Blackhawks Lose In Season-Summarizing Fashion

In many ways, Saturday night’s game in Nashville was a perfect representation of the 2018-19 season for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Corey Crawford was out hurt, so Cam Ward got the start.

This marked the 33rd appearance for Ward this season, who had to come in and cover 35 minutes in relief on Friday night at the United Center.

Chicago played 20 good minutes.

They were the first 20 minutes in this game. The Blackhawks were out-shot 14-8 but scored twice.

The new guys made an impact.

After the Blackhawks fired Joel Quenneville, Stan Bowman made a number of moves that have helped the Blackhawks improve as the season progressed. Brendan Perlini got Chicago on the board and Drake Cagguila added a second goal in the first period for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks couldn’t hold a lead.

That two-goal lead lasted 19 minutes into the second period. Dante Fabbro scored at 9:07 into the second and Filip Forsberg tied the game with 70 seconds left in the period.

Chicago’s special teams suck.

The go-ahead goal for Nashville was scored by Viktor Arvidsson at 3:33 into the third period (the Pat Foley Special). It was a power play goal. Nashville came into the game with the worst power play in the league. Chicago came in with a historically bad penalty kill. While the Blackhawks did kill two penalties in the second period, the third was the back-breaker.

When it rains, it pours.

Colton Sissons and Nick Bonino scored in the final three minutes of regulation to blow the game open. Sissons’ goal came into an empty net. What had been a tied game became an ugly, one-sided loss on the scoreboard.

And that’s how it should have been. Ward played out of his mind in the first 30 minutes of the game to keep his team in the game but the Hawks allowed him to stand at the end of the firing range as the Preds unloaded.

Ward faced 49 shots in the game, stopping 45. He deserved better, but wouldn’t get that behind this Blackhawks team.

Jonathan Toews won 16 of 25 faceoffs. Patrick Kane picked up another point to close out his historic season. And the Nashville Predators are your 2018-19 Central Division Champions.

105 thoughts on “Blackhawks Lose In Season-Summarizing Fashion

  • April 6, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Excellent yr. 2ns 40 games played really good.

    Really since we got, This yrs team/game 30-80, we were a boarderline playoff team. And we did that without a full roster.

    Were not deep, yet.

    9-18 (games 1-30)
    27-16 (games 30-80)

    I expect us to continue were we left off next season, and that is a 27-16 type team. We ll also have a deeper and better roster.

    No whineing about not this yrs shortcomings. Were not deep yet.

  • April 6, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    12th place odds for draft lottery.
    Fitting way to end this year, goaltender hung out to dry, team defense and pk need major upgrade.
    Congratulatios tobplayers achieving personal goals this season. Seabrook and Keith 1000 games and moving into 2nd and 3rd alltime there. Toews and Kane on career goals and points respectively. Debrincat on 40 goal plateau and Strome 20. Saad bounce back with 28g. Gus on 60 pts on big offensive breakout year. To name a few things.

  • April 6, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    This team is not close to being able to compete against top teams that have something to play for. The Hawks were exposed as being vastly inferior to top notch teams. That wasn’t a surprise. Nashville was awesome tonight. It is good that we don’t have to watch this mediocre team get undressed 4 games in a row in the playoffs.

    You would have to guess that at least 6 current players won’t be on the team at the start of next season. Probably at least 2 defensemen, Kunitz, Kruger, Hayden and Ward. Perlini is a “maybe.”

    Fixing it is not going to be an easy task. As younger players get better, older players get worse.

    Thanks for this site, Tab.

  • April 6, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Snag Erik Karlsson… add more D.

  • April 6, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    How bad is this penalty kill?

    -Shitty power play teams break out of slumps
    -in the good days you wondered when in the game Crow would let in a goal because he seemed to hate shutouts for the most part. Now?
    When the opponent is going to score their ppg
    – and finally…the pk is so bad that over the last 30 years it ranks (approximately) 830th (!!!)out of 830 teams.
    Good job, penalty killers.

  • April 6, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    21-14-6. since January 1. Reason for optimism.

    Cagguila is a keeper. We stole him. Gustafsson is a fantastic power play quarterback. Another steal.

    Going into Tuesday the Hawks have nothing to lose at 12 and 3 bites at the apple to get into the top 3.

  • April 6, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    26-15 since game 30, that was when we made the roster adjustments.

    Were going to add a half a dozen good players to this roster.

    Like to see 42nd pick moved up to around 30th pick.

  • April 6, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Every game the Hawks give up at least one PP goal – as someone Sais you’re just waiting for it and Forsberg’s goal while not technically on the PP was so close after the PP ended that it might as well be called a PP goal – Strome didn’t really get back into the play after serving the Too many men penalty

    And Hayden with the slash leading to Arvidsson’s PP goal – really, that’s your contribution Hayden in 5 minutes of TOI?? agree that he’s likely not back unless it’s just as 13 or 14th FW

    Kevin Hayes is a UFA – I’d be interested in him – pretty sure he’s good on the PK as well as being an upgrade on AA at centre

    Joki plus another D will help and maybe someone like Entwistle can make the roster – he’s also a good defensive and PK player

    I think Perlini stays on a short term deal – nice shot tonight

    Interesting comment form JC after game about how with a training camp he can set a standard for what he expects defensively and therefore will be able to enforce that standard with his players

    Assuming Seabs and Keith aren’t going anywhere and we need another D add other than Joki that leaves out Forsling, KK and Dahlstrom from the top 6 unless they trade Murphy or Gus – I think they hang on to both for now

    I think I’ve had enough of Forsling and Dahlstrom who can both either be sent to RK or included in a trade – KK can be the 7th D IMO but we’ll see

  • April 6, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    Tbe forwards simply dont back check. Gustaffson needs to learn to play defense. Time to get some stay at home defenseman types. Stan wants all these 5 foot 10..or 5 foot 11 180 pound defenseman great good luck around your own net against 6 foot 3 power forwards. Bowman is mediocre at best still. Mcdonogh and him should be fired. This team is 3 drafts and 3 seasons of trades away from being good. pitiful forward defense and penalty kill.

  • April 6, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    Stan the man you are officially on the clock. Some good pickups this year paired with some nice bounce backs from the core. We are still 3-6 players away from being a competitive team. Hopefully this will be an entertaining summer.

  • April 6, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    Hawk, I expect Bowman and crew to get 4 FW and 2 D. Not all from ufas. Prob 3 ufas and 3 prospects.

    Not overpay, unless its the D guy. Then whatever it takes.

    Nasty, fast, physical FWs that can play and some that can PK.

  • April 7, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Not the type of game I was hoping to see tonight. Oh well … it’s all over for about 5 months. Lot’s of good things to hang our hat on but too tired to think about it tonight – there’s plenty of time.

    Thanks Tab for the time and energy you spend to provide the rest of us a nice place to immerse ourselves in Hawks and hockey conversation. Much appreciated.

  • April 7, 2019 at 2:32 am

    First off, Thanks Tab! This is a great place to talk hockey, give a little of the business and get a little of the business. And I hope you might include a post or two during the playoffs about what the other teams are doing because this season’s playoffs may have some fun things to talk about.

    As for tonight’s game and other things ……

    I thought Anisimov played well in what might have been his last game as a Blackhawk. If so, best of luck to him and best wishes. He’s not been a star, but he’s been a steady contributor to the Blackhawks ever since coming over.

