Minnesota Wild Sign Zach Parise & Ryan Suter

In a stunning turn of events, the Minnesota Wild pulled of a major upset on the Fourth of July when they signed the two biggest superstars on the market, defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise, to blockbuster deals.

Suter and Parise received matching 13-year, $98M deals. Parise reportedly has a full no move clause.

Parise had been the captain of the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils before reaching unrestricted free agency on Sunday. In the 2012 playoffs, Parise had eight goals and seven assists for the Devils while averaging over 20 minutes per game.

In 502 NHL games, Parise has posted 410 points (194 goals, 216 assists). He has reached the 30-goal mark in all but two of his NHL seasons (his rookie season and the 2010-11 season, in which he only played 13 games because of an injury). He’ll turn 28 in late July.

He was the 17th overall selection in the 2003 Draft, three spots behind the Hawks choosing Brent Seabrook.

The balance of power in the NHL shifts with this deal, and (somehow) the Wild were able to stay out of the spotlight while making their pitches. The additions of these two superstars should push Minnesota into the playoff conversation for the next decade.

Meanwhile, not landing either is a major blow for Detroit, who will now likely turn their attention to Alexander Semin and, possibly, Matt Carle.

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54 Responses to Minnesota Wild Sign Zach Parise & Ryan Suter

  1. Rich Beast says:

    Any gueses now on what Bowman does on the trade market? Though I knew it was a likely possibility that we wouldnt get either Parise or Suter… I think I got caught up in the excitement. Now I am dying for something else to look forward to this 4th of July, since I spent the 2nd and 3rd, hoping for Suter and Parise and feeling like we may of had a good position. Feeling a bit deflated at the moment, hoping for a new name to come up and lift my spirits.

  2. wall says:

    agree Beast, we need something! Semin, E. Kane, trade Hammer for a D-Man who can put puck on net…

    Really, the only positive is Preds. and Wings are probably weaker… until Wings get Semin, that is.

    That is why we should go after him.

  3. wall says:

    then again… when re-alignment occurs, they will probably be in Division.

    Look at bright side…. Bowman signed Martin St. Pierre!!!!

  4. Pete says:

    Now that we won’t get either of the top two free agents I suggest we sign what we can of the remaining free agents and keep the rest of the team intact. Don’t trade Hjarmlsson. We then get better with the younger players in the system. Also we will get better with Toews, Kane etc getting better each year. I don’t think they have maxed out their upside yet.

  5. Ryan says:

    Man 13 yrs 98 mill for each one.

    With Parise getting 7.5 mill for 13 years where does that set market for Semin?

    We already know the cost (in a trade) is high for Nash, Not sure what Semin will command, What would it take to get E. Kane? And does this pave the way for a Doan signing?

  6. Mr. Optimistic says:

    Anyone here feel this may be a good thing? Of course both players would have been great additions to the Hawks, especially Suter on the back end, but 200 million dollars? I am almost happy Bowman struck out on these guys, this is an insane amount of money.

    Doan and Carle are more than adequate additions, if we can nab them, and we wont need to dedicate over a decade of insane cap hits in order to get them.

    I still like the idea of going after a Goaltender, I am hearing Bernier may be on the hawks roster but who knows anymore.

    So we shall see, I have a feeling the dominoes will start falling quickly now…

  7. Mr. Optimistic says:

    radar* not roster

  8. shaacul says:

    Not worth of that money for the Hawks. We need to pust to get Doan.

  9. Jim Perkins says:

    Anyone like Arnott for 2nd line center? I am also a fan of trying to pry Bernier from LA or Ryan from ANA. Not a huge fan of Nash or Howson’s trade demands.

  10. Jim Perkins says:

    Also like Doan but have a feeling he will go back to PHO regardless.

  11. Tim M. says:

    Had to come check out this site as soon as I saw on my NHL iPhone App that Parise and Suter agreed to those contracts by the Wild that were offered as soon as free agency opened up. I don’t dislike “the Hammer” but I’m liking more and more the idea of trading him for something quality on the offensive end. It’s making the move for Doan a little more attractive to me, too. Would love to be a fly on the wall during discussions involving the Bowmans, Coach Q, etc. right about now.

  12. wall says:

    Ryan, Kane, Semin, Doan… in that order… will trade Jammer, Frolik, Monty…

    Arnott on 2 years or less- ok

    still need a D-Man!!!!

  13. Morrison says:

    As much as is would be good to have either of those guys on the team. Our two ‘friends’ in the division just got worse, even with some of the players still out there for them to get, there not as good. No matter who they get they both wont be as good as they were. Its been headin downhill since Rafalski… I love that Parise lured Suter away from them.

