Trade Coming? IceHogs Add A Forward

Normally, a minor league team signing a player to a professional tryout contract isn’t newsworthy. But when the IceHogs signed a 25-year-old forward on Tuesday, it raised my eyebrows.

Mark McNeill

Rockford announced the signing of forward Dane Walters on Tuesday, a move that gives the IceHogs 15 forwards (including the recently suspended Cody Bass). That number does not include one of Joakim Nordstrom and Teuvo Teravainen, however; one of those two young forwards is expected to receive a one-way cab ride to Rockford before Kris Versteeg returns from injury on Wednesday night.

Another decision will need to be made at the NHL level when rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk returns. TvR has begun skating but apparently is not close to returning yet. Even with expanded rosters after the trade deadline, the Hawks would likely need to move salary to afford a roster with him included.

Walters, a right wing, had 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 27 games with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye this season. He’s listed at 6-0, 198 and his three games with Worcester (AHL) in 2012-13 are the highest level of hockey on his resume to date.

UPDATE:

The IceHogs now have nine defensemen on their active roster; only two of the nine, Stephen Johns and Ville Pokka, are right-handed. Rockford has 16 forwards on the roster, including Nordstrom and suspended Bass. No matter how you slice it, 24-25 players is a bloated roster for a team not doing anything any time soon.

54 thoughts on “Trade Coming? IceHogs Add A Forward

  1. It “could” telegraphy that Bowman is going to package in trade a couple players on the big club roster. Remember, Bowman has to move salary in order to add anybody. I still insist the Hawks MUST acquire a credible physical blueliner. So maybe a player like Kruger is paired with other considerations to add a piece??? The candidates to be packaged in a deal would include Kruger, Bickell (but the contract is an albatross), Oduya (assuming the Hawks threw in a nice prospect for another team’s willingness to take on his salary for the remainder of the year), Rosival (though I doubt it because he is actually playing OK, although he is playing way too much out of necessity.

    I’m going to be highly pleased if Bowman gets creative. Because this roster as currently constructed isn’t going anywhere in the playoffs.

  2. Hawks need Bickell. One and only power forward. Krueger, Oduya, Rozsival – Hawks are buyers not sellers. McNeill, Danault, Norstrom those name could be traded.

  3. There is something called the salary cap, and the Hawks will have to remove salary to be able to add anybody.

  4. Would love to see Bowman move Bickell and his new teefus to Toronto for Daniel Winnik and Stephane Robidas. Salaries are similar, so its doable. Franson would be a stretch, that’s why I am not suggesting him… Robidas has a history with the Hawks too.

    Hawks would have to send Toronto a player (McNeill?) or 2 from Rockford… to make this a possibility.

    Doubt that they would trade Kruger, as he’s the main reason the Hawks are number one on the penalty kill and Q trusts him.

    Bickell has underachieved given his salary… 3rd line left wing at 4 mil? Not good!

  5. I feel like the Hawks need 2 types of players to assist in a long playoff run. First they need another power forward type player. The Hawks need a few more physical players on their roster.

    2nd they need another anchoring defenseman. They need a guy that can dish out some nasty on the back end and clear bodies from the crease.

    Realistically these types of players are possible to find but the Hawks will need to shed salary to get em, which I see is unlikely. The Hawks are a slightly above average team these days nothing more.

  6. This move gives the Hawks PP a boost and a good d-partner for Hjalmarsson. I like Winnik’s game and he is a bargain at $1.3 million!

  7. Well if someone wants futures \ young players for a rebuild the Hawks have assets. Maybe they eat some salary on an expiring contract + that to get the Hawks an NHL player.

    I think a lot of things need to happen to get any kind of movement roster wise. At least anything that is meaningful.

    Plus salary needs to move (probably!) in the off season so they cant over commit term wise or close to NHL ready player wise.

    Lots of ins and outs and whathaveyous

  8. And lets be clear on the power play. Zero issues with personal there, none.

    That is 100% on the coaching staff not being able to orchestrate some kind of sensible zone entry plan and having the guys stand around playing tippie toe instead of passing, moving, and making 4 players look stupid.

    Except for that Hossa goal Sunday. Wow was that special.