    Ward was outstanding. Would not mind him being the backup next year. He can still play, and might be good for one more year if they can sign him for a reasonable cost as the backup. Let Delia continue to develop a bit more in Rockford.

    Yes, Stan Bowman. As stated earlier you are on the clock. Blunk and McDonough aren’t going anywhere. It’s on you. I give you a lot of credit for Strome and Cagguila, and possibly Perlini if he can find some groove that is relatively consistent. But to be Captain Obvious, this team needs huge defensive upgrades. And I am not at this point counting on anyone from Rockford to fix any problems. So responsible, physical D-men and backchecking forwards are on my wishlist. Whatever yours is, I hope you get it and I hope it works.

    I hated Vancouver during the days of the Sedin Sisters, Ryan Kesler, Rafi Torres, Kevin Bieksa, and the rest of the Hitler Youth.
    While I don’t hate Nashville’s players so much, I may hate their franchise as much if not more than I hated Vancouver.
    Those mustard clad hill rods have the most ridiculous fans, as well as PA announcer, in hockey.
    I have a good friend who is a rabid Blues fan who lives in Nashville. He and I agree that hockey fans from ALL teams can be asswipes. However, he says it’s the worst in Nashville. It’s different because the Bridgestone Arena is packed full of asswipes who know nothing about hockey or its rules. Also, I’m no prude, but their incessant low class chants are embarrassing. You feel embarrassed for them. And their PA announcer acts like some transient in the DJ booth for a bad carnival ride at the State Fair. I for one will have a favorite team during the playoffs …… it’s whoever is playing Nashville. I want them to lose. I don’t care to who. They are a very good team. But overall they are punks. And all punks must suck the pipe (there … I’ve sunk to Nashville’s level).

    I don’t think Chris Kunitz should be on the roster next season, even if he doesn’t hang up the skates. But I will tip my cap to him for being by all accounts a great teammate and example to younger players. He’s had a great career and I wish him well.

    Blackhawks hockey became a little more fun to watch after the horrors of the Fall/Winter of 2018 passed. Not enough horses and not enough gas. But some fun stuff to watch. Can’t wait for next season. Always a Blackhawks fan. Being fair weather is not acceptable.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!!

  • April 7, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Wrap, i read Collitons comments, this season he gets a pass, blaming the players is ok for now, but next season his system has to show it can work. Bowman has a job to address the needs over the summer, then Colliton is on the clock. Alot of these guys will be back, need to make the most of their talent, so a big improvement on team defense and pk are on him once next season begins.

  • April 7, 2019 at 6:59 am

    Big in Rockford now is Reese Johnson and he showing already why he was no.1 faceoff guy in Whl. He can certainly give Toews help and 1-2 punch in that area that this team currently lacks against other top centers as a right shot. If rest of his game is serviceable could be a great improvement to possession stats, which helps defense as a bottom 6 dzone faceoff guy.

  • April 7, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Thanks Tab!

    Rough year all but hopefully this offseason is better than the last.

    Have a great summer all

  • April 7, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Big Indian,

    Agree 100% about the Preds and their fans. I live in Nashville as a Blackhawks, and NHL, fan. The fans are 100% ignorant about all thing hockey, and 100% classless in their actions. When Crow got concussed last year and ended up missing the majority of the season, Preds fans and Preds announcers cheered and celebrated the injury! Hoping they lose quickly in the playoffs!

  • April 7, 2019 at 9:29 am


    What do you mean the announcers cheered exactly? That concussion came in the San Jose game.

    Can you cite examples with the fans, guys? Cant just make statements like that without any evidence and walk away.

  • April 7, 2019 at 10:11 am

    ‘Agree 100% about the Hawks and their fans. I live in Chicago as a Predators, and NHL, fan. The fans are 100% ignorant about all thing hockey, and 100% classless in their actions. When Smith-Played there last year Chicago fans and jeered and made racist taunts towards him! Hoping they continue missing in the playoffs!’

  • April 7, 2019 at 10:19 am

    Thank you Big indian. I couldn’t agree more about Nashville. First of all, those uniforms are possibly the worst in all sports. What a disgusting color palette.

  • April 7, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Hey Loags,
    Like Austin Watson abusing his girlfriend? Is that the class of Nashville on display?

  • April 7, 2019 at 10:50 am

    That could happen on any team and it has.

    Bobby Hull wasnt a saint.

  • April 7, 2019 at 10:57 am

    I’m no prude, but their incessant low class chants are embarrassing. You feel embarrassed for them.

    Thats too funny. Were we come from, thats what we call Flatlanders.

  • April 7, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Ah, I see. So it’s a selective moral compass you have. Dish it can’t take it.

  • April 7, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Tab, thanks for your great website with your excellent write-ups and updates.

    Big Indian, an entertaining analysis about Nashville. Those fans don’t know much about hockey, just country and blue grass music. While the yellow uniforms are not very appealing, at least they are unique and not tired-looking like LA’s or Ottawa’s.

    Bar and Grill makes good points about our smurf-sized d-men. Have been saying for years that a team needs balance on size and physicality, which the Hawks do not have. Have also been saying that the forwards do not backcheck (except Toews). This makes our D look worse than they actually are.

    We have some good talent coming up in the pipeline, but it will take another two years to be a serious contender.

    Needs for next season, in addition to who is coming up from our system:
    1. Top 4 d-man with size and strength.
    2. Middle 6 W.
    3. Third-line C.
    4. Veteran goalie for the next 2-3 seasons (not Ward). Don’t expect Crow to play more than 30 games, with his injury history.

    Need to get more skilled and a little younger. Trade: AA, Kruger, Kamph, Forsling, Hayden, Sikura, Dahl. If 60-point Gus can fetch, say a 22-24 pick, go for it. Sign: Perlini, maybe KK.

    Stan has made mostly good moves to improve this team in the past three years. Am including replacing Q with JC. We know a lot more about the young and inexperienced players because JC played them. Q was always in win-now mode and would have limited their time. Giving them a lot of playing time makes decision-making easier going forward on who to trade and who to keep. Big test coming up with the draft (please, no smurfs) and necessary moves. Hold your fire until at least this summer.

    At the moment the Hartman trade looks very good. Had just 26 points and 74 PIM.

  • April 7, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Regarding fans, the Nashville chants are embarrassing to them and their announcer is pathetic. Who finds that appealing? Gene Honda at the UC is awesome and should be the standard for the league. While attending a Hawks game in Dallas, the Hawks got smoked 5-1 that night and it should have been worse than that. One of the friendly Dallas fans I had been visiting with told me that she felt a little bad about it because the Hawks fans that she interacted with over the years are fun and knowledgeable. She said the Detroit fans are the worst that come to town.

  • April 7, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks for another great season of coverage Tab. Looking forward to seeing what Bowman does in the offseason and reading your take on it.

    I generally agree with what most people are advocating as part of offseason moves (@Wrap, @Original6 etc…) However I think that stating the Hawks need a top four defenseman is too generous. The Hawks need to bring in a number one defenseman, period. Keith, Murphy and Gus are all probably top 4 guys, but I would argue hard that any one of them are truly capable as a #1 defenseman. Bring in someone who is. That coupled with jokiharyu will bring both top end talent and depth to the blue line.