    We need to get somebody/anybody good. Hopefully we can get one in FA, so then we can use the trade for another position and end up two players that will help were we need it more.

    Were in a good position (lets take advantage our our situation!) we will be adding, they will be replacing.

  14. Brad Stevenson says:

    Shane Doan is a good option for one, perhaps two years, but the Hawks MUST add a legitimate Top 3 DMan, and because Bowman waited on this deal, all the rest in FA are now gone, I believe, so a trade is really the only possibility…

    My gut all along has told me that Bowman has wanted to gut the roster and rebuild from his picks…and his picks simply aren’t ready or good enough to elevate this team alone…if Bowman does nothing more to improve this roster going into next season, it will be his last…

    Our D corp, as it stands, is NOT good enough…and with the signing of Brookbank it tells us that Olsen isn’t ready this year to play a consistent 3rd pairing role…and he is the best D prospect we have in the organization…

    Our Centres, as it stands, are NOT good enough…Toews is the best…Bolland is a role player who can’t win face-offs…Mayers is almost 40 who plays 6 minutes a game…and Marcus Kruger, whom I like, is NOT ready to be a 2nd line Centre, if ever…

    Stan Bowman, NO ONE ELSE, has backed himself into this tight corner today, and his career is on the line as a result of it…tough times ahead, I am afraid.

  15. Dick Verbeek says:

    What has Stan Bowman really done since taking over from Tallon?
    He took over a team built by someone else. Any additions he made were 40 year old guys way past the prime. He says and pretends to be in the mix but what has he shown for it? Bowman is not aggressive enough … not sayin to tie yourself to huge 13 year deals, but show us a trade or signing that really means something.
    I hope that if the Hawks have another bad year, both Stan and Scotty go.
    No need for the “father figure Scotty” on board.
    What have you done for me lately is key here in the NHL.

  16. Jake says:

    Look at the bright side Detroit didn’t get better, Nashville got werse losing Suter. All the hawks really need is a 2nd line center and another dman for the 2nd pair and we have 11 mill according to hockeybuzz.com. So if we trade “the hammer” for Zach smith from the sens we have 13 atleast. Then we can sign semin (5 mill, 6 at max) Doan backup plan 3 mill maybe 4 then go after carle for 4 mill and Possibly trade for someone

  17. Dick Verbeek says:

    Please, never sign another Russian like Semin.
    Don’t need the Russians who play when they feel like playing, and disappear when the going gets tough, ie playoffs.

  18. NJ Dave says:

    WARNING – don’t count out Detroit just yet. I’m sure they will be making solid moves to build the roster. Yes the lost out on the top tier FA’s, but they are not completely without talent, and still have aton of cap space.

    But in the long-term this was a good (not great) day for the Hawks.

  19. NJ Dave says:

    On an NHL-wide note, the balance of power spreads even further across the NHL. Two new teams (Carolina and Minny) make the biggest splash, and a couple of playoffs teams (Nash, NJ, and Pit) move down a bit.

    The NHL is following the NFL model with every team having a chance every year.

  20. Brian says:

    Im still willing to wait and give Stan a bit more time before we start crucifying him. His draft picks look to be solid so far and though most aren’t ready to play yet, the Hawks have one of the best talent pools to choose from in the minors. The FA market opened only 4 days ago and as Tab previously stated, the Hawks havent really missed out on anybody yet. Parise and Suter were most likely not going to happen anyway and I applaud management for even getting those 2 to look at serious offers.
    The Hawks need a top 6 forward and a top 4 dman in order to compete in June next year. Doan, Semin, Carle, Mueller and others are still available. With all the noise about Hammer and Monty being on the block, one or both of them will be moved as well. To whom and who do we get back is the question?
    And although I tend to more or less agree with Dick Verbeek in that Semin is a guy who only plays when he wants, Dale Hunter seemed to get the most out of him last year in the playoffs. Semin was backchecking, forechecking and even blocking shots which I had never seen him do. If Hunter did it, Q could do it as well. Maybe worth a shot if he doesnt want anything longer than 4 years.

  21. Jake says:

    Detroit and Chicago don’t get me wrong it’ll be a good game even thro Chicago won the series last year 4-2 plus Chicago has more fire power as of right now, I’m sure both teams will add some people. Another reason why Chicago is better is bc their younger Detroit is gonna need to start to rebuild so they’ll have good players coming onto the NHL team

  22. Logan Reilly says:

    For those whining aboot not getting Parise and Suter. Here’s a soother. Suck it.

    Jeezus. Wah wah wah.

    Last time I checked Chicago had everyone signed and Detroit and Nashville lost a top 2 D-man.

    And no…to the guy who wants Arnott. Too slow.

    And no…to Semin because we don’t need another issue on our team.

