mates are you kidding me? You don’t give Q credit for doing something he should have been doing all along.

    Bollig is a simply a disaster – does he have embarrassing pics of Q because otherwise there is no reason that he ever plays. He is simply awful. For those who argue Bollig has improved, again are you kidding me? It is like saying my dog is a better dog as my dog only poops in the house 90% of the time now, used to be 100%. Bollig has always been and remains a no talent awful player – that he may be a marginally better no talent awful player is irrelevant.

    Q is killing the Hawks’ young players. Treated Pirri like garbage after he excelled in the AHL. Remember when Pirri came up and seemed to have great initial chemistry with Kane? Well until Q starting messing with him anyway. Q intimated he wasn’t happy with Pirri defensively. Q said this while playing Bollig and Handzus who NEVER found an opposing player to cover 5 on 5 all play-offs. How many times did Handzus’s defensive lapses lead directly to goals? Remember his great shot block in Game 7 which was a monumental fail and lead to an open net tap-in for LA? Handzus should NEVER have been dressed. Bollig should never have been dressed and exactly who were the Hawks outbidding when they gave Bollig his new over-priced contract?

    Q’s approach is killing the Hawks’ reputation. Young players are noticing that Q plays favourites, and that it is easy to get in the doghouse. This is true for veteran players too. Like Don Cherry I am a huge fan of Seabrook. It must be difficult to be Seabrook though when you are made to be responsible for not only your own play but Keith’s play. Seabrook’s hockey life is to constantly attempt to save Keith’s butt when Keith gives the puck away. Keith is one of the most over-rated players in the NHL. He always turns the puck over, he always has his shots blocked and he loses many fights for the puck because he is small. Is Keith ever in the doghouse? NEVER. Seabrook is treated like garbage by Q. Seabrook will actually get blamed when Keith loses the puck leading directly to a goal because somehow Seabrook didn’t save the day. It is as if the initial Keith give-away was irrelevant. How many points do you think Seabrook would have had if he had played the first PP all year? I begged all year for Seabrook to be on the first PP. Another player that can do no wrong? – Hossa. I was so sick of Hossa and his 5 mph shots directly at the goalie. Way to contribute nothing when the team really needs you – but you always get to play with Toews. Ask Sharp whether he thinks he is treated the same as Hossa. Do you remember that last year Hossa played the first PP all year ahead of Kane. It is a wonder Kane doesn’t just sign somewhere else.

    I don’t know what goes on when the Hawks get very important 5 on 3s – Q puts Keith, a left-handed shot on the left point and Hossa, lalso a left-handed shot on the right point which is insane and negates Kane running the PP from the right boards. Makes no sense at all and what happens is Keith and Hossa awkwardly pass back and forth accomplishing nothing. It is all done to set up Hossa – same thing every time. Hossa doesn’t even have a great shot. You need Seabrook’s RIGHT-HANDED cannon shot. Kane would set him up easily for one-timers. Q also takes Shaw off the 5 on 3 PPs so there is no net presence at all and no D-Man needs to engage anyone near the net. The Hawks suck 5 on 3 and actually kill their own penalties by staying on the periphery. It is simply ridiculous – Coaches coaching 5 year-olds know better.

    The Hawks changed Assistant Coaches – obviously there was a Coach who was not happy with the decision making and said so. So now Q has 2 old crony yes men working under him telling him he is a genius. Make no mistake Q is a no genius. Oh and getting fired by Q had no effect on the fired Coach as he landed a plum head coaching job.

    I have been posting about Q’s limitations for years on another Board. Any number of other Coaches could have easily duplicated his success with the Hawks. However, there are Coaches who would have had more success. The Hawks have had the talent to have won more Cups than 2. You don’t argue that Q must be great because he had 2 Cups in 6 years. The true argument is why he ONLY has 2 Cups in 6 years with this talent. Remember as well that this includes incredibly 2 First Round defeats.