    So that said, If the Hawks don’t improve their # 12 pick, they need to package that with one of the four horseman (Boqvist being the most attractive) and try and get a guy like Seth Jones from Columbus to be that number one defenseman on the blue line. I don’t know what Columbus is going to do this offseason as it looks like they won’t be retaining any of their free agent acquisitions. Are they going to blow it up and start again? I don’t know, but Bowman needs to be in the ear of their GM and ask what it would take to get Jones.

    Regardless of whether or not this scenario with Jones is realistic, Bowman needs to bring in a number one defenseman (like Jones) if the Hawks are serious about making another Cup run while Kane and Toews are still productive. “A top four guy” is not going to cut it. This defense is really bad and it needs more than a bandaid and Jokiharyu to make it better. Keith will be 36 in July, how much longer can he hold off father time? Seabrook is going to be 34 in April, is he going to be better next year? Or maybe the better question is how much worse will he be next year after a particularly poor 2018-2019?

    The Hawks need to bring in a number one defenseman. If they do not accomplish that they will not be making a Cup run while Kane and Toews are on the team.

  • April 7, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Selective moral compass? That doesnt make sense. Lol

    Basically Im saying every team has their idiot fans and history of players that are dirtbags on ice or A-holes off ice.
    Bobby Hull beat his wife. Is that any better than Watson?
    Chicago fans arent any better than Nashville fans. Hell, Im jealous that their fans are so loud. Its awesome to hear. Instead we…whistle?

    Dont get me wrong. I hate the team but pretty much because they knocked us out in such an embarrassing fashion. Not because of their fans or announcer. Altho if the cheering is true on Crawfords injury (which hasnt been proven yet) that is pretty low.

    Remember as Jerry Seinfeld once said ‘we’re just cheering on the laundry’. :)

  • April 7, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Rookie fans on FB continue to call for the firing of Stan, this player, that player. Ive come back here for more informed and educated Hawks talk after many years in silence. Hockey is entertainment, and the Hawks have provided a lot of it. Only a few teams can boast 3 cups in the past decade. Im unfollowing the Hawks feeds to get away from the lameness. Salary cap is the crux of every team. Cant have your cake and eat it too. If I had to make a few predictions, Id say its possible we see some surprising news regarding Crawford, Keith and Seabs regardless of the insane contracts their on. Gustafsson here to stay, Perlini most likely, Strome as well. Everything else is a roll of the dice. Lastly, with regards to the trolls from Nashville, I turn the sound off on those games due to the lame and juvenile AHL chants, 1,2 3, its all your fault bullshit. Those fans should be just as embarrased as the newbies in Las Vegas not to mention the hollywood atmosphere in L.A.

  • April 7, 2019 at 3:36 pm


    My apologies for being unclear and not defined enough in my comments.

    As far as the ignorance and classness of the fans, you are correct, I used hyperbole and should not have condemned the entirety of the fan base. However, I have attended several Preds home games, and the ignorance of the fans that I referred to does relate to a much, much higher percentage of fans than I have experienced at other NHL venues. This ignorance relates to the following:

    1) Not understanding basic rules of hockey, such as icing, off sides, interference, etc. At every game I have attended, numerous, often vulgar outbursts from fans to refs were made when the refs made a clearly correct call.

    2) Not understanding basic rules of etiquette when attending a hockey game, such as not standing up, or walking in front of others, when play is going on. When I or someone I was with tried to inform some of these fans of such etiquette, we were presented with vulgar responses.

    As far as the announcers cheering and celebrating the injuries of others (specifically Crow), I again was unclear. I was not speaking of the game announcers, but rather the local sports talk radio announcers. Specifically, Floyd Reese and his radio partner (sorry, cannot recall his name), stated how happy they were that Crow had been injured. In addition, living in Nashville, I come across a lot of fans, and several have expressed similar thoughts on other injuries, and wishes for other opposing players to be injured. You are right, it is not all Preds fans, but, in my experience, it is a much larger percentage than other fan bases to which I have been exposed.

    Finally, the chants of “You suck” and the like do not reflect well on the fan base. I know that other fan bases do similar things, but the Preds fans do these chants multiple times, every game, and, in my eperience, the vast majority of the crowd is participating.

  • April 7, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    I think it depends on who they draft with 1st pick on direction with 3c. If a high end middleman taken there who be ready to play in another year and hoped to be no.1 guy in3 or 4 years, plus Toews and Strome, that fills top 3c needs. Anisimov is under contract next year and plays a 2way game, could fill that void rather than commit term to somebody else unless its a Nelson type signing who can be big winger down the road.
    Kubalik could be the middle 6 winger and Entwistle may be able to help pk sooner than later.
    A top Dman needs to be acquired through a trade that likely costs alot. Their committment to Boqvists development may suggest a reluctance to part with him.
    I would sign a backup for next year and try to fill needs after next season with a team trying to unload a goalie ahead of expansion draft.

  • April 7, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Quenneville likely to sign with Florida according to The Athletic…

  • April 7, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    A season that produced plenty of mixed feelings.

    The one constant was this site being my daily go to place for all things Blackhawks. A huge thanks to Tab for the tremendous effort and insights. Some of the comments are also well worth the time it takes to read them. Let’s hope for a much better result in 2019-20.

  • April 7, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Rackman: Interesting. What you describe almost sounds like the crowds for WWE.




  • April 7, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    General Managers often say you do not want to trade a guy, then be put the position where you are looking for what you just traded away. Might that be the case with Anisimov?

    He’s a big Center, which are hard to find and teams that have them are reluctant to give them up. If our Center to start the season in October are : Toews-Strome-Anisimov-Kampf. That would be pretty solid. Is Anisimov a $4.5 Million player? Probably not. But next year, Stan is truly on the clock, so trading Anisimov for draft picks or prospects is probably not an option.

  • April 7, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    First of all I second all the gratitude shown Tab – this is the best Blackhawks blog I’ve seen and thanks as well to all the thoughtful posters of which there are many here and who make it a long with Tab the best site

    Second of all – I’m not against trading AA for picks and prospects if that $ is used on Nelson or Hayes say, both who I think would be upgrades at 3C

    @Miro – I basically agree with your take on needing a #1 D although not sure that’s possible – who is gonna trade one – I don’t think Seth Jones is realistic but would love to have him

    The best Stan might be able to do is Gardiner (if his back issues aren’t chronic) or Myers or Stralman – if Gardiner is healthy I think Colliton could really get the most out of him and he’s in his prime

    I suppose Karlsson is in the conversation as well

    It’ll be very interesting to see what transpires – Stan impeding his presser that the Hawks will be active with UFA signings than they have been previously – that’s good news

  • April 7, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    *Stan implied at his presser

  • April 7, 2019 at 10:52 pm


    *more active

  • April 7, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    CBL never won a playoff series, so their crazy GM decided to trade nearly all of their picks for rentals. They almost didn’t make the playoffs, which saved his job for now. If they don’t take TBL to at least six games, he will still probably be out of a job. And their four blue chip UFAs will be hitting the July 1 market.

  • April 7, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    Make that CBJ. They wish they were the Lightening.

