Report: Hawks Looking To Improve Blue Line

The Fourth Period reported earlier this week that Hawks GM Stan Bowman is looking to improve his group of defensemen. TFP notes that Bowman has been shopping Connor Murphy but hasn’t been able to get much traction yet.

It’s no surprise Bowman is already looking to tinker. As Mike Kelly outlined earlier on Friday, the Hawks haven’t been good defensively this season.

35 thoughts on “Report: Hawks Looking To Improve Blue Line

  1. This reminds me of the Trevor Daley for Rob Scuderi scenario for some reason. I am no fan of the Hammer-Murphy trade, but I wouldn’t want to move Murphy for an even more useless part. We have cap space so that should provide some leverage in any deal. Maybe he isn’t a fit here but he is still young and likely to improve so I wouldn’t be a fan of just giving him away, which is basically what we did with Daley.

  2. Seabrook had the lowest total toi of any defenseman against the Rangers, and the Hawks are stuck with him because of the prohibitive nature of his nmc and the length and cap hit on his contract. What’s wrong Seabs? I defer to the more knowledgeable or opinionated amongst you.

  3. No surprise Stan is trying to move Murphy. Anybody that watched him at Arizona last year knew he was a stiff. Stan got fleeced on the Hammer trade. I agree Hereismike- hopefully Stan doesn’t make a bad trade worse by moving Murphy for a useless player.

  4. SSHM to your comment tell everybody what I feel, not sure what you mean but I certainly not happy or excited over somebody saying the stats show they could be outside playoffs. But fact is they hopefully will improve and make some moves to help the team. Everybody was aware the defense has not been good. I said when everybody was talking about Franson signing that he wasn’t the answer and should do better. Mentioned on different occasions that should try to get a dman from Vegas or somewhere, that Keith needed a partner about a week ago. Also unpopularly said Bowman should pursue Butcher who is having a nice year in N.J.
    This isn ‘t all on the defense either, last season when everybody was hating Kruger a few posters myself included said without a capable replacement there was a major void in the lineup as podçast pointed out as well as no Hossa. But I still cheer for this team to win and look for the positive when I can.

  5. I could be wrong but I thought he said “if this does not change…” the Hawks would miss the playoffs. And it’s not just stats…these guys have been awful via the eye test too. Painful to watch, but not unexpected when we have to trade away key depth players every year because of hockey’s imposed socialism. (Salary Cap)
    The whole problem is depth and lack of cap space. We had guys for a few years there taking a “hometown let’s win discount” and then Toews and Kane’s agent talked them into being greedy. That spelled the end of guys (Seabrook included) taking any kind of discount to play on a winner. Had they taken say 9M each Seabs likely would have not signed for as much and we quit losing our best up and coming players.
    I think the only way out of this may be to re-build and stop being a development program for the rest of the NHL.

  6. The hardest thing in hockey is to acquire game breaking talent like Kane, Toews, Keith, McDavid, Crosby, etc. Once you have those pieces, especially if you have success, you pay them, especially if you win a Cup, or Cups. You don’t get rid of them.

    Also, once you have them, you don’t start over and rebuild when they are still capable. With the right pieces around them, our core is still capable of winning. It’s just that they have very, very little help and the core keeps shrinking (Sharp, Seabs can’t play like core players anymore. Hammer, Hossa, gone. Even Kruger gone hurts but was too pricey)

    As someone said, this is the way of the NHL and the salary cap. It guts the best teams and levels the playing field. Check with me in two years and let’s see how stacked Tampa Bay and Toronto’s rosters are. They will be a LOT thinner.

    The Hawks drafted and developed a lot of guys around the same time frame and had a stacked team to win in 2010. So much so, they rebuilt around that core and got two more, nearly three. There comes a tipping point where you can’t get back to the top due to the constant attrition and the aging of your core pieces. Without a Pittsburg-esque revival, or getting lucky and growing a couple superstars organically (Dcat, Schmaltz?), I can’t see how this team keeps trying to win as they have in the past when they don’t have the pieces to do so. If they do, they remain a .500 team.

  7. A tough decision, your right-and the best decision (probably) you can’t really accomplish very well—which is start over (fan base/revenue and big contracts in the way)-so they do what they do and try their best.
    We’ll see in the next three or four weeks if they are a 500 or legit playoff team.

  8. so, just to be clear, folks like Hawks1961 are

    a) saying Murphy is a stiff & shouldn’t be in the lineup, yet
    b) they don’t want Bowman to trade him (and his cap hit) for nothing

    Got it. Thanks.