    Q always thinks he is have smartest guy in he room and he is not. He is stubborn and arrogant and he needs to go as do his useless yes men. This should have been another Cup year and the fact that it isn’t is Q’s fault. LA is not a great team. Q’s decisions evened things up. The Hawks used to come at teams in waves – was impossible with his line-ups. Ever notice that after the Hawks would score a key goal, instead of trying to get another and running the other team out of the rink Q would kill his own momentum and put Bollig on the ice? Inexplicable.

    Q is not a great Coach – he isn’t even a good Coach. Whatever success the Hawks have had has been player driven. Q has not made the team better – he has actually been an impediment to success. The Hawks have won in spite of Q not because of Q. Time he moves on if Bowman has the gonads to do what needs to be done.

  70. goldenbladz says:

    ER made a great comment about Sutter and Q being similiar personalities and coaching styles. The difference being that Sutter went with the younger Toffli and Pearson and Q stuck with the veterans. Q has won 2 cups in 5 years and has done a great job but with success comes complacency and stubborness to change.

  71. wall says:

    Scary thing- is Kings should be able to keep pretty much the entire team intact/capwise… so Only injuries next year or two can slow them down!!! Unless Gaborik or King get real greedy.

    So with that in mind… I still think SB needs to make at least a “Minor” move and free up some Cap space- if not a bigger move… Dumping 23, and one of 32/27 – will at least allow SB to pursue a mid-level “piece” Bolland/Williams type… or perhaps a “chance” on a Grabvoski (how ever u spell it)- type!!!

  72. Section 333 says:

    If anyone is still reading this thread and bitching about the lines, go back and look at the stats from 2009/2010 and rolling 4 lines. Game 6 vs. the Flyers:

    Brouwer: 10 shifts, 6 mins ice time
    Eager: 4 shifts, 2 mins ice time

    So because we win the cup in 2010, Q can sit Eager for 58 minutes of game 6 but in 2014 because of one redirected shot off Leddy, Q is an idiot for having Bollig sitting on the bench. Just like in 2010 the last 2 guys on the bench weren’t deciding game 7 whether it was Bollig, Regin, Morin or Tab. Step away from the ledge boys. Any Mike’s question still stands – if not Q, who else?

  73. Tab Bamford says:

    My goodness perception continues to wander away from reality…

    “The difference being that Sutter went with the younger Toffli and Pearson and Q stuck with the veterans.”
    “Q is killing the Hawks’ young players.”
    “Q’s approach is killing the Hawks’ reputation.”

    Let’s backpeddle off that ledge for a moment.

    Tyler Toffoli was drafted in 2010 and has played 77 games in the AHL.
    Tanner Pearson was drafted in 2012 and has played 105 games in the AHL.
    Both are a regular part of the Kings’ rotation now. Kudos to Sutter for “sticking with the kids” in spite of their limited minor league track records.

    Brandon Saad was drafted in 2011 and played 31 games in the AHL.
    Andrew Shaw was drafted in 2011 and played 66 games in the AHL.
    Both are a regular part of the Blackhawks’ rotation now. But Quenneville hates prospects…

    The Blackhawks are an analytics-driven organization. We don’t know what they subscribe to, or how they use it, but what is painfully clear is that some kids – Saad, Shaw, to a lesser extent (because of injury) Smith – fit into the “mold” that Bowman and/or Quenneville want to see, while others – Pirri, Olsen, JHayes, Morin – have not yet met those requirements.

    The other reality we all have to keep in mind is that Quenneville has skated kids heavy minutes when he had to. Do I need to rewind the tape to the cash-strapped 2010-11 season when Nick Leddy should have been a sophomore at Minnesota, but spent a month skating 20+ minutes per night in the place of an injured Brian Campbell? When he HAD TO, Quenneville let kids learn on the fly. Now that he DOESN’T HAVE TO, Quenneville would rather kids develop as quickly/slowly as they need to fit his style of game. Has anyone watched the Red Wings talent development over the last 25 years?