  • April 8, 2019 at 12:59 am

    Bowman quote: “Sikura was playing some great hockey” – Wow….Car salesman of the year as ususal.
    “I love his game” – Wow….this is why Stan Bowman needs to go. He is dillusional!
    No clue what he is talking about when he mentions his NCAA pet Sikura. NO GOALS!!!
    Not once did he talk about improving drastically his bottom six.
    “Domenic Kahun played great… Had impressive numbers” – This is the Bowman hype when he falls in love with his arrogant little free agent discoveries from German league, Czech league etc…. Why don’t start drafting real depth forward prospects from CHL instead of fishing for gold in European leagues and NCAA 23 and over college free agents!!! IDIOT….

  • April 8, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Hey Stan, you need a roster filled with talent to make the playoffs. Get real. The vets saved your ass. So stop with the Kahun, Sikura rhetoric, you need top players to have a real impact especially your bottom 6. Stop watching Rockford, nothing there! Watch the Caps, Vegas, San Jose, Bolts, Bruins, etc… look at their bottom six. And, Cagg is nice player, better than Sikura and Kahun but he needs to be on a 3rd line or 4th line which means we need an upgrade on the first line as well.

  • April 8, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Just remember Hull that all GM’s have many hats and one is political, yes the sell job. He needs to encourage and even if it’s for future trade value isn’t going to be totally honest with all assessments. His lively hood, as are all GM-coaching jobs are on the line and short term.
    They have underutilized the CHL, compared to the league average, and that may change-but the league is becoming much more diverse and you get what your team feels will help, whether from Ontario or Yakutsk.

    And it wasn’t just the vets that saved this year-it was the emergence of a few of the young guys, including two in trades that Bowman was part of.

  • April 8, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Wonder if Q factors in on Panarins decision of where to sign now.

  • April 8, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Q & Tallon reunited…..

    Can we bamboozle them into taking #2 #7 & AA…..?

    Fla. is a nice destination for those nearing retirement….

  • April 8, 2019 at 9:08 am

    @Joey – good thought about 2 or 7 maybe wanting to re-unite with Uncle Dale

    Something to watch for

  • April 8, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Hawks don’t need to try to find ways to trade future assets.
    The only way I am moving this years first pick is to move up in the first round.
    Even thinking of Moving Boqvist to me sounds really dumb.
    To combine our first pick and Boqvist all I can say is I am so glad that you are not the GM.
    The biggest defensive improvement the Hawks could have for next year is if the forwards would actually decided to make a commitment to playing some defence.
    Breaking personal offensive records looks great on paper. If all of the forwards including the record breakers would be more concerned about playing some defence I’m sure our defenceman would look a whole lot better.
    Team defence…
    The Hawks have more problems than just the defencemen that we currently have.

  • April 8, 2019 at 10:30 am

    True, the political rhetoric speech that Bowman says at the end of the season is just that, political encouragement for the fans and beat writers. But, those vets are pros and they have produced for the last decade anyway. He needs to acknowledge or the writers should bring up the fact that the last two seasons his free agent signings have been terrible along with his drafting of forward depth. As a GM, why can’t he say “I must be better”.
    He always hides behind the cap rhetoric as well, “:We’ve never been in this position before” – Really??? That’s why he spent so much money on Rutta, Ward, Kunitz, Manning, and Kruger last season? How much did that cost? Instead, he could have signed a real winger like Perron or Neil. Or the pro scouts need to do a better job.
    You cannot ask the vets for anything more in fact, 88 & 19 had career seasons which saved face for JC and Bowman. And we still did not make the playoffs.
    We had an exciting 2-3 months especially watching #88 do his thing but we are still a full bottom 6 roster away from the NHL playoffs. And 2-3 real NHL dmen that can help 2, 7, 56!
    20, 88, 10, 2, 7 , 50 but especially 88 carried this team on his back for two months and got them in the playoff scenario for awhile. It was fun to watch Kane!!! And when 88 carries a team on his back, everyone’s stats goes up. #56 and #12 had great seasons as well especially on the PP. Strome should thank him also.
    The Cat did his amazing thing with Strome riding his 41 goals. Perlini (still did not like JC’s treatment of #11 after being on a roll for 2 weeks, and preferring Bowman’s pet Sikura), is the type of player we need to invest time because he has some upside with his size, speed and shot.
    And by the way, maybe Hartman’s 26 points this season is a not great but it’s still more than Edjsell, Kampf, Kruger, Sikura and Kunitz combined. And he brings an edge with his speed and toughness. Hayden can’t skate and his IQ is non existent. So, there is a lot more work to do and where will or how will Bowman fill his bottom 6 will be the answer for next season. The only trade bait he has is AA and Connor Murphy.
    He needs to keep 88, 19, 20, 12, 17, 11, 91. Maybe 64 becomes a 4th line centre on the PK but he was just as horrible as everyone else on the PK. But the rest need to go; 95, 14, 40, 16, 24.
    Let’s see who he signs as a free agent. BTW, I hope JC and Bowman watch the playoffs to get an idea of what a full roster looks like in the NHL.
    Wishing COACH Q good luck in Florida especailly when Panarin and Bobrovsky join him next season.
    It was fun!

  • April 8, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Tab- great job all year- and it was a tough year to try and be both candid and positive!
    Congrats “Q”- grey coaches land on their feet and make a difference!
    Here’s to all the machinations- getting to the other side with a team that is competitive game in and game out as well as fun to watch! About 10 changes will do that …. but rest up this summer and enjoy the long break boys- all of us want to see a really SHORT summer for you next year.

  • April 8, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Thanks Tab for one of the best blogs. Good job, party more often if not already.

  • April 8, 2019 at 11:34 am

    The league should start add subtracting salary based on team and teams fans class.

  • April 8, 2019 at 11:36 am

    @Stape, I appreciate your opinion about not wanting to move Boqvist or the 12th pick. I ask if there is there any way you can express your opinion to disagree with what my thoughts are without calling me dumb? I’m not sure why it is necessary to denigrate another person’s opinion by making it personal. I don’t recall ever resorting to name calling on this forum, even when I disagree with a thought so I am not sure why you feel it necessary to do the same.

    My opinion is that by the time Boqvist becomes a good, productive player in the NHL,Kane and Toews will no longer be productive or will be at the very end of their productivity. So my thinking is that, if we can get an all star caliber player now while Kane and Toews are still performing at an all star level, we can maximize the chances of another Cup run. So, my guess is that you disagree with the notion that trading Boqvist is to costly to bring in a guy like Seth Jones. Ok, that is a perfectly legitimate perspective and you may be right.

    Is it necessary to call me stupid to make your point? I can’t hear what you are trying to say, if you have to call me names to make your point.

    To your point, I agree that the overall team defense needs to improve, however I disagree when you state that the biggest defensive improvement does not happen along the blue line. Collectively, this is the least talented top four group of defenseman this team has had since the 2010 Cup. Keith and Seabrook are a shell of their former selves and collectively are no longer a top defensive pair (though Keith may yet be, how much longer will that be true as he is already 35 years old?) Murphy and Gustafson are a notch below Hammer/Oduya/Campbell were as the second pair. And no one is close to Leddy as the fifth defenseman. If you disagree with this, cool, tell me why.

    If the blue line doesn’t get more talent soon, it will never be a playoff caliber team. I personally think the four horseman will not be NHL ready soon enough. If you disagree, cool, tell me why, but please don’t resort to name calling. Your mother raised you better than that, no?

  • April 8, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Based on knowledge to.

    Maybe have a season ticket holder survey and base on % salary cap is higher or lower based on paying team fans/memebers.