  9. re: Espo’s “Toews and Kane’s agent talked them into being greedy.” both player would have made more money on the open market without question. The fact that people still think that isn’t true is hilarious. Next

  10. You know what killed “guys like Seabrook taking any kind of a discount to play on a winner?” The new CBA that doesn’t allow for there to be empty seasons at the end of a contract to lower the cap hit. Keith & Hossa had/have low cap hits not because they gave the Blackhawks a “deal to play for a winner” but because the Hawks buried cap-circumventing low-salary seasons at the end of their deals to bring the cap number down.

    If Duncan Keith had signed a 7-year contract with only the money paid to him in those first seven seasons, his cap hit would have been $7.54M.

    Marian Hossa had a flat salary of $7.9M per year for the first 7 years of his contract.

    But let’s keep perpetuating bullshit theories like Keith & Hossa left money on the table… My god this isn’t new….

  11. re: Hereismike – how do you think the Pittsburgh-esque revival happened? Did they draft and develop, pull a monkey out of their ass or go all-in? Because the concept that the same guy who drafted Shaw & Saad and signed Panarin and rebuilt a team from selling off 70% of the 2010 Cup team into 2 more championships “got lucky and grew a couple superstars organically” is funny to me.

    Not every GM hits a home run in every draft. Not every year is there a top tier free agent who can fill a need – or that you can afford. The same “I can’t see how this team keeps winning” bullshit was all over us in 2011 and 2012 and then OH MY GAWD two Cups in 3 seasons. Like some kind of miracle…

    I’m not giving Bowman a 100% on his free agent, draft and trade track record. There’s a reason we have a running record of every move he’s made as GM of the Blackhawks on this site – so you can look at it and form an opinion (based on fact, which is a fun change of pace for some). But the fact that the Penguins got their shit back together and won back-to-back Cups 7 years after their first w/ Crosby & Malkin older than Toews & Kane are now should give any realistic fan pause when thinking the Hawks’ core is dead.

  12. I would leave Murphy in the lineup on the third pair for shopping purposes. Hopefully he has a decent game or two and somebody bites.

  13. I would pick my 6 best healthy guys and play them as regular pairs for a month and see what happens. If you play Murphy and he sucks, you’re wasting ice time AND his value is going nowhere. At this point I would hope we can all agree the mission should be WIN GAMES, not try to jack up a kid’s trade value.

    Keith, Rutta, Franson, Forsling, Seabrook & Kempny are my top 6 right now. Roll em out. Oh, and put Oesterle on waivers already. Stop wasting the cap space and the kid’s time.

  14. One thing most NHL fans agree on is that it takes a while for most d-men to reach their potential. Three of the Hawks have less than a season under their belt – Kempny with 63 games, Forsling with 54 and Ruuta with 19. Most games that is half the Hawk’s d-corps. There are going to be growing pains. Let’s not do something rash that may not be necessary with our inexperienced d-men getting more experience as the season goes on.

  15. The NHL has predicted what revenue could be…and they say the cap could jump to 80-82 million.

    Wow

  16. Bowman good: signing Kempny out of Europe, he has ability/an asset that is being wasted by Q.

    Bowman bad: “married to Hammer”, met Murphy at USA Hockey camp, got smitten, ditched loyal wife for Murphy who turned out to be not so hot at all.

    On a related D-men note, Franson is fine offensively, but he is a disaster in his own zone. I would like to see how Q addresses this in the playoffs.

  17. Sadly, Murphy is not a $3.8 Million defenseman. Just a thought, Brendan Smith from the Rangers signed a similar contract before the season and is now a scratch after getting off to a, well, Murphy-like start. Smith is a lefty and a terrific skater. To me a swap like that would make sense.

    I agree with iceman, I have no idea why Bowman became “smitten” with Murphy. Coincidentally, same trading partner, Arizona, same number, 5, as Rundblad. Wierd !

    I also agree with Tab that the Hawks should play their best six defensemen and waive Oesterle. The kid has played 4 games and has been relegated to being a practice player. That just is not right when he had other UFA offers and chose the Hawks organization. Just not right !

  18. Teravinen just had a hat trick and is at 15 points in 17 games and is like 23 years old. Meanwhile we are talking about Murphy. Its like a nightmare that keeps getting worse.

  19. …Dcat had 4 goals and 5 pts in is last 3 games …12 pts in 19 games ,Rookie is 19 years old
    Hawks will find a way to get a Dman from Rockford or in a trade …i am not really worried at this point of the year .
    Go Hawks go

  20. Hawks 2010 sounds like a comment right before that nashville playoff series last year. 4 games and out remember and it wasnt remotely close or competitive. Stop with the fools gold regular season argument. Hawks need to rebuild now before kanes career is over. Mcdonough marketing moves like signing sharp at this stage of his career hurt more than help. Sell at the deadline and acquire young players with upside like the one we gave away to carolina.