  9. The power play hasn’t wver performed to its capabilities with the talent on it the last 4-5 years in my opinion. To say it’s coaching isn’t really fair. The Hawks don’t put the puck on the net nearly enough when the other team is short-handed. That’s been an issue for quite some time now.

  10. Southside… Marc Methot is another interesting name that fits into what you are describing as far as helping out on the back end. His $3.75 cap hit would require a move or two but he is a big, stay at home, physical presence in Ottawa.

    Only problem is, other teams in the West are also looking for defensive help… and it’s not going to be easy given the cap space issues we face. Another power forward would be nice, but depending upon the price tag, may be difficult to pull off if Methot or another physical dman at his level is brought in.

    A.J. I disagree about the power play… The Hawks have used the same personnel with several different coaches over the past few years with similar results… Getting someone to head-up the second unit is important and Robidas has the experience and skill to make a difference.

  11. Would LOVE to get a physical, no nonsense blueliner. Would do wonders for this team. But the only practical guy I can see the Hawks moving in trade is Kruger, and like somebody said moving Kruger will hurt. You’re not going to get Oduya to waive his no-trade rights, and even if he does then you’d have to add a quality prospect to entice a team to take on his salary AND give the Hawks a nice piece in return. Trading Bickell won’t happen. Nobody is going to be that stupid to take on that contract. You have to think about Shaw, but would Bowman do that?

  12. There is something like cap space. Versteeg, TRV and especially Sharp IR should made more than milion in cap space. Now you get about 60 days till end of regular, thats about 30% of the season (186 days). Therefore you can add about 3 milions in contract under the cap space now. Closer to the deat line bigger cap space you got. Unfortunatelly capgeek don´t work anymore to get exact numbers.

  13. With 6 milion cap space (dead line) I do prefer to trade for Sekera, McClement and Winnik. My price guess is 2.round 2015 + good prospect Sekera, 3.round 2016 + mediocore prospect Winnik, 5. round 2015/4.round 2016 McClement.

  14. 57 can get up to speed in Rockford.

    We do have some banked cap space already. We will add to that, when 23/42-86.

    Teams will do 50-25% retained for ufa s.

    Methot could be a 1.9m caphit. Waive 34, etc.

  15. Hawks need Byfuglien and Ladd back to be Cup Champs again. And since that’s not going to happen, SB should do everything in his financial and strategic power to acquire 2 players that are as close in skill and toughness at their respective positions as these guys were/are at theirs – done and done.

  16. Best player on Toronto in their nose-dive has been Santorelli (by far)-he’s only 6 ft. 190 but can play center and doesn’t mind the messy areas. Not sure of his cap hit.

  17. @HockeyJunkie – “Bickell has underachieved given his salary… 3rd line left wing at 4 mil? Not good!” REALLY, know-it-all??!?!?!?! Please, enlighten us on your thought process of how he has underachieved…..BUT, before you do that, keep in mind that Bickell leads the Hawks in HITS and has 50 more than anyone else on the team. AND as far as points go, since most of you uneducated fans rely soon heavily on that, his career best year was in 2010-2011 when he had a whopping 17G – 20A – 37PTS. His $4million payday was based on his physical play and especially what he does come playoff time (both physically and scoring key goals)……..so, I would be very interested to see what your comeback is on that! HE’S NOT UNDERACHIEVING!! Did the Hawks overpay him? Absolutely, but, you cannot blame Bickell for that! He’s playing just as good, if not better, than he has in the past!

  18. Possible one of TT, 42, Mcneill trade???

    I would like to see Erixon packaged out of here to – and Johns brought up for a look!

    On another note… Stalberg put up 4 goals in 2 games vs. Hogs this weekend.

  19. Come on! This has nothing to do with a trade coming. Ice Hogs have 15 forwards now including Walters. Bass out for two games, Broadhurst still out with a broken arm, leaves them with 13 forwards. Plus a couple of the remaining 13 a little banged up and three games in three days this weekend. Let’s not make this out for more than it is, Ice Hogs adding a healthy body for the weekend. And Walters played for Hawk scout Rob Facca at Western Michigan, so there is some familiarity with the player.

