Blackhawks Bring Back Kris Versteeg

After Thursday night’s game, the Blackhawks made a lot of fans of the 2010 Cup team happy.

The Blackhawks announced they have acquired forward Kris Versteeg and forward Philippe Lefebvre is exchange for prospects Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen.

According to reports, the Panthers will be paying half of Versteeg’s salary as part of the trade.

Versteeg, 27, has two goals and five assists in 18 games with the Panthers this season. He is signed through the 2015-16 season with a $4.4 cap hit.

“We are excited to bring Kris back to Chicago and are pleased to add a player with his experience and versatility to our lineup,” said Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman. “Kris is well respected within our organization and will be able to make a seamless transition to our team because of his familiarity with many of our players and with Coach Quenneville. This move strengthens our team depth and Kris’ skill is a great complement to our current roster.”

Jeremy Morin and Alex Broadhurst were sent to Rockford after the Versteeg deal was announced.

Kris Versteeg

88 thoughts on “Blackhawks Bring Back Kris Versteeg

  • November 14, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Important to note that Florida is eating half of his salary (and cap hit) for the remainder of the contract.

    Also resulted in Morin/Broadhurst being sent down.

    I’m glad he’s back just in time for the trip to Vancouver.

  • November 14, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Sounds like the Panthers will pay half of Versteeg’s salary as part of the deal. I love me some Kris Versteeg, he has gotta stay healthy but if he does this is a major boost.

  • November 14, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Beat me to it JS. Missed it by that much

  • November 14, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Great move if he can skate like he used to!!! Anyone see him skate w/ Panthers this year after his ACL surgery? Recovered in 6 months (D Rose). Can’t believe he can skate the same.

    Also noticed Hawks brought up Alex Broadhurst. He skates well- so it obvious to me Q does not like the Pace that the 3rd line (and the 2nd IMO) are skating with… hope Alex gets a couple of games to see what he has.

    Hawks appear to be over Cap too! Perhaps this means trying to purge Khabby or BBank sooner than later!

  • November 14, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    If he still has his wheels, Bickell/Shaw/Versteeg will be a pretty ridiculous line.

    I legit feel sad for Morin. Kid has busted his butt and probably deserves to be playing in the NHL somewhere.

    More silly thoughts:

    The Hawks still have Johns, Clendening, Danault, McNeil, TT, and Morin. I know that they probably won’t all “hit”, but holy crap is this team stacked.

  • November 14, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Wall- I think Handzus and Kostka are going to LTIR so they will be under cap.

  • November 14, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    sorry- they dumped the $$$ before i could finish my words…

    still will need to dump one of those two – if they try to rent a player before playoffs.

  • November 14, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    JS and wall—they are going to LTIR. do you really think bowman is that stupid to not pay attention to the cap before making the trade?

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Dave don’t say that about Wall. He is passionate and knowledgeable. You have to know how to speak Wall if you are gonna reply here. His statement was more of a Hypothetical question with an assertion Bulin or Bbank (who is gone then?).

    Poor form Dave

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:19 am

    JS- to add to that list- Hinostroza and Little Hayes- I have watched Hino play a couple of times for ND- the kid can skate and finish (at least at College level). And little Hayes is much better skater than Jimmy… Both are putting up good #’s for College Hockey.

    Ross and Alex Bhurst- are both very High IQ and can skate too!

    And yes JS- if he skates like old days- 29/65/”32″ will be fun (3rd line has stunk much of year)
    + Versteeg can really play on any line (at least he used to be able to)
    Just hope he’s fully recovered!!!

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Wall did you like Versteeg as a Penalty Killer before? I thought he was good. And if you did or even didn’t do you think he can help this current PK unit?

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Hopefully he quit freestyle rapping since last we saw him in the sweater

  • November 15, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Steeger is going to help the pk depth because 81 wont have to waste energy on it as much…

    He does have good speed. As fast a Fro and has a shot.

    Secondary scoring machine.

  • November 15, 2013 at 6:18 am

    I remember too many neutral zone TO’s and holding the puck too long. I think he is an upgrade to the third line, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

  • November 15, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Hayes (as mush as i liked him) had underwhelmed. Much like Bicks 2 years ago (so maybe there is still hope he turns into something more). Olsen was nothing more than a trade chip with Clendening, Fournier, Johns, Dalhbeck all sitting around.

    To get an established player like Steeg is a good pick up. Should be an instant shot in the arm and he will already have some level of cohesion with former teammates. Solid move.

  • November 15, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Hawks management is smart. I am sure they have let Morin know his time will come. He had a decent game last night and has the aggressiveness the team needs. But, when you can pick up a Versteeg for 2 middle prospects and only have to pay half his salary you gotta do it. Versteeg is probably your rental player for the year. No chance of keeping his salary next year and I think both SB and Versteeg know it. For SB’s part, he adds a legit scoring threat on the cheap. For Versteeg, he has the chance to raise his profile and win another cup.

  • November 15, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Ryan, I do think “32” will help… and if he is close to his pre-injury speed- this is a GREAT trade. Like I have said a few times that 3rd line has underwhelmed all year- they really need some speed/talent. Kris has one of the best toe-drags in league and is a great side-to-side skater, finisher, (at least he used to be).

    Don’t know him personally- but researched his injury- and seems like he really dedicated his 6 month recovery to a real tough post surgery schedule. And after seeing him RAP/drunk at 2010 celebration – I wouldn’t expect him to be that dedicated of an athlete!

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Versteeg cap hit for the Hawks is $2.2mm but only this year.

    His cap hit is $4.4mm for the 14-15 and 15-16 seasons. Ain’t no way the Hawks will retain his services after this year. But I hope he does really well and the Hawks PU some good draft picks for him.

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Do you think they’re better off with Versteeg, or keeping Fro (seems like part of the void is on the PK)? Althouh I’m sure they expect Versteeg to have a bigger impact on the scoreboard, but it seems like we’re really missing Fro on the PK.