  21. Chad Krys got a page in the recent Hockey News-Quinn really likes his growth-
    anyone seen his play this year? Will he make the Junior team after making it 2 years ago as under age player?
    Tab and others seem to like Mitchell better.

  22. There’s no doubt the team would be better now had we held tight at the trade deadline the last five years or so (mainly thinking about the Ladd year). Hope bowman learns from his mistakes and let’s the team that’s here develop. I have a feeling this same roster will be looking much better towards the end of the year.

    Its interesting that mike Kelly points out the defensive offensive players we lost. We really don’t have any hossa’s or Krugers on the team and their impact was bigger than we realized

  23. I was at one of the WMU vs Denver games (western michigan surprisingly won both) and i have to say Mitchell really didn’t stand out at all. I figured he’d be one of the more impressive players on the ice, but I kinda just forgot he was out there. Looked average.

  24. Did they say if Keith made the trip with the team for tonight. If not I wonder what the pairs will be. Could go with 42/44 6/11 5/7 or 42/11 44/7 6/5 hope if Keith is out hope Q gives Kempny an opportunity to show he can or cannot be asset in the lineup as this is dragging on to long, not a benefit to guys with all the uncertainty around their status.

  25. Tab thanks for keeping it real. I cannot believe my fucking ears with some of the comments. And that’s with the site and second city being to only good sites were people comment.

  26. Why do we trade a 2nd pick for Rundy it helped us get Vermeete. Why do we trade 4 for 5 it helps us get another trade we need or want later. Future considerations.

    Good trade relations.

    MTL owes us a good trade now as well.

  27. Thanks Tab for the comments re: Toews and Kane getting more on the open market. The constant complaints about their salaries and contracts do not address the here and now.

    The question for me is if Bowman really is looking to move for a D-man, just who is out there? A move would have to improve the team within the near future, if not right now. Brendan Smith is a bit on the outside right now in NY, but my Detroit fan friends were super glad to see him leave there. He is a good skater, but the Detroit fans were constantly bitching about those couple of times a game turnovers etc. that drove them nuts and impacted the games.

    I have not seen Hammer play this year. I was a little bit puzzled by the deal for Murphy but figured it somehow helped the cap and maybe that there was something going on that us stiffs weren’t privy to.

    Maybe if some other guys that aren’t D-men would back check a little more and help out the D-men things wouldn’t be quite as bad?

  28. When we make a trade we’re not going to get hosed like the one with DAL that was a certain situation. This is plenty of cap space by trading a approx 4m cap hit and the ltir space from 81 contract. Not to mention we could trade 81 contract as well with this/or separate. When’s there’s a good trade available we will make the deal.

    The team will get much better for games 40-80 with who we have now because upside/experience. Like Ian we could add an established top 4 D man from Knights or another team that has one available.

  29. Agree with Iceman- Franson is a turnover machine. Many unforced errors for a veteran. Plus he is a poor skater. We know the defense is in trouble when Murphy is a slight upgrade over Franson in the D zone.

  30. One of my spies…er contacts told me he was at the Hawks training facility & saw Dcat & Chelios hooked up to an IV machine…

    Prepping Cheli for a comeback…???

  31. These penguin fans are despicable. Booing the Malkin penalty…then cheering when Crawford went out. Then booing Murphy when he couldn’t make it back. Heard someone say “get up you bum”. Jesus.

  32. Pete….Hawks need to rebuild…Shaw 4 millions $ 26 years old for Dcat at less then a Millions 19 years old .this is a really good move ….Teuvo and Bick to get some cap space …not the best move but will we talk about it for another 5 years? you want to go back in time (back to the future in a Movie pete …not true. ….move on and look in front to rebuild .Sharp at 1 millions is not the best move so far but he help the Dcat when he arrive the team …and we dont know the future for Sharp ..he might go for a good playoff run ….who knows ?
    Teuvo and Panarin are GONE …We Cant Keep Them ALL …Hawks have a Cap like all the Teams ..different ways of getting money to get under the Cap …

  33. 1961, your analysis continues to shine. Per my post in the PIT thread, 11 seemingly did not care enough to properly respond NHL-wise when his team’s all-star goalkeeper got run in the head directly in front of him. Suppose he was a steal at ~$1M, may yet get some mileage this season…not sure I’d trust him should we qualify for the playoffs, however. If #5 could not be trusted either, barring injuries, would apparently leave the team 1 d-man short at best. Thinking the 4-man rotation won’t work in 2018.

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