Looking Ahead: Blackhawks 2016 Free Agency

The Blackhawks have an interesting list of players hitting free agency this summer. Players from the NHL roster are listed with their full cap hit from their expiring contract; minor league free agents are not.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Andrew Ladd ($4,400,000)
Dale Weise ($1,025,000)
Tomas Fleischmann ($750,000)
Brandon Mashinter ($562,500)
Christian Ehrhoff ($1,500,000)
Michal Rozsival ($600,000)

Michael Leighton
Jay Harrison
Tim Jackman
Drew MacIntyre
Kyle Cumiskey
Mike Liambas

Restricted Free Agents

Andrew Shaw ($2,000,000)
Richard Panik ($975,000)
Dennis Rasmussen ($575,000)

Mark McNeill
Garret Ross
Ryan Haggerty
Mathieu Brisebois
Matt Fraser
Mac Carruth

69 thoughts on “Looking Ahead: Blackhawks 2016 Free Agency

  1. See the Maple Laughs got first overall pick,.,.,it,s amazing what can be accomplished when you trade away most of your n.h.l. caliber players ,and anyone with pride.
    Tank on purpose and get rewarded for it ,.,.bullshit.

  2. There needs to be a parity 1st pick/top5 draft rule. Limit of five top 5 picks during any 10 yr period. or Have bottom 10 teams get equal balls in bingo.

    Parity = Consistency, right.

  3. I’ve seen people use a projected cap of 74.5 but the Hawks have to pay Panarin’s bonus so I believe they have around 72m to use for next year.

    It looks like they have 66m tied up in contracts for next year so that leaves around 6m to sign around 8 players. Doesn’t look too good.

    From what I can find, a Bickell buyout would reduce his cap hit for next year from 4m to 1m. However, it will add 1.5m to the following year.

    Please correct me if these numbers are wrong. I just pulled them from a few sites. They could be way off.

    Sorry but the Seabrook contract is a huge screw up. I doubt they could trade him today straight up for a legitimate top 4 D man without eating contract. I’m not saying they should or want to trade him. Just saying he is overpaid now and it will be a disaster in another year or two.

    In a salary cap era SB should pay players for what they are worth going forward and not for what they did in the past. What a mess!

  4. Actually the approximately 6m would be available for just 5 players not the 8 as in my last post. That’s good.

    TAB or anyone else, correct me if my numbers are off.

  5. Just spitballing here but in an effort to get bigger without giving up any age would you consider acquiring Kevin Hayes from the Rangers for TT. He can skate, he can play first line wing, the power play if need be, and even third line centre. He`s big, protects the puck well, he`s still young, and cheap….. we should have given him anything he wanted to choose Chicago. We`d be a bigger team now if we had Hayes and Johns. Imagine if we had also drafted Fabbri instead of trading up to take Schmaltz as well. We`d have filled a lot of holes.

  6. Teuvo for Kevin Hayes? No.

    The Bickell numbers are correct regarding buyout. Buyout is last resort.

    The 74 million figure is assuming the players invoke their 5% escalator. The cap is projected off of future revenue. So when the league doesn’t bring in the dollars it expected the players lose money to escrow. The more often you artificially raise the cap with the escalator, the more escrow you pay in. If the league surpasses the number to give players that cap they all get their escrow money back. Guys like Keith hate the escalator. Guys going into ufa status don’t care.

    Currently 17 players under contract for next year with a cap hit of 65.8 mil. Let’s assume/hope the cap goes up to 74. 8.2. Minus 2.2 for Panarin bonuses. Rozsival also hit some. I don’t think Teuvo did.

    Roughly 6 mil for 5 players. If you can dump Bickell with Shaw you have 10 million for 6 guys. Motte (.925), Hartman (.863), based on dollars looks like they’re hoping Luke Johnson can be 4c (.925). You now have around 7.5 million for 3 guys. If you can beg and pray and have Vesey sign here you have 6.5 for 2 guys. Brian Campbell can be had for around 4. Suddenly things don’t look quite as dire.

  7. Here is a list of the top 20 D-Man Free Agents, based on one site’s power rankings. Some guys (i.e. Dan Boyle) are obviously not on the Blackhawks radar. Others would be too expensive you would have to figure. Wonder if the Blackhawks would be looking to investigate obtaining any of these (This a mix of FA and UFA).