    Refs should take survey of rules and regulations to.

  • April 8, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Agree with Stape. No way should we offer up Boqvist, last year’s 8th pick, with our 12th pick. Boq probably needs a year to develop as a defender before being brought up. Has Paul Coffey-like talent. Don’t touch Beaudin either. Is looking like a nice upgrade from Hartman.

    Have criticized Bowman’s mishandling of the Hayes pick and his excessive rental trades in 2015 and 2016, which depleted our prospect pool. But since then, he has drafted well and made mostly good trades, while freeing up cap space. Am withholding judgement until this summer.

    Trading AA for a 3rd rounder or decent prospect would free up valuable cap space. Try to sign Hayes, Nelson, or someone with speed and strength.

  • April 8, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Agree with Miro that our blue line is the least talented since 2010 (and earlier). We’ll have Joki next season but nearly all of the others in our pipeline are at least a year away. Unfortunately, all of the deficiencies cannot be solved in just one year. Sign or trade for a top 4 and hope that one of our prospects can be brought up the second half of the season. Salary cap also needs to be used for a G and one or two FW.

    It is possible that good moves can accelerate the rebuild going into next year, but will more likely take two seasons.

  • April 8, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Miro i see what you mean by the, “a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush” philosphy, especially considering the age of some the players who are still expected to play key roles. With Boqvist style and concussion history, Jones may very well have alot more hockey left in him and exactly the kind that is lacking. I think if Columbus were willing to part with him, may be worth it.

  • April 8, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    If you wait 2 or 3 seasons for the young defencemen to mature, is the team deeper and stronger if 50, 2 19 and 88 are unable to carry the load they did this year. Or are there others holes to be filled that are tougher to fill than making a move like Miro suggests now.

  • April 8, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Question, is Dzingel as true left or right wing? I understand that he can play all three forward positions. If he is a true right wing that can/will back check, he would be someone to be interested in.
    I have seen several roster sites that list Dcat as a right wing. Which is it right or left wing. The Hawks seem to be full on the left side. The right side appears to be weak. I would not count on CC pulling 30 games. Wards numbers were about the same, as CC’s and he had to go through the whole season. They will be lucky if one of the 4 D men is truly NHL talent and they will need a goalie to go with.
    With Q reunited with Tallon, it is a good guess that Breadman and the goalie are going there. It would not surprise me if Tallon would take Sebs. IF Keith and a lot of cap was thrown in.
    I also agree that I do not think any of the D men so called 4 horsemen will be ready in time for 88 & 19.
    I agree that the forwards need to back check, 40 SOG is not ALL on the D men.

  • April 8, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    I agree with the general sentiment of trading some future assets to get players now who can possibly contribute to a 4th Cup run

    If Boqvist could get you Jones I would think very hard on that and probably do it

    I don’t think however that CBL would trade Jones (why would they? even if they go total rebuild they would still need players like Jones)

    But the idea that Boquist, Mitchell, Beaudin or even Joki could bring back someone who is going to be an impact player while T and K are still in their prime is a good one IMO

    All 4 of those D are not gonna fit on the Hawks blue line anyway before T and K are past their best years and they’re probably all too much alike as players as well

    We all seem to agree on the need to get a good to really good D man for next year – there’s going to be a decent amount of term that comes with the contract of whatever player that is

    You add Joki to the mix along with 2,7,5 and 56 and there are your top 6 for next year

    When are where do the other 3 prospects fit in, even into the 2 years reasonably left for the Hawks to maximize T and K, especially if they re-sign Gus to an extension?

    Now maybe Gus or Murphy gets traded or even 2 or 7 agree to waive their NMC to join Q in FLA but the point is trading any of the 4 horsemen should be on the table, all depending on the return of course

  • April 8, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    After reading comments about trading Boq or any of the other 4 horsemen for an impact player, all of you make excellent points. Had forgotten about Boq’s concussion history (why did Bowman pick him?). I doubt that Columbus parts with Jones for Boq straight up. Hawks should also consider trading a D prospect for a mid-six FW or C. May be worth throwing in a pick or player.

    Urgent to become a SERIOUS contender in two years for 19 and 88.

    The only ones who should not be on the table are 19, 88, 12, 20, 17, and 28 (he’ll be ready to go in October).

  • April 8, 2019 at 4:25 pm


    Good list – I’m wondering if 50 should be on that list – if not who’s gonna backstop a potential Hawks run at the Cup in the next 2 years if not Crawdaddy?

  • April 8, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Wrap, I didn’t include 50 because he is not trade bait because of his injuries and when healthy, he is great. In my post on 4/7 at 12:30 pm I mentioned our goalie situation. I have learned a lot from your very thoughtful posts.

  • April 8, 2019 at 6:37 pm


    since then, he has drafted well and made mostly good trades, while freeing up cap space. Am withholding judgement until this summer.

    Trading AA for a 3rd rounder or decent prospect would free up valuable cap space. Try to sign Hayes, Nelson, or someone with speed and strength.

    Yes Yes.

  • April 8, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    Ian, I think 19 88 wont need to have, as high of, stats like this yr to win and I am not expecting them to. With a deep roster there should be more balance with rolling 4 good lines and they can still be very good player until 40, at least 30-35. Its tuff but I think Bowman and crew picked the time when we traded Hammer/Hoss thing. That was the point, from there its been all tank ufas and drafting very good and top 10 picks quality draft players.

    So we sort of have no choice but to follow it though the same way, reload better, taking longer to do, and getting better and more better players by having top 10 players and two free 30-40 pick players with the two transition we just had and now are over. Were moving into the 2 yrs of getting NHL ready and then established to have a stout deep roster. 19 88 be very good, not 44 goals good but 30/35 goals good and that got to work/be fine.

  • April 8, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    @Miroslav, Not my intention to try to put anyone down. Sorry if it looked that way. That is why I said to me it was a dumb idea. Lots of fans with different opinions.

    I totally disagree with selling the future for a pipe dream of winning the cup in the next couple of years before Kane and Toews start to decline.

    If Boqvist should be traded because of concussions does that mean the Hawks should be looking to trade Toews right now before he gets his next concussion?

    What will the Hawks look like in 3 years if the dump there top prospects for the win now at all cost mantality?

    With any luck Boqvist could turn out to be a star who is better than a Seth Jones
    with a much better price tag for at least the next 3 years.

    This is starting to remind me of getting rid of Nick Leddy.
    You know the guy that could have been a Blackhawk for 10 years.

  • April 8, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Stape, you and Miro both makes good points. What we are debating here is the element of time before 19 and 88 start to decline. The Hawks should not wait 3-4 years. Boq is at least a year away (needs work on D). Perlini was a #12 pick and KK was #10, both not the caliber of their high selections. Most agree that getting a top 4 who is solid in the D zone is a must. We need a top 2 (e.g. Jones) but the price would be more than just Boq.

    I think management’s time horizon for a deep run should be two years. With so many needs, this means they would have to part with one or two of our best prospects and a higher round pick or two. This is in addition to a couple of UFA signings and smart trades.

  • April 8, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    In 2 yrs, the amount of yrs I guessed last summer/training camp it would take to be top 5 again/roster wise, who do we have.

    The Four Horsemen are established and 1 yr green but very good.
    We add a top 4 this summer.
    56 here, one of horsemen is the 7th?