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Mike where are you getting his cap hit to be 4.4M?

    According to Capgeek- Hawks are responsible for only 1/2 for all three years.

    JS- another dream line would be “32”/TT/65… this line would have tons of skating/passing/finish -playing against lower end defenders! It would be a “Mini 1st line”!!!

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Mike- from everything I read, Florida is eating half of his salary for the remainder of the deal, not just this year. It’s still a high cap number for a 3rd line player… but I don’t think Versteeg is a 3rd liner on many other teams.

    I know a lot of people love Dale Tallon… but I think he is an insanely overrated GM. When you look at the deals he gave Versteeg and Kopecky in Florida and the fact that he doesn’t seem to grasp what “sell high” means. Versteeg is certainly off to a bad start this year… but he’s shooting 4% when his career average is closer to 12%. That will even out and he will start to score more goals. However, I don’t think the trade is a complete steal for the Hawks. I think Olsen and Hayes are both capable of playing quality NHL minutes, it just wasn’t going to be with the Hawks.

    I’m slightly concerned about the thought of Shaw and Versteeg being on the “checking” line together since they are both undersized. This is probably going to result in more of a shake up. The Hawks bottom two miniature centers may end up causing problems.

    I love the trade for the Hawks. It should help with the PK. I’m interested in what it means for next year, though.

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Wall- on Hinostroza. I’ve watched him and I absolutely love his skating and IQ… but once again he is TINY. I’m not huge (pun) on size on being a giant(pun) factor for a players ability to make the NHL, but when you have players that small up and down your lineup, it will be noticable.

    On little Hayes, is he going to come to Chicago after the Hawks just shipped off his brother or is he going to test the open market?

    A line of Versteeg, TT, and Shaw would be pretty nasty. I think Shaw is better off as a wing, but a very capable center. The concern, again, is size. That line would have a combined weight of like 510 pounds… or one Dustin Byfuglien!

    Versteeg will be at practice later today, I’m interested to see who his linemates are.

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Mike is INCORRECT. Florida is picking up half of Versteeg’s deal for the remainder of the 2013-14 season AND the next two seasons. His cap his is $2.2M for the Hawks for the rest of his deal.

    Should the Hawks have just kept Frolik? The answer to that is an emphatic no, and here’s why.

    The Hawks were able to add depth to the pipeline by dealing Frolik for draft picks. This deal brings back a player with a significantly higher offensive upside while clearing out some of the “dead weight” in Rockford. I’m not saying JHayes & Olsen are worthless players, but the NHL roster is nearly full for the next 3-4 years already and the organization is higher on other prospects – Teravainen, Danault, McNeill – than they are on JHayes up front, and the blue line is even deeper at the NHL level and they haven’t injected Clendening or Johns into the equation yet.

    Think of this deal as the Skille-Frolik trade, but upgrading all of the pieces. JHayes is 23, Olsen is 22 and the best chance for either to reach their NHL potential was a different sweater. Like Stanton, they may (likely will) become quality NHL players, but it will have to be somewhere else.

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:49 am

    If they are eating 1/2 his salary for all 3 years…….I stand corrected. If that is the case does FL have a cap HIT of $2.2mm each year? What happens if the Hawks do decide to trade him? Does that change what FL is liable for?

    If Tallon did make this deal for the remainder of his contract…..I agree JS, Tallon is insane.

    In any case Versteeg will benefit from playing on a MUCH better team.

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Tab, I agree. Probably the biggest winner in this deal is Hayes. He will be a regular in FL’s lineup sooner rather than later.

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Yes, Tab and others you are right. Capgeek has Versteeg listed as a retained salary for FL at $2.2mm for the balance of the contract. Is still wonder if that is transferable for the Hawks.

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:59 am

    If the Hawks trade him, Florida still eats the salary. Honestly, as I said before, I think it’s a good deal for both parties. Florida isn’t going to be near the cap for the duration of Versteeg’s contract, so eating the 2.2 is nothing to worry about (cap wise) for them. Olsen and Hayes will be suitable NHL players.

  • November 15, 2013 at 9:06 am

    JS- read your mind on both points-
    Hino size and K Hayes…

    Hino is short – but he is built more like St. Louis and Marchand – less like kane and TT.
    ( lb. for lb. that frickin St. Louis has one of the biggest ass and thigh ratios in the league!!!)- another guy in Hawk’s System – Tyler Motte- built like Brick shit-house below the waste/ skates/finishes.

    Re: KHayes- I don’t know how that works w/ his rights… can he just go FA? or do Hawks have exclusive rights? does signing team have to compensate hawks? Point taken.

  • November 15, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Tab- great point (if 32 is really healthy) — this is a great trade up scenario for Hawks Brass!!!

  • November 15, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I’m not 100%, but I think the rule works that if a player goes to college for all 4 years, the team is given a 30 day exclusive window to negotiate his contract or trade him (after the school year).

    It happend with Justin Schultz 2 years ago. Anaheim drafted him in the second round, he didn’t want to play for them after finishing his senior season, he hit UFA.

    I get what you mean about body comp. I thought Hino looked really strong on the puck, but I assumed that’s because he was playing against other kids.

  • November 15, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Feel like hayes is a center we will miss. Olsen was more expendable to me. I know we have all the prospect forwards in the world, but none of them are centermen with size that park in front of the net. If steeger is back to form it is a moot point perhaps, but I think hayes had a role on this team at a need spot.

  • November 15, 2013 at 9:50 am

    LOVE this trade! Versteeg was a favorite of mine in ’10 because of his speed (hopefully he’s close to back where it was after rehab), and his GRIT. He is a tough-nosed guy for his size, is versatile enough to play center and PK. Hopefully his turnover issues in neutral ice are addressed (and Q will make sure).. His teammates will be delighted to have him back (he’s a character/personality type guy in the locker room), and so will fans at the UC.

