NHL Trade Deadline Done: Did Stan Bowman Strike Out?

When the dust settled, the Blackhawks had traded John Scott and second and third round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft for defenseman Johnny Oduya and a fifth round pick.

Is that enough?

Quite simply, no. It isn’t enough.

Oduya is a nice defenseman who the Hawks will rent for the rest of this season. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer. And getting a fifth round pick for John Scott borders on highway robbery.

That isn’t enough.

Not for the 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks to chase a Stanley Cup.

But was it enough for the Blackhawks to be a playoff team in April?

Looking around the teams of direct concern to the Hawks, it’s clear that the cost of getting anything done at this deadline was astronomical. Toronto GM Brian Burke has been very outspoken in the last 24 hours about the “ridiculous” cost to make a deal happen this year, and the deals that ultimately did happen indicate he was correct.

The big winners of the deadline in the NHL were the Nashville Predators, who continues to go-for-broke with the additions of forwards Paul Gaustad and Andrei Kostitsyn. Ultimately, those deals have cost the Predators a second round pick in 2013 and and a first round pick in 2012.

Detroit added defenseman Kyle Quincey a few days ago. St. Louis did nothing.

But the reality Blackhawks fans have to own right now is that the Hawks are clinging to sixth place in the Western Conference. Catching Detroit, St. Louis or even Nashville is doubtful. Bowman’s job was to keep the Hawks in the playoff picture.

And, based on what teams around the Blackhawks did before the deadline, Bowman may have accomplished that goal.

San Jose made one move, trading Jamie McGinn and a couple prospects to Colorado for forwards TJ Galiardi and Daniel Winnik. Does that make them better? Perhaps. But they’re in the same mess as the Blackhawks, and didn’t address the questions on their blue line.

Dallas did nothing. Steve Ott stayed put at the end of the day, meaning they only made the one deal with the Flyers a couple weeks ago. Their issue has been getting outscored, and they moved their best defenseman. Being quiet may, or may not, have been the best course of action for the Stars.

The Kings, who are five points behind the Hawks in ninth and have won only three of their last ten, made the biggest name move of the deadline in adding Jeff Carter. Is adding him enough to push them into the playoff mix? Perhaps.

Colorado’s only move was with the Sharks. They moved a couple forwards out and brought one back. That doesn’t appear on face value to be enough for the Avs to jump two teams into the playoff picture. The Avs are also five points behind the Hawks.

Calgary is six points behing the Hawks and did nothing.

Minnesota might have made the most intriguing moves of the teams that are considered close to the playoff picture. They made two bold moves on their blue line, trading Nick Schultz to Edmonton for Tom Gilbert and then trading Greg Zanon to Boston for Steve Kampfer. Is that enough for them to make up a five-point gap and jump four teams to get into the postseason? I’m not sure.

Clearly, the Blackhawks surveyed the NHL, and Western Conference, landscape and considered their organizational depth and made calculated moves to put this year’s team in position to make the playoffs without compromising the pipeline.

Which for many fans isn’t going to be good enough.

Bowman did not, at the end of the day, add the top-six center that the team needs. The Blackhawks also didn’t utilize the cap space created when they traded Brian Campbell out of town, which is disappointing.

But will the organization respond by (finally) moving Patrick Sharp (back) to center? Considering what Nashville paid for Gaustad, a third-line center, adding a player like Derek Roy may have been cost prohibitive.

What Bowman did accomplish was adding a player capable of skating top-four minutes and killing penalties to the lineup. Oduya will help clean up the Hawks’ zone, and the blue line will be better if/when Niklas Hjalmarsson returns to the lineup. If Oduya continues playing around 19 minutes per game, he’ll take ice time away from Nick Leddy and Duncan Keith, which should improve their play as well.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Bowman’s hope is that the return of Hjalmarsson and a fully healthy Jonathan Toews, with the addition of Oduya, is good enough for the Blackhawks to hang on to the sixth playoff spot and then the team can get hot and give the Pacific Division champion hell.

Opinions will vary on the performance of Bowman at the deadline. Did he succeed in keeping the Blackhawks a playoff team? Perhaps. Did he put them in position to win a championship? Doubtful.

Remember these standings, which is how the Western Conference looked when the deadline arrived. Where the Blackhawks go from here is up to the players on the roster.

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80 Responses to NHL Trade Deadline Done: Did Stan Bowman Strike Out?

  1. Dominic says:

    So basically we traded an perennial all-star in Campbell plus 2nd and 3rd round picks, for a minor leaguer (Olesz) and the cap space to pick up Oduya, who we may lose in the off-season anyway? Does that sound right?

    I think I would rather still have the picks and have had Campbell playing for us all year, along with the luxury to be able to deal him this off-season…. 27 min average TOI, on pace for a 56 point season (more than half those points on power play which we could use), great moving the puck, etc…

    Where does the Campbell trade now stand in terms of Blackhawks’ worst? Gotta be up there.

  2. Dominic says:

    And he’s putting up those scoring numbers on a team (FLA) that has a lot of trouble scoring…

  3. Tre says:

    So who was robbed? The Hawks or the Rangers? You have long been very critical of Scott, but he does seem to be a great locker room guy and he definitely keeps the trouble-makers in the league in check and has never lost a fight doing so.

  4. Ratboy36 says:

    Lets hope for Suter in July,they need to make up for this.SanJose offered the Flyers Niemi,I would of offered Kane for Niemi.Did he strike out? He never left the bench.Scott was useful but the coaches never designed the plays for him. Do ya think he could of sat in the crease for the pp maybe? Im no Hockey mastermind but Im sure goalies would have a hard time looking over him.That tool is gone now.And Oduya? We didn’t need another rent a dumbass player.No surprises though.Knew it would go this way.Could of atleast got some high round draft picks.EPIC FAILURE in that organization all around the table.