    What I cannot explain or justify is the use of struggling/mediocre/bad players (Versteeg, Bollig) in place of players who have shown that they can play a role in Quenneville’s system in a big spot (Brookbank). If Morin wasn’t doing it for Quenneville, that’s one thing… but Brookbank fit into a small but important role in Game 6 vs LA that he could have in Game 7 as well.

    Contrary to the apparent opinions of many, I am not a blanket Q apologist. But it’s worthy of a moment of pause before throwing boulders in place of pebbles when tossing a Hall of Fame coach under the bus after a Game 7 OT loss in the conference final.

  74. EbonyRaptor says:

    Well said Tab.

  75. Dickie Dunn says:

    Tab, GREAT responses about Stan Bowman and Q. Perspective. (True, true.)

  76. Frolik Navidad says:

    While I sometimes disagree with Q’s personnel decisions, it is ridiculous to call him a bad coach. Saying we ONLY won 2 cups in 4 years is acting a little greedy/ungrateful. I agree, we have had one of the best rosters the past few years, but it is extremely difficult to win back-to-back cups. The Hawks could have done in 2011 or 2012 if not for the salary cap. Who’s to say we can’t do it next year? The best roster doesn’t always equal cups. Just ask the Penguins or Canucks. I’m sure they would take Q. The Pens currently don’t have a coach (and interviewed Pierre McGuire for GM). The Canucks hired John Torterella for Gods sake!

    Also, great responses as always, Tab.

  77. morrison says:

    Wall,
    I want to make a move like that to. Trade 23 & 32 (keep 27 for ’15) and get someone like that/mid-level guy. Grabo-vski should still be around 3m/yr because hes getting his buyout contract money.

  78. Sr. Brad says:

    Who’s better than Q??? Are you kidding? That’s such a loaded question…there are few hockey coaches that have ever won the amount of games Q has…and now that he is the coach of the Blackhawks he has 2 Cups to his credit as well…so how could anyone suggest another coach, save Sutter, Babcock, etc…but here’s the deal, there are LOTS of coaches around the league who could do a BETTER job here relating to the players and still getting them to commit to a system…Yeo, Paul Maurice, Barry Trotz, Alain Vignault, Dave Tippet, Peter Laviolette, Michel Therrien, Patrick Roy…and there are loads more that are assistants…Head Coaches in the minors that are just waiting for their chance in the NHL. This is a game played by young men, the season is the toughest in professional sports, it is an all day and most of the night job for top coaching staffs…its a young man’s game. Q has stayed with what has worked for him for decades, and as I said, it wins regular season hockey games, but he has 2 championships because he coaches the Blackhawks during the Toews/Kane era…flat out.

    As for Tab’s response, he simply stated what most here have said again and again… coaches like Q and Sutter will only “be patient” and play the youngsters, when they have NO OTHER OPTIONS. That’s why I have said people can blame Q all they want…the ultimate fault still lies with Stan Bowman…as JS says, Q will be Q and if you give him his wares, what do you think he’s going to do??? To most of us, Jeremy Morin versus Brandon Bollig is not even a fair question, but to Q, he’ll take Bollig 100 out of 100 times…DON’T GIVE HIM THAT OPTION…give him the youngest leading scorer in AHL history versus a marginalized Michael Handzus (a frightening thought) and he will take Zus 100 out of 100 times…DON’T GIVE HIM THAT OPTION.

    Had Bowman gone out and acquired Regin in the offseason and not signed Zus, we would still be playing…but that’s NOT what he did? Is that Q’s fault? Nope…Q is Q, and he will only do what Q does…treat every game like its a must win, and count on his veteran players to get him there…he also trusts the players to make the S Ts work and doesn’t spend a lot of time coaching those areas “up”. Like it or hate it, this is what he has always done, and is likely to repeat it…so as I said earlier, its up to Bowman…he’s already hampered the upward mobility of our prospects by signing Bollig to a ridiculous 3 year, $1.25 million a year contract, and gave Rozy a 2 year $2 million a year deal, when he DIDN’T NEED TO DO EITHER. That’s not Q’s fault…he didn’t twist Bowman’s arm until he made those deals. That’s why this offseason is SO CRUCIAL to the Hawks winning more Cups…stand pat, let the kids play and develop and we “might” miss out again next year, but it will make us a power house for the next 5…we don’t need Vernon Fiddler (good grief Charlie Brown) or Derek Roy, or oh I’m so bored even thinking about this…we need Andrew Shaw…we need Ben Smith…we need TT to get decent playing time and experience…we need Nordstrom to gain more valuable experience. We don’t need Ryan Kessler or Idi Amin…and we certainly don’t need Brandon Bollig!