    I thinks it’s a fair deal for both teams as Florida gets size and unfulfilled potential in Hayes and a d-man who also has potential to be solid 3-4 guy in the league. The 1/2 salary aspect makes this a “have to do it” deal for the Hawks and my hat’s off to Jr for the move. Great time to be a Hawks fan guys…

  • November 15, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Not much to not like about this deal the Hawks moved two prospect that weren’t likely in their plans moving forward, added a player they are familar with. at a below market salary. The nice thing about Steeg is that he can play either wing and is a proven NHL finisher. He has scored some big goals in the past and can play on special teams and can move into the top 6 if needed. Love the move by Stan!

  • November 15, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Bringing Steeger back in is huge IMO. He was a great player for us in 2010. I was really sad when he left with the salary cap clean-out after the first Cup hoisting. Our PK just got much better as Versteeg can be a real pest. He has very good speed, quick hands, tenacity, and happily goes into the dirty areas. He must be overjoyed to come back and play for the Hawks. This increases our already deep roster. When you can skate 4 good lines that play strong 2 way hockey, it makes it very tough on other teams to match up.

    You said it right Negzz, it is a very good time to be a Blackhawks fan!

  • November 15, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Versteeg is still a turn over machine but obviously Morin is in Q’s dog house and anything in an improvement over Brookbank on wing.

  • November 15, 2013 at 11:00 am

    As far as Hayes leaving, it probably was the best for both parties as the Hawks clearly did not have room, time (or patience?) to develop him. Though I would have liked to have kept him around as insurance if Bickell doesn’t live up to his contract extension… Why can’t the Hawks big men play like big men? Anyway… Sharp was traded out of Philly, too many players on on established team and not enough minutes for him. Hopefully Hayes takes advantage of the minutes he gets in FL and develops his game. I’ll miss his potential, but the Hawks are not lacking for potential even with him gone…

  • November 15, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Steeger = Bolland II

  • November 15, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Great news and great comments everyone…I think it is another great day to be a Hawk fan as Versteeg belongs in Chicago…

    I don’t see this as a huge Chicago win/Florida loss though…considering the state of the team in Florida, Tallon has the money/cap space to make a deal like this, plus he is getting two players that are going to stick in the NHL…as I have been telling everyone this year, Olsen had really turned his game around, and showed that he was going to make it to the show…but an interesting thing happened in Rockford about 10 days ago, when Dent separated what was a golden D pairing of Clendening/Olsen…Olsen went south again…I think the Bowman/the Hawks were likely behind this move to see if Dylan was truly as good as he looked or it was a product of playing with Adam…it kind of looks like it was a product of playing with Clendening…so as JS, Wall and others have said, the Hawks aren’t dumping dead weight and the Panthers didn’t get fleeced, they got 2 mid range prospects with the ability to PLAY NOW and I think this is exactly what Florida will do with them…so good for Olsen and Hayes who are both good kids with decent ability and upsides.

    Now, as for Versteeg, my wife’s family (who are from Lethbridge) know the Versteegs, and while I am not a friend of Kris, we are acquaintances…and what I can share with you is that Kris NEVER wanted to leave here, and approached the Hawks, at some point last year, about coming back for less money…so really this deal is a dream for both Bowman/the Hawks and Versteeg…he’s a Hawk through and through, and what’s more he’s a player that buys into Q’s system, offensively and most importantly defensively…so anyone who is “worried” about Versteeg on the defensive end, doesn’t remember his time here…he can trusted to play in the last minute of a game, because he is very responsible in his zone.

    This is a huge acquisition and with the Panthers eating half of his cap hit for this and the next 2 years, there is a real shot for Kris to stay here, which is what he wants…everything will depend on how well he comes back the 2nd half of this season…for those that didn’t follow Kris in Florida, early last year he tore his knee (ACL) and missed the rest of the year…so this season thus far (18 games, 2 goals, 5 assists) represents Versteeg trying to get his game legs back and his speed. What I do know is that his surgery went incredibly well, and his knee is fully healed with very little swelling, which is a huge key for success off of this kind of injury.

    Personally, I think that Versteeg is just finding his game now, and is going to have a huge impact here…he can play wing on ANY of the 4 lines with success…think of it, adding Versteeg to the first line with say Toews and Hossa, would keep that line at the top of its game…or Q could add Kris to the 2nd line to help out Pirri with Kane, and that line would roll…a 3rd line of Shaw, Bickell, Versteeg is insane (and likely his destination) and really makes the Hawks very, very difficult to beat, especially in a playoff game…

    Dropping Morin back to Rockford is tough…Jeremy is a good hockey player and if we trade him (which would be a mistake) he will immediately make an impact for another team…so what to do??? I think the Hawks will give Morin a shot to take a wing spot on the 4th line, or use him as a rotational player with Bollig and Smith…Morin is too good for the minors and going back isn’t going to help his game…he needs to be here with Q becoming a true 2 way winger, or traded…but in trading Morin we won’t get back in what we are giving up…

    The reality to this deal is that the Hawks want to win now…with CC on top of his game, the Hawks can see that they have a REAL shot at repeating and they can’t let this pass…Versteeg brings confidence…he brings championship work ethics and beliefs…he brings versatility…he brings real offensive punch with defensive zone responsibility, and he brings all these things right now, night in and night out…not sometimes, or is slowly getting there…

    As good as the Hawk prospects have been, are, and will be, the opportunity to bring a true 2 way winger back in the form of Kris Versteeg, at half his price, was just too good for Bowman to pass up…IMO this is the kind of trade that can put the Hawks over the top for not just this year but the next two…and to that end, if you lose an Olsen and Jimmy Hayes, and set back a Jeremy Morin, you still do it…

    First line, 2nd, 3rd, PK, PP, taking F/O’s when a centre gets kicked out of the circle…playing with grit, taking the body, finishing checks Versteeg brings all of these things RIGHT NOW, game in and game out…thus, I know Bowman made the right move, as did Tallon…both teams win…

  • November 15, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Slow Clap for Brad… very well said.

    one thought i had sitting here at work… What room does Bickell have right now…

    we have the top 5 (19,88,81,10,20) and we have another 3 who arent going any where (Steeg, 65,16). that leaves 4 roster spots. Right now they belong to Bollig, Smith, Pirri and Bicks. At some point Zus will come back and we also have Morin now in Rockford. We just picked up Steeg with 2 years left on his deal (and at 2.2 that is a big cut from 29’s contract).

