Blackhawks Trade Target: Jason Spezza


The Ottawa Senators are in the process of finalizing a divorce with one of the central figures in their franchise over the last decade. Spezza has given Ottawa a list of teams he won’t accept a trade to, which leaves the rest of the NHL to decide how his $7M cap hit fits into their situation.

That’s a big number, but Spezza could be the right guy to hold the center spot on Chicago’s second line down until Teuvo Teravainen is ready.

But how would the Hawks fit Spezza into their roster – and under the cap?

Spezza turns 31 today – June 13 – and has one year remaining on a deal with a $7M cap hit. He posted 23 goals and added 43 assists in 75 games last year, but had a career-worst minus-26 rating. Spezza won 56 percent of his faceoffs and finished fourth on the Sens with 47 takeaways; that total would have ranked fifth on the Blackhawks behind Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad and Duncan Keith.

What would the Hawks have to do to make Spezza-to-Chicago a reality?

There are a few layers to any answer to that question, some of which also end with a question mark.

  • Are the Sens willing to retain some of the $7M cap hit?
  • Do the Sens prefer current NHL players, players that might be ready to contribute today, or prospects/picks?
  • How much say do the Sens want in the future contracts of the player(s) they get in return?

These are three significant issues that only the Ottawa front office can answer, but if we turn the calendar back 12 months we can see one significant trade they have made recently.

On July 5th last year, the Sens acquired Bobby Ryan in a blockbuster trade that sent three pieces back to the Anaheim Ducks. The Sens parted ways with Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and their first round pick in the upcoming 2014 Draft to bring on Ryan.

Ryan, then 26, had two years left on a five-year, $25M deal when traded.

When the Ryan trade went down, Silfverberg was a 22-year-old with 48 NHL games on his resume. In his rookie campaign, Silfverberg had 19 points in just over 16 minutes of total ice time per night, of which he averaged 67 seconds of short-handed ice time per game.

Silfverberg was a second round pick in 2009. Noesen was the Sens’ first round pick in 2011. Noesen missed most of the 2013-14 regular season because of injury after scoring 25 goals with 28 assists in 51 games with the Plymouth Whalers during his final OHL season. In four playoff games with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate, Noesen had four assists this spring.

The package Ottawa gave up to acquire Ryan was significant.

What would the Hawks have to give up to (likely) rent Spezza for 12 months?

Yesterday, we presented the case for the Hawks taking a long look at the Rangers’ Brian Boyle in free agency this summer. He would add size to the Hawks’ bottom six and could come at a cheaper price than Marcus Kruger will command next summer, even as a restricted free agent.

If the Hawks were able to land a solid defensive center like Boyle in free agency, would that open their minds to potentially including Kruger in a trade for a player like Spezza?

Ottawa ranked 22nd on penalty kill last season. Kyle Turris did a nice job at the dot while short-handed, as did Zack Smith. But they were on the ice for 17 and 12 power play goals against, respectively, on a team that was short-handed more times (320) than any other team in the NHL.

If the Hawks included Kruger, the rights to a Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin or Kevin Hayes (assuming they would sign) and either another prospect or a pick, would the Sens