    1 Torey Krug BOS
    2 Alex Goligoski DAL
    3 Rasmus Ristolainen BUF
    4 Sami Vatanen ANA
    5 Tyson Barrie COL
    6 Keith Yandle NYR
    7 Michael Stone ARZ
    8 Brian Campbell FLA
    9 Hampus Lindholm ANA
    10 Jacob Trouba WPG
    11 Cody Ceci OTT
    12 Seth Jones CBJ
    13 Dmitry Orlov WSH
    14 Matt Dumba MIN
    15 Roman Polak SJ
    16 Radko Gudas PHI
    17 Connor Murphy ARZ
    18 Dan Boyle NYR
    19 Kevan Miller BOS
    20 Jason Demers DAL

  8. I was squawking about the size of some of the Hawk contracts. Brings up the question of what is appropriate for Shaw. I would personally let him go if he won’t take 2.5m since we simply can’t afford more. Are there teams willing to pay 3 for him on a 3 year deal? Would you?

  9. Hi Tab. My comments in ( ) at the end of my statement were intended to do that filtering. Am I missing an important clarifier in stating FA vs. UFA? If I am, let me know. I’m the first to say that I’m not genius at this or anything else. :)

  10. In the aftermath of last season’s Saad trade, you sort of got the feeling that as soon as the Cup was won Stan already had his sights set on Anisimov and was ready to part with Saad. BS was moved to Columbus pretty quickly and before long there was Anisimov and the others, 72 was added to the mix, etc. etc.
    Shaw talks like he would be willing to work with the team to stay around. I’d like to see him on next year’s roster. He’s a mutt, and sometimes a dumb mutt, but he’s our dumb mutt.

  11. Toronto will pay 3 mil for Shaw ,..,,he will he gone soon.
    They will pick up any of our loose cannons.

    Hey Tabber how bout a topic called,.,.,., I Told Ya So,.,.St Louis Due to make some waves ,
    as i predicted couple weeks back,you retorted back to me saying i don,t know crap,.,.,well that may be true but,.,.,,I Told Ya So.

  12. if we stick to the real timeline of events:

    Panarin signed during the playoffs
    Saad asked for $6M
    Bowman traded him for a very good return after the draft

  13. Hawkhead disappears for weeks, shows up out of the blue to chirp about something no odyssey remembers.

    he’s a douchebag.

    I told you so

  14. it appears Big Indian needs some clarification because there’s an ENORMOUS difference between UFA and RFA.

    Restricted Free Agents still give the organization some level of control. if the player leaves, there is compensation (either via trade or, in the rare event of an offer sheet, Draft picks).

    Unrestricted free agents can go where they please.

  15. Offer sheets are a rarity. But the possibility of one makes GM’s paranoid.

    Stan had to extend a qualifying offer to Saad at 105% of his previous years salary for 1 year. Like Kruger. Saad could have accepted, you know since it’s not about money. He declined. And was offer sheet eligible. Panarin had already been signed. Him and Saad are mutually exclusive. Fearing an offer sheet which wouldn’t have seen any return on ice for probably 3 years Stan said to himself. I’ve got this Russian phenom that doesn’t speak English. I need a 2c. Columbus wants Saad and has a Russian 2c.

    The same thing can happen next year. One other thing that hinders RFAs is the possibility of arbitration.

    Unrestricted means just that.

  16. We know with great certainty that Stan Bowman is not afraid to make all kinds of moves, unlike many GM’s who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. He is the one guy with whom the status quo is never that much of a consideration. There is the core and there is the CORE. So things will happen.

    I full well understand the reasoning behind the cap. I disagree with the virtues of it and it’s too restrictive. Nashville and Winnipeg are not New York, Chicago or Toronto. Smaller market teams should play the role of giant slayers, underdogs that get away with it once in a while. They must draft better, scout better, develop better, be bold and innovative to get even with the big guys.

    I do have a question though…..what’s say a team offers a player ownership of a 5 million dollar tropical paradise oceanfront somewhere that he takes over ownership of 20 years down the road in lieu of up front monies. Done by lawyers, away from any disclosure. Who the heck is going to know or check 20 or 30 years down the road. Or my original premise of stacks of (Tubman’s ?) in a brown paper bag in a doughnut shop. Who knows? No one knows that’s who. Better call Saul! Millionaires and Billionaires.

  17. Why are there lists of D-men and projections related thereto being posted? Q is on record the other day post-mortem that the Hawks D was/is fine, no issues w/ the D — Q stated the Hawks’ problem was the inability to roll four lines.