    Top 10 quality draft player this ur is NHL ready in 2 yrs.
    Need that Nelson guy.
    Need nasty fast defensive FW, a couple of them.

    Plus we ll have deadline adds in 2 yrs and on.

    Thats a lot but not really that much.
    Think it happens.

  • April 8, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    @Original6hawky Boqvist has 8 goals and 2 assists in 7 games in the playoffs for London the kid looks like a stud. I for one will be a Hawks fan for the rest of my life and I would like to be able to hope for a bright future

    What have the Hawks done in the last 3 years to make you think that they will make the playoffs next year let alone the cup.

    Do you really think that Chicago will finish ahead of even a team like the Colorado in the next couple of years? Colorado have a younger nucleus with a top 4 pick in this draft and the top prospect not in thr NHL Cale Maker.

    Lots of teams in way better spot that the Hawks to win the cup in the next few years.

    Is Corey Crawford going to get through the regular season let alone the playoffs?
    Let me guess Crawford is good to go from start to finish.
    Seabrook and Keith keep getting better with age.
    Towes and Kane play huge minutes for 82 games and then 16 in the playoffs.
    Hawks will sign Panarin
    Saad will outscore Panarin
    Might be time to be a little realistic the Blackhawks of a few years ago are long gone.

  • April 8, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    For the first time, in 2 yrs, we had an above .500 record in 1st or 2nd halfs. Much better then, then better then .500, we were 26-15.

    And we did it without a full roster.

    Not saying we go 52-30 next yr, no one in division was better then 15-17 over .500, it by far the hardest division/no shit teams.

    We do not have to finish ahead of COL to make playoff, next yr. I do not see DAL or MIN getting better, maybe same. We won cup as a 3 seed in 15. If we make playoffs next yr, before were a top team again in a couple yrs, we have to be ahead of DAL and MIN, not necessarily COL. COL might be 1 seed every yr for the few coming yrs?

    5 seed prob play CAL or SJ next couple yrs anyways, that division has easier sch.

    Bottom line is we need a deep roster and wont have that for 2 yrs.

  • April 8, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Dzingel can be a great fit for Kane and Toews on left wing. Perlini needs to stay with Dcat and Strome to provide speed and grit on that line. Then Saad needs players to play with, thus the roster upfront is very thin especially if they trade AA. Unless you keep him after signing Dzingel and then add Cagg to that 3rd line with Saad and AA.
    The 4th line needs to better especially production wise as well. Many 4th lines on the top ten teams can score, skate and hit. Cagg would be a perfect fit for the 4th line, a winger who can occasionally move up. Therefore, that 3rd line needs to be solid. Saad, AA (if not traded, but better if he is ) and a Mark Stone type young player with size and speed. Maybe Mackenzie Entwhistle?
    There is no room for Sikura and Kahun on this roster so maybe someone can believe the Bowman hype and trade with the Hawks for those players and give us something in return.

    Draft a real goalie prospect for the future
    Draft a wingers
    Sign free agent NHL calibre players under the age of 27!!!

    If Florida lands Panarin and Bobrovsky, Coach Q will have a huge smile on his face because they have some talented forwards.

  • April 8, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Stape so you believe the pipe dream that its better to waste the final years of 19 and 88. Then all these prospects and upcoming draft picks will become future hall of famers who will peak together, take paycuts to stay together and be an even greater dynasty. I was a fan waiting almost 50 years for that to happen once, i am under no delusion that its likely to happen again that way in a few years. Sell off every one of them, no of course not, but you have give something to try to give yourself a chance, too sometimes.

  • April 8, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    @Stape – you may be right but as long as T and K are playing at a high level the Hawks IMO should be thinking about going for the Cup even if they fall short and COL or whoever else passes them by

    T and K would have it no other way and frankly either would I – I’ll take more years of suckage post T and K (if that’s what happens) to try and maximize the championships while they’re still here and productive

    Otherwise you might as well trade them while their value is high and start the total re-build

    Managing to stay competitive in 5 years right now when T and K still have good years left is not for me – sorry – I guess we can agree to disagree on this point

  • April 8, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    Agree with Ian and Wrap. Management will hopefully move on a faster track to fill several holes with established players and ready prospects. Probably means parting with a couple of prospects and a couple of high picks. Not a lot of time left to give T and K a couple more shots at the Cup. Major moves need to be made within the next year or so. Can’t depend on developing mainly from within.

    Will likely not see generational players like T and K come up together and anchor a dynasty. I think the organization will have lots of regrets if they are too cautious until it becomes too late. I know the fans will.

  • April 8, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    Re prospects. Unfortunately the Hawks are not 1 or 2 players away from serious contention. No need to mortgage the future till we get closer. If a deal becomes available and it will get the Hawks over the hump, they should do it before T &K retire. Unfortunately we have a ways to go. I am in favor of staying the course, building assets and making smart acquisitions. We need more defensively responsible forwards with some grit, a couple of dmen and a goalie. The goal this off season should be to find 4 of the above either in the market or the system. Next year trade from our areas of strength.

  • April 9, 2019 at 2:50 am

    My issue with Boqvist isn’t that I don’t think he will be a special player, it’s that I don’t think he will be special soon enough to matter for the current Hawks core.

    And if the Hawks keep finishing close to making the playoffs, they won’t be drafting high enough to draft the cores replacements. I don’t see a future #1 center drafted with the Hawks 12th pick this year…

  • April 9, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Thats where I would be ok with one of the Four Horsemen for a 1st line center. Seth Jones for Johanson.

  • April 9, 2019 at 5:41 am

    In order for that we have to get top 3 D guy this draft/trade/summer.

  • April 9, 2019 at 7:51 am

    As special as Boqvist is offensively, the Oilers have the player with the total package-Bouchard-18 points so far with skill and size and leads the powerplay and kills penalties (and he can skate). I think if you asked the Hawks brain trust again they would pick Bouchard.
    That said you have to see how Boqvist translates into the NHL-he’s that gifted. But one of the four may have to be traded at some point.

  • April 9, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Give Lemieux a 4yr 3 mil or 3.9 mil to be exact and you have your Shaw back. Forsling and Dahlstrom plus a late pick for Manson. Gus Murphy and Manson would be a good mix with the Horsemen for the future.
    Ana, LA and Edm Buf need to make drastic moves. If Dunc or/and Seabs find a way to F L A we could eat some salary and get a pick or player for half or all of their bad contracts. Brown Carter Lucic Perry. BIG IF HERE! IF any player coming back disrupts chemistry then it’s a BIG NO! You ask T and K and other leaders about character.

  • April 9, 2019 at 8:39 am

    With Ekblad and Matheson under contract long term, an expansion draft coming and Yandle with a no move clause requiring protection, Florida acquiring 2 aging defensemen who require protection seems doubtful. Tallon got burned bad on Vegas draft and not likely to make that mistake again.
    Miro i’m not down on Boqvist either, think he is a heck of a player, just meant saying a him for Jones is selling the future is not that cut and dried.
    Agree with Noonan though if you watched London play this year, Bouchard has been their clear no.1 defenseman this year as impressive as Boqvist has been.

  • April 9, 2019 at 9:38 am

    The magic ping pong balls are selected at 7:00 tonight. The odds the Hawks fortunes are transformed by the 2019 draft are pretty slim but we’ll know in less than 10 hours.