    I hate to insinuate we would get rid of him after resigning him (which is kind of bad business sense anyway) but its hard to figure where he fits with TT, Danault, KHayes, McNeil, etc coming through the pipeline. I like bicks on our team, and it kills me but it kinda looks like something has to give at some point when you got a 4.0Mil 3rd liner.

    I mean if Bicks elevates his game and plays with 19/88 again then he stays. and then we get 10/37/81, 20/65/Steeg (now 23 according to the Hawks website)…and 52/16/28 filling out the roster. But as of now, the way i look at it, Bicks slots on the 3rd line. A spot Morin is more than capable of handling with Saad going up to the top 6. Yes 29/65/23 is a great 3rd line (probably the best in the league!) but i dont see the hawks paying bicks 4m to be on the 3rd line. Again, not saying this is going to happen soon or even at all, but it just looks logical to move Bicks before the start of the 14-15 season unless he locks into the top line.

  • November 15, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Ah, one other important comment…I think this move also tells us that the Hawks are “All In” this year with Brandon Pirri…and that Pirri has shown Q enough over the last 2/3 weeks to give him the confidence to support a move like this…we really don’t have the money left to make a deadline deal without moving someone off of the roster (Khabby and BB would be the only 2 candidates), so this is our lineup short of TT returning from Europe to take over a key role, but that is asking way too much of that young man. The Hawks made this move with Versteeg knowing that Pirri is their 2nd Centre guy…good for Brandon!!!

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    The Hawks will not burn a year on TT’s ELC for him to play in 15 games and the playoffs this year. Unless someone major goes down, I can’t imagine the Hawks making that move.

    Also, as far as deadline deals and rental players go… shouldn’t this trade we are talking about open everyone’s eyes the the possibilities? First of all, by deadline time, the Hawks will likely be able to take on an expiring contract worth close to 2m. Second, if it’s an expiring contract, it would be pretty easy for them to tell a team “hey you cover the rest of his AAV this year and we’ll sweeten the pot.”

    If Handzus is done done, I definitely see them trading for center depth close to the deadline.

    As far as moving Khabi… who is going to be the backup goaltender? I know a lot of people are pooh poohing on Khabi this year, but it’s been 3 starts. Give him a chance.

    Also, a random though after checking minutes from last night. How do you guys feel about switching up the D pairings? If the Hawks broke up the top 4 they could probably distribute minutes better without much of a drop off.

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    29 / 65 / 23 would also be the highest paid 3d line in the NHL as well.
    I am with Brad and would use Morin in place of Bollig in a heartbeat.

    Wouldn’t worry too much about the minor league guys. The Hawks are gonna need them to make Cap next year. With Shaw and Crawford getting big raises and the addition of Versteeg, Hawks have about $64mm committed to just 16 players next year(CapGeek). Even if the Cap goes to $70mm, gonna need some prospects to round out the roster.

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    @ JS re: mixing up the d pairings – WHY? Oduya, Hjalmarsson & Seabrook are all averaging between 20:40 and 22:19… Keith is at 24:31. All of the ice times they’re skating on the blue line are consistent w/ last year, and there is no issue w/ the workload they’re feeling on the back end. Non-issue.

    re: Morin – he, like Jimmy Hayes, simply hasn’t distinguished himself at the NHL level yet. In any way. And we’re looking ahead at a 2014-15 season w/ a TOP NINE locked in already (assuming Teravainen is the 2C). So we’re going to look for 2 guys to skate w/ Kruger for the next 2 years… that’s a tough life folks. Bollig, Morin, Pirri… how about McNeill, Danault, Ross, A Broadhurst, Hinostroza, LeBlanc…. the Hawks have a pipeline that’s stacked and a full roster at the NHL level. Not back…

    to Mike’s point about the cap – I wouldn’t be surprised at all if someone (Oduya) was moved at the draft, whether the Hawks win the Cup again or not. Leddy’s ready to take the next step and Clendening & Johns are coming.

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    This is quite a move to make and I like it. As Sr. Brad says, I think this means we are all in with Pirri at 2C there is just too little wiggle room to make something else work without sending someone bigger from the NHL roster. I like the trade and I think it pushes us to have the best four lines in hockey. I’m serious. I think Steeg will find a place on the 3rd line. Imagine that, a key cog from the 2010 3rd line with 2 key cogs from last year’s regular season 3rd line. I like it. I then believe that each line individually stands well with every other team’s line. Think about what I am saying. Maybe Boston has the best 2nd line in the league and San Jose has a good 3rd line with a lot of top lines being phenomenal for each NHL Team. I am saying the Blackhawks as a team can have each of their lines be considered the best at their respective line pairings. I think that is incredible. Oh and our D pairings aren’t horrible either.

    Love the move.

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Great comments everyone. What this move does is add depth to a deep team. Honestly it doesn’t matter where he plays and Q is very fluid with his line changes anyways. There are very few players on the Hawks that skate on the same spot day after day. Toews, Shaw, Kruger and Bollig are the only ones that come to mind. Even Kane moves up and down the line up depending on matchups. I have really liked the Pirri, Saad, Kane line but defensively they are lacking. Anyway you slice it this a solid solid move for the organization moving forward.