  20. @ Keith – so the IceHogs are “down” to 13 fwds including Walters for 2 games, both of which will come after the Hawks demote one of Nordstrom/TT to Rockford on Wednesday (giving them 14 – for 2 games – then back to 15). There is still a surplus and the timing still makes little sense to add a PTO

  21. Get real. There is nothing suggest there is a trade the works, other your need to write a blog that will make people want to read it — ie, trade on the way? Or perhaps the Hawks plan to keep both TT/Nordstrom through the weekend.

  22. “Possible one of TT, 42, Mcneill trade???” — give up on / give away Teravainen at this time = WHY? Seems a bit shortsighted (…like have to trade Kane when / because he was drunk in Wisconsin or better send Saad down after his first 15 games when he wasn’t scoring – overlooking he was doing everything well), doesn’t it?

    Also, “Oduya…add a quality prospect to entice a team to take on his salary” – Really? As much as I can appreciate Oduya’s decline and the possible impact of adding a physical d-man, I don’t feel a *dire* need to OVERpay, because the Hawks are a very good team **when they play their game** (like at StL, not in Minnesota). This makes sense especially if we’re discussing a “rental”.

  23. Hoping Bowman gets creative? Sure – Cody Franson, because of his age and size would be a splendid addition – if he stays in Chicago a few years. Maybe the *right* package could make that work? I know — not likely (and probably every other team looking for a d-man would want him).

    I guess I’m just against over-paying for rentals.

  24. We had 2.2m for deadline when 23 got hurt. So a little less then that.

    Remember we can only have three %retained at once.

  25. Maybe there are injuries with the ice hogs forwards. I cannot believe that a signing like this has anything to do with a trade involving the hawks. It does not affect the number of contracts the hawks have and that sometimes is a tell tale of something coming. For instance if the organization traded Matthieu Brisbois that would reduce the Hawks reserve roster by one. I realize this is inside baseball but signing a guy to an ahl deal is small potatoes, after all the hogs have Gotovets and Holl sign to the same type contracts and neither has any affect on what the hawks are doing or will do.

  26. Keith – you hit it on the head, Tab creates a blog we want to read. If their is a hint of something maybe happening of coarse we want to discuss that and express our desire to make a great team even better by adding this guy or subtracting that guy. I know talk is cheap but not much in life that is fun is cheap anymore so please let us enjoy talking “what if” when it comes to sports.

  27. blackhawksfan68…

    I base this on financial value;
    Bickell’s cap hit is $4 and he is their 3rd line left winger with 10 Goals, 13 Assists, 23 Points and is +2
    Saad’s cap hit is $895k and he is their 1st line left winger with 16 Goals, 19 Assists, 35 Points and is a +7

    Bickell played well during the playoffs in 2013, but can the Hawks continue to carry his salary given the cap situation? If they keep him, they may need to move someone else in their core group of players.

  28. DickieD– The TT/trade… for me isn’t about him being a good player… it is about TT being able to “fit” in with Hawks/Q’s style… If you connect the dots…
    from last Tab article… my comment on how -imo- TT is actually looking worse/TO’s because he is noticeably trying to Hold/possess the puck longer (assuming Q/coaches are behind this)… and my concern was– is can TT adapt to that style? and how well?
    His normal game IS the quick touch/no look pass- to the “right” area- that Has always been his game!!! Q/Hawks are trying to make him into 88/23 (guys who can hold- and wait for plays to open up)…

    Will TT be able to adapt- (part of Holding the puck- is mental- you have to know when- and physical- you have to be able to shimmy/stick handle out of potential big hits)… my concern- is will TT/Mentally adjust to the “hit” part??? Right now he’s not- of course it is very early in his career… But I thought he was way more dangerous in first several games “pushing play- with super fast decisions”. and less effective/more TO prone- trying to skate/hold- You can see him playing a little scared in this “new” style.

    Then again- playing with 88 on a regular basis- might Open up enough space and time – naturally.

    I always thought 37, Hayes, Mo… would/could be 20+ goal scorers… but Not a “fit” on Hawks (unless Hayes/Mo- played on top 2 lines where Offense was focus- and Playing with Better players- to Hide their weaknesses)

  29. Pete, I have wondered that too, but I think no. I could see a move of Shaw or Ben Smith. I think the team values Kruger too high to drive the PK Bus to let him go right now. No one is taking Bickell. I don’t see any D men moving.