    Q is spot on, I (and a few others herein) have been saying the same exact thing, it is documented on record here. What Q needs to do now is admit it was his fault that four lines weren’t consistently rolled, not even close. This wasn’t his first rodeo lousing up the situation — he did it two years ago as well.

    Lastly, Kruger is a good player and serves a purpose — however its indisputable he didnt score a goal this season (and playoffs), the guy has zero offensive touch, there is no comparison b w his value v. Shaw. Let s see if Bowman realizes you cant pay a player like Kruger over $3M a year when you have to count pennies to not exceed the cap.

  18. There are lots of options we can do with the roster/salary cap.

    I have a gut feeling Shawzer is going to do what Krugs did. Wait patiently and sign for a caphit/short term yrs that works for the team.

  19. I couldn’t disagree with Mining Man more. the parity created by the cap – and floor – is how every team in the league has made the playoffs in the last 11 years. when the giants can spend whatever they want you end up with the Red Wings of the late 90s. there’s nothing wrong with the NHL’s cap system. indeed, i would argue it’s the most fair in professional sports.

  20. He didn’t say there were no issues. He said relying on one line so heavily was more of a problem. Roll four. Hell they could barely roll 2.

  21. Tab-I know I’m way off in a little dinghy by myself in an ocean on the Cap issue And now you have shot a hole in my little dinghy…blurb blub blub glub.

    What about innovative circumvention? It’s all a numbers game.

    How about the Draft then…why shouldn’t any pik go to who whomever has the best willing offer and to a place he wants to go. Free market. C’mon.

  22. Gee, Tab, why so grumpy?
    I knew the primary differences between an unrestricted free agent and a free agent. I guess I should have been more clear in my original post where I clarified that I had stated that my original list contained both.
    My meaning in asking the question was in the context if there was some other category of free agent (sub-category of restricted free agent) that you might be getting at, based on your original complaint about me not filtering the list. That was what I was getting at. I was wondering if there was another special category that I was omitting that had some relevance to the whole issue. I admit Tab not I’m not a tremendous hockey IQ. I do ask questions, though.

    As for your comments about timeline ……. I was simply getting at the point that Stan openly said after he traded Saad that he had been looking at Anisimov for a long time, and had been trying to find a way to get him on board. I speculated that Saad may have been on his way out the door in SB’s mind and that the trade was already being formulated. Accuracy of a timeline was not considered.

    It’s late at night and it’s been a long week, but I get the feeling sometimes that you don’t want some posters on the board. I like to converse here, as I get good info and discussion about my favorite team. It’s your board, though, and I guess it’s your right to light up those folks who you think are simpletons. I try to keep my posts a little more brief than some others, so perhaps I’m not as clear in my explanations (granted….this post is long, and I apologize).

    You have my email address. If I’ve taken your remarks out of context I apologize to you and everyone else on this particular thread. However, If you think I’m cluttering the board and need to leave, let me know. …..seriously, no hard feelings. This board doesn’t define my degree of enthusiasm for the Blackhawks any more than my posts define the integrity of your board. Regards and Best Wishes.
    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  23. Tab: you have a terrific blog. You know your stuff. You keep us informed. But be classy enough not to insult or attack your bloggers. No matter what they say. I admit none of us has the inside knowledge of the nhl that you do . That’s why we are here. But don’t attack your readers for their comments — no matter how much you disagree with them . Be better than that.

  24. Iceman ( Real ) . I fully agree with you on the Shaw / Kruger comments.Maybe part of the 3 million given to Kruger should’ve be used to give Shaw a well deserved raise. I also fully agree with Chelsea Dagger. Everybody should be respectfull when commenting about a post that they don’t agree with.It does not matter anyway. In the end the players we will loose or traded away , will be the same type of players we will trade for or be looking for as free agents.It’s not the team or players we want , but the players Stan will get.

  25. Dan Bernstein has no credibility at all.

    Mining man, how about I tweak your draft thoughts slightly. Keep the system the way it is. However, let players be drafted earlier but not let them be eligible to play until they were 18. Let’s not forget the reason why the Hawks are great. And that’s because they had those high picks in consecutive years. It does look like something will be done to rectify Edmonton getting 4 number 1 picks. Although there was a reason they were/are picking there. And that’s because they’re inept. With the exception of McDavid. Trade rumors swirl around every no 1 pick. Hall,RNH, and Yakupov.