    Bowman has done his organizational development “right”…and while we don’t have a bunch of elite prospects in our system, we also don’t need them. What we do need is more Brandon Saads, Andrew Shaws, Ben Smiths, Bryan Bickells and Corey Crawfords. They WIN championships because they play the game right for 60 minutes…Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp and Keith provide all the “elite” talent that we need. But they need help…Frolik was that kind of help…for one year Michael Handzus was that kind of help …if Bowman wants to bring a single veteran in, he’s that kind of guy to bring in…so let Morin and Nordstrom play…let Clendening and Dahlbeck play…do your job Stan…and don’t let your coach and his bad habits, dictate to you how to run your organization…this is on Stan and not Q.

  79. LZHAWK says:

    For anyone to try to defend Q’s decision- making is ludicrous. Here is the reality. Kane has proper line-mates throughout the play-offs and the Hawks are now getting ready to lift another Cup. Q sits Handzus or at least doesn’t force him, like an albatross, on Kane, Saad, Sharp and other key forwards and the Hawks are now getting ready to lift the Cup. At the very most Handzus should never have been higher in the order than the 4th line. To shoot yourself and the team in the foot by handcuffing Kane was ridiculous. Others: Bollig dressing for so many games based on nothing. Bollig could not keep up, hit nobody, guarded nobody – he did nothing, while talented and hardworking Morin and Regin sat like they sucked. To dress Handzud AND Bollig was beyond comprehension. To mess with the D pairing was insane. Did anyone else notice that playing with constantly out of position Keith made Hjalmarsson crazy to the point that he was coughing up the puck even when there was no pressure? Never having confidence in the back-up goalie and sticking with Crawful while he fought the puck to the point that he looked like a bizarre ballerina. I’m not alone in this analysis. Crawful was a disgrace and should have been replaced many times. It always made me sick for the Hawks to have to work so hard for their goals while the Kings were constantly given gifts. There were so few “shooters goals” and so many cheap goals. BTW Crawful’s contract of 6m is obscene.

    To paraphrase here is what Keith said after elimination – “it wasn’t just the goalie’s fault” which translated means “it WAS the goalie’s fault”. Remember teammates do their best not to criticize and he still said this.

    The Hawks use their “own analytic” which could be anything. Go back and listen to Bowman talk so positively about Pirri when he first came up this year. Q ruined Pirri and at times he had done his best to ruin Saad and Bickel. That Q didn’t says more about them not Q. The Hawks need new blood – remember that the King’s Sutter was hired part way through their first Cup year. Everyone be honest – if the Hawks fired Q would the Hawks be a serious threat to win the Cup next year – the answer is obviously “of course”. This tells you how great the Hawks’ talent is and that the success they have had is talent driven not Coach driven. Think about this too. Can you imagine the Mii Heat Coach messing around with James or Wade? However this is exactly what Q does with Kane. Time to go Q.

  80. Mike Bolotin says:

    About Kevin Hayes – has anyone commented on the fact that being a hometown Boston guy – maybe he doesn’t want to sign here so he can become a free agent and sign with the Bruins??

  81. morrison says:

    Boston has to get rid of a few players, not add anyone. They could if they trade Errickson or Kelly. Then they could keep all of their younger players that just came up (that are due raises) and Hayes.

    I read they have 9m to sign 6 players (and that included Igilna-was 6m this yr). That leaves 3m for 5 players, ouch.

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