    One last time…Everything isn’t all that bad! Take the guns out of your mouths.

  23. Jake says:

    Logan no one is Whining about not getting Suter or Parise we all said it would of been nice to get one or both of them. But back to the hawks there are still other options that Stan bowman and the blackhawks front office will look at. There still are options and bowman and co will hopefully make the right calls, they still can make a big splash in my openion. We all saw how everyone didnt like the oduya trade at the dead line but it was a good trade

  24. Taylor says:

    Very helpful Logan. Thanks for that….

  25. ratboy36 says:

    Bet Broduer wishes he came here now,Nashville got weaker and Weber might leave now.Detroit is still weak.BUT I don’t see Bowman getting anything done.He ll fill some holes and that’ll be our team.NEVER did we need Parise but I was hoping.Should of thrown Money at others since we have it.Two Good Dmen and Doa,n would suffice.Garrison before he signed Matt Carle is out there.Trade Hammer Frolik and Prospects for Rick Nash or something????

  26. Dickie Dunn says:

    Now that it’s on to Plan B….?

    I believe Doan will stay with the Coyotes (unless the ownership thing fails).

    With the two “difference makers” going to Minnesota, I don’t see *any* free agent that is a MUST SIGN/significant upgrade. Carle is a solid guy with experience but I wouldn’t want him to cut into Leddy’s ice time (or even get in the way of Olsen’s development). Semin takes too many nights/shifts off (we had too many players doing that the last couple of seasons – the major problem, in my opinion).

    Trades – I hope any move Bowman makes results in an improvement…trades just to shake things up or provide “a change of scenery” usually suck.

    If Saad shows up ready to play they don’t need a top six forward. If the team commits to team defense they don’t need another d-man or goaltender. Just my opinion.

  27. Steve Commisso says:

    I don’t expect ANYTHING from Bowman. If something comes up good -if not, wont be disappointed. Dale Tallon had the guts to make the moves that brought us the Cup and even though there was the cap problem afterwards it was Bowman that blew it. Dale Tallon has a lot of blood and sweat on his Indian Head jersey when he played for the Hawks -Bowman doesn’t have that!

  28. wall says:

    Wild better… Oilers, Kings, Stars better. Ducks maybe better.

    Canucks, Blues… as good.

    Yotes, Preds, worse…

    Wings probably worse (pending Semin or Nash)…

    Leaves Hawks 6-9 in West again… Assuming Hossa is ok!!!!

    Please Bowman, tell me you have a Plan!

  29. Tab Bamford says:

    re: wall’s assessment of the Western Conference

    Nashville – worse (and could be biblically bad w/out Weber)
    Phoenix – worse. Steve Sullivan in, Ray Whitney out. Doan might follow.
    Edmonton – got better, sure. Still don’t have enough defensemen. Finished last year 21 points out of the playoffs.
    Anaheim – I’m not willing to say they’re better. Allen & Souray are nice additions, but they’ve burned their bridges w/ Bobby Ryan. Need to see how that plays out. They’re a fringe playoff team at best right now imo.
    Dallas – better? Really? they effectively swapped Mike Ribeiro for Derek Roy, but lost some grit in the process w/ Ott leaving town. if you think Jagr & Whitney are going to equal a 10 point improvement in the standings, good luck.
    Minnesota – yes, overwhelmingly better. A playoff contender now, no doubt.
    Los Angeles – better? they won the Cup and stayed put. I would say they’re break even. Better than an 8 seed? Sure. But still in the playoffs.
    Vancouver – I’m not willing to say they’re “as good.” They have to deal Luongo at some point, which means they’re heading into a season w/ a somewhat-proven Schneider as their only legit goalie in a division that includes significantly improved Minnesota and maturing Edmonton. And Kesler’s going to miss time to start the year.
    St. Louis – on paper they should be as good, but that assumes the lightning Brian Elliott caught in a bottle is still there.
    Detroit – who knows at this point.

    Are the Hawks 6-9 in the West as they are put together today? I don’t think so. I think, as of the end of the Fourth of July, they’re able to compete w/ St. Louis for the division crown this year. But everything, EVERYTHING, in the NHL is about your best players being healthy. Last year the Hawks finished 3 points out of 4th w/out Toews for the final 22 games. For as much as some folks want to mess the bed because the Hawks haven’t thrown a ton of money at a few free agents, reality is that there weren’t that many major flaws in the first place. Does Crawford need to be better? Yes. Does Leddy need to continue to progress? Absolutely. Does the roster lack the physical #3 defenseman everyone craves? Sure. But the wealth in the West is simply more spread out, and the Central Division is only getting worse. Let’s not write the Hawks out of the postseason in pen quite yet.