  30. Keith also fails to recognize the Hawks would be over the roster limit keeping both Nordstrom & TT w/ Versteeg coming back. But I’m just making stuff up to get pageviews…

  31. Hogs have been on a skid lately and they’ll get a shot in the arm with either Nordstrom or Teuvo rejoining them. Tab, a trade could pop up any time but I don’t necessarily see adding a guy via PTO means something is in the works. The Hogs could always send Wise back to Indy which lightens their forward load.

    Sometimes those PTO deals pop up suddenly, a timing thing. The organization knew this guy via their scout who played at Western Michigan, it’s possible they signed him because maybe he had another PTO offer and push came to shove. Lots of reasons for those things to happen when they do.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. Every Blackhawk blogger gets the same pot shots you do, “you’re just doing this for page views” etc. etc. It’s the world we live in.

    That said, whenever the Hogs add a player, it’s worth looking at their roster to see if it means someone is on the way out, it’s good analysis.

    Sometimes patience is a good thing – I remember at the start of the year a few here were clamoring for Dillon Fournier to get ice time with the Hogs. They wanted him getting a lot of ice so they sent him to Indy, let him get acclimated to the pro’s and there’d be an opening down the line. Sure enough Clendening gets moved and voila, Fournier is back up and has more opportunity.

  32. great point re: Fournier, Hofmeister. And if we’ve learned anything about the front office at the UC, it’s that they’re willing to wait for a prospect to mature.

  33. Wall – my point is that Teravainen has played 18 NHL games (so far, limited ice time). That, in my opinion, is too small of a sample to determine whether or not he is/will be “able to “fit” in with Hawks/Q’s style”. (From hockeyfuture) “A supremely skilled forward…soft hands and hockey sense to be an offensive factor every time he touches the ice…explosive skater and he uses his speed well to beat defenders one-on-one and create space for his linemates…especially effective on the power play…talented distributor and can utilize his heavy one-timer…can also create well on the rush and make plays at high speed” – that sounds exactly like he will be able to “fit” in. Q has suggested that he likes/is satisfied with his defensive play, so it would seem size and strength may be be all he’s lacking – and that could change (it did for Kane). Gaudreau is 5’9″ 165lbs…Teuvo listed at 5’11” 169lbs. obviously, it’s easier to grab ice time in Calgary than it is pushing somebody out of the Hawks deep lineup.

    I don’t agree that Teuvo is actually looking worse. He did choose to pass when he probably should have taken the shot a couple of times, but again, “learning curve”. You’re right about the physical play – figuring that part out is also learning/growth. I agree with you about skill players fitting on top two lines, and it would seem that is where TT will ultimately play if he remains in Chicago…significant (Cap) changes will happen before the start of next season. (IMO, Hayes and Pirri were not fast enough to fit with the Hawks = why they’re gone. There was just no room for Morin in the top 6.)

  34. DD- I have been one of Biggest TT backers from day 1… And I can’t predict if he will adjust to what Q/Hawks want from him VS. what his Natural game is…

    all I am saying- Is He isn’t near where he could be yet- AND he May never get there IN HAWK’S System… ONLY time and TT will tell. I see TT- Mentally IS doing what the coaches are asking (will it fully develop???) Hawks keeping him – means they think TT will adjust…. IF they trade- means- they think he won’t!!! But No question the Kid has some great skills.

    Peter/Rufus…
    Hawks should not move 16!!! I have read that 16/agent are willing to play for less than market to stay in Chicago!!! That will be needed moving forward!!!
    If true… more reason to love Rubber-man #16!!!

  35. I am huge fan of Kruger. But I’m not buying that he will accept less money to stay in Chicago. They all say that, but in the end Kruger is going to be an attractive player to a lot of teams in the offseason. Teams willing to pay him a good deal more than the Hawks likely will be able to justify given how they have to be very very smart with cap management.

  36. Also a fan of Kruger, would prefer to keep him. Wouldn’t mind a giving up a draft pick + Rosi to Toronto for Franson…they’d have to eat $1M, but a big market team like Toronto would probably spend $1m for a high draft pick.

  37. I cannot imagine they move Sharp now, but I think he’s gone at the end of the year for sure, so if someone knocked our socks off with something that would make next year less painful, who knows.

    Next year makes me want to puke.