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks Tim, and you are right about Bickell…with the prospect line now in motion, all of the Hawks have to produce to maintain their spot on the parent club…it especially applies to $4 million guys playing on the 3rd line…the one thing I would caution about Bickell though is his PLAYOFF value…the rink seems to shrink down in the playoffs and that’s where Bicks becomes doubly important…

    But guys like TT, McNeil, Danualt, Ross, Hartman, Kevin Hayes, Clendening and Johns are the real deal and are going to have to play up here soon, so something has to give…that’s why Olsen and Hayes can be dealt, there are even better options a little further away…which is of value to the Hawks right now.

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Thought on changing up D-pairings would be to give Leddy more ice time, which I feel he deserves. I get great joy from watching Leddy and Seabrook on PP2 after yelling at Sharp and Keith for the duration of PP1. I also have concerns over the season length since the Hawks might have 6 Olympic defensemen. Cutting 2 minutes from Keith would basically equate to 6 less games played for the duration of the season. But really… it’s probably not going to matter.

    And as Brad just said regarding Bickell, if he sucks in the playoffs, then get worried.

  • November 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Tab, you are right, there’s little the Hawks can do but play the best players right now…and if Morin isn’t good enough for Q right now, then he just might become another number, because as you say, the train isn’t stopping or slowing down…McNeil has been outstanding in Rockford this season, better than the Hawks likely expected he would be, and he already has an NHL body…plus he can play Centre or Wing…its tough being a prospect for the Hawks, but that’s the life with a Championship Team…and the Hawks, even Q, are enchanted with TT so you know he’s coming next year…where’s the room??? The top 9 as you say are locked up…Kruger is a fixture on the 4th line and a VALUABLE member of this hockey team…where does anyone else fit? And if Versteeg plays back to form this season, how do you get rid of a player that versatile and that successful at 27 for half his regular salary???

    Also, I think Tab is exactly right about Oduya…Johnny has been a very good player here, but come next year, Leddy moves back into the top 4 and Clendening won’t be kept off the roster again. It now leaves that 6th DMan role up in the air…hopefully Rozy can play one more season next year, and tutor Johns into that role full time in 2 years…

    Peter I agree…I think the Hawks have potentially the best 4 positional lines in hockey…if Pirri continues to develop his defence and rapport with Saad and Kane, the Hawks could very well have the best 1st line, 2nd line, 3rd line and 4th line in the NHL…now that’s impressive.

    What we will likely have Mike is about 5 guys pushing for the wing spots on the 4th line come next camp, and with Oduya moved and Clendening coming in along with TT, we will have just enough space…and a damn good hockey team!

  • November 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    JS, I agree about Leddy, especially paired with Seabrook…for a 2 week stretch last season they were our best D pairing…and I don’t think its of great benefit to have Leddy paired with Brookbank so much of the time.

  • November 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Brad I’m not entirely sure why Brookbank is on the roster, I would have much rather have them retained Stanton instead. I have been like the 6th man rotation w Rosy, Brookbank and Kostka. I think its just a matter of time before Leddy really starts putting it together.

    I really feel like rest Zues and Rosy as much as possible for the stretch run those 2 completed exceeded all expectations en route to a cup win!

  • November 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    This is a nice trade, but we need to do something to help Crawford. It’s obvious that Q has NO FAITH in “Khabby”, so we need to get someone to give CC a breather. The division is very tight and every point is valueable, so Q puts in the best man for the job and that’s CC.

    We may see Khabby in Nashville, but I don’t think that Q wants to risk any points.

    At this rate, CC will be 150lbs. by christmas.

  • November 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    its going to help replace Stalbergs missing speed and give 29 and 65 a better chance to help run down and eventually control pucks…at least thats my initial hope for this deal

  • November 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Reg, its true…hopefully Khabby has been improving in practise, getting better, but right now, if you didn’t play him against some of the teams we beat recently, then when do you play him? Nashville is a divisional game against a tough opponent for us, on the road…at home versus SJ one of the best teams in the league???

    I think your guess that he plays in Nashville is likely correct…with Hutton in goal for the Preds, we should be on even ground…but whenever Khabby plays next he has to start inspiring confidence for this hockey team or CC will weigh 150…

  • November 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Love this trade even with the loss of prospects. I was streaming last night’s game while watching Blues Brothers on VH1 Classic…so based upon the clip above I know what Scooter had on TV in his suite! That must have been inspiration to “get the band back together!”

    With Steeg being a right shot, I hope not to see any more of Sharp on the point for powerplays.

    I have to think this helps our depth a lot and our chemistry as well.

  • November 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Also feel next year will see 1 or 2 departures. Great teams seem to move players to make room for new and younger players before they get too far along. But lets enjoy this year first. Our 1st line looks like they are on the power play at times. 2nd line poses matchup problems even if they have some Dzone weaknesses. Hopefully Versteeg will give the 3rd line what they have been missing.
    What a great time to be a Hawks fan!!

  • November 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    SSHM, as you know I am not a big fan of Brookbanks, but as it turns out, its fortunate that BB was kept as Kostka (who I thought was very good) was significantly injured and Rozy got off to a horrible start…now Rozy is back playing well, and BB is all the better because of all the ice time he got during these absences…like you, I would LOVE for the Hawks to replace BB, but a 3rd line pairing of Leddy and Adam Clendening is not what this team needs right now…this is why I was opposed to the releasing of Stanton…I think we would have received the same or better defence play from him as he developed as a reliable replacement to Rozy…however, I don’t know how well Stanton would have fared playing RW???

  • November 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Reg, you were right, Khabby starts tomorrow…

    Here’s what Versteeg said to the press this morning after the skate…

    Versteeg: I hopefully have a lot of years ahead of me. Hopefuly it’s as a Blackhawk because that’s where my heart is.