  26. Even though Tab took down my list of UNRESTRICTED free agents, I’ll defend him somewhat and say that no one should be compared to Dan Bernstein. That’s a little too harsh.

  27. Bob, I was one of the skeptical ones…actually I was somewhat angry over the dollars Kruger got. However, the PK was absolutely dreadful without him. He comes back and it’s much better.

  28. Ernie: it was understanding that Danault was being groomed for that role. Given some time, I believe he would’ve accomplished that role and not for 3 million.

  29. Danault can be a decent checking center. Shut down guy he is not and will not. Can’t afford to wait 2 more years for him to “develop”

  30. It’s kind of like Walls argument for trading Crawford. You can find a reasonable facsimile for less and invest in other places.

  31. Big Indian- a free agent can be unrestricted or restricted. I think that’s where all the hubub came from. FA is broad. If you would have used RFA and UFA everything would have been more clear.

  32. Ernie… speaking of Crow… look at how many “No Name”/low cap goalies- have a shot at winning Cup this year…

    Murray
    Griess
    Jones
    Elliot

    I still like Caps though…. But I could see Jones or Elliot hoisting cup…

    sadly- I can see Stars hoisting Cup despite 2 average/OVERPAID goalies ( they have lots of Underpaid skaters-imo)

  33. re: Mining Man – there have been teams that have creatively abused the system in the past (see Hossa, Luongo deals). Thus the circumvention penalty that’s now in place.

    The Draft is set up so teams that can’t win or afford top tier free agents can at least at some point get their hands on top talent. But if we’re going down that road, the NHL is the only league where drafted players CAN become unrestricted free agents. Ask Kevin Hayes about his entry level deal for evidence.

  34. Not sure what the disconnect is w/ my response to Big Indian. He did not qualify restricted vs unrestricted, so I pointed out the difference. That was not clear from his initial posts.

  35. Just for the sake of conversation in response to wall’s comment about “no name/low cap goalies”

    Thomas Greiss – cap hit $1.500M – supposed to back up Jaro Halak.
    Brian Elliott – cap hit $2.500M – supposed to back up Jake Allen.
    Matt Murray – let’s not act like Marc-Andre Fleury no longer exists
    Martin Jones – cap hit $3.000M – cost the Sharks Sean Kuraly & a 1st round pick to get him from Boston. got $3M after 34 NHL games. Wouldn’t call that “cheap”

  36. Tab- I don’t know if you are helping or hurting my argument… Yes- the 1st 3 are “back-ups”… imo- only helps my argument… that these TEAMS are winning w/ less than “HOF” goalies… Could you imagine how much better these teams could be – if the #1 money was spent on Quality skater???

  37. The Hawks are mired in the downward spiral caused by the salary cap. At this point, they are at the point where they may not have the talent to challenge for the cup because other teams are getting much better. I believe you have to trade part of your core with a blockbuster move or moves. That is the only way we get younger, address some needs, and have some salary cap flexibility. If they just fill holes this offseason and coming offseasons, the odds are that their play will just be on accelerated decline due to the aging of the core. And, they will be at a point where no one will trade for the core players that could be moved for some value now. I don’t see any other way out from between the rock and the hard place. It is highly unlikely that Stan will come up with surprises like Panarin every year.

  38. Wholeheartedly disagree with booman.

    The game-changer for the Hawks was Saad not taking a bridge deal; disrupted their plans, obviously. But there is talent coming up front to supplement effectively (potentially upgrade).

  39. I think Montreal is a decent counter argument to your theory, Mr. Wall. Condon was a goalie you mentioned as one you’d like to have and as time went on, his performance waned. Of course if there’s a better a defense in front of the goalie, the stats should be better. But eventually you’re going to have to pay a goalie more to keep him or have a revolving door of goalies and hope the defense is that good that even you could play goalie. :) The Wall Theory has some merit and I think Ernie pointed out somewhere that it can apply to any position. Get better players around someone and he will be better.

  40. “Downward spiral” lose one round after winning the cup and all hope is lost. Burn everything to the ground.

  41. Walls argument is the NHL goalie is like the NFL running back. Did anyone know who Mike Condon was to start the year? No. So he’s an extreme case. As is Andrew Hammond. Matt Murray put up some crazy numbers last year in the AHL and is on his ELC. Eventually with so many good goalies out there you have saturated the market. What happens when you have a large supply and not as much demand? Price goes down. Wall wants to get ahead of the curve. Trade while you can. And pick up a known commodity that will take less.

