Marcus Kruger’s Regular Season In Doubt

On Monday morning, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville shared an unfortunate – but predictable – update on center Marcus Kruger’s injury.

Kruger, 25, was injured on Dec. 17 against the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center. He had wrist surgery soon after, and the preliminary timetable for his return was near the end of the regular season.

The Hawks have been using two rookies, Phillip Danault and Dennis Rasmussen, as the centers on the third and fourth lines, respectively.

He will be a restricted free agent again this summer.

42 thoughts on “Marcus Kruger’s Regular Season In Doubt

  1. Tab, thanks for the update, Hawks have filled his “Marcus Gap” but his high energy and ability to get to the puck, might be a nice kicker come playoff time.

    go hawks

  2. because a team suddenly needs a coach to comment to the media to put a guy on LTIR who hasn’t played in 9 weeks? this wasn’t a formal announcement. This was Quenneville answering a question.

  3. Just like Kane was supposed to miss the first couple of rounds of the playoffs!

    P.S. Sure is nice not having seen a post from the incredibly negative Rufus for a while. Hopefully he stays away forever.

  4. Great news on Byfuglien if true. We need to keep him away from the lousy Queens or are they called the Kings, whatever.

  5. @6Cups

    Absolutely, he was a big fish literally. Done deal he sticks in Peg 5 yrs. @ 7.6 for Buff WOW never would have imagined that!

  6. Can’t help but thinking thats a bad move for the Jets. As a Hawks fan good for them and that move. Is Buff a 30 yr old Buff the center piece for a contender? In my world no way!

    @ Tab, if the Hawks get Ladd awesome!

    Its going to boil down to what does Dallas do and what does LA do and to a lesser extend what doesn STL do? Barring injuries of course

  7. I have zero desire to bring back Andrew Ladd as a rental. Why send a package of nice pieces inside the division to rent him when he has 30 points (13g, 17a) in 52 games?

    Hawks fans need to move on from the love affair with guys from former teams. Ladd was here SIX YEARS AGO.

  8. So is Kruger on LTIR right now or not? Also is this like the kane injury a year ago where if he stays out for the rest of the regular season the Hawks get to go above(for practical purposes) the cap and still have Kruger in the playoffs where there is no cap?

  9. @ Tab

    Why? Well I guess it depends on how you feel about Ladd’s game and what he brings to the table. I feel like he is the best available rental LW, regardless if he was here or not.

    Is he worth a Ville Pokka? and Mark McNeil? Yes Is he worth a Dano or Schmaltz? probably not. I trust that Stan will make the right move although that Kimmo trade was absolutely terrible last yr.

  10. (Tab said.) “I have zero desire to bring back Andrew Ladd as a rental. Why send a package of nice pieces inside the division to rent him when he has 30 points (13g, 17a) in 52 games?” — I completely agree. And, I’ll wear-it-out (again) – there is NO RULE that a team HAS to make any move to add players for a Cup run. In most cases this does not lead winning the Cup. Assumption / compulsion moves must be made?

    “Why send a package of nice pieces…to rent”? It doesn’t seem Chicago needs to add anything at the moment, and Stan B. is in the position to be absolutely sure any addition is absolutely an upgrade and worth the cost.

  11. Hey 6cups, didn’t your mother ever teach you that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all?

  12. 1. For those surprised at this information, Kruger was never expected to return before the playoffs anyway.

    2. Ladd has regressed in 5v5 per 60 every year since 12/13. He’s not a top line player. He was for a year or two but thats it.

    3. Kruger is not on LTIR and most likely won’t be at this point. You don’t bank space with him being on LTIR. It just makes the Hawks ceiling artificially higher. With Panarin’s bonuses and possibly Teravainen with bonus money as well that’s more money that will be rolled over to next season. It may help get a player this year, but it hurts next year because Panarin will most likely hit all the schedule A and Schedule B bonuses.

    Also, the Hawks have could acquire a player that made 4.476 to start the year. If the maximum is retained, the Hawks could acquire a player with 8.952 in salary.

    I have the feeling any move that’s made will be less than spectacular. I really could see a move to dump Bickell so the Hawks don’t have to buy him out, where a depth forward with similar salary comes back. Ditto for defense. Maybe they can coerce someone like the Sens into taking Scuderi and Svedberg and pick for Jared Cowen. A player thats been a scratch, but probably offers more than Scuderi.

    Lastly, Byfuglien just signed. So can we please stop talking about him coming back??

  13. SSHM- I think Eric Staal is the best possible left wing available. You could bump him up to 1LW, or play him as 3c with Teuvo on wing. Both thoughts make me salivate.

  14. Staal would be my guy, too, if we could figure out a way to bring him in.

    Also, the Byfuglien extension is confirmed – 5 years at 7.6M. Great news. Seeing him go to the Kings, as was rumored here, would have pissed me off.

  15. Antoine Vermette was not exactly tearing it up last year w/ Arizona when the Hawks traded for him; he fit a need like a glove at the end of the day. He won three of the playoff games w/ game winning goals, including the double OT game v. ANA (GM #4) that was likely the most pivotal in retrospect. The Hawks do not win the Cup last year w/out Vermette.

    The same applies to Ladd this year — who cares what his numbers are? That’s even better, maybe he’s not worth as much as a rental as Winnipeg might think. For thirty games or so and the playoffs, he is the best fit available to play w/ Hossa & Toews. It’s irrelevant that he was once on the Hawks, has nothing to do w/ the present scenario. He will be motivated to have a solid end of the year and playoff run as an unrestricted free agent.