  • November 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Versteeg practiced with Bickell and Shaw today on that 3rd line…

    Brad Mills cleared waivers and will report back to Rockford…

  • November 15, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Missing from the lists of players commented on in this thread that we have seen and liked this year is Mills. He’s ANOTHER guy that Q likes and is a good 4th line guy..

    Brad: Fully agree- Bicks earns his value during the playoffs when teams get extra nasty and physical, 29 is a warrior in those types of games and I fully expect him to show it again this year. Versteeg is another one of those grinder/grit gusy that raises his game in the playoffs. Great addition in that respect.

    Also agree with Tab that Oduya is likely in his last season wearing the Indian head. Nothing against him, just a numbers game. Same could be said of Rosy, and Zues is as good as gone… Good guys with hearts of Champs that earned their names on the cup, but will be time to move on and bring the next level of talent up to the show in ’14-15.

  • November 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Sr. Brad- There you go, Mills now “mentioned”.. I liked him and expect we’ll see more of him as he gets back in shape..

  • November 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I like Oduya a lot and think he has distinguished himself well wearing the Indian Head…conceivably the only time he was not good/great was the 2012 Playoffs. Not bad for some draft picks. Accordingly, if he continues his play I think we will be able to flip him for better than what we got him for…that is amazing and again shows how Bowman works the system. I think Bowman is one of the best GMs in the game at balancing the present with the future…some GMs are always on the future and some are always on the present…how we have it is how we want it. Good time to be a Hawks fan.

  • November 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I think BB is around because it is apparent that Q values experience on defense. Two “kids ” on the third pairing, Leddy and Clendenning for example, is just not in Q’s nature. That said, The Hawks will have to part with some cap space next summer. BB, Rosy, Kostka and Oduya, while valueble serviceable players, they are expendable. The next 2-3 years will be interesting to say the least.

    As for Versteeg wanting to be a Blackhawk…..of course he does….who wouldn’t. Look where he has been. Toronto and Florida suck and who the F$^&%^$%k want to be in Philly? I think the change back to the Hawks will revive his career and almost 3 years at $2.2 million per……SB is an F’in genius.

  • November 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Mike I agree, I see Versteeg getting back to 20+ goals each season and a +15 rating…he’s the kind of player that puts this roster over the top!

  • November 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Moar depth. Quality depth.

    Yea its 2.2 for 3yrs Wall & well have that ‘another dream line would be “32?/TT/65…’ for at least 2 yrs.

    I think we’ll be able to fit 23 (Steeger) in/under cap for all 3yrs. Bowman can squeeze 44 into 22, eh.

    Yes, bollandio getting 23 back is like having 36. We just got that speed, experience & nasty back/depth that we had in 36/67.

    JS, I think your right. We still add a depth forward at deadline. Someone like Goc.

    Brad, I am with you on Steeger being here for all 3yrs.

    Elite team problems.

  • November 15, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    One thing that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere regarding why Florida would agree to retain half of Verteeg’s salary is they possible are close enough to the Cap floor that they couldn’t lose all of Versteeg’s $4.4M salary and still be above the floor. I haven’t gone to look at the specifics – but if I remember correctly, Tallon was handing out contracts many though to be outragiously high a couple years ago (like to Kopecky) and the supposed reason for the extravagance was Florida had to do it in order to reach the Cap floor. Just a possible explanation – that and Versteeg at $4.4M was probably a much tougher deal to make and one that the Hawks would not have been able to afford.

    Add my voice to the consensus that this is a good deal for the Hawks – for all the aforementioned reasons. At least in terms of this season. I’m not sure about the extra $1M+ of salary cap that Versteeg will require over the next two seasons (Versteeg’s $2.2M minus a prospect’s salary of ~$1M) – how it may affect other decisions, but I doubt it ends up being an untenable situation, so worring about it can be deferred until next offseason. For this season – let’s just be happy to be Hawks fans living in the golden age of the Chicago Blackhawks.

  • November 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    I just had to go to practice to see 23 skate!!!

    I am glad to report a few things- Versteeg scored a lot of goals with his wicked, accurate wrist shot… hard to watch both ends at same time- but unofficially he scored more than anyone in the fast paced, transition drills Q runs… mostly 3 on 2’s and 2 on 1’s…

    secondly, Believe it or not!!! Crawford probably let up more goals than Khabby!!!
    Third practice I have seen this year- and I guarantee that Khabby had let up WAY more than CC in past practices I have attended!!!

    Besides the transitions… they worked on PP 1st and second units… Hawks were running 1-3-1 and morphed into the umbrella… Teows in middle, and Versteeg in middle of second unit!

    Keith and Hossa had the day off!!!

  • November 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Good trade for Chicago. But I would temper enthusiasm just a bit because he is not yet the skater he was pre surgery. He doesn’t move around with the same free flow he did.

  • November 15, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Looking at possible roster options for next year, there are a couple interesting scenarios that I’m most interested in seening how they play out. The first, assuming TT makes the team and Pirri continues to prove he’s worth keeping on the roster – admitedly neither is a guarantee – but making that assumption to continue this line of thought, the question is which one plays 2C with the other playing 3C? I guess the answer most would have is that TT has more elite skills than Pirri and therefore should be the 2C – but that Versteeg-TT-Shaw 3rd line reall has me intrigued. If that line could be “just adequate” at keeping the puck out of the Hawks net – then the offense that line could put up would be awesome.

    The other things that I’m looking forward to is who will be the 12th forward. Assuming 19-88-81-10-20-65-16-29-37-“23”-TT are in the starting lineup – that leaves 1 spot in the starting lineup. Bollig, Morin and Smith are all on expiring contracts and I would be surprised more than one of them are re-signed with the prospect cupboard bursting at the seams. More likely, it will be one of: McNeill, Danault or Nordstrom and the early returns on the play of those three in Rockford has McNeill with a pretty good lead.