    The tenor of the off season changes if the Hawks ping pong ball gets selected into one of the first two spots giving the Hawks a NHL ready stud player on an ELC for the next 3 seasons. Having ELC players contribute significantly is a near necessity for team success in the salary cap era. Those types of players can and have been found in the mid and late 1st round but they’re usually not ready to play in their D+1 or maybe not even D+2 years.

    The Hawks have the T&K window to consider. If the magic ping pong balls don’t move the Hawks into the top-3, I would strongly consider trading the pick for something that is of more immediate help toward maximizing the remaining elite years of T&K.

  • April 9, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Ian, we can’t lose sight of the fact that Bouchard is almost a full year older than Boqvist (Oct-99 vs Aug-00) and has played in London/OHL for 4 years versus Boqvist first season this year. Add to that the new playing style on the smaller ice rink and living away from home in a new country/culture and it’s not surprising Bouchard played a more prominent role for London this season. That said, Boqvist held his own very well and outscored Bouchard for the season. Bouchard is the leading scorer in the playoffs with 4 goals and 18 points but Boqvist has the most goals with 8.

    I liked Bouchard all season last year and would have been happy if the Hawks got him in the draft but I’m even happier the Hawks got Boqvist because I think he has a higher upside than Bouchard and nothing that happened this season makes me think otherwise.

  • April 9, 2019 at 10:09 am

    @Noonan I have watched the London Knights play approximately twenty games this year.
    Evan Bouchard is in his fourth year with London he is on the first line power play and first line penalty kill. He no doubt gets more ice time than any player on London. Bouchard also has size and a very hard shot.
    His lack of skating mobility and overall lack of NHL speed will hold him back in my opinion.
    Did you see Bouchard while playing for team Canada at the world jrs?
    Looked very ordinary to me.

    Boqvist is in his first year in the Ontario hockey league and is almost a year younger than Bouchard.
    If Boqvist Plays for London next year he will definitely be London’s go to guy from the defence next year. He will be a scoring machine from the defence.
    Boqvist is a work in progress in the defensive zone and sees very limited ice time on the penalty kill.
    Boqvist has great mobility and a really good skater a puck moving defenceman with
    off the chart offensive abilities.
    Chicago thinks Boqvist has a huge upside and I think if you asked the Hawks brain trust now Boqvist without doubt would be picked ahead of Evan Bouchard.

  • April 9, 2019 at 10:15 am

    @Ebony I didn’t see your post. Does it look like we are on the same page with Boqvist?

  • April 9, 2019 at 10:25 am

    ER – spot on with my thinking. I’ve been saying all along that an 8-12 drafted player isn’t gonna help our needs quickly enough. We need to maximize that pick for NOW, not 4 years out. The best way to do that is to trade him up into the top 7 (likely 4 or 5 because of price) to grab something we can use NOW, like a right-handed forward who plays enough 2-way to tolerate a year of learning OTJ, but is a scorer. We need some balance in our offense. Defensive help isn’t in the draft – it is our future potential (emphasis on potential) strength. We need to find a dance partner that likes our pick and a player of ours to fill a current need for us (top pick or player). I’ll take a young player who fits that mold too, but they don’t get let go very often by GMs. That’s why Schmaltz for Strome worked for us, and Perlini could make that trade a huge win.

    Colorado is in a considerably strong position going forward with their system and this year’s draft. It may be best if they drop down a couple of spots and we can get with them to work something out, or pick at their farm. They may not want to help in division though.

    Let’s see what the 3-7 positions hold in the draft, and what is in the system of those teams. I think that is where we likely can fix one problem, but at a cost.

    I also am in the camp of don’t move Anisimov for cap space and picks. He needs to bring back an asset or be part of the move to the top of this draft if we part with him. Face it – he is a serviceable center who can be C3 with Saad and Caggiula, and form a line that can be responsible defensively and yet add some scoring. But that requires filling the 1LW position via FA or draft. This also keeps Toews in a more offensive posture and allows some more longevity for him. We can’t have our top line be our checking line anymore. Moving AA creates a hole we would only have to fill again. I don’t see a comparable player in our system.

    Sikura had a chance. He doesn’t appear ready to get to where we need him soon enough. Cut bait and fix the holes. We need Perlini to be a 2RW with Dcat and Strome, or find a FA/draft NOW to do it. Kane needs to be 1RW.

    If we throw Saad as 1LW, he fits well up there with those guys. But we need to have a defensive line too. Moving him up makes another hole to fill. There are no other forwards on the team that can score and be defensively responsible at his level. May be better served on 3rd line, or cut him loose and tell him to go score 35 next year.

    Camp MUST be about 3 things: Forwards backchecking – and that means ALL OF THEM, forwards helping get the puck out of the defensive zone – not turning it over (Dcat by far the worst), and calming down our Dmen (maturation process is happening).

    Bowman MUST supply a top pair or strong D3 player. Assuming Joki is that guy is one of the most foolish things we can do at this point. If he turns into the star many here feel he will be, then let him be it on the 2nd pair next year. That will be tough enough for him. Murphy can pass as a top pair if needed (no, I am not saying he is top pair player). Keith can do it in spot duty depending on the game and opponent, but certainly not every day all game long. Overloading Joki with too much responsibility hurts the team and hurts Joki. Finally this year we stopped pushing 19 and 20 year old kids into top pair minutes. And the defense started to settle down.

    And for the love of hockey – get Seabrook and Keith off the PP2 unit. That unit is no more than a checking line right now. We need some offensive talent and creativity for their 15 seconds of PP time (that was sarcasm). This unit epitomizes the lack of depth on the team. I get why 2 and 7 are there, but we need to get serious about a PP2 unit.

  • April 9, 2019 at 10:27 am

    @Stape – Yep. Boqvist has a very quick and accurate wrist shot where he can hit the spot the goalie is exposing. I’m not sure his slapper from the blue line is better than average and it certainly isn’t better than Bouchard’s slapper but Boqvist has the skating agility to make subtle little adjusts where he can get in closer to use that wrister of his. Very impressive and as much as I’m against converting him to forward I could see him being a pretty good winger too.

  • April 9, 2019 at 10:44 am

    @SS, I agree with pretty much everything you said except for Sikura. I thought Sikura showed very well with the exception of putting the puck in the net. Before I watched Sikura play over the past month or so I thought he needed to be in an offensive role in the top-9, if not the top-6, to find his niche in the NHL. He changed my mind on that. I thought he was one of the best defensive forwards the Hawks had and the more comfortable he got the more consistent his 200′ game was seen. He’s not a prototypical 4th line guy because he’s not a “banger” but I think he would make a very good 4th liner because he’s so good at puck hunting and disrupting the opponents passes/plays. I still think his scoring will come and he could play very well in the top-9 but if not he would make an effective 4th liner.