  30. Dickie Dunn says:

    Steve – yes, Tallon assembled the 2010 team. You don’t think Bowman “had the guts” when he addressed the *necessary* changes after? I think in 2011 it was definitely CUT and try to fill, and then last season he tried to upgrade the “fill” – Pisani, Turco, Ryan Johnson – with Mayers, Carcillo, Montador. Also, “had the guts” to trade Troy Brouwer for the pick to draft Phillip Danault – it may be a couple of years to honsetly judge that move (- have I read two sources that claim he will be a player – leadership and determination as well as skill). I like Dale Tallon. I don’t know because I’m just a fan (with no “insider” information), but it looks like he may have gotten shafted in a McDouchebag/Scotty Bowman powerplay (hmmmm, there must be some irony since the PP sucked?). He made some bad moves, too. Overall, I think Bowman shouldn’t be judged too harshly *yet* – and, I understand he can’t lean on Dale’s cap problems much (any) longer. If he trades, I hope it’s for a player that will really upgrade, because I don’t think the guys they have are awFULL. Sure, Bickell and Frolik should contribute more or please get rid of them. If they don’t find a #2 center – it could be Sharp?…but please not Kane – he is a RW. Maybe Kruger builds on his rookie season? McNeill? In my opinion, they are not is desperation mode.

  31. Brad Stevenson says:

    Dickie, sorry, but defending Bowman at this point reeks of homerism…the same with Tabs rebuttal of Wall…the fact of the matter is this, with this team as it stands, we are assured to be fighting for 6-10 in the Western Conference…

    Hossa is a year older and may never be the same player he was, at least not for 90+ games a season, Toews is coming off of his 2nd concussion, this one particularly bad, Kane is coming off of his worst season as a pro, Bolland stagnated last year, but stayed relatively healthy for the first time in 3 years, there is NO guarantee that Bolland stays sound all season…Keith has been exposed for what he is, Hammer, as Tab pointed out during the season, was NO big help for this hockey team, in fact there is strong evidence to suggest that the Hawks were better without him…Montador was a $2.75 million dollar bust, Bickell is up and down, Carcillo was as much a detractor last season as he was a benefit, Mayers is almost 40…Leddy plateaued during the 2nd half of the season and he and Oduya disappeared during the 1st round…I mean this goes on and on…

    Wake up…as is, this is a 6-10 WC hockey team…and we are in this position Dickie because of ONE PERSON and that is the GM…now, he still has time, money, and draw to make significant changes and maybe he will, but for 2 and 1/2 years he has struggled at doing this…

    We will see…

  32. Pete says:

    Brad your post begs the question that I asked earlier. Are Bowman’s hands being tied by ownership in terms of adding salary? I’m worried that they are. I believe that many of the players you mention have more upside left in their careers(i.e Kane, Toews, Leddy) and I thought Bickell came on strong at the end of last year. Also I still believe we were better than Phoenix and that we would have beaten them but for the illegal hit on Hossa and the failure of the refs to remove Torres from that game. It seems obvious that they need to add a very good free agent in his prime and then we should be ready to compete for the Cup. If it doesn’t happen I think we need to start questioning whether Rocky is willing to max out the cap.

  33. wall says:

    Brad, I don’t even consider Tab’s post as a rebuttal…

    Basically, he agreed w/ my position regarding other teams…

    the only real disagreement is that Tab thinks WE will be better??? Hossa Hurt? Kane suddenly grew some Balls??? I don’t see it!

    I agree, we might be better in own Division (right now, until Detroit makes a Splash Semin or Nash), but within conference we are not better.

    Ryan, would be a nice addition (especially for the cap hit)
    I know there are alot of Semin bashers… but I have a hunch that he would enjoy playing with Kane and would compliment him… and everyone knows I am not a Kane Fan!

  34. Tab Bamford says:

    To wall & Brad – with all due respect for your pessimism, to say the Hawks are a 6-10 seed implies there are 5-9 teams better than the Hawks in the Western Conference. There will be 3 division winners, one of which I maintain could be the Blackhawks this year. But if we all jump on the free fall bandwagon and assume St. Louis is for real and the Hawks are at best 2nd in the Central, what 2 non-division winning teams are better than the Blackhawks (on paper) right now? The lesser of VAN/MIN? I’ll grant that one of them has a good shot at the 4 seed. Who else? I stated my case that the Hawks are in the mix for the 4-5 seed if they don’t win the division. Making an empty, baseless statement that they’re fighting for a playoff spot without qualifying the teams that are (on paper) better is worthless. So while Brad can accuse of homerism, I’ll ask that you respond with more than emotion.