    As intriguing as the Verstees-TT-Shaw line is, I think Q will want a little more beef on that line which pushes more skill down to the 4th. My early guess fot the 2014/15 roster is:


  • November 15, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    jeez – I wish I knew how to edit my posts because my typo’s are really pretty bad sometimes.

  • November 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    ER- normally I would want the beef w/ TT and 65… but 65 is tough, so is 23 and both are quick/agile skaters who can finish… TT will be a filthy passer/skater + by skating on 3rd line you minimize TT facing the elite checking lines…

    + TT will be a dynamic addition to PP… Only concern is OVER passing w/ 88,TT…

    Bowman must think Cap is going north of $70M!!!

  • November 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Hey wall – yeah but then that means Bickell plays 4th line. If a 3rd liner making $4M is overpriced – paying a 4th liner is really overdoing it. I’m not one to get caught up on salary dictating what line someone should play on because as long as all the players can be fit under the cap, I think the players should be play on whatever lines make the team the best. But that said, paying Bickell $4M to play 4th line would not be maximizing his ice time, so I thin it would be a hard sell.

    All that said, this would be an interesting lineup:


  • November 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    BTW – off subect – I’m watching Notre Dame play Merrimack and I’m really impressed with Stephen Johns. He moves pretty well for a big guy (6’4″ / 235), he’s jumped into the offensive zone a few times, looks to play pretty well positionally and you can see he’s a vocal leader on the ice. He plays physical too – not some big guy that’s all stick and no body. I’m looking forward to seeing him in the Indianhead soon. Also – right handed shot.

    Unfortunately I didn’t get to watch Hinostroza because he’s out indefinetly after getting a knee on knee a couple games ago. Too bad because he’s the leading Irish scorer with 3g/7a/10pts – as a freshman. I think he was top-20 in NCAA scoring when he got injured. I saw an earlier ND game and was really impressed with Hinostroza. He a little guy but he’s quick as a water bug. Hope he gets back on the ice soon.

  • November 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    With T on his elc for 3 yrs, we’ll be able to have 4m guy on 3rd or 4th line. Whatever lines those guys are on, its going to be one sick lineup…

  • November 16, 2013 at 5:24 am

    ER- You got me on that ($4M on 4th line)… but really- if team is in tact w/ TT someone is going to be skating way down on 4th- 23,65,29,37.

    Or here is what I can see happening- 37 is not Q’s favorite all around player (or mine)-
    but he WILL score- (I watched him a lot in practice -still not fastest guy-BUT he does have a very short/quick powerful shot- shot is similar to 81’s -gets a lot of pop on it without any arm or body windup)… if 37 continues to get 2nd line time and PP- he could easily pot 20 + goals… could be blessing or curse to Hawks… will Hawks move him or be able to afford him next year if he scores 20+???

    that might force Hawks into 65 staying 3rd C- and TT moving to 2nd C.
    Either way- someone might be moved.
    But ER- Good point! Another possibility- 29/37/88 and 20/TT/65…
    this will all come down to Cap AND how much $$$ earns/scores this year!!!

    In the end- the Hawks could be a better team next year!!!! SCARY!!!

  • November 16, 2013 at 8:25 am

    ER and Wall, I’m onboard with your 2014-15 scenarios pending TT’s arrival/development, BUT- I still think our line-up changes significantly THIS year in the playoffs as the pace and physicality morphs for the Cup run. Teams have learned and will employ the “beat on Toews” technique and the refs will let them. As such, here’s how i see the arrival of Versteeg affecting our lineups come playoff time this year:
    L1- Reg Season: Sharp-Toews-Hoss: Maybe the “best line in hockey” at the moment.
    L2- Reg Season: Saad-Pirri-88: Working for now, not liking this line’s D for playoffs.
    L3- Reg Season: 29-65-Vertseeg: Great 3rd line with addition of 23.
    L4- Reg Season: Bollig/Mills-Kruger-Zues/Smith: Strong and effective 2-way L4.

    L1- Playoffs: Bickell-Toews-Kane: We will need a net presence and Bicks is a playoff type warrior. We’ll need him paired with 19 and the magic of last years Cup winners is back.
    L2- Playoffs: Sharp-Pirri-Hoss: Keeps 10-81 together after successful season and brings lots of offensive firepower while pairing one of the best 2-way players in the league with Pirri.
    L3 Playoffs: Saad-Shaw-Versteeg: Wow! Maybe best 3rd line in hockey.
    L4- Playoffs: Bollig/Mills-Kruger-Zues/Smith: Solid and no need to change, play for matchups


  • November 16, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Negzz- might and could happen… but the 10/19/81 will produce in PO’s… but your suggestion might be needed to get 88 going in PO’s or keep 37 out of trouble!

    Back to ER and 29 on 4th line… let’s not forget that Hawks skated around 7 million on the 4th line during SC last year… so 1.325 + 4 + .5= #’s 16 + 29 + 52 which is less than that line…

    29 is the Hawks version of Penner- can play all lines and a Nice insurance policy- but can disappear for long stretches… but a great asset.

  • November 16, 2013 at 10:04 am

    If your centers next season are 19/TT/65/16, you’re going to run into a lot of match up problems if you are playing beefy teams. Depending if they re-sign Pirri, I wouldn’t be surprised if Shaw shifts to wing (which I think he’s better suited as since he’s an insane forechecker). Pirri IS improving defensively (as some people on this board said he would… cough cough) and I no longer see him as a liability come playoff time, especially if he gets 60 more games.

    I’m not concerned about Bickell. He’s been kind of screwed by Q not trusting his line mates. We will see how that line plays tonight/if Q is going to juggle the lines with the new addition.

  • November 16, 2013 at 10:24 am

    JS/ER- if 37 is re-signed- McNeil or 42/16/65 4th line could happen- great 4th line and 65 would add minutes on PP. I agree about 4 checking of Shaw.

    Another ???- what would Hawks be entitled to if another team makes Qualified offer for Pirri next summer?