    Regarding 2 & 7 on the PP – as you put it – “for the love of hockey” make it stop. There are few things I find more aggravating than watching Keith decide to be the guy taking the shot on the PP … year after year. If nothing else, Colliton has earned my respect for taking Keith off PP#1. Seabrook has a good shot but they can’t use him in a 4+1 format because he can’t skate back quick enough but Joki or Forsling should be the 4+1 d-man on PP#2 next season and tell Keith to focus on 5v5 and PK, both of which is still very good at. Seabrook … well …

  • April 9, 2019 at 11:05 am

    I can agree that Sikura picked up his back checking, positional play and was noticeable at times. I forgot that. Good point. We are going to still need a few filler spots with kid players, and I can see what you are saying about his potential role next year. I just don’t think you start the season with him on the top 2 lines. The top six has to be set with guys that 90% of this board are going to say belong in those roles, not “fix” players like Caggiula – and I love what he did on the first line. He’s the guy you shake the lines up and throw on top line when play gets stale, not full time. We need a top six of talent now players next year, not players we are hoping develop into top six scorers. We have a wing on each top line to fix/fill. Saad may be a piece, or we may need to get 2 wings. I still think Kampf develops more touch and better hands, and becomes a 3C for a checking/light scoring line when we shed AA the following year. Perlini is a wild card – a potential big deal. Or not. We all saw that, and so did he.

    Next year shows us where we will be in the 20-21 season, and all of the spots need to be solid. This was a development year. We got a Gus, a more solid Murphy and a good long look at some other kid Dmen. The board may not agree on Forsling, Koekkoek, Dahlstrom and Joki, but the year wasn’t a waste for management in that respect.

    We need to be ready to compete and be heard by the end of next season.

  • April 9, 2019 at 11:28 am

    It is fool’s gold to think that a pick in the draft is going to step right in and produce as a top line guy. Same for Joki becoming a top pair guy next year. Development takes time and there are very few exceptions where guys at 18, 19 or 20 play like veterans at this level. Our improvement will have to come from internal growth (see Gus, Strome, Perlini, Dcat) and the addition of a few experienced free agents – at least one on defense and a couple of forwards. Further there is no chance in my view that Mitchell, Krys, Beaudin and Boquist will ever play together since they are similar smallish puck moving d-men. At least two of these four will become trade capital to hopefully acquire forwards that will fill some of the gaping holes we currently have. Regarding Boquist, I haven’t seen Bouchard play but I will say that the skill that Boquist showed at the World Juniors was off the charts. I don’t know if he will become a star but I believe his upside is extremely high, particularly if his frame can support 180+ pounds. Lastly there has been very little discussion regarding the Dennis Gilbert call up. I must say I was a bit surprised to hear JC say that Gilbert has been the top d-man in Rockford for several months. I was not very high on him after a weak NCAA tournament last year and I believe a rough start in Rockford. I thought he looked decent in the game he played and it would be great if he could become a #6 guy given his size and toughness. Would love to hear from others what they know about Gilbert’s development this year and what the organization thinks about him.

  • April 9, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    Stape respectfully disagree about the skating ability part-I to have seen games both in person and on TV-
    is Boqvist a better skater. Without a doubt, it’s his top skill. He’s elite in that area, but Bouchard is not slow and has the edges, power to play well in the NHL. He does not lack mobility. (the last game verified that) His pure speed is OK. Yes Bouchard is about 10 months older and that helps his progress. But Adam will never be 6’3 and end up about 205/210.

    What Chicago needs is another young Seabrook type player-shoot, character, strength and leadership. The difference is Bouchard will always be a better skater than #7.

  • April 9, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    EB not sure what you mean by losing sight, i said Boqvist had an impressive year and gave Bouchard credit a big year , not building a case for one or other. Time will show that in a few years.
    Bouchard is a big dominant type who plays all situations very well, skating shouldn’t be an achilles heel for him.
    Boqvist is all skill and will go as far it takes him. Another year with Hunter and others should help him get alot out of it.
    Expecting him to be a generational type talent at this point is premature and not really fair to him, though.

  • April 9, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Ian, maybe I misunderstood but it seemed like there was a comparison between Bouchard and Boqvist with Bouchard coming out on top of that comparison. My point was a comparison was unfair because of the things I listed. It wasn’t to put Bouchard down of to claim Boqvist is a better d-man than Bouchard – but rather to say that Bouchard should be a better d-man than Boqvist at this time given the experience advantage he has over Boqvist.

    I would have been fine with any of the 4 d-men selected after Sandin – Hughes, Boqvist, Bouchard and Dobson as I think all of them will have good NHL careers, but my order of preference is exactly the way it turned out with Hughes first and Boqvist second.

  • April 9, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    ER, good point on BoQ being 17 at draft. he really is a top 3 type of pick in the 2019 draft, essentially.

    Bouchard is more balanced D guy but he might not score in NHL, where BoQ is that high end of OFF for a D guy, he will. Size is a thing, some what.

    Who ever we get for a D guy thats in prime yrs/age wise this draft/trade/summer is most likely a Defensive Defensemen. So we wont know until this summers moves and the moves from 2020 summer, if BoQ might be part of a trade where we get an established 1st line center with size. Might be one of the others to.

  • April 9, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Ready posts as I post, so might already been said.

    Silent, I think the thought there is trading 15 for cap space to use to get Nelson for free and gain assets/move up draft. Nelson is faster and just as good of a player.

  • April 9, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Both Mo and I have been making the point of trading 15 to free up cap space to sign a Nelson or some other upgrade. The Hawks are 2-3 years away from being a serious contender and 15 will be that much slower.

    Next year should be about putting the partial rebuild on a faster track for T & K. This means trading a couple of higher round picks this year and next and one or two prospects for established players.

    Mo and I also agree that the next d-man acquisition will likely be one who more of a stay-at-home-defensive-type.

    Regarding Boq, I stated in my April 8, 7:47 pm post that he needs to work on D and is at least a year away. Stape is saying the same thing. All of our D prospects are equivalent of small hot rods. Outstanding skaters but no brawn. Apparently, Bowman prefers skating ability over size and strength. There needs to be a balance, such as a Bouchard, but we don’t have it. I expect one of our hot rods to be traded at the draft or during the summer.

  • April 9, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Thinking everyone here on same page and most details exactly for the most part. Like the respect people are using here to each other.

    This is the most exciting build up talking about this stuff, from now to draft/summer ufas and trades, because for the first time in 2-3 yrs were going to load the roster again with ufas and trades adds.

    Were finally over the two transition yrs. Now were going to add good players again and people will say werrre back. Even though we ll be deeper and much better in 21 then 20.

  • April 9, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Yeah Bayybayyyyyyyyy.

  • April 9, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    April 4, 2019 at 11:41 pm
    I am going with that we are going to get the lottery pick and get 2nd or 3rd pick.

  • April 9, 2019 at 7:53 pm


  • April 9, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    Never tell me the odds.

  • April 9, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Third pick!

  • April 9, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Jordy I posted that at the same time you did, to be funny.

    Han Solo.

    It wasnt against you.

  • April 9, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    Maybe someone can explain this to me. As soon as Minnesota dropped down, the commentator said that means that Chicago moves in to the top three. How does that work?

  • April 9, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Third coming into this evening was a dream. To receive third after knowing you are in the top three is a bit of a letdown but that is life. Third pick should surely be a key contributor in the next two years. As I recall the Captain was a #3 pick.

  • April 9, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    I thought if the teams go in order no one moved up.

    So I switched where I was sitting and stood in a different spot, after the first 3 team cards. Then when watching the guy flip the cards and seeing the number 12 I was thinking to see a Blackhawks symbol and the guy then says …. with the 12 th pick MIN…………. I look at Bowman and he takes a second then grins with a holy shit the dynasty will be added to.

    Only part that sucked was then thinking could get 2nd for one of those two guys. I was yelling and scaring the neighbors the whole commercials.

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