  35. BoogKnight2002 says:

    Not to skew the diatribes…but wouldnt someone like Ryan Getzlaf be a great fit in Chicago?
    I know nothing of the logistics and its sort of a starry eyed proposal…but if you could send some Ice Hogs and Hammer over to Anaheim for a real 2nd Line center…wouldnt that be the end of a lot of questions?

  36. Dickie Dunn says:

    Brad, thank you for the wakeup call.

    First, it is very difficult (impossible) to read the future accurately. Tab is 100% correct – “everything, EVERYTHING, in the NHL is about your best players being healthy.” If the Hawks are fortunate in that area they should be better than than fighting for 6-10 in the Western Conference.

    A couple of things I don’t understand (or maybe we just disagree?). Assuming Seabrook is the Hawks best (#1) defenseman, “Keith has been exposed for what he is” – which #2 defensemen around the league would you rather have? “Leddy plateaued during the 2nd half of the season and he and Oduya disappeared during the 1st round” – Leddy is 21 with1.5 years NHL experience – how could he possibly be judged as “plateaued”? Yes, Oduya was less than impressive vs Phoenix, but so were a lot of other guys – it’s a team game. In his case, he hasn’t been with the team long enough to know what he’s really worth – he has skating & puckmoving skill which fits their puck possession/transition game. Carcillo took too many bad penalties, but it is a fact that the Hawks were in first until his injury/suspension. Maybe he contributes something “intangible” – confidence? Signing Montador was a large mistake.

    I’m not defending Bowman as much as suggesting that given the circumstances (and this doesn’t address Pete’s point – “hands tied”…a possibility), maybe it’s a little early to accurately assess his career as GM (or hang him in effigy, etc.). It’s not easy to be patient. I prefer that to (Bowman making) mistakes spurred by overreaction.

  37. AC says:

    As a Hawks fan, I will be on the dissenting side and say thank goodness that McDonough was not able to sign Parise or Suter. While they are very good players, they only got those outrageously overpriced deals because of the fact they are in a free agent class devoid of elite talent. I would like to have either of them, but would not pay 7.5mill over 13 years for players that would be the #4 or 5 forward on this team or the #2 or 3 d-man.

    Listening to “fans” deride Brian Campbell for years on his contract, I have to believe Suter would wear out his welcome just as fast as Soupy did.

    I would like to see the Hawks keep pushing for a dman (if only to drive up the price for the defensively desperate Wings) and a grinder on the forward. Sadly, I don’t see McDonough letting this go and believe he will push the Hawks front office into a trade for Luongo or Nash, and give up way too much to do it.

  38. wall says:

    AC- probblem w/ your statement is…

    Parise is a # 2 forward on this team!!!!! Only Toews is better… actually very similiar, Toews is only better cuz faceoffs!!!! Parise is relentless, forechecks, wins boards, PK guy.

    Kane… better passer- Parise is better at almost everything else…

    Sharp better sniper…. but Parise better at almost everything else…

    Hossa, is as good but different (more puck carrier) Parise is a Puck seeking Missile!!!

    Suter is a #1 or #2 on this team! Only good thing is Weber might be available next year!

  39. Pete says:

    AC, I would rather see the Hawks “overpay” for good players as opposed to “overpay” for bad players. So 8 million for a good player beats 2.75 million for a bad player.

  40. Brad Stevenson says:

    First off Tab, this isn’t venting or ranting…this is a reality…and I am not saying that Bowman is finished with his attempts to improve this roster…in fact, acquiring players through trades is almost always preferable because you can control contracts…with FA, you can’t…look at the fact that Matt Carle just got $5.5 million per season in Tampa…Carle is Brent Seabrook? That’s reaching in reaction to the Suter signing…

    What I am saying is that Bowman has dumped for 2 years, and CLEARLY now is the time to rearm…you have said so repeatedly…you defended Bowman last summer for not replacing Campbell or getting a 2nd line Centre by justifying 2 things…the trade deadline (read DISASTER) and this summer’s FA market which was going to be much better than last years…

    OK, here we are and how have we done??? The fact is, we DON’T need many pieces, and I would argue that we should be fine with Crawford and Emery if we got that key #1-3 DMan…add a true 2nd line Centre to the mix and that’s it…we don’t have much room to add…you don’t go backwards with players like Victor Stahlberg and Andrew Shaw…you move forwards, that same goes for Jimmy Hayes and should for Dylan Olsen…add Brandon Saad to the mix, and we have to LOSE some players…and that is what trades can do for us…

    We can add 2 key additions to the lineup and lose at least 3 current roster players, plus a couple of prospects and some draft picks…this is still a very talented and very young hockey team…we have a long way to go with making hay from this core group, but they need help NOW…