    Not necessarily advocating that. But I get where he’s coming from.

  42. Tab you are correct about your post about Sadd and about the up coming talent that wiil supplement or upgrade the Hawks.If I may ask , the talent on which eye of the beholder Stan or Q.The reason I ask , is because you have mentioned that Stan and Q don’t talk to each other.

  43. I also get where he’s coming from but Wall has used the examples of Condon and Hammond to support his case.

  44. The “off season” – the time for whining about the past and wild speculation about the future. I’m tired of the hindsight laments of what Stan should have done better, so I’m moving into wild speculation mode, which is a lot more fun, if not always totally realistic.

    What if Czech free agent d-man Kempny signs with the Hawks (1-year cheap ELC), and what if Russian free agent Radulov signs with the Hawks (1-year cheap). And what if Shaw agrees to a 1-year deal at current salary ($2M). And what if NCAA star Vesey signs with the Hawks (2-year cheap ELC). And what if Campbell agrees to a cheap deal to take another shot at the Cup with the Hawks.

    Would this team be good enough to win the Cup next season?

    Vesey-Toews-Kane
    Panarin-Anisimov-Radulov
    Panik-Teravainen-Hossa
    Desjardins-Kruger-Shaw

    Keith-Seabrook
    Hjalmarsson-Campbell
    Kempny-TvR

    Crawford
    Darling

  45. I agree with Walls goalie concept. With Saader not signing a bridge deal it wasn’t as good for the team now but will be better in these coming yrs. We have a really good center for 2nd line and that is why I think we didn’t keep Danault even though everybody likes him. Its way harder to find centers then leftwingers/rightwingers or core players for that matter left alone dynasty core players. We have 3 really good centers now longterm. Our top players are at the highest caphits they will be at in career. Now we add good players each yr as the salary cap goes up. The Calvary is coming, again.

  46. EbonyRaptor,

    Yes, that team that you have put forth is good enough to be a strong Cup contender, IMO. There are a lot of “ifs” in your scenario, but nothing that, on its own, is outright out of the realm of possibility. I like your thought process, and I like your “glass half full” look at our team.

  47. Ebony, so when I asked the question in another post if anyone was bold enough to sign Radulov, you were.

    Radulov would have to sign super cheap to make that work. I think Teuvo in that spot is more realistic. Bump Kruger to 3c. I don’t think Panik gives you enough to be on the 3rd line. I’d like to see Motte, Kruger,Hossa. Then Panik, Desjardins, and a 4c.

    Defense, I’m not sold on Kempny based on what I’ve read. But none of us know. Hjalmarsson-Campbell. Gustafson-TVR. Shaw will probably be the casualty to get rid of Bickell.

  48. Teuvo needs to be the casualty to make the Bickell contract go away. NOT Shaw. And I’m sure Bowman will see it that way too. Shaw has to come back…he just has to. Teuvo the overrated soft as hell wonder Finn? Not so much.

    Campbell isn’t happening. He will have zero problem finding $3-4 M on the open market, which is too rich for the Hawks.

  49. Ernie, For sure Radulov would have to sign for cheap (~1M) which means it probably won’t happen. But, if he is satisfied with the millions he’s already made and his reason for coming back to the NHL is to win a Cup (and not chase the money) – then yeah I would take a chance on signing him. He is certainly good enough to play top-6 in the NHL and him at RW on a line with Panarin and Anisimov could be a very good second line and allow Kane to move up with Toews and shepherd in a young LW like he did with Panarin this season.

  50. Snidely, any UFA signing suggestion carries with it the condition that the player would have to sign for cheap. In the case of Campbell – he’s already made >$7M per year for 7 or 8 years and while I have no doubt he can earn more than a cheap contract somewhere else, maybe he wants to play for the hawks again and is willing to sign a cheap deal to do so.

    Recall I couched my earlier post saying I was going into “wild speculation” mode so that means I can wildly speculate these players will want to sign cheap for the chance to play with the Hawks :)

  51. I’m not opposed to trading Teuvo. However the return must be substantially better. Any trade with Teuvo and your trading 4.8 million. Resign Shaw for 3.5 and you have 1.3 million in cap space savings. If a player comes back you have less space than when you started. And that kind of defeats the purpose.