  5. Pete says:

    My question is can we get any of our top prospects playing with us in the playoffs this year to improve our bottom six forwards. Sort of recreate a Ben Smith scenario from last year. With Oduya and Hammer our defense should improve. But to make a run now I think need some younger players coming up to make an impact and put them out there in place of Brunette and Morrison so we can add some team speed/skill.

  6. Tab Bamford says:

    Ratboy clearly doesn’t see any further into the Hawks’ future than April 1… I can’t help that. Some people just cannot understand that there is more to long-term vision than selling the farm for a would-be championship run now.

    Pete, there is no cap and the roster’s wide open in the playoffs, so if they wanna sit Brunette, Morrison, O’Donnell, Lepisto and Frolik for kids that can skate/hit, they can do that when we get there.

  7. Pete says:

    So Tab does that give us some upside hope for this year i.e prospects coming up. Or is that completely unrealistic and we are looking at Brunette and Morrison in the bottom six in the playoffs assuming we make it.

  8. Dominic says:

    Stan implies in the press conference that Oduya is the missing ingredient to win us the Stanley Cup. Awesome Stan…

  9. John says:

    playing the Pacific division winner is better than being 4th, 5th, 7th or 8th… I think the Hawks have everyone just where they want ‘em

  10. Brad Stevenson says:

    What a joke…Bowman had a chance to be a buyer or a seller…he did neither…he left this year’s team out to dry, and what’s worse, he took their only enforcer standing up for Toews and shipped him to a leading contender in the east…

    You are stick handling very carefully with your comments Tab, very dispassionately…to you, writing off this season (while NOT making roster spaces for the younger talent in the organization to get called up and play), is no big deal…you are attempting to apologize for Bowman letting go Brouwer, Kopecky and Campbell for basically nothing that can help us in 2012…he did all of this for cap space, remember??? We even took Rusty Olescz (a killer in the minors) and his $3 million salary on to make the Campbell deal…

    Bowman doing NOTHING significant this offseason is treasonous to the legion of Hawk fans that spend their money and give their allegiance on the promise that this team is always trying to get better…well not this year…not this season…this year Bowman hung Toews out to dry with an an even weaker, softer team than the one he created in 2011…

    So no more apologizing for Bowman…he sold contracts to save money and did nothing to try and improve this team in 2012…the drafts look promising, so perhaps next year will bring some improvement, but that’s just pure hope…and that is what the Blackhawks have become under Stan Bowman…a rebuilding former Cup champion that is hoping to get better in the future…

    Gee, that’s swell Stan…

  11. Ross Blumenfeld says:

    Still think they needed to add another forward but that can be said about a lot of teams. I feel like there are four forwards night in-and-night out who contribute close to nothing. Again, it’s easy to sit here and complain about what we do and do not have, and defense was a more pressing concern, but I personally don’t feel like this team is good enough to win the Cup. I hope I am proven wrong.

  12. Brad Stevenson says:

    And don’t kid yourself Tab, San Jose, LA and likely Dallas will be past the Hawks in a week, leaving the Hawks in 9th place…

  13. Kenny says:

    Ratboy, you are right. Clearly, you are not a hockey mastermind.

  14. Kurt says:

    This is one of those “wait until next year” moments.

    Lets break down the next steps:

    FOWARDS: Hawks really need to know what they have in F1)Morin and F2)Smith. Either they can make the next step or we need to be more active in free agency. I think F3)Hayes has proven he is ready, and should be counted on this year.

    CENTER: it is time to see what options we have. C1) Can Bolland be a #2 or not. C2) Is Pirri ready, and if not… how far away. C3) When Saad is avaliable he better be on the roster. Is he for real or not. C4) Is Shaw more than a novelty?

    DEFENSE: I think we have see enough from the two young defensemen…. D1) Leddy and D2)Olsen, to know they are good enough to be at least 5 & 6 deman. Their development will determine if they can move up to the top 4. Otherwise we need to go out and steal Suter from Nashville. Either way, we need to do this.

    In order to make room for this analysis, I think the hawks need to dump Morrison and Lipisto. Start preparing the nice-try handshakes for Brunette and Odonnel.

    Consider swapping the minutes Frolik and Bickel. Let Morin and Smith show us if they are better options. If the team gets healthy, then put Bickel and Frolik on waivers and see if you can get lucky and have someone claim them.

    I guess I jumped off the ledge!

  15. alex says:

    Are there any eligable prospects that can finish a check. We won’t make it out of the first round with the lack of aggression I’ve seen lately.

  16. Vince says:

    I am disappointed in Bowman. Oduya may help our defense a little bit but i dont think it will be that big of a difference. The team has no spark, I have not been confident in them to win a game since november. Nobody looks like they are there to play a FULL game with the exception of Toews and Mayers… I will also throw Hayes in there to. Keith has looked like complete shit for the past 2 years and I honestly couldnt say I have seen him have a complete game since we won the cup. I was honestly hoping for some kind of shake up to maybe get that spark back. They believe in this group of guys… I want to but I cannot say that I do in the mindset that they are in. Some or all parts of the coaching staff needs to be replaced at least. I may be wrong but Mike Kitchen is in charge of our specialty teams? THEY BOTH ABSOLUTELY SUCK! I dont care if they got a goal yesturday, EVERY TIME the whistle blows giving us a power play, I feel like it is hurting us more than helping us.

    Lastly trading John Scott for a 5th round pick? really? I know he is not what most would call a “good hockey player” but I can say that compared to last year, he has improved. I love Mayers, he is doing a great job protecting our guys, but he shouldnt be the only one doing so, John Scott just being on the ice did help keep things from starting, and if they got him to do more screening in front of the net, it probably would have helped even more. ALSO I have heard he is a great guy to have off the ice. Wether it is screwing around or doing pranks, when a team is having fun they will be playing better. That is why losing guys like versteeg byfuglian and BURISH(shoulda brought him back) hurt the team so much off the ice. Maybe Im wrong but I think it was a bad move and although i used to trust bowman, my faith in his decisions are slipping.

  17. Dominic says:

    I don’t see how prospects are the issue right now? They are the issue next year and the year after. The issue right now is would you rather still have Campbell and your 2nd and 3rd round picks, or would you rather have Olesz and Oduya?

    That is how this deadline should be judged, cause that was the whole justification for dumping Campbell over the summer.

  18. Tab Bamford says:

    Bowman had to weigh the likelihood that this team will win a Cup against the cost to improve it. I think we would all agree that this team is more than one or two moves away from winning the Western Conference, so how much of the future would you be willing to mortgage for 20-30 games? It is the “next season mentality”? Absolutely… but with a slice of a reality check that this season isn’t going as planned.

    Here’s the other part of the puzzle… which isn’t something many current Hawks fans were around to remember. Where fans get frustrated is with the organization trying to give the same patience to kids’ development now, with an elite core, as they did when that core came into the league. If you were around the UC in the first couple years after the deadline (one of the 2,500 or so), there wasn’t a whole helluva lot to be thrilled about from Keith & Seabrook. Now, the organization is trying to give the same opportunity to Leddy & Olsen. The difference: the 05-06 Blackhawks sucked, so bad turnovers and getting your ass kicked was expected. Now, nobody has the time to let a kid turn into an all-star because we have to win NOW. Bowman is trying to mitigate those two realities, and it ain’t easy folks. I wouldn’t want his job.

    Now, back your regularly scheduled “Burn Down the United Center” hate festival…

  19. Austin Purkey says:

    I don’t fault Bowman for this trade deadline in the slightest. I cannot think of one single defenseman on the trade block that would’ve helped this team. This was a very dry trade market and I cannot think of any one player I actually wanted the Hawks to pick up this year. Everyone is screaming for a 2nd line center…WHO??? I didn’t see a single one available except for perhaps Roy and if I recall, he is Kane’s size. As for defense…WHO??? Oduya sounds like the best available to me. Get upset all you want about the Campbell trade; that is understandable. But lets wait to judge Bowman until after next off-season when real hockey players will be available to spend the Campbell money on.

  20. shamrock says:

    The Oduya trade could be a decent one. We didnt have to give up any prospects or players which is a plus. Even though he is a free agent the Hawks will at least have a chance to see if he improves our defense and if so they can offer him a deal at the end of the season. However I think the Scott trade was a big mistake. John Scott has shown how important he was to this team in the last few games. Especially that St.Louis game. With Scott gone this Hawks team will be under seige. Say what you want about Scott’s hockey ability but he was the only Hawk that other teams actually feared. Now its open season on Blackhawks.

  21. Tab Bamford says:

    final thought: if the team that beat NYR, STL & DET shows up, this team gets into the 2nd round of the playoffs.

    HUGE IF…. but an IF.

  22. Dominic says:

    @Austin: Hate to sound like a broken record. Who? Brian Campbell. And now we are waiting for next year to spend the money? Meanwhile this season we might have had a decent power play if he was still here….

    @shamrock: We gave up Brian Campbell for Oduya.

    Everyone seems to be missing this crucial piece of the puzzle….

  23. jejj says:

    Vince, couldn’t agree with you more! Maybe Bowman’s as stubborn as his dad, he’s pissed at all the big salery guys playing so soft.

  24. Pete says:

    Dominic I have been harping on this website on keeping Campbell but that ship has sailed. Bowman can still do something with the cap space in the offseason as he has a lot of expiring contracts and room under the cap. So we still have the potential to get better with the cap space next year. For now, I just can’t take these old slow guys out there i.e Brunette, Morrison, O’Donnell. If we could replace Brunette with a prospect now with upside at least there is some hope of getting better this year.

  25. Austin Purkey says:

    I know Dominic but I remember being severely pissed off we paid 8 million dollars per year for him and…nope, hasn’t changed my opinion, still not worth that much money. It’s over, we have cap space and I certainly do not blame Bowman for choosing not to use it in before this awful trade deadline. That is all I am saying.

  26. Jeff says:

    I know the deadline is over, but do you think we could convince a team to take Frolik, for say.. a hot ice girl or maybe another practice net? The award for moving your feet really fast when you skate, but not really accomplishing much while you do it goes to…. Michael Frolik. I think the nail in the coffin for me was the breakaway vs. Detroit where he forgot to look up and shot it off the back wall, I don’t understand why he gets any ice time at all, people have mentioned he puts work in on the PK, but do you think they would be any worse off without him?

  27. Dominic says:

    Yeah Pete I am with you. This is the last I will say about it, I promise.

    If the plan was to wait til next year why didn’t we do just that and keep Campbell on the roster this year? We had the space (barely) to keep him. We would have had a better power play that way, a less exhausted Duncan Keith, and most likely a much better record…. As overpaid as he is, he is still a very talented hockey player…. AND, best of all, we STILL could have dumped him for something this summer if we figured we were finally ready to free up (AND USE) cap space…

  28. dave says:

    would bowman be the gm if his last name wasnt bowman i think not

  29. wall says:

    Tab, are you ready to concede – that this year’s team is as bad or worse than last year’s team?????

  30. Tab Bamford says:

    I have told you before, wall… the only time that can happen is when the final game has been played. And right now I am not willing to make that statement. Sorry to disappoint, but you can say all day that Andrew Brunette sucks but he’s better than Pisani was, and you can hate O’Donnell & Lepisto as much as you want, but they’re both better than Nick Boynton.

  31. jeff says:

    As time passes, I miss Tallon even more.

    Jr goes from a cup winning team to barely making the playoffs to perhaps missing them altogether.

    But at least Jr did get a D man and traded away Scott. Thank you sir!

    Great comments again Brad.

  32. Joe says:

    Could they have signed Sharpe if they had not traded Campbell?

  33. Pete says:

    Is there any chance that Brunette just gets cut. I mean he is just so slow. Dominic the counterpoint to your post is that some people say it was a unique opportunity to get out of the Campbell contract that might not have come again. I agree with you on keeping him so I really don’t want to argue the other side. Here’s my hope going forward from this point, get rid of Brunette, Morrison and O’Donnell before the playoffs and bring in younger and faster prospects to replace them and if they make mistakes so what. At least we have some upside. If we catch lightning in a bottle this year great, regardless we sign a free agent in the offseason who is in his prime to a long term deal and add him to our “core”. Then we keep developing the young prospects around this enhanced core and run with that. Toews and Kane etc should keep getting better. They are only 23.

  34. Micks says:

    Stan Bowmans gotta…..and take crawford with you

  35. Negzz says:

    Well, BIG surprise, Bowman can’t pull a rabbit out of the hat at the 12 hour. Shocking? Not hardly. As I look back at this years roster, cap and trade process, my take is that the organization may not even see themselves as “under the cap” after trading Soupy. Why? well, when adding the Huet and Olescz deals to the cap mix it takes us well over our cap number (as minors/oversees deals do not count as cap costs but are still paid by the Hawks.) Add $8-9 million more to the payroll and that’s a strong (although not public) argument for standing pat this season while looking for “reasonable” deals to improve the club.

    Oduya? Yea, big deal. He’s a 1-year rental for a couple of precious draft picks. Perhaps he can add some physical presence and take some minutes off Leddy and Kieth, but we’ll see. The last 2 years (albeit playing on lousy teams), he was not a net asset for his clubs (-15 for Atlanta in ’10-11, this year he’s a -9 for the Jets.) Comparable Hawks this season are Leddy (-14), Bruno (-9), Bickel (-7), and Frolik (-10.) Not exactly inspiring company. That said (for comparison and to reinfornce that +/_ is not everything), B.Campbell was +18 with the Hawks last year and is -8 with Florida this year.

    My view is that if Bowman was serious about trying to improve the team with an impact player (which he obviously was not), waiting for the last minute in hopes of a “fire sale steal” is bad strategy and everyone in the NHL knows that to be true. It was either move boldly, decisively and early enough to get an impact player that will change your team dynamic (make them a fair offer too good to pass up), or live with the mess you’ve made and see if you can limp into the playoffs on a dream and a prayer. It is clear the path that was chosen.

    What’s next? Bottom line, the Hawks are soft and let their stars get beat on and roughed up and do nothing (for example; Toews in SJ and Emery last night.) Can Oduya help? Don’t know. I believe the reason the Hawks won with this core 2 years ago was largely they had toughness throughout their lineup that protected their stars. Remember Ladd punching out Kesler after the Canuck weasel called him a coward? Ben Eager, Buff, Burrish and even Versteeg were snarly and tough. Well, Satn moved them all out. So who meets that definition on the current Hawks? Maybe Mayer? (w/Carcillo out and Scott now gone.) Point? We have some MAJOR changes to make in the offseason because adding our overly coveted “skill” prospects/kids to the lineup will not change our problems moving forward. Hey, but good job Stan, way to come thru.

    Depressing, aggravating and disappointing.

  36. Toecutter says:

    Let’s not writer off this season just yet. Gotta like the fact that Hawks have talent and depth in the minors, and Bowman gets credit there. Gotta like the fact that he did not mortgage the future for who knows what this deadline, and lets be honest, the list was very thin and the demands were too high. Nashville gave up alot, in my humble opinion this deadline, to win this year to try to convince Suter and Weber to stay. If Nashville disappoints in the playoffs, Hawks make a big run at either one of them. That should ease the Campbell pain. BTW, Suter: 7 g, 30 a, +11, Campbell 4 g, 38 a, -8……as Tab pointed out, if the Hawks show up to play even 2 out of three periods the way they did vs. NYR, DET, and STL, they have shown they have the talent to win. Lets get healthy and put our best guys out there. I’m tired of all the line juggling.

    p.s. Vince you said it…..Kitchen stinks as special teams guy….when Torch left, our special teams have truly suffered….coaching does make a huge impact and the loss of Torch really hurt

  37. Joe says:

    Sorry Toecutter, this season is done.

  38. Tom Jaremka says:

    Geez……..lot’s of venom on here, today. LOL. I watched the LA and Anaheim games, again. I’m a little concerned about something that goes back to the middle of last year. We had a total of 12 times in the last 2 games to finish our checks and “take the man”, but we neglected to do so and tried to play the puck, instead. I’m thinking that this “passive” way of playing is a team philosophy. If it is, it violates everything that we teach at the lower levels of hockey and that is simply, finish your checks!

    I’m with Tab and a few others on this site…….I really believe that we have the horses to go deep into the playoffs. But if we don’t do the basic, necessary things to win games, we’re screwed.

    Losing John Scott is just fine. He didn’t eat up a ton of ice time, anyway. O’duya is the 2012 version of Brent Sopel, so that’s a good thing. He’s got a lot more speed and quickness than “Sopes”, AND he blocks shots really well. Good move in my opinion.
    There was no way that Stanley was gonna make a huge deal. We’re not out of the playoffs and he doesn’t want to screw up and fall out of contention.

    The big thing is that if Toews is out for awhile, we need to move Sharp to center. He can play the position and get the job done. If Q is reluctant to do that, then move Kane back to center and get the guy off the boards so he can skate. We’ll see how the next week goes, I guess.

  39. steve says:

    You guys were very quiet when the campbell trade happened. Not much complaining then. Now hes the best defensman ever???? Stan Bowman should be fired for trading him? Are you kidding me??? Do you even remember last year? WE as a intelligent fanbase couldn’t wait to get that cap number off the books. The blackhawks were weak last year and are weak again this year. We had peaked with the roster inflexibility that we had and we weren’t going to get any better collecting other team’s rejects each year with what little money we had left. Blah blah blah we havent replaced campbell, you can answer your own question, good player tough guy to replace. The idea is the value we could get with the 8 mill would be better spread across the team and not sitting in the pockets of our third best d man. Don’y you guys want to be able to sign saad if he turns out to be a stud?

  40. juliansaidgalore says:

    That Bowman pic… it doesn’t look like he got much sleep.

  41. Pete says:

    Steve last year we took Vancouver to game 7 overtime and damn near beat them on their ice. They went to the finals. At the very end of last year we had a good team. Campbell being overpaid(which he was) only matters if you do something with the cap space after clearing it off. That didn’t happen for this year. Thats the complaint. The jury is out on whether that cap space will turn into something for next year.

  42. joey Zamboni says:

    Tom J –
    You hit the nail on the head!! Thats why I’ve been calling them “Mavericks” they are kings of the “Fly-By”!!!!!

  43. Rimniak 27 says:

    Kurt very well put. I agree. On another note our team is heavy on big $ contracts. Take your pick and move one and they’ll figure out that they’ll have to start playing hockey again. At this point other than towes no one is guaranteed a roster spot. Go out there and earn your money and stop playing like my sons pee wee team.

  44. darcy says:

    I’m quite content!In this todays,ultra competetive,nearing equal nhl ,Stan didn’t buckle!It sure would have been easy to over,I mean Over pay,and give up a chunk of the future!Yes in hind sight(what most people on here are talking) Camphell was a keeper!Oh well get over it.Will we win a cup this year?Maybe not.I am looking forward to seeing the young guys play now as we do have the cap space and need.If you can’t buy it grow it!

  45. Negzz says:

    So the argument is “at least we didn’t get fleeced and throw away our future.” So that’s the best defense for inaction we have?! Great. Hmmm, let’s look at someone in our own division to compare. The Preds add defenseman Gill, a 6′-7″ 240lb monster presense and Cup winner, for what- a kings ransom? Their future? NO. It costs them bottom-6 prospects Blake Geoffrion and Robert Slaney and a conditional fifth-round selection. (Gill is in a 1-year $2.2 mil contract and is UFA this summer.) Then, the Preds add physical winger and 20 goal scorer Andrei Kostitsyn by mortgaging the future right?! NOPE, for a 2013 second round draft pick and a conditional fifth round draft pick. (Kostitsyn is also a FA this summer.) And THEN the Preds add Paul Gaustad, 6’5″ center for a 1st round pick (getting a 4th rnd in return.) Guasted is also a FA after this season. SOOOO, let’s review: a 6′-7″ D, a tough, goal scoring winger, and a 6′-5″ center for “2″ net draft picks (a 1st, 2nd and 5th, getting back a 4th), and 2 bottom six prospects. Yea, wow, they really screwed their future- right? WRONG.

    Oh, and what does this mean to the their team MORALE as they chase the Cup?
    * Shea Weber: “We’re just happy as a team. We’re adding pieces. We’re a good team in here and any way you can get better and add little pieces in a crucial time and a playoff stretch, it’s big and it excites us here in the locker room.”
    * Ryan Suter: “I’m excited about winning this year, I’m excited about having a good playoff and actually having a chance to win the Stanley Cup.” “You just focus on trying to be the best team you can be — focus on the playoffs, focus on the task at hand. This summer is when you sit back and start to think about that stuff.”

    Blackhawks: “uuummmmm, uh, yea, well…… we, uh… didn’t give up our prospects and… uhh, didn’t mortgage the future..”

    Awesome, thanks Stan. Good job.

  46. Blackhawk Up says:

    People need to wake up and realize a Stanley Cup likely was not in the cards for this team this year anyways, even with additions. You can’t shoot for the moon every year. You have to pick your opportunities. The Hawks are still recovering from the cap purge and likely need another offseason or two to rebuild the depth they previously had. Can’t do it all by one trade deadline. Bowman was wise to hold off.

    Look at it this way: they enter the draft with all their picks and prospects in tact. Teams are much, mure more likely to deal at the draft and in the summer than at the deadline. People with any kind of foresight can see that the Hawks are looking ahead when they will be in prime position to make good acquistions in the offseason when prices are lower, which is the prudent thing.

  47. Tab Bamford says:

    If we’re going to bitch & moan about Nashville, Negzz, let’s at least be accurate in our crying, shall we?

    Gill cost them a 2nd round pick (in 2012 or 2013), Geoffrion & Slaney. HockeysFuture had Geoffrion rated the #2 LW in their system, NOT a “bottom six forward” but more appropriately their equivilent of Jeremy Morin.
    Gaustad cost them a 1st round pick in 2012.
    Kostitsyn cost them a 2nd round pick in 2013.

    So, for three guys that will all likely be gone on July 1st, the Predators’ go-for-broke trade deadline approach cost them three picks in the first two rounds of the next couple NHL Drafts.

    What does that mean after the 2012 Finals end? IF their plan works, and IF they win the Cup, they’ll still have to sign Suter & Weber. There are no guarantees that they’ll be able to keep them. Do these moves help? Absolutely. But they clearly paid a premium for all three players they added. And when Gill, Gaustad & Kostitsyn are long gone next season, and 2-3 years down the road when they would likely need high picks to fill in their small-market roster on entry-level contract dollar amounts, the best they’ll be able to do is players picked somewhere after 80 in the draft.

    If you don’t see how they’re mortgaging their future for 20 regular season games and a playoff run, then I really can’t help you. It’s obvious to anyone who can read.

    Meanwhile, for a guy that fits the Chicago system just about as well as Gill would have, the Hawks gave up a 2nd & 3rd (no prospects). And when all of the “mistakes” leave Chicago on July 1, Bowman doesn’t have to care because he can write a check for someone new or, even better, trade picks in the ’12 Draft that he still has for improvements while using the improved organizational depth he didn’t mortgage for a rental in a ridiculously inflated market to fill in the gaps.

  48. darcy says:

    I just happen to believe in our top players.This team is so hard to watch and then can be amazing to watch!I just think that the trade deadline isn’t the time to fill big holes!I agree that management dropped the ball a bit.They had all the savings from Campbell and did nothing.They went totally flip flop this year from having no money to spend last,to holding onto money they couldn’t possibly spend at the deadline.Should have spent more early as the trade deadline isn’t the best value.I truly think that management held the purse strings back.And that happened early!

  49. Kurt says:

    Kitchen has to go. We need to find someone who will demand something more than perimeter passing on the power plan. If Kitchen isn’t the PP coach… then Haviland must go.

    Coach Q isn’t the only problem. He has been solid. At least he has stopped flipping lines every other shift. I think he has learned from his coaching and has settled things down.

    The star players need to start earning their money… PERIOD.

  50. Brad Stevenson says:

    This tweet just in from Jeremy Roenick…he might know a thing or two…

    Jeremy Roenick ? @Jeremy_Roenick Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Really???? Nothing against oduya… But seriously??? Not really happy about that at all. Gotta be honest

  51. tysimmo says:

    Those that say the Campbell trade was a loss for the Blackhawks because they didn’t spend the cap room this year neglect to point out that had the ‘hawks kept Campbell, they would have less than $2m in cap space committed to next year already, with only 19 players under contract. And it is unlikely that the Panthers (or anyone else) will be looking to spend the way they did this previous offseason and that may have been the only chance you would have had to trade him. I thought Campbell was one of the biggest factors in our cup run, but with him on the roster; one of the other “core” guys would have had to go by next year; and I’d rather have any of them than Campbell.

  52. Tab Bamford says:

    As I have been begging from Brad (and others) for a LONG TIME, you once again miss context sir.

    Roenick was tweeting about Oduya wearing #27… or, as JR believes, HIS number.

    Let’s at least try to put things into an honest context, Brad. Please?

  53. darcy says:

    J.R knows more than me but whatever!Theres a reason why Nash never went, and Kane for that matter!

  54. darcy says:

    Thats because he is a Phoenix fan!

  55. Ryan says:

    Tab only problem I have with the lack of deadline moves is that Gaustad was had with only a 1st round pick. With our organizational depth I felt like giving up the first rounder was a gimme. I certainly wasn’t as tied to it as some in the front office, but who am I?

    Anyway I like the moves today. I think our D got better. Quite frankly I think they should cut Brunette and Morrison and bring up Pirri and Morin. Maybe even cut Frolik and bring up Shaw or Smith

  56. Ryan…just cut the three you mention (Morrison, Brunette & Frolik)and just put them on the street? What are you saying; is that even within the framework of the current CBA?

  57. I could care less about what JR has to say; he’s the proverbial bandwagon guy for whatever sweater belongs in whatever town he played in. Catch him in Philly and he’s all Flyers, same for Phoenix and Chicago. Nothing but a front-runner these days with no true allegiance.

  58. Bottom line is if this group can get healthy across the roster, can somehow put it together to a degree matching their capabilities, get some breaks and bounces going their way AND Crawford can get some confidence and maybe stand on his head just a little bit, we can still make some noise. This team has too much talent in the core mix; there’s 18 games left to get the best position that we can, then let’s roll the dice and see what happens.

  59. Steve says:

    On the beach in Hawaii but man I can’t stand Jr.

    What a pitiful 2 years he has had and the only defense this blog says is the logic of well we didn’t screw the future.

    Well after the Cup, we have had 2 years of “future” and it ain’t been bright.
    Jr. is just not dynamic. Tab, I need to read your reply in another thread. I will get to that. But based on your language and logic, or lowered standards, it is getting tougher to defend.

    Brad, you are why I read this site, and some other posters.

    Lots of teams were “adding” while not giving up much. Why do we have to pay so much more? I think Pete asked that.

    Anyway, checking in and I think Jr. did what we expected. Nothing great.

    Can someone tell me why he has a job again and what he has shown Wirtz to let him keep his job. I mean this is 2 years of swings and only one hit, Mayers. We need a complete team, ala Tallon, and not a special core surrounded by bird droppings.

    Waiter, make it a double.

  60. Dominic says:

    So many people seem to be saying things like , “you can’t be a contender every year”, or, “we will be contenders next year”.

    Do you think Detroit fans believe you can’t be a contender every year? No. I grew up near Detroit. Their fans expect the team to compete every year in hockey.

    So maybe it is not the TEAM that is at fault, but the fans for not expecting a high talent team every year. We bend over and say next year, and Detroit makes the playoffs almost every year.

  61. Saddened Fan says:

    Oh please ! I am ok with writing this season off ,but only becuz Stan did no get us a strong enough team last summer . He failed miserably .

    Bu until w get rid of Q and Kitchen , this team will continue to play soft and uninspired hockey .

    Look at what new coaches have meant in St Louis , Annaheim & Ottawa.

    Q has lost this team . He IS a big part of the problem

  62. Ryan says:

    Thank You Greg. You pointed out a nuance that exists in NHL. If you have a Salary Cap why can’t you have a waiver system like that of the NFL? The Cap structure and roster in-flexibility in the NHL is maddening. As long as the Blackhawks pick up his salary why can’t they cut a player

  63. Ryan says:

    How is it ok to have a salary cap AND 1 year guranteed contracts. Ridiculous

  64. Ryan says:

    We can place them on the IR THO

  65. jeff says:

    Negzz great post. And agree wholeheartedly.

  66. Jeff says:

    Brian Campbell is no longer a Chicago Blackhawk, NEW SUBJECT PLEASE.

  67. Toecutter says:

    For those that keep criticizing Jr., you can stop now. Oduya will not put us over the top….you’re all correct in this logic (see Campoli from last season). The signings he made this offseason had some promise, none of which panned out the way we hoped, save Mayers and Carcillo. But there was a reason for what he did and who he got and why he signed them the way he did. The Hawks were so crippled by the cap crunch due to Tallon (who was basically run out of town for that….see the Versteeg contract brain-fart!) it cost the Hawks key players, and role players, which Jr. tried to replace. Hard to find talent that Hawks lost for cheap, but Jr. did the best with the hand he was dealt. Lost Buf, Sopel, Eager but got a 1st and 2nd rounder + Morin….Lost Brouwer for a 1st round pick…..Lost Campbell for Olesz, but gained money to use in future. Hawks will build from within, mixing the kids in with experienced veteran core (Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Hossa, Sharp, Hjarl)…. We have the foundation in place to build a perennial powerhouse…..we have the money and talent to attract free agent talent…..the fact that we have still been competitive these two years after the CUP speaks volumes, and last I looked, they are in a playoff position this year. Bowman was a blessing. He is intelligent and savy. It’s too bad too many people are spoiled after just one cup after his first year behind the wheel. You’ll see how many more the Hawks will win. Tallon deserves credit too, but Bowman is doing it the right way, and it will pay long-term dividends!

  68. Toecutter says:

    Also, with the new CBA looming, the cap may actually go down, so I’m sure Jr. is taking that into consideration.

  69. Blackhawk Up says:

    There’s a reason Roenick is on TV and not a GM

  70. Negzz says:

    Let’s consider the Hawks current team. On O, we have a core of 4 top-6 players including Toews, Hossa, Sharp and Kane that are cemented for the next 4 years+. That leaves a max of 2 spots in the top-6 for the future no matter what you do. If you reasonably include an improving Stalberg or even JHayes in the mix, that leaves only 1 roster spot in the top-6 for all the promising prospects combined. Then- what do you consider that this team is missing? I’d say a physical presense in the top-6 (and also on lines 3 & 4 for that matter.) Can/will top prospects Smith, Morin, Saad, McNeil, Remsfeld add a physical presence even if they continue to improve and show promise? That is not their game. Although Morin showed a willingness to bang before his concussion, they are laregly skill guys- right? Is Shaw a banger? More of an aggitator. Is Carcillo in the future plans? Will Bollig make an impact? So where do you get the size and presence that you need?

    My view is we could have improved the team dramatically with Carter (a top line C, 6′-3″, 2-way player), but he’s not a banger per se and some don’t like the potential cost in prospects or his contract etc, so as an alternate we could have added Gausted (a 6′-5″ C making $2.5mil.) The Preds cost? Exchanging a #1 for a #4. If he works out, then you can purge the dead cap weight this summer and keep him. If not, you move on. We could have also moved Sharp to C and brought in Kostitsyn, a physical winger and 20 goal scorer for a 2nd and a 5th. As we have all these great prospects already in the pipe and little place to play them, why not invest some future picks in what we NEED when we need it? Again, if he works out, retain Kost while purging the dead weight this summer.

    On D, Oduya is fine (no complaints, we needed at least 1 more physical D-man), but Gill woudl have been better, and Oduya AND Gill would have been the play imho. Gill cost 2 prospects and a 5th. Prospect Slaney was/is a bottom-6 and although Tab’s point is correct that Geoffrian was one of their top prospects (Tab compared him to Morin), neither Geoffrian (or Morin) is cracking the Hawks top-6 on this team. Further, when you have Saad, JHayes, KHayes, Mcneil, Remsfeld etc, what’s the big deal dealing one prospect and some picks now when you need it? The future would still look good- yes?!

    Look, the milk is spilt, I’ll get over my frustration. Perhaps Toews heals up, comes back strong for the playoffs and Hjamarsson somehow stops turning the puck over and watching opposing wings camp in the crease. Hopefully Oduya takes some ice-time off Keith and Leddy and opposing teams stop physically beating the crap out of the Hawks. Sadly, I’m not counting on it.

  71. Tab Bamford says:

    Let me offer a brief silver lining to your cloud, Negzz.

    None of us are happy w/ what Bowman did in free agency last summer. I would hope we would agree that it’s better to be done w/ the mistakes after one year than having a guy like Joel Ward on the books for 3 more years, or Ilyz Bryzgalov for another decade. So there is a little positive there.

    But what none of us has mentioned yet is free agency… and the quality of the players.

    The summer of 2011 sucked. In case you missed it, last summer’s class was Brad Richards and… Erik Cole? Scottie Upshall for four years & $14M and has FOUR POINTS this year… There wasn’t a bona fide UFA on the market last year that was going to come in here and fix the problems we have, and an irresponsible Bowman could have overpaid like other GMs and locked us into mistakes long-term.

    So let’s be glad for that.

    Now, on the other hand… the Class of 2012?

    Zach Parise, Alex Semin, Shane Doan… guys we might have paid a top prospect & a first round pick for like Mikhail Grabovski, David Jones and Paul Gaustad… and, to a lesser extent, guys like like Jarret Stoll and even Daymond Langkow would be a better fit in Chicago than just about anyone that was on the market last year. And that’s just the forwards. What about Ryan Suter, Dennis Wideman, Matt Carle, Nicklas Grossman, Bryan Allen and Jason Garrison are all better players to throw money at than the four years & $14.5M that Ed Jovanovski got last summer, and I would sure as hell rather hand 10 years to Suter than Christian Ehrhoff.