    We missed on Suter, and now we have to work harder to find 2 suitable additions…

    As for the WC with our current roster, these teams would be ahead of us…

    The 3 Division winners:

    LA, Vancouver, St. Louis

    Then the following:

    Detroit, Minnesota, Phoenix and Nashville

    Then we are in a DOG FIGHT with:

    San Jose, Dallas, Calgary, and Edmonton (3 #1 draft selections in a row, and they OWNED US last year)

    That is 12 teams battling for spots, and before any of you write off Nashville, they will not lose Weber, and they have reloaded very well, with Pekke Rinne still in net…if you think we will walk over this team with superior coaching, think again…

    Tough conference and we haven’t got better, and with Hossa, maybe worse…

  41. Brad Stevenson says:

    Hey Dickie…to clarify, Keith is exposed as simply a good puck moving DMan, not a Norris Trophy winner…he can work well paired with a Seabrook or a Suter type player…with Leddy, I like Nick, and thought that trade was a great move by Bowman, but Leddy needs HELP and Oduya is NOT the guy to pair with him…you need a Hammer type player who plays like Hammer did when he was paired with Brian Campbell…Oduya paired with a Brookbank is a nice combo (but $3.3 million to have Oduya on the 3rd pairing is painful)…so this is why Dickie standing pat with this roster presents problems…Crawford won’t get better unless the Defence in front of him does, and to achieve that we need 3 pairings that can ALL skate regular minutes keeping Keith and Sebs under 24 minutes a game, and mix a physical, stay at home DMan with a more agile puck moving defenceman…so getting ONE MORE Suter like DMan is crucial, that means Hammer and Montador HAVE to go…Dylan stays as your #7 guy…

    On Offence, get a 2nd line centre who can HIT and win over 50% of his face-offs and we are there…its not a lot, but these are crucial moves, and Bowman has known about this FOR 2 YEARS…so this is hardly panicking or reaching…

  42. Tab Bamford says:

    So, Brad, you’re saying

    - Nashville (without the all-world defenseman everyone wanted) is still better than the Hawks? I disagree.
    - Phoenix, who downgraded Ray Whitney to Steve Sullivan and could lose Shane Doan as well, is better than the Hawks? Again, I disagree.
    - Detroit, whose captain retired, traded away Brad Stuart and lost Jiri Hudler to free agency and have replaced them with… Mikael Samuelsson and Jordin Tootoo… is better than the Hawks? Again, I disagree. If you hate the depth chart on Chicago’s blue line, look at the situation in Detroit. Niklas Kronwall and…?

    The Blackhawks won’t have anything handed to them. We all agree on that. But I don’t see Dallas as a lock for the playoffs, and I don’t see San Jose being the powerhouse they’ve been for the last few years either. Calgary? Child please. I’m more confident in the Hawks’ ability to return to the postseason in April than fans in Nashville or Phoenix should be. You’re underselling the quality in Chicago by leaps and bounds.

    re: Bowman’s long-term plan, you’re right that he had to burn it down and is now getting to the back side of a hard financial period for the team. When he moved Campbell (the bold move everyone says he lacks the stones to make now), he did create cap breathing room. But, in case you missed it, the Hawks tried to use that cap room to bring in Parise or Suter and didn’t win the bidding. That’s how free agency works, folks.

    Bowman must address his roster via trades, and cannot wait for the market to work around him. I have patiently given him time to wait for Suter & Carle to come off the market before he started moving players, but that time has now come and gone. RFAs are going to begin signing their qualifying offers and/or arbitration hearings will take place. It’s time for Bowman to find the power forward/2C or another top-four defenseman by packaging assets he has accumulated in the last two years to make his team a stronger contender. I emphasize that phrase – “stronger contender” – because most rational hockey fans still see the Blackhawks as a contender (when healthy). And, as even the ever-doubting Brad mentioned, this roster isn’t in need of an overhaul. But there are some pieces they need to better compete with improved competition in the conference, and now is the time to make it happen.

  43. Brad Stevenson says:

    Ever doubting??? Absolutely wrong, and you should know better…I call it as it is…I love this team, but not necessarily just one position or person on it…i.e. it is plausible to love the Hawks and not agree with the GM, or even Coach…we have loads of talent, but are missing 2 KEY PIECES, is that ever doubting to state??? We have needed these 2 pieces for 2 YEARS…now is the time to make it happen (or sooner).