  52. Tab, You are right about Saad and I hope you are correct about the talent that you feel is coming. Don’t know about the younger guys, but I have read here that the cupboard is thin. Longer term, I hope we are not looking back and saying that we should have moved some salary ending up with several anchor Bickell-type scenarios in the next several years. Stan’s challenge this summer looks harder than any of the other years.

  53. Ernie, Mud, Morrison… thanks for not throwing gas on the flames…
    Yep- it is a “concept”… as well as “trying to get ahead of the Curve”- is a great way to put it… Look, all these guys are going to get paid after years of success… Problem is … can’t Pay everyone in Cap world!!!

    I threw out idea of Trading Seabs/ year after Hawks drafted Johns… felt Seabs (Being big… will age- not so gracefully) and Johns WAS the guy to replace him…. we will never know- if Hawks would have won cup last year w/o #7… Just like we will never know- if Hawks would have won last year/and this year with Johns and the other player(s)??? from moving Seabs… Same concept- Of trying to get ahead of curve.

    Back to goalie thought… That position is so FRAGILE in Hockey… so much is mental (as well as the system/team in front of them)… Like a golfer… one minute – looks great……………………. But then- the wheels can fall off – very quickly, and sometimes never stop rolling!!!

    Yes, I have made some “weak” comps w/ Condon/Hammond… BUT the strongest Comparison– Emery- had near Identical stats as Crow 2013… EMERY SUCKED/SUCKS!!!

  54. My Hawks arrow is pointing down. Stan, while better then most, needs some prove it moves. Outside of Schmaltz and Brondra I see very few difference makers in the Hawks farm system.

    The fact that Seabrooks deal already looks like bad money is a problem. Why Kruger got 3 million a season is a huge head scratcher? The West has improved, its your move SB

  55. Stan & Q talk to each other.

    And Q doesn’t hate kids.

    Do they see eye to eye on everything? No. But the concept that they live in separate glass houses is hilarious. They wouldn’t have been nearly as successful as they have been in the last 8 years if there wasn’t a conversation happening between the front office and the bench. Sorry to break the news…

  56. I beg of SSHM and others to really look around the West before throwing Bowman under the bus so quickly. There are other teams at/near the top – ANA, LAK – who are equally/more screwed w/ the cap than the Hawks are and don’t have 3 rings to show for it. There’s plenty of talent coming up front, the Hawks simply need to buoy their blue line somehow. I think Gustafsson can be a solid, serviceable, puck-moving bottom pair defenseman who can help the PP. I think TvR can be a solid 4-5 dman. But there’s an enormous gap between the top 3 and the bottom 3. Need to find a bridge.

  57. Wall – Emery’s year was the lockout shortened season and I think we would agree there’s no Cup in Chicago in 2013 if Emery was between the pipes for the playoffs. Your concept is logical and a good theory but more difficult to apply by finding the right people. I think a GM would rather have the stability over having to find a very good, consistent pipeline of goalies. As for the mental aspect of being a goalie, I think Crawford has improved dramatically. Anyway, I wish we were still discussing game results. :(

  58. Kruger has to be dealt, $3M+ cap hit for the next three years (w/ a hard, stagnant salary cap) isnt going to cut. If it was a soft cap, tax-based like NBA, that would different, but its not.

    I have a suggestion for his replacement, at a low budget cap conscience cost. Bolland. He is going to get bought out by Florida. Q trusts him, he fits the bill perfectly. No risk whatsoever, wont affect cap at low salary, and if he doesnt work out who cares?

    Thank you.

  59. Tab, “I think TvR can be a solid 4-5 dman. But there’s an enormous gap between the top 3 and the bottom 3. Need to find a bridge.” — I think TVR will develop into a solid #4 — maybe a “Keith 2.0”?…or close. Like Keith, he sees / thinks the game.

    “Gustafsson can be a solid, serviceable, puck-moving bottom pair defenseman who can help the PP” — looks like that to me, as well.

    It’s not ALL on the dmen 1-thru-7 (or 4-thru-7). It’s about team defense, and that is not separate from the possession and passing game. I believe all of the “blending” / searching for “chemistry” was a large factor.

  60. To Dickie’s Point… might be the worst Hawk’s”Cycle”/possession team we have seen in years… which will lead to more chances by other team’s…

    Remember when: Hawks could do line changes during cycles (multiple lines/almost every game)… Hawks got worse at it… and other team’s learned how to defend it better.

    watching PO’s… Joel Ward – seems like he can cycle the puck by himself- better than most Hawk lines this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *