Blackhawks 0-2 in ’22: What Have We Learned?

Two days, two regulation losses. Welcome to the new year, Blackhawks fans.

After not playing between Dec. 18 and Jan. 1, the Hawks finally returned to the ice. Unfortunately, hockey-craving fans in Chicago were treated to offensive displays at the expense of the Blackhawks’ defense.

Instead of breaking down the details of a 6-1 loss to Nashville or a 5-1 loss to Calgary, what can we take away from the two games?

First, Arvid Söderblom was impressive on Sunday night against the Flames. With the exception of an ugly goal to Johnny Gaudreau with less than 90 seconds left in regulation, Söderblom kept the Hawks in the game for most of the first 57 minutes. He has a .915 save percentage in Rockford in nine appearances this season and got the call to start when Kevin Lankinen joined Marc-André Fleury in COVID protocol. Fleury was available and backed up Söderblom on Sunday. The rookie stopped 37 of 41 Sunday night after allowing three goals against 18 shots on Saturday against Nashville. He’s 22 years old and has a $883,750 cap hit next year; Fleury, Lankinen and Collin Delia are all free agents after the 2021-22 season.

Erik Gustafsson shouldn’t wear a Blackhawks’ sweater again. I know this sounds like a broken record, but what exactly does he bring to the table that one of the younger players in the organization doesn’t? Coach Derek King tried him with Riley Stillman on Saturday and it didn’t work. So he tried him with Caleb Jones on Sunday and… they were chasing the puck, too. The common denominator: Gustafsson sucks. When Stan Bowman brought him back most onlookers wondered what the hell he presented to the organization that one of Ian Mitchell, Wyatt Kalynuk and/or Nicolas Beaudin doesn’t other than experience; his track record would tell us he isn’t good, for what that’s worth. He needs to go, but who would take him in the NHL at this point? He was a training camp cut that somehow got an NHL deal from Bowman.

Special teams are a mess. Calgary scored a power play goal and a short-handed goal in the second period to take a 3-1 lead; Nashville scored two power play goals on Saturday. On the radio broadcast of the Hawks’ game on Sunday there was a conversation during the third period about the Blackhawks playing somewhat effective hockey at even strength in the last two games. Here’s the problem: the Hawks are one of the worst 5-on-5 offenses in the NHL. So when you can’t score and your special teams are a debacle, what do you get? A lottery pick.

Why the hell is Kurtis Gabriel here? He skated in place of Ryan Carpenter on Sunday… well, he saw 6:39 on the ice and hit someone five times against Calgary. To our earlier point about the Blackhawks being awful offensively, what do you expect when you’re dressing at least two of Gabriel, Carpenter and Juhjar Khiara? They provide nothing but physical play, which is a need… but what good is Gabriel for six minutes? Carpenter and Khiara have killed penalties at least. And the Hawks shouldn’t have both of them on the roster. Gabriel is here to hit people and maybe fight. That’s great if you have 11 other forwards who can score. The Blackhawks have… three forwards who have shown the ability to score this year. And the only one who’s doing it with any consistency is Alex DeBrincat.

Kirby Dach‘s been okay the last couple games. He’s won eight of 21 faceoffs (better than his 32 percent this season) and has five shots on goal in two games. Need to see him attack more consistently and continue improving at the dot. Two games isn’t enough of a sample size to have a parade for him, but Dach is approaching a contract decision with the organization. We can’t get hyped for 38 percent at the dot and no points.

Sorry, have to circle back to this. Gustafsson sucks and needs to go away.

The Blackhawks are going to sell at the deadline, but the unfortunate reality is the players they should remove from the roster either have no value or are going to cost the organization additional assets to deal. Bowman left this team a collection of pieces from different puzzles and now a new head coach and general manager are trying to make them fit together. The next few months are going to see a lot of painful games if the dead weight doesn’t find a new address sooner than later.

65 thoughts on “Blackhawks 0-2 in ’22: What Have We Learned?

  • January 2, 2022 at 9:15 pm
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    Calgary the most aggressive foreching team in oppents ene and center ice in the league. When they stedped up the pressure in 2nd they just overwhelmed and wore the Blackhawks down, causing all sorts of issues with penalties and breakaways. Soderholm did his best to keep them in it and played a heck of a game and is ready for a bigger look at Nhl level.

    Agree Gus needs to be moved and Dehaan too and let the youngsters play. Borgstrom best game and actually that line had some solid shifts. If Gabriel doesn’t know how to use his physical play to impact the game when he gets a chance, he is hurting the roster by having him there, 4 hits in 1st and 1 after that. He didn’t get much oce time after 1st but still needs to shake things up for the team if he gets a chance, when they need it.

    Avs at home Tuesday and on road to Ariz and Vegas after that, doesn’t get any easier.

  • January 2, 2022 at 9:16 pm
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    This team is soft and an embarrassment. Calgary laughed and ridiculed them off the ice. How does an NHL team get outshot 28 to 8 in a period on home ice? Gabriel may be the slowest non effective player that I have seen in over 10 years. Interim King referenced several “passengers” for the Haeks tonight. The next step is to do something about it. Avalanche next. This is going to get much worse

  • January 2, 2022 at 9:29 pm
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    Are these Hawks D-men unable to fire a slap shot or are they told to shoot 50 foot wrist shots that never make it to the net? No wonder the scoring is nonexistent, this team is just plain terrible. I’ve had about all i can take, on to Barney Miller reruns!!!

  • January 2, 2022 at 9:48 pm
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    Without Troy Murray in the booth, the radio guys are not good. Their assessment of the game as I was driving home from it made it sound like the Blackhawks played a really, really good game. Derek King sat down at the microphone and put that to rest.

    As was mentioned, King said there were some passengers. He may not be the coach going forward, but he does seem to get “his” mistakes, and holds himself and the players accountable.

    1. King said that half the team did not compete on Saturday. He said that in Sunday’s game there were some that were, as alluded to in a post above, “passengers”. He said this needed to be worked out.

    2. King took responsibility for putting in a couple of players in tonight’s game in place of a couple from Saturday’s game. He acknowledged that those moves did not work it, put the blame on himself, and said that he would learn from that.

    3. He talked about guys not competing and not getting to areas where they could score. They don’t do it, they don’t score. Wasn’t talking about systems, was talking about effort.

    4. Came out and said that it drove him crazy (direct quote) when he saw DeBrincat pass up shots he should be taking.

    These radio guys keep talking about the great offensive that the Blackhawks play and how the other goalie gets post help, the Blackhawks just don’t get the breaks, etc. That’s a crock. The Blackhawks have played against good goalies because they play in the freaking NHL. They are not good on 5 on 5. And then there’s the woeful shorty when they actually get on a power play tonight.

    There were some guys who looked good tonight, but some guys glided around. Hagel continues to be Hagel. The young kid in net played well for the Blackhawks. He got put in tough spots. Defensive breakdowns that weren’t occurring are popping up again. Let’s hope they can get worked out.

  • January 2, 2022 at 9:49 pm
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    The key contracts expiring at the end of this season that Tab mentioned will be very interesting. Delia is most assuredly gone as he did not materialize. You have to believe Fleury is gone. Do they Hawks want to try to re-sign him for next year at a lot of money when the odds of them being contenders are slim? Even if they did, would he want to come back to Chicago and put up with this? You have to keep Lankinen, unless you are re-tooling goalies at the TDL or in free agency. So what is he worth? $2.5 – $3 mil? Then there is Kirby Dach. Hagel outplays Dach and Hagel makes $1.5. So what is Dach worth? You can make a very valid case that Hagel under priced himself and I felt at the time of the announcement that he had. You can’t give Dach more than $2 for 2 years, can you? Strome is probably gone. If not, he will be making less than the $3 he is making now. What do you do with Kubi? He can’t even hit the net on a breakaway anymore.

    It does not seem like anything the Hawks have done has worked, except Seth Jones. Fleury has also been good, but not at the beginning of the year. You can probably make a case that McCabe and Caleb Jones have been good. Agree that Gus should no longer be playing over Mitchell, Boudin or Kalynuk. There is just no point. Maybe Mitchell, Boudin and Kalynuk are not an answer, but Gus certainly isn’t, so you might as well find out for sure.

    When you score one goal per night, you’re going to lose almost every game. The special teams are terrible and the whole thing feels futile right now. Granted, there are a lot of games left, but most assuredly, no playoff games.

  • January 2, 2022 at 10:06 pm
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    If you look ahead 3-4 years when we might be okay again the only guy on the current roster that is a definite core piece for that time is Debrincat. Everyone else can go for the right price (although I hope we keep Hagel). Blow it up.

    Gabriel looked like that teetering guy from the Addams Family.

  • January 2, 2022 at 10:14 pm
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    The Gabriel acquisition, systems failures, and sad team stats suggests Davidson, King, and this roster aren’t it. I haven’t seen an NHLer move like Gabriel since the 90s. The team’s play after a long stretch of practices without games suggests it’s long past time to blow it up. I can’t even watch this anymore.

  • January 2, 2022 at 10:20 pm
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    Gus is a turnover waiting to happen and the wait isn’t very long

    I guess King was sending a message to Stillman but what was the message – see Gus sucks and you’re worse? Gus had a string of decent games but has turned back into a pumpkin

    I don’t mind Mitchell getting lots of TOI in RKF but play Stillman over Gus and at TDL hopefully a couple of D are gone – 44 likely and one of 5 or 6 would be fine with me but seems unlikely- then bring Mitchell up

    The whole defense other than Seth can’t make a play with the puck and they can’t skate the puck out – they need more mobility and puck skills in their D corps

    Why is Entwistle not playing – I missed the NSH game – was he terrible ? If he was that would be the first time this year

    Slavin Entwistle and Carpenter is a decent 4th line plus Carp and Entwistle are decent PKers

    Glad to see Soderblom show well

    Bad special teams are usually on the coaching staff

    I’m not seeing a long term solution with Derek King

  • January 2, 2022 at 10:40 pm
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    Well Tab, welcome to 2022 indeed. I had the very same thoughts regarding Gustafsson, Khaira, and Gabriel. This team will be a seller. So, who else can the team part ways with. First off, who is ready to come up from Rockford. I’ll break it down, if you’ll indulge me. Note: This is just my opinion.

    Rockford has some intriguing pieces. unfortunately, it is heavily in the defense favor. Kalynuk, Mitchell, Phillips, Beaudin, and Regula. Pretty much in that order.
    Offensively? Reichel, Barratt, McLaughlin, and Hardman. Now, Hardman should be back with the Blackhawks anyways. But, it’s interesting to note that in 5 GP he has 1G and 2A. Plus, he has a good, physical game.
    Goalies? What is up is what it is. So…there’s that.

    The Blackhawks do have players that can be traded…for sure. But, I have noticed that there seems to be a battle between Borgstrom and Strome. Who will center that top line? Strome does do better at the FO and he does produce between Kane and DeBrincat. Strome is not a winger. Borgstrom could be. That brings me to Dach. Dach, if he doesn’t get A LOT stronger at the FO, he should be moved to the wing. Even then, the kid has to start scoring more…A LOT MORE!!! Given that last year he got injured and that set his progress back, I’ll give him that. It happens. But his FO just blows. Someone is going to be traded. Probably Strome…unless, he can win the aforementioned competition to nail down the 1C . But, both are trade bait. Dach was supposed to be the 1C. I just don’t see it as it stands right now. Especially between two very fast snipers. Dach is too slow for that. Strome isn’t a speedster. Borgstrom is the fastest of the 3…but that FO%. UGH!!!
    Let’s just make the list of who should/will probably be gone…IMO. Borgstrom, Connolly, Gabriel, T. Johnson, Khaira, Kurashev, de Haan, Gustafsson, and Fleury.
    Lankinen is young and he isn’t that bad…especially as a backup.
    Why didn’t I include Carpenter or Strome? Bias. Carpenter can be plugged in anywhere. Now, Hagel can do the same but Carpenter solidifies that 4th line with his veteran savvy. Strome? His FO% is better than Borgstrom. That’s all.
    Therein lies the biggest issue with the Blackhawks. Bowman has no one that can step in at 1C or 2C that is FO dependable. Toews? I love the kid. I do. However, age and injuries are taking their toll on him. He is a fantastic 3C who, in an ideal world, should restructure his contract to free up some cap space. Kane and DeBrincat are your superstars. Reichel, if not a center is your 2LW. Dach, if not a center is a big 2RW. Here again, the center is lacking. Kubalik is a 3LW. He can kill penalties and he has a wicked slapshot. He clearly has offensive capability. At this point, in his career, is there more to show from him? If not, he is a solid 3LW. Hagel is also a sold 3rd line guy. A 3rd line of Kubalik-Toews-Hagel is not bad at all. Who plays 2RW? If Dach is your 2C and Reichel is your 2LW, who, in the organization plays 2RW? Honestly? No one at Rockford. An asset in a trade? Okay. The 4th line has a bunch of good guys. Entwistle, Hardman, R. Johnson, Carpenter, and Slavin. Here is where I can see Carpenter being odd man out. Slavin just might be that guy that makes Carpenter expendable. Carpenter is also good for a playoff team that may need to shore up their PK and 4th line.
    Bottom line. Hawks should be selling. Is the new GM savvy enough to get the best deals to rebuild this team? There’s no ’22 1st Rd Pick. No one mentioned is going to get you a 1st Rd Pick. None that will be a difference maker. So…free agency? S. Jones’ contract kills that. Again…Stan Bowman.
    Let’s just use the rest of this year to highlight players for other teams to look at and hope that the team scouts can find guys that will benefit the team. Maybe a diamond in the rough. A young Jamie Benn that everyone overlooks. I can dream. Right now…that’s all that’s left.

  • January 2, 2022 at 11:43 pm
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    A good New Year’s resolution for the organization would be to face the fact that the window for another cup with Toews and Kane is closed. Time to clear as much cap room as possible and acquire some younger assets. Also nothing against King but I don’t see him returning as head coach. Thank goodness we have a solid GM to handle these tough tasks. Oh wait, we don’t have a GM and is doesn’t seem like that is a priority. Hard to have any optimism right now.

  • January 3, 2022 at 12:13 am
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    I think the message from this organization is they don’t give a crap anymore and they are resting on their laurels. They seem content now to let a glorified video analyst who “learned his craft” from the guy who turned this team into what you see today, to lead them to the next level. That is another level down the pole. They said they were going to take their time in their approach as to seeking their next management team. Are they even looking?? Did anybody see how many empty seats there were last night?? Did anyone notice how disinterested the fans were?? This team has hit rock bottom and it seems like the ownership only cares about selling tickets and selling their beer and now they can’t even give the beer away. I think it would be best to cut their losses, sell the team and hope that the new owners can get some real Hockey people in here to restore the “roar” because it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen here for quite a while. We have no idea if King is a good coach(he’s better than Kid Coach was) or not, his hands are tied. It’s time for ownership to step up……or sell and step aside. It’s really that simple.

  • January 3, 2022 at 12:15 am
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    In lieu of Gabriel as the protector, surely there is some veteran bear of a 3rd/4th line KHL player, say, 6’5″ and 235 lbs., who has decent stating ability, good defensive capabilities, acceptable skill and a deep love for physical contact (on the ice, but not off, of course), no? Doesn’t exist?

    In terms of passengers, Strome (who I normally support), rode first class with special valet service until he was demoted to the fourth line. Can’t he learn?

  • January 3, 2022 at 2:20 am
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    Thanks for your takes on this weekend’s games Tabs. Here are mine:

    Delia was hung out to dry completely. Hard to fault on any of the goals but understandable why he was pulled and Soderblom given a chance. I too thought Soderblom did alright for coming in cold and brand new to the main squad, nhl hockey, etc. Today against Calgary in his first ever NHL start, saving 38 of 41 is obviously excellent stats speaking but I didn’t see anything in his game that made me hopeful for the next Corey Crawford anytime soon. His rebound control wasn’t great (though admittedly some of that could be nerves– I’m def for giving him some more starts IF Lanks and Fleury aren’t avail) and most of the shots Calgary took weren’t of the really high danger ones from my view — yes he stopped 2 breakaways by Backlund but it appeared Backlund shot the first directly into his glove and the 2nd he was badly beat but Backlund forgot to lift it a little to negate the good stretch by Soderblom’s skate. Don’t get me wrong. There was nothing really bad about Soderblom’s game –and I disagree that a 2 on 1 break where Johnny hockey is the shooter is an ugly goal — I just didn’t see anything SPECIAL about his play –yet.

    To GUS — I have made this point over and over again, he is friends with Kane and a lot of guys seem to like him on the team. He is very good offensively and has ZERO clue what to do defensively. His brain thinks rush every single time he gets the puck regardless of if he is the last one back or not. He also has an uncanny amount of times where he loses his footing – especially when he has the puck and is last man back — you know the only time a player really CANNOT lose their footing, He also has an uncanny ability to just HAND the puck away. Literally I’ve never seen anything even close with another player in nearly 40 years of watching hockey —at any level — let alone the NHL. It’s like he’s a video game character being controlled by the other team’s coach and at any given moment the coach presses a button and Gus EITHER lightly passes the puck directly to an opposing player, throws the puck up the middle on tiny percentage HOPE play (the kind that DK used to miraculously make look high percentage), drops the puck to no one in particular right to a perfect area where an opposing player can skate on to it usually for a breakaway (as lately Murphy seems to have the same fall down control button), fall down, or pretend like he’s trying to check a player on the boards with a half hearted cross check and then let the player skate unimpeded out of the corner to the front of the net with the puck. He has an above average shot and above average chemistry with Kane. Everything else about Gus SUCKS and he constantly costs the team games. He should never have been back with Hawks this year and should never again see the ice in the NHL.

    Stillman also sucks but he sucks even more because we have him playing above where he should be.

    Our D should be:

    S. Jones – 1, Murphy – 2 (but Murphy has not had a good year admittedly)

    McCabe – 3. Dehaan – 4

    Mitchell – 5, Kalynuk – 6 (with these 2 moving to become #3 and #4 next year hopefully)

    Other takeaways:

    Toews is looking stronger and stronger. I would get Kubalik back with Toews and either keep Hagel there with them or maybe try Slavin there. I did like Kubalik with Dach and Kurashev as Kurashev is getting more and more confident and Dach is starting to create more again.

    My forward lines:

    Dach centering Kane and Debrincat
    Toews centering Hagel and Kubalik
    Kurashev centering Borgstrom and Slavin
    Carpenter centering Entwistle / Khaira and Strome / Connelly / Gabriel (against the most physically intimidating teams ONLY).

  • January 3, 2022 at 3:14 am
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    test

  • January 3, 2022 at 7:17 am
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    Thanks Tab. I respectively agree on everything you said. No sense keeping any dead weight around now. It should only be about investing in the assets that we can grow with going forward.
    Due to expiring contracts at the end of this year or wherever possible, ship out or cut bait where ever possible. Full re-build on ice and let the kids learn and grow together. Drafting has to be upgraded immediately as part of the re-build. Bigger, faster, stronger, more skilled kids with a higher hockey IQ. Our pool of skilled, sized, and tough to play against, forward prospects is woefully deplete.
    Depending on injuries or a little bit of luck, Dehaan might get us something at the trade deadline. Regarding the forwards , we have way too many fourth liners and most of them wouldn`t make the fourth line on a good team. With any luck Carpenter might get us a late round pick. If we can find a taker for Khaira, he`s replaceable now as well. Keepers going forward might be :
    Entwistle, Kurashev, Debrincat, Reichel, and yes, Kirby Dach. He might not have been worthy of a third overall pick but he`s a big young kid who looks to be pretty responsible defensively with some skill and size. It`s not his fault he was selected where he was. I`ve mentioned this before but he might be more productive for us on the wing instead of center but that leaves us with an even bigger hole at center in terms of the future. It might be time to try Nylander again in the top 9 to see if he can find some chemistry and offense for us. I`ve liked the play of our third line lately, with Kurashev, Dach and Kubalik but if another team comes calling for Kubalik you have to move him now while you can. Regarding Strome, he `s not the future here or anywhere else it seems so if there are no takers then cut bait at the end of this year. Entwistle and Reichel can fill some center spots next year. I`m on the fence with Borgstrom. He might be worth investing in because he`s still young ( and much cheaper than Strome ) but on a better team he doesn`t make the roster so he`s really just another guy. Johnson and Slavin are what they are. If they top out as dependable fourth liners so be it.
    It sounds from others on this board that we might have some skill and size in the system and pipeline for defensemen which will certainly help. I personally would try to trade Beaudin ( + ) to Montreal for Poehling as we need more young centers in the system. If the Fleury rumours to Edmonton have any weight to them at all trying to get young center Ryan McLeod in the return would help our center needs. He`s fast as well as skilled. Nice young player.

  • January 3, 2022 at 7:17 am
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    The team has a long way to go, and even at their best, and with emotion is just OK–and that doesn’t make you a team with Cup hopes.
    Hopefully soon (it’s taken far too long) the decision makers and the money people will come to two conclusions.

    1. The team needs to be be faster, stronger and more skilled.
    2. Officially and totally cut any ties to the concept of bridging the careers of the young with the legends-19 and 88 (and previously 2)
    This team is too ‘Kane’ centric. He’s a huge, pure gold albeit, anchor.

    The model of the Kings is a good one-really good team that tried to bridge the two for a bit, gave up on that idea and their young core is exciting and close to ready.
    The Hawks, not so much.

  • January 3, 2022 at 7:23 am
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    In defense of Kurtis Gabriel: Were people here expecting him to be a 40 goal scorer ?? He has one job and that’s it. If people are complaining about playing young players 6-8 minutes a game then nobody should be complaining if Gabriel plays 6 minutes a game. Comment about the TV announcers again: Ugh!!

  • January 3, 2022 at 7:51 am
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    These were the two worst hockey games that I’ve seen from the Blackhawks since the early 2000’s!

    Like I said in my evaluation of Soderblom, he’s got a chance to be solid.

    I agree with Tab, we need to bring up Phillips, Kalynuk, Mitchell, and Regula! These guys except the Jonas or Jones Bros just aren’t cutting it!

  • January 3, 2022 at 8:44 am
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    To trade any of Toews, Kane, Murphy, McCabe or T. Johnson who all have significant caphits next year and not in the tdl rental player category, will require a major hockey type trades to move them, more likely to happen in off season as some work required to make them happen before next season. 19 and 88 have potential to be tdl deals in 2023 on expiring contracts. Strome and Kubalik have rfa protection to make them more appealing but their lack of production combined with significant QOs to retain those rights nullify what attraction teams could have in them. Connelly looks like a buyout candidate in the summer to end his tenure. There are 3 goalies, 2D and 1 F on potential ufas on expiring deals who should be shopped for sure. Didn’t include Gabriel as not likely a tdl move candidate.

    C. Jones and Kalynuk are rfas with arbitration rights but QOs of less than 1m needed to retain their rights, seems probable something gets worked out there. Borgstrom, Entwistle, Slavin, Hardman, Khaira and mostly all of Rfd skaters all under contract for minimal caphits next season are likely in mix again. Kurashev and R. Johnson are rfas with no arbitration rights so can be brought back easily if they want and likely will to add depth.

    That leaves S. Jones who isn’t going anywhere for awhile, Cat, Dach, Reichel and likely Hagel, although his trade value is high as cornstone type players. Soderblom as Tab mentioned only goalie under contract is getting a chance to show he is ready for one of those spots. Be interested to see if Commesso signs his elc in the spring/summer, if he does he could be a major player in goal after a year in Rfd. Other Ncaa possible elcs to watch include Vlassic, Slaggert and Kaiser this off season as well. Don’t forget C. Dach a type of forward that is needed, Allen and Crevier are signed to elcs currently and could make their presence felt in next year or 2.

  • January 3, 2022 at 8:52 am
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    This team is lazy won’t hustle dach a major disappointment aves have best player in draft which Stan passed on at least 5 years away if they do everything right I fast foward to goals embarrassment of nhl toews should be released send a message to all the loafers don’t pay dach more than hagel time to crack the whip these guys don’t deserve any respect

  • January 3, 2022 at 8:59 am
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    Players in system who need signed to elcs this summer or lose their rfa rights.

    Slava Denim, Niklas Nordstrom, Joshua Ess, Jake Wise and Chad Yetman. Noyhong really pressing there to get done.

  • January 3, 2022 at 9:23 am
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    You think this is bad, just wait until the hawks hand the jackets a 3rd overall pick.

  • January 3, 2022 at 9:37 am
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    everyone commenting on this site realizes a total house cleaning is in order starting with the front office. and that means a new gm with no previous ties to the organization and full authority to cut bait on any and every player. the following is based on my hope (rather than absolute belief) that kid wirtz understands that.

    i would like to see the new gm evaluate current players in this organization based on only one mindset. could they have had a place on any of the cup winning teams? if so they are keepers. thoughts on who stays past a year from april. who doesn’t should be traded (if possible) asap.

    first the elephants in the room:

    kane is a wonderful offensive player who is not a good defender and does not try to be one. through the glory years he was protected by wonderful players who could minimize his defensive deficiencies. he likely is hurt now, which probably is contributing to his poor play. this is not the guy to sign to help in a rebuild. get what you can for him now. whatever it is. losing him a year from april with no returning assets, whatever they may be, is ridiculous. value for kane is whatever the market will bear and that is much better than him walking for nothing.

    resign toews for a couple of years if he is willing to take money for a 3c. otherwise thanks for the memories.

    keepers and the positions they would have played on one of the cup winning teams:

    de brincat – first line wing.
    hagel – third line wing.
    kubalik – third line wing.
    dach – third line wing. and pay him as such or let him walk.
    kurashev – fourth line wing.
    reichel – hopefully top six forward
    seth jones – first pairing dman, BUT ….. i would try to trade him to move the contract. i like him as a player at this point in time, but his abilities and value for the length and dollars in his contract are to a contending team. paying a dman $9 million a year to play on a team that is rebuilding and will be for several years is ridiculous. it doesn’t matter if they don’t get equal value. talented prospects who the hawks pay on the cheap and being out from under that contract are more valuable to a rebuild than jones is. save that contract for a difference maker when they are ready to contend to win the cup.

    no one else on this roster or in rockford is untouchable. there is no such thing as insisting on getting value. even trading guys like murphy and mc cabe for a low round pick would free up cap space and open a spot for a kid from rockford or a young free agent. that is value. cap space, prospects, and draft picks are value to a rebuilding team. no team has twenty players who were first round draft picks. total rebuild, load up on picks, prospects, and free agents, and hope for the best.

    the time for protecting the sell out crowd is long past. the empty seats will soon be competing in number with the seats covered by fannies. anyone who thinks people will keep paying what the hawks charge for seats to witness this mess is out of touch with reality. this team is headed to turn of the century attendance and guys like murphy, mc cabe, stillman, carpenter, borgstom, strome, and khaira will not stem that tide.

  • January 3, 2022 at 9:53 am
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    So many good thoughts on how inept the Hawks have become.

    I don’t believe Danny boy has any clue as how to right the ship named CBH. How he hasn’t tired to find a GM, Prez of Hockey Op’s is a head scratcher unless they are going with Stan’s protege KD, which is a huge mistake also. The real question is does anyone really trust KD the Stan protege to make those decisions?

    So until the Hawks get someone who is adept at running a hockey organization they will be mediocre at best, terrible the rest of the time. The number 1,2,3,4,5, things needed are a new GM, Prez of HO’s
    plain and simple.

    Otherwise Soderblom could very well develop into a pretty good goalie, it took Corey a bit before he became one of the best goalies in the NHL over a period of 5 years. It all depends on how bad he wants it because he seems to have the right tools in his short stint over in America.

    Everyone else has stunk in the new year. My only line I want to see established and let them play come no matter how many mistakes they make is a line of Slavin/Entwhistle/Hardman. Carpenter,Khaira get what you can for them but they bring absolutely nothing.

    On the defensive side it’s also time to get rid of DeHaan and maybe Murphy/McCabe. That stellar trio have a total of 10 points so far.

    Stan left the cupboard completely barren

    The Hawks of today have maybe 10 NHL players on the roster and should get as many draft picks as
    they can from being sellers up to the trade deadline.

    Oh to add these announcers stink to high heaven, another woke Danny choice? I love Chelios though, she knows her stuff, I’d like to see her have a go as an analyst on the TV

  • January 3, 2022 at 9:56 am
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    Hawks 29: I only access this site on my laptop and I have no issues regarding comments.

    Tommy Ivan: How quick have we forgotten the amazing start of this season? no we’ve seen much worse this year.

  • January 3, 2022 at 9:58 am
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    Ian – agree that to move 5 or 6 would be an off season move but Murphy particularly would garner interest as a top 4 D man on a very affordable contract and reasonable term

    The Hawks have a logjam of the same type of older slow footed no offense type D men – 44 5 6 – I think at most you only need 1 of those 3

  • January 3, 2022 at 10:22 am
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    Hawks29 when it comes to 88 and 19 they have the call on when and if they are moved. What a new Gm or vice President, or anybody here wants doesn’t trump their own decision on waiving their nmc. As far as Murphy or McCabe go its not the return at tdl, its pretty much dealing with their future caphits that teams looking to bolster for a playoff run won’t be interested in at that point. In off season maybe restructuring their rosters teams would be more into that type of deal. Agree though first thing is to decide who is running this show and what kind of show are they trying to run.

  • January 3, 2022 at 10:29 am
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    My apologies, but on my list of forwards to invest in going forward, I forgot to include Hagel. I wish he wasn`t another smaller forward for us but he plays the game the right way, is young and on a good contract so in my opinion he`s a keeper as well.

  • January 3, 2022 at 11:25 am
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    Just a slow and miserable team to watch

  • January 3, 2022 at 11:34 am
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    Coaching staff stinks, King is no better than Colliton, and ANYONE who thinks Gabriel should even sniff an NHL locker oom or an AHL one for that matter has ZERO credibility in regards to evaluating player abilities. As The Who says….meet the new boss, same as the old boss…. nothing has changed in regards to coaching and making dumbass roster moves…. just embarrassing. Too bad the Hawks gave away their 1st round pick this year, even though they would in likelihood piss it away as they did with Dach and Boquist.

  • January 3, 2022 at 12:17 pm
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    ian

    i am aware of the ramifications and difficulties involved with moving kane, toews, mc cabe, and murphy. i just want to see a gm with no ties to anyone who is willing to aggressively pursue any avenue to make the team better. i also want trading opportunities to be evaluated in terms of what opportunities they will provide for the future. i don’t see any of those guys and, of course, many others, as being key contributors when this team is ready to contend for a cup. so i am willing to take less than value for mc cabe and murphy and considering the value of trading them in being out from under their contracts and opening spots on the roster for young guys on cheap contracts.

  • January 3, 2022 at 12:26 pm
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    Beer League: Doesn’t matter if Gabriel can’t skate, shoot or play defense. His job is to protect players. 6 minutes a game doesn’t hurt the team. Notice except for one time they were messing Kane, nobody really was running our guys last night unlike Saturday’s Nashville game where Gabriel was eating popcorn in the press box, Nashville was running them, pushing and punishing our team and we had nobody to put a stop on that. Gabriel serves a purpose, Fans here were clamoring for some toughness and they got it and now some are upset that he can’t score or play D. He is what he is.

  • January 3, 2022 at 2:32 pm
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    What have we learned? Boquist has as many goals as Kane. Vinnie w/15 points would be 5th on the Hawks in scoring. Cole Sillinger w/11 points would be 8th in scoring. Jake Bean who was had with the 2nd round pick given to Columbus in the Jones has 12 points.

    It’s so sad that the Hawks can’t score more than 2 a game.

    @ Hammer Time ….the Flames didn’t need to take a run at anyone. Gabriel shouldn’t ever play a game in the NHL, eos.

  • January 3, 2022 at 2:47 pm
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    HAWKS29

    Cut back 88 and 19 ice time dramatically and they would beg to be traded.
    When players dictate to management what management can and can’t do that is a huge problem. Hopefully handing out big contracts with no movement included will disappear now that Blowman has disappeared.
    The Seth Jones trade regarding any type of rebuild was a total blunder. It’s not like Jones is 22 years old. The albatross contact Jones received was dumb as well. Jones told Columbus that he would not be resigning with them. Meaning Columbus had to trade Jones and had very little leverage.

    My version of the deal…Up steps Stan the man…I’m all in Columbus says Stan, what do you need to make this trade happen….Ok draft picks sure we won’t need them anyway says Stan. Now Mr. Jones needs to be looked after. How much $$$ do you need Seth says Stan the man. How about 8 years at 9.5 million a year says Seth. Stan the man says…Seth the term and the money sounds good. I think you will definitely need a full no-movement clause put into your contact as well….Done deal.

    New GM should have no previous ties to Blackhawks management. Toews and Kane need to be traded yesterday.

    Hawks have been in need of a total rebuild since the got swept 4-0 by Nashville in 2017.

  • January 3, 2022 at 3:49 pm
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    @Hawk29 – You must have the Blackhawks laptop, where constructive criticism is not heard! Just click all the check-boxes and the comments will all appear!

  • January 3, 2022 at 4:40 pm
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    Thanks for your takes on this weekend’s games Tabs. Here are mine:

    Delia was hung out to dry completely. Hard to fault on any of the goals but understandable why he was pulled and Soderblom given a chance. I too thought Soderblom did alright for coming in cold and brand new to the main squad, nhl hockey, etc. Today against Calgary in his first ever NHL start, saving 38 of 41 is obviously excellent stats speaking but I didn’t see anything in his game that made me hopeful for the next Corey Crawford anytime soon. His rebound control wasn’t great (though admittedly some of that could be nerves– I’m def for giving him some more starts IF Lanks and Fleury aren’t avail) and most of the shots Calgary took weren’t of the really high danger ones from my view — yes he stopped 2 breakaways by Backlund but it appeared Backlund shot the first directly into his glove and the 2nd he was badly beat but Backlund forgot to lift it a little to negate the good stretch by Soderblom’s skate. Don’t get me wrong. There was nothing really bad about Soderblom’s game –and I disagree that a 2 on 1 break where Johnny hockey is the shooter is an ugly goal — I just didn’t see anything SPECIAL about his play –yet.

    To GUS — I have made this point over and over again, he is friends with Kane and a lot of guys seem to like him on the team. He is very good offensively and has ZERO clue what to do defensively. His brain thinks rush every single time he gets the puck regardless of if he is the last one back or not. He also has an uncanny amount of times where he loses his footing – especially when he has the puck and is last man back — you know the only time a player really CANNOT lose their footing, He also has an uncanny ability to just HAND the puck away. Literally I’ve never seen anything even close with another player in nearly 40 years of watching hockey —at any level — let alone the NHL. It’s like he’s a video game character being controlled by the other team’s coach and at any given moment the coach presses a button and Gus EITHER lightly passes the puck directly to an opposing player, throws the puck up the middle on tiny percentage HOPE play (the kind that DK used to miraculously make look high percentage), drops the puck to no one in particular right to a perfect area where an opposing player can skate on to it usually for a breakaway (as lately Murphy seems to have the same fall down control button), fall down, or pretend like he’s trying to check a player on the boards with a half hearted cross check and then let the player skate unimpeded out of the corner to the front of the net with the puck. He has an above average shot and above average chemistry with Kane. Everything else about Gus SUCKS and he constantly costs the team games. He should never have been back with Hawks this year and should never again see the ice in the NHL.

    Stillman also sucks but he sucks even more because we have him playing above where he should be.

    Our D should be:

    S. Jones – 1, Murphy – 2 (but Murphy has not had a good year admittedly)

    McCabe – 3. Dehaan – 4

    Mitchell – 5, Kalynuk – 6 (with these 2 moving to become #3 and #4 next year hopefully)

    Other takeaways:

    Toews is looking stronger and stronger. I would get Kubalik back with Toews and either keep Hagel there with them or maybe try Slavin there. I did like Kubalik with Dach and Kurashev as Kurashev is getting more and more confident and Dach is starting to create more again.

    My forward lines:

    Dach centering Kane and Debrincat
    Toews centering Hagel and Kubalik
    Kurashev centering Borgstrom and Slavin
    Carpenter centering Entwistle / Khaira and Strome / Connelly / Gabriel (against the most physically intimidating teams ONLY).

  • January 3, 2022 at 4:41 pm
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    stape

    you left out one part of the jones transaction. hawks must sign his brother as well.

    everything else you said is spot on. doesn’t it feel like baby bowman was fleeced on every contract except hagel’s?

  • January 3, 2022 at 4:58 pm
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    Whether King turns out to be a good coach or not remains to be seen. This weekend aside, they had been playing much better since he took over and had become watchable again. That said, there isn’t a coach anywhere who could get enough out of this mess to be seriously competitive. Give the guy a break.

    As for our defenders, nice to see some recognition that 5/6/44 represent an Axis of Immobility that belongs in 1976. But that is entirely on Stan isn’t it.

  • January 3, 2022 at 5:09 pm
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    In relation to my picks in my comment above for how our D should look,

    please remove Dehaan and replace with C. Jones in that spot. Caleb has looked pretty damn good to me ever since he scored that OT goal. From that game on, he has looked comfortable, responsible, and played well and I believe he has more on the offensive side that will come out once he’s solidified a role and ideally given a steady partner (no Gus, no Stillman, etc but he’s not at the level of a #2 yet so no not a steady partner of his brother either please).

  • January 3, 2022 at 5:09 pm
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    Dollar Bill: Who else could the “intern” have gotten without making a huge investment for protecting the players?? At least he can skate…..sort of. I’m not defending Gabriel as an NHL quality player, I’m defending him because he knows why he’s here and he’ll have the back of our players on the team. If you can find a guy who does that and score 20 goals a year, I’m all in on him. What’s wrong with playing him 6 minutes a game with an opportunity to fire up the team and bringing some energy?? Don’t think were headed back to the Keenan era here.

  • January 3, 2022 at 5:34 pm
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    The Hawks that I would not trade
    1 DCat
    2 Hagel
    3 $ Jones
    4 Lankinen
    5 Murphy
    6 Dach

    The Hawks I would trade now .
    1 Kane.
    2 DeHann
    3 Fleury
    4 Strome
    5 T Johnson
    6 Gustafsson
    7 Connolly
    8 Toews

  • January 3, 2022 at 5:44 pm
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    Hawks2010 – what would you do with McCabe? – just curious

    I’d trade him if you’re keeping Murphy but keep him if you trade Murphy

  • January 3, 2022 at 5:52 pm
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    Hawks29, not disagreeing on an independent Gm, but as far how you treat your vets, remember we were just lucky enough to enjoy the greatest era in Blackhawks hockey because the players wanted to play for them. Just look at how many great eras and cups that teams who treated their players like shit and have nobody wanting to play for enjoyed. Go ask Leafs fans how chasing Sittler and MacDonald out of town worked for them. 55 years and counting, still trying to recreate that franchise. The days of Norris giving Howe a contract and conning him into signing by saying it was biggest contract on the team are long gone. Then running Ted Lindsey out of town for telling the greatest player in the game the truth that others were getting bigger contracts. Lucky for us fans and the growth of the game that they are. This team needs work to turn it around for sure, hindsight is the easy part, foresight to get it right is what i hope we get.

  • January 3, 2022 at 6:01 pm
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    Kane has 7 goals and Toews has 3. I think that’s all you need to know about this season. They’re not living up to their contracts.

  • January 3, 2022 at 6:07 pm
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    Wow Hammer, you actually think Gabriel can skate ?? He is completely useless, since he can barley stand in his skates, he would get his Azz whooped out there….and you don’t waste a roster spot for someone who can fight ONLY….That is beyond stupid. As for Kane getting roughed up, maybe Kane shouldn’t be cross checking anyone at the whistle….. especially since he can’t protect himself and can only beat up taxi drivers. Just sayin

  • January 3, 2022 at 6:45 pm
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    Beer League: I said Gabriel can skate……sort of, and actually he’s a decent fighter. It’s 6 minutes a game why are people so hung up on roster spots here when they should actually dump 1/2 of the team???

  • January 3, 2022 at 9:36 pm
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    Hammer – I get that it wasn’t Gabriel’s fault that they lost to CAL but I think Entwistle and Carpenter should be playing ahead of him – they both have a better chance of impacting the game in a positive way for the Hawks and I think one of those two if not both will be back in Tuesday and Gabriel out

  • January 3, 2022 at 10:43 pm
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    Wrap
    I think we can trade him also but maybe not now except iff the offer is really good .we keep Murphy for sure .I think McCabe will get better .and maybe get more next year iff he is not in the Hawks plan for the future . I would also try to move Beaudin .
    I think we need to get the salary cap down to be able to pick a few guys with high potential when the opportunity arrive . ( free agent) big,solid,and hardworking players.

  • January 4, 2022 at 5:16 am
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    Beer League: Tonight they are playing the Avs, they probably don’t need Macdermid so if he sits, I would sit Gabriel. It all depends on the opponent they’re playing. He should have been in there against Nashville. No question you’d rather have Carp and Entwhistle in there.

  • January 4, 2022 at 6:17 am
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    Maybe Gabriel can just sit on the bench and scowl at the other team and not play unless somebody starts running players, and not play him at all if they don’t.

  • January 4, 2022 at 7:00 am
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    Ian: Were’nt you a proponent of getting him into the lineup due to the ineptness of the Director of Player Safety (Parros)???

  • January 4, 2022 at 7:14 am
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    Interesting stat in the Canadian feed of the last game-
    Debrincat leads the league in percentage of total team goals —24.3%

    One thing that 88 should retire well before he does-his one timer slap shot on the PP. It would have to go off three players to go in.

    I thought Kurashev looked better the last couple of games and is one of the few Hawks with legit wheels.

  • January 4, 2022 at 8:59 am
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    After watching Gabriel in one game, it sure looks like he only brings one skill to NHL ice (if you give him a few second or two to catch up to the action to throw his weight or fists around) … but hey, if you want a positive spin, that means the trade was clearly a win because it only cost someone who apparently couldn’t bring anything to NHL ice

  • January 4, 2022 at 9:05 am
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    <49 years

    good take on the gabriel trade. all we gave up was another failed bowman second round draft pick of a d-man. those are a dime a dozen.

  • January 4, 2022 at 11:14 am
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    Hagel Borgstrom Kane
    Cat Toews Kubalik
    Kurashev Dach Entwistle
    Khaira Carpenter Gabriel

    McCabe S. Jones
    Dehaan Murphy
    C. Jones Stillman

    Practice lines today

  • January 4, 2022 at 11:15 am
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    Strome not Carpenter betwern Khaira and Gabriel sorry.

  • January 4, 2022 at 11:53 am
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    Do Hawks fans really believe that Gabriel was going to turn things around for the Hawks?
    Gabriel is taking heat from Hawks fans for absolutely no reason.
    Management can shuffle players in and out of the lineup all they want and it will make no difference. This organization is currently a hot mess.

  • January 4, 2022 at 12:05 pm
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    stape

    this organization has been a hot mess since the seabrook contract extension.

    i don’t think fans are mad at gabriel. he is like the “don’t kill the messenger guy.” everyone knows what he is and he is only capable of that level of play. the interim gm is the issue here and the gm before him who thought smurf hockey was the way to go.

    ian

    glad to see de brincat and kane are separated. if there is a type of center to properly mesh with those two he isn’t in this organization. time to try something new.

  • January 4, 2022 at 2:12 pm
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    Hawks29 agree splitting them up needed.
    King did say lines may not be those tonight but seems to be changing what he said at first. He said 88 and 12 should be together, also Strome shouldn’t be on 4th line, where he practised today.

    Gabriel is what he is, if his job is to protect Kane and Cat fine. All i’m saying is the other night against Flames, with Blackhawks basically pinned in their own end in 2nd period, when did get a couple of shifts he never threw one hit in the 2nd to try help turn momentum around for his team, that’s what he should bring, shake up things a bit and stir his team. May as well double shift somebody who can bring other talents to try and get some Ozone time there, as throw him out there if he isn’t going or able to use what he can.

  • January 4, 2022 at 2:20 pm
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    You can trade all the “regular” players right now. But you can’t trade the big name players until the deadline. All you can do now if you are the Hawks GM, is do your homework on the teams going to the playoffs and see what you can get for our tradeable contracts / players.

    But I would sure LOVE to see our young Rockford players at the NHL level so we can see who the future is for the Hawks.

    You can criticize Gabriel all you want, but in order to be a “fighter” in the NHL you need HEART! You won’t know how much heart he has until somebody runs Debrincat in the corner and Gabriel steps up throws a few punches. There is still a need for a tough guy in the NHL, an “equalizer” if you will. He knows his role. Let’s see if he can execute his role. This isn’t men’s league hockey. This is the NHL where you are tested every shift of every game. I wish he had a little more skill and speed, but let’s see if he can protect our top players.

  • January 4, 2022 at 2:41 pm
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    King said they are hoping to get Reichel up soon, once he gets up to snuff from covid and injuries. If they want to keep playing him in middle as he has been in Rfd. and last year in German league as well, be good time to throw him out there with a couple of guys who hopefully he plays alot of years with. Maybe Cat and Hagel, let them get used to each other and start building some chemistry with each other.

  • January 4, 2022 at 3:03 pm
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    ian

    can’t imagine they would play reichel anywhere else but 1c or 2c. what is there to lose? this team is going nowhere, there is no one currently playing center above 3c level, and there is no one else at rockford who projects as a top six center in the nhl. might as well find out. maybe get lucky. shoot for the moon and hope for the best.

  • January 4, 2022 at 4:05 pm
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    This is a major rebuild in the next 3 or so years.
    The question is how much do you give Dcat when his contract is up?
    If he asks for 8 million per year, I would trade him too. I wouldn’t give him more than 6 million per year.
    Why you ask. He is not the playmaker of a Patrick Kane. He relies on others to set up his one-timers. How effective would he be in 5 on 5 play in the playoffs, especially against bigger and heavier teams who are not prone to make silly penalties.

  • January 4, 2022 at 6:10 pm
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    HAWKS29

    I would have to say things started to go off the rails when Brian Bickell signed his 4 year deal. Then the Teuvo Teravainen give away then dumb move after dumb move.
    Between overpaying pretty much everyone, giving long term deals with no- trade contacts to bringing back former players Blowman was a total disaster.

  • January 4, 2022 at 6:22 pm
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    stape

    touche!!!

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