    We’ll see how it plays out.

  16. Vermette had 10 points in 39 games with the Hawks. That sucks. He had 35 points in 63 games with the Yotes

  17. Pete, yes man. ER/Ernie/Morrison had detailed numbers on this wks ago (you woud have to go back through the threads) about how we could get a higher ceiling salary cap and when Krugs comes back for the playoffs theres no cap hit just like Kaners. Whether we use it for deadline/and or player bonus (Bread Man) it is big for us. So we need to get that 1.5m ltir before deadline.

  18. Morrison, currently the Hawks can pick up a 4.4 million dollar player. I had a post that was stuck in moderation or maybe I forgot to hit post. If they LTIR Kruger they’d have something like over 10 million in deadline space off memory. Or, you double the 4.4and change and pick up players that equal almost 9 million without anything else going out. That’s one reason why the Garbutt trade had value. They’re allowed 3 retained contracts. Garbutt was one and Scuderi is the other. Do they take on 2 retained guys? Probably not, but they have that option.

  19. I disagree that they need to use the LTIR. It doesn’t gain them anything as far as end of ceiling cap space. You don’t bank salary as far as real dollars saved or gained. I’m not a very eloquent writer and its a difficult concept to describe. But Kruger’s hit doesn’t come off the books. Whether he’s on LTIR or IR has no effect on how much bonus money is parlayed onto next years cap.

    You want to lessen next years cap? Get Jared Cowen then buy him out in the summer. 650k cap credit. Maybe you can convince Murray to take Scuderi back too.

  20. …..agree with Iceman….100percent….the Blackhawks philosophy is to spend entire capspace and secure the best possible players if they are in a position to do so….I expect a similar move as last year with Vermette….should be interesting who gets added….money well spent will ensure Blackhawks chances to repeat…stay tuned!….don’t think its Versteeg though……lol…

  21. Ernie, I remember talking with about this. Most everybody knows but some didn’t. We are in really good shape cap space wise and still need to ltir Krugs 1.5m so we can use what we want for deadline and still have some let for Bread Man player bonus. Those two 50% retained can/should be used (please) so that’s more for deadline and player bonus.

  22. Kane made coming back to the Playoffs after a significant injury look easy-it isn’t and Kruger will be away longer and his type of play and role is more physical-
    and 2nd Danault shouldn’t lose a position for the playoffs-he’s that good and has worked that hard.
    If he (16) can do it and he’s ready he would be a valuable 4th center. Is Sekac ready/able to fill a role and can Dano help?-these are important questions before the trade deadline.
    Under 3 weeks to the deadline and they need to make a decision about the health and money implications of Kruger.

  23. Winnipeg is going to want a ton for Ladd when. I think you can get Staal out of Carolina for roughly the same it would take to get Ladd. I’d take Staal over Ladd. But I wouldn’t be upset either if the Hawks did nothing.

  24. I wonder if the Hawks wait to LTIR Kruger until a few days before the deadline. I don’t know if the higher ceiling is prorated for the remaining salary on Kruger’s hit, or if it’d be 1.5 higher. Regardless I really dont think Panarins bonus money has anything to do with Kruger’s LTIR. You don’t bank space when a player goes on, so how could you get relief for money that isn’t even tacked on yet.

  25. Does anyone think that the Hawks may be pushing Kruger’s recovery date so they can double-up like they did with Kaner last season? Once we used Kaner’s cap space on Vermette and Timmonen, Kaner came back in the playoffs.

  26. @ Ernie
    It really doesn’t matter what the Jets want. The market will set itself once one of these players move. Kevin Cheveldayoff really isnt in a postion to let an assest skate out of town for nothing. His seat is starting to warm up with the Jet currently in the basement. The Jets are a budget team and their likely isnt a budget for Ladd now that they over paid for Buff.

    This pretty much the LW market as of today:

    Loui Eriksson
    Juri Hudler
    Mikkel Boedker

  27. Kruger had surgery to repair a wrist dislocation. They gave an initial recovery time of 4 months. Some medical stuff I’ve glossed over says you’re in a cast for 8 weeks. 2 months. Surgery was December 17th. He’s most likely still in a cast and yet to mobilize the wrist and strengthen everything there to prevent future injury.

    Don’t know if anyone has had a cast on that long, but I did. Fractured my scaphoid in a racing incident. Had a cast from July 2nd until October. Wrist felt like a rusty gate and my arm was half the size. I doubt they’re manipulating his recovery time to take advantage of LTIR they’ve yet to use

  28. My point was if you have to pay similar assets for a rental player. I’m not looking at trading with the Jets. The Jets don’t care who they trade him to. They may even prefer to trade within the division. But I’m not giving up my top assets to a divison team

  29. Afraid Pokka will come back to haunt the Hawks for years to come? if im Stan there are 2 prospects i have to think really hard on moving, Dano and Schmaltz, everyone else is far game.

  30. Stan will not move Schmaltz. He is the most offensively skilled player in their farm system. The knock on him in the past has been inconsistent effort from game to game. Judging by his body of work in the Worlds and at North Dakota this year he seems to have made strides in the area of consistency.

  31. Ernie-right on about the wrist-I broke mine playing Junior B hockey-the atrophy is crazy but my guess is that (especially at the NHL level) they have come a long way minimizing the impact of non-use and proactively increasing strength and stamina.

    I agree that Schmaltz has adapted his game-I can’t believe he only has three goals but he seems to have the confidence of his coaches.

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