    1. Cap space this full season was near zero.
    2. Kane and Toews will consume 8.4 more cap next year than they do now.
    3. Saad will command about 4 more million than now.

    That’s 12.4 increase right there and the cap is going up only 3 million.

    So around 9.5 million PLUS whatever amount it takes to replace the players that go away has to come off our payroll next year.

    Most likely to go away are Oduya (3.75) and Roszival (2.2) = 5.9 If Sharp goes away at year’s end, that clears another 5.9 which gets us 11.8M cleared which barely covers the 9.5 overage. So we would have about 2 million replace 2 defensemen and 1 forward. So others could move as well.

    Options other than Sharp could be Bickell, Seabrook and Crawford though to complicate matters, Sharp, Seabs, Bickell and Crow all have NTCs of one sort or another I believe. The NTCs make it hard to get anything back because the other team knows they have you over a barrel, so it just could make sense to make the trade sooner than later and shake up this bunch.

    Sharp seems in decline to me and would make the most sense to move with what we have coming up, though in order to mess with this year, the deal would have to be REALLY sweet I think.

    Would rather not lose anyone clearly, but Buff, Ladd, Niemi, Campbell, Frolik, Stalberg, Bolland, Kopecky, Hayes (x2), Pirri, Leddy, Eager, Burish, Sopel, and probably others I have forgotten…nobody is safe from the cap and this team needs a jolt, IMO.

  38. @ Hockeyjunkie

    Methot is the perfect fit! I can only wish he can be acquired.

    Someone said Erixon, who is Erixon?

  39. Not buying what Espo is selling. More likely that Shaw, Bickell & Kruger’s RFA rights go at the draft than Sharp and/or Seabrook. The wild card is Saad’s new payday. They have work to do, but a kneejerk overhaul isn’t an absolute at this point.

  40. Shaw, Bickel, and Kruger? So the only Blackhawk left on the roster with recent experience at C would be Toews? I doubt these three role players go to save a ‘superstar’.

  41. I was referring to Sharp. There is no way Seabrook goes. Our backend is atrociously thin next year without him.

  42. IMO, Shaw is a piece that could/should be let go. He was a hero during 2012-13 Cup run but I don’t recall his play as being standout during 2013-14 season (could be wrong) and this year is inconsistent. He has taken some very ill-timed penalites which have hurt the team. I believe his cap hit is $2mil. Free that up with a lower cost player that can fill the gap.

    Kruger needs to be kept. Look at the PK unit during 2013-14…it suffered big time after it was broken up by trading Frolik, tied 19th with 81.7 percentage. That was part of the backbone to 2012-13 success. Splitting the PK unit up again would not be intelligent. Special teams performance may fluctuate year to year however being good to stellar 2 out of 3 seasons isn’t a coincidence. You have to factor Kruger as being big part of that.

    Someone posted, which I can not find anymore to give that person credit, stating willing to give up a Top 6 for 3 Bottom 9’s. I agree! Sharp may be a core member but I don’t see him as being irreplaceable when you need parts to a puzzle, not just a core.

    Bickell…well that’s a quandary. Need a physical player but $4mil/year??

  43. The PK wasn’t good for the first 40games, it was like normal in the 2nd 40games. Smitty was getting better in his first full 82games season. The PK has been that good all 3 yrs and counting. Krugs needs a wingman.

    Gumbo (16) setting anchor in Chicago. Ala the Hammer.

  44. No. They would not have been over the limit keeping Nordstrom, TT and adding Versteeg. After adding Versteeg and sending down Nordstrom, they Hawks had 22 players. Get with it.

  45. Still waiting on the big trade you suggested was the reason for Ice Hogs bloated roster. Oh but wait, Bass suspended, Broadhurst out until sometime in March, Schnell and Carey banged up, Rockford had 12 healthy forwards for their game tonight. And one extra D because Svedberg is out until next week at least. But signing Walters to a PTO pointed to a trade?? Yeah, right. Get real. Just looking for page views.

  46. I can help with addition and subtraction if you like. Let’s see start with 22 because that is where the roster stood after reassigning Rasmussen. Drop Nordstrom = 21. . Then add Versteeg = 22. Last night drop TT = 21. Add Hartman and Cumiskey = 23. See how easy addition and subtraction is.

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