    Nashville, Detroit and Phoenix are ahead of us, until we can prove otherwise, and with their currents losses, you look at their GMs and Coaches and simply know they are going to be strong teams…as for Calgary, they are serious about winning and have made strong additions and strong withdrawals…they are never easy for us to play and will be very tough this season…you are taking these teams way too lightly Tab, and with Crawford in net, with our CURRENT Defence, you are overselling us…

  44. Tom Jaremka says:

    As much as I can’t stand Stan Bowman, we have 90 days left before the season starts. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt on all of this. There is no guarantee that Suter and Parise will bring the Wild a cup in the next few years. Anything can happen, injuries, their youth won’t develop, the team implodes from the pressure…….anything.
    Before we go and hang Bowman, let’s see what happens in the next few weeks. I’m not his biggest fan, but I’ll give him a little rope, here.

  45. Ej says:

    You guys are all funny. Step back and clear your heads. Why would you guys want two giant Soriano contracts? Sure they are good, but they commanded more money than our top guys and are probably now over paid. Hawks are OK and have $$ to do more. Let’s just see how the Wild fares in the next 13 years. My predictions is: NO CUP. Let’s all be thankful that the Maxipads didn’t sign them and Nashville is now f-ed…

  46. Dickie Dunn says:

    Brad, “missing 2 KEY PIECES…have needed these 2 pieces for 2 YEARS” – that’s a #2 center and #3 d-man, right? Well, the won the Cup with Sharp as the #2 center – Toews, Sharp, Bollad, and either Madden or Dowell. Campbell was the #3 d-man, and he wasn’t a giant, mean, physical, front-of-the-net-clearing monster. The Hawks didn’t have one of those. (Byfuglien played some defense early in the year…and he was MIA in too many games during the regular season, but he made his mark as a wing and presence in front of the net – the Hawks do lack that for sure.)

    I love the idea of three pairs of defensemen that can ALL skate regular minutes – if they don’t move Hjalmarsson maybe he can return to form (I doubt it, but I can’t predict the future) and they have Seabrook, Keith, Leddy, Hjal, Oduya, Brookbank or Olsen – not terrible. (“$3.3 million to have Oduya on the 3rd pairing is painful” – the price you pay for *real* depth?)

    “Keith is exposed as simply a good puck moving DMan, not a Norris Trophy winner” – well, how did he win the Norris? How many Norris Trophy winners have been the highest scoring (most points) defensemen in a particular year? (I believe Randy Carlyle won one!) I contend Keith plays good defense – he certainly did in 2010. I’ve asked the question (here) a few times – “What happened?” He just couldn’t reach the same level of enthusiam the “hangover year”, and last season he was worn out or “trying to do too much” – pretty lame or pure bs?

    I would be delighted if Bowman packaged whatever (young guys not Saad, draft picks, Hjalmarsson, miraculously got somebody to take Frolik and/or Bickell…) to make “the right move”…that is, the move that makes the team, as Tab said, “a stronger contender”. I believe if they’re healthy, and (I’ve said this before) willing to consistently commit to team defense, they are a strong contender.

    Carle at $5.5 million? Really? In my opinion, that is really insane (compared to the Suter and Parise deals).

  47. Brad Stevenson says:

    As I agreed with you before, I do so again…I think Sharp can be that #2 centre, but the Hawks don’t think so…and if they don’t play him there (like all of last season), then he isn’t an option there…so once again, we need a true 2nd line Centre that can win over 50% of his face-offs…and our Defence, as you say should be fine, IF Hammer plays back to form…but he hasn’t for 2 seasons and as Tab pointed out this year, we were better off when he wasn’t in the lineup…

    No matter how you want to address it, and “How” I really don’t care, the Hawks have to address these issues or the special teams will struggle again and so will Crawford as Sebs and Keith are dead tired and too many men are left alone to whack away at rebounds…

    I agree too Tom…Bowman does have the rest of the summer to make these moves…and he may very well get them done, so until then we wait.

  48. Ryan says:

    Sounds like Shea Weber is in “disbelief” that Suter signed elsewhere according to his agent. He may be available in a trade

  49. Tom Jaremka says:

    Brad, I agree with you on many points, but the biggest problem I have with this team isn’t the players, it’s our style of play. We’re so easy to play against, it’s ridiculous. All we have is speed. We don’t forecheck very well, we don’t check in our own zone very well, we don’t clog up the middle of the ice very well and we don’t stop the puck very well in key parts of the game. The real bad problem is that we don’t take the body enough.

    So, is it coaching? Is it a team philosophy? Are the players set in their own ways and they choose to play “one dimentional”? Do the players care? Is the team set up for a “one dimentional” type of game?

    What happened to the Capitals when they got a coach who demanded that the star players perform “his way”? He benched everyone, even Ovie. I’ve NEVER seen “Q” bench a star player for anything. Maybe it’s time for “Q” to take the players out to the wood shed and lay the lumber to ‘em.

  50. wall says:

    Tom. I see the same “game” you see… but fact is it is the personnel.