    So maybe Bowman’s moment of pause wasn’t a terrible thing.

  72. Tab Bamford says:

    Also, to Negzz point about “there only being so many open top-six spots,” you’re totally right. But what have we seen this year? The 2010 Hawks had two wings on their third line, Versteeg & Ladd, that were top-six forwards somewhere else.

  73. Toecutter says:

    Amen brother. And to look past the top six, b/c an integral part of the championship season was the play of the 3rd line, I gotta tell you that if Bolland, Bickell and Stalberg continue to gel, perhaps they can be difference makers for a good playoff run this year. You guys may not agree, but I have seen glimpses, albeit brief in nature, but glimpses none the less that those three guys together had chemistry and even brought physicality with their play together and made good things happen. But they have to bring it every shift! It is a stretch, but I need to look at the positives instead of dwelling on what we don’t have. If not, that is where I believe the kids get a chance to crack the lineup and learn the NHL game.

  74. Brad Stevenson says:

    Roenick commented further today, suggesting that the Blackhawks needed a lot more help than a #5 DMan…he might know a thing or two, being a sure fire HOFamer

    That is a good list of FAs Tab coming into 2012…but that means Bowman still has to pull the trigger on someone OF VALUE, which he hasn’t done yet…all he has done is through significant money to keep the core together…not looking like much of a core right now…in fact when you look closer at Bowman, it seems he has done a lot of things that make McDonough’s and the marketing department’s job easier, and not the team better.

    We will see…the fact remains that going into next season the Hawks will still need a Top 2 DMan and a 2nd line Center…will he do anything about it Tab, or will he follow suit from the previous 2 years and label Nick Leddy as the team’s true #1 DMan and Dylan Olsen as the answer to Brian Campbell??? Or will rookie Mark McNeill be given the keys to Marian Hossa and the 2nd line only to find out at next years trade deadline he isn’t and, gosh, the other teams actually want something in return for playing with fire???

    I want to believe in the best of Stan Bowman, I really do…but he has to earn my support at this point…because in the 2 years since he has taken over, this team has gone BACKWARDS big time, and his handling of replacing Brian Campbell and getting a 2nd line Centre has been a JOKE at best!

    As always, thanks for your efforts here!

  75. darcy says:

    Negzz,,Enjoyed your last post!I will never like Carter due to his contract.He would have been very helpful now,no doubt about that!You questioned the potential physicality of our prospects.While the verdict is out on alot of them,McNiel may be a tough guy,nhl body to boot.It is frustrating I agree but all we can do is go for the ride.This team will have many years of deep runs and cups.

  76. Dominic says:

    I dunno. I disagree about last summer’s market Tab. I really wanted them to go after Arnott last season. Don’t know why you don’t have him on your list. Big center. Takes the punishment in front of the net. On pace for 22 goals this season. Veteran leadership. And my second choice was Vinny Prospal, another battle tested veteran who may get 50 points on a horrible team. Both ended up signing one year affordable deals within our division, and I would think either of them would have loved to play for the Hawks….

  77. Tab Bamford says:

    on paper, Dominic, neither was a whole heck of a lot better than Brunette. Look at what they did last year. You can say what they’re doing now is impressive, but that wasn’t known in June/July.

  78. Dominic says:

    Yeah, good point with Prospal / Brunette comparison. But Arnott is in a totally different class imho. He has a cup, is a former captian and has 400 career goals. I know Brunette is known for his durability and Arnott has missed some time, but the guy’s a gamer (for a 37 year old) when healthy.

    I really wanted them to go get him, and when he signed for St. Louis for one year at under $3M…. I just groaned.

  79. Negzz says:

    Ok, so a few cold ones and a review of the UFA’s Tab listed as available this summer gives me some glimmer of hope. Agree that we don’t want to be locked into bad contracts (Monty’s is bad enough for me, let alone Olesz in the minors), but that’s why we’re debating the talent available, their cost, and why Jr gets a paycheck- yes?! Can Jr make the key, bold choices to toughen us up and move decisively? Sadly, I have very little evidence that compels me to trust Stan in that respect.

    That said (trying to be positive), there is no doubt that a Tallon-like bold summer could change our fortunes. Adding a Suter is a looong shot (well worth the pursuit of course), but keeping Oduya (assuming he plays well and shows heart/toughness), and snagging another rugged D-man like Gill, Carle or Allen would suit me fine. I would not hesitate to move Hjamarsson to free up cap space and get tougher. Dropping some dead wood on O (Frolik, Bickel and Bruno come to mind), would make cap room for a leader and physical presence like Doan (he’d look really good in a Blackhawks sweater), and I also am on record for liking Gausted. A guy like Stoll would also be an excellent addition imo. Bring up some kids with this mix of experience and protection and you have a chance to scare some people.

    Finally, I find that it’s hard to not conclude that our goalies are simply bad. Don’t know the answer but it sure doesn’t seem to be Crow (or Emery, or Turco, or…) Anyone have any ideas on where we find the solution? Has anyone seen Hutton in Rockford in person? What’s up with Salak? Is FA the answer?

    Of course, it all comes back to our boy Stan Jr. There should be no doubt he’s on the hotseat starting now until next season starts. Stan- are you listening?

  80. juliansaidgalore says:

    I like that summer UFA list, Tab. Hopefully you’re right and Stan’s plan is to save cap space for those summer deals. Speaking of toughness – I don’t know if anyone has already mentioned this but I think Adam Burish will be an UFA as well in the summer.
    What are the chances he could return for a similar cap hit to the one he has now?
    Nothing wrong with a little wishful thinking…

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