    But then again- SB probably trades him for future pick- if he knows he can’t keep Pirri under Cap next summer (assuming he scores around 20 g’s this year)

  • November 16, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Offer sheets reward draft picks that are scaled by the amount of money the offer sheet is for. Under 1.1 no compensation, up to 1.6 is a third, up to 3.3 is a second, over 3.3 is a first and a third… I don’t think there is a reason to go higher.

    If Danault is supposed to be molding his game after Kruger… does that make Kruger expendable or is Danault sitting in the minors for another year?

    And I’m REALLY excited for McNeil. He’s getting hard work at the Rock and is responding well.

  • November 16, 2013 at 11:34 am

    JS, wall, negzz, Morrison, all yooze guys – there are myriad possibilities and all of them good – how cool is that! Five+ years into the Golden Age of the Blackhawks and I still need to pinch myself every now and then to be sure it’s not a dream. At some point in the future this will slowly ebb away, as sustaining excellence in the NHL is nearly impossible with the salary Cap, but hopefully there is more of the Golden Age to come than has been to date. Just think – five+ more years of sitting atop the mountain … yep – it’s possible.

  • November 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    JS or anyone– what are the NHL limitations for teams picking up portions of contracts (like Panthers eating 50% of 23’s contract)??? Seems like a lot of games can be played with friendly GM’s paying salaries of potential high end assets!

    the reason I pose this ??? is it plausible that SB goes after Nielsen near deadline???
    Maybe offers 37 (lets say he has 14 g’s, 20 a’s at the time), and Morin or Dahlbeck to Isles (who have Cap space)… (37 could be victim of “doing to well/in RFA year” and w/ Hawks depth- where does Morin even fit in?) and Isles pick up a portion of Frans contract. I know SB has tried to land Nielsen before.

  • November 16, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    From a quick search:

    1. Teams can only have three contracts on the books where they’ve retained salary in a trade

    2. Teams can keep only up to 15 per cent of the salary cap in a given year, meaning they would max out at $9.645-million under the $64.3-million cap that’s likely to be in place in 2013-14 and 2014-15

    3. Only 50 per cent of a contract can be kept

    4. A contract can only be traded in one of these deals twice

    I think the idea, as we saw with the Versteeg trade, is that teams are willing to get better prospects in return by eating the money on the deal.

    Nielsen still has 2 years left on his contract, so I don’t see Bowman making that move. At this point, I only see Bowman making another move if Handzus is completely done or someone gets hurt. MAYBE try to unload Brookbank but we didn’t get to see enough of Kostka to know if he can be trusted in a pinch… but really, would anyone want Brookbank? Maybe Edmonton since they only have 6D.

  • November 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Brookbank is a serviceable 6th D man for many teams. Hawks are simply not likely to get a lot for him. But they might as well trade him as he is a UFA after this season. A 4th or 5th rounder at best. But, at least the Hawks get something. However, Rosy and Kostka would need to be healthy. Q does not leave the defense to rookies.

  • November 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    The Beauty of the Bowmans is Longterm. Were still going to be a top team after Hoss is 40/41 because we’ll probably always have 19,88,20, T & an army of nastys. Just need another 2 & 7, in about 5-10 yrs.

  • November 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I hope SB always looks for and churns young talent.

    Detroit had a formula that worked for 20 years. Bring kids up slow and build around talented veteran free agents. That formula no longer works in the NHL.

    Today’s young players are bigger, faster and more aggressive. The Red Wings signed Wiess, Alferdson, Cleary, Samualson etc. Unless these guys play with Dat. or Zett. they look old and slow.

    In future years, only the best, almost HOF type NHL players will be competitive after the age of 35 or so. I believe that is how good today’s young players are. If we remember just 15-20 years ago, with a few exceptions of course, only 1st and 2cd round players had a shot at being NHL stars. Teams had to go to Europe, Russia and Eastern countries to find players. Now teams are substaintially built through the draft. Hockey is one sport where today’s players are superior in almost every way to yesteryear’s players……SB, keep it up

  • November 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    JS- thanks for very useful info… while I agree that the deal is unlikely… it really IS possible… furthermore, the cost difference from a 37 w/ a good year (this year) vs. Nielsen (assuming even 25-50% is paid by Isles) might actually be Cap reducing!!!

    + I agree- Panthers did OK in trade too. Isles can possibly get 2 or 3 Quality prospects-
    Pirri, Morin, +???… Hawks get possible Bargain contract for a High quality 2nd line Center who better fits Hawk’s system…

    Once again, assuming Pirri continues his pace for 20 goals and 40+ pts. he might cost Hawks 2Mill + next year!

  • November 16, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    What things are looking like is that the Hawks are now able to take an MLB type approach to building a successful franchise. Usually in the NHL when you have stud prospects coming through the pipeline, they wind up playing for you – whether they succeed or not is a different story.

    What the Hawks are in the position to do is cherry pick the top prospects they feel most comfortable with, and use the other pieces as trade chips to fill holes. Whats amazing – as many before have pointed out above – is that the Hawks have locked up a significant amount of the roster for years to come. They don’t need to rely solely on the “farm.” If a disasterous injury were to arise – Bowman could easily package a few solid NHL prospects and aquire a very solid piece if needed. This provides insane flexibility for the Hawks front office.

    Long story short – as many of you know – there is more to having a solid prospect pool just to have them play on your NHL roster…they are ever ready pieces to use to strengthen the NHL roster. This is “textbook” organization building. Core talent, solid drafting, just awesome time to be a Blackhawks fan…never thought I’d say that after the early 2000’s…

  • November 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Versteeg on Hawks… and the Preds Vs. Hawks looks like 2010 all over.
    Hawks can’t get out of the Zone… Just like 2010!!!

    Hossa IS the key…

    Welcome to the NHL RAANTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If Hoss can skate Sunday… Start Raanta… Hawks should be really Pissed after tonite!

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