    Kane, Sharp, Hoss… these guys aren’t going to take or give the body… not in their DNA.

    D-Men (except Seabs) all are “PUCKMOVERS”, not only will they not take the body…
    they really aren’t good at getting shots thru from the blueline.

    Besides Carbomb (before he got hurt) none of the Hawks play the body (Bicks can when he wants to)… Mayers isn’t young enough to play the length of the ice…

    We don’t have Ladd, Buff, Eager, Kopecky, Brouwer…. They are hard to replace, and expensive! But we do lack and need those types… Otherwise, we are a Mini- Allstar team that can’t play A Playoffs style game (physical, grinding, D)… that’s why we couldn’t shut anyone out last year… I am not a big Crow fan (some blame goaltending for that stat) but I think I could have had a couple of shutouts on the 2010 team!

    Reality is Q can make Lemonade out of Lemons… but he can’t turn Marshmallows into Steak!

    That is why most everyone has been begging for a true Power forward and Physical top 3 d-man… (but like you suggest- we really need more “willing” players)…

  51. Brad Stevenson says:

    Great points Tom and Wall…but I think at the end of the day, Q can’t even make lemonade when he doesn’t even have lemons…we are comparing apples to oranges and they aren’t mixing well…

    We won in 2010 with a dominant puck possession game and centres that won their face-offs…we still have basically the makings of this team, except we don’t have the depth and we don’t have a Centre beyond Toews, that can consistently win face-offs and play more than 6 minutes a game…

    So if Bowman wants Q to be successful with this roster, he has to give him MORE QUALITY DEPTH and another Centre that can win some FREAKING FACEOFFS…

    I honestly think that Shaw, Hayes and Saad are excellent additions to this roster, all courtesy of Bowman’s talents, but NONE of them are a 2nd line Centre and a Top 3 DMan that crushes everything he sees…

    And this is my huge frustration with Bowman…this isn’t rocket science…he has done a good job in drafting, but until they are ready to help in all the areas we need, he must go out and fill in the dots…if he does that, especially last summer, then he is and has been a great GM…but until he gets this done, as much as it may cost, he is NOT a great GM…

    Even Tab spent all last season saying “back of Bowman and let him use the Cap space at the trade deadline”…when he didn’t and we evaporated in the playoffs, again, Tab said, last year’s FA market was soft, and this year’s was much better, so wait and let Bowman use the Cap space to round out the roster…well, we are here and he has swung and missed on Brodeur, Parisie and Suter (not his fault), but has missed out on EVERY OTHER valid option by waiting on these 3 guys…so the only avenue left to Stan is the trade route…

    And what will he do? Rape the roster for Rick Nash when he still doesn’t address our 2nd line Centre issue, just to make a big splash???

    We really only need two things…if we have them Crawford, likely, no longer is a liability…we need that legitimate 2nd line centre (see Getzlaf, especially with him being an UFA next season) and a top 3 physical DMan who can PK and clear out the front of the net…

    If our Defensive pairing look like this, we won’t struggle…

    Sebs-Keith
    Top 3-Oduya
    Leddy-Brookbank

  52. Ryan says:

    Would anyone be interested in Alexander Semin if he came with a small one year price tag? There is talk going around he may sign a small one year deal to prove he is worthy of a bigger multi year deal. I think the Blackhawks would be a great situation for him.

  53. Tom Jaremka says:

    Brad, I agree with you about Bowman. But the other day I was speaking with an ex-nhl player who I disagree with often…..LOL. I told him that I didn’t think Bowman was a good GM, at all, and that he just didn’t have the experience to know the “intangibles” of a good hockey player and that he wouldn’t know a good player if the guy skated across his face!!

    My friend laughed at me and disagreed with a good arguement. He said that the new breed of GM only really needs to know the salary cap rules. Scouts, coaches and even other players feed the GM the proper info about young players and developing kids. My arguement is that most successful GM’s are ex-nhl players, or coaches. Maybe I am wrong and I probably am, but I just think an ex-player can see something in a guy that a regular person can’t see.

    I loved Dale Tallon and I realize he drafted Toews and Kane, but those guys were “can’t miss” players. I look at the fact that he found a guy like Patrick Sharp who was a 4th line player in Philly. Tallon just saw something in him that most GM’s missed.

    Tab, I know you’re going to say, “Tom, he also traded for Huet”. Well, Tallon was not perfect, either. I just believe that the ONLY reason that Bowman is the GM is because his dad is Scotty Bowman. Period.

  54. Tim G says:

    Ryan- Semin would be ok at a 3mil tag or something like that, but there are reports that a team in the KHL may offer upwards of 10mil. So… ya… not likely he stays in the NHL unless its for a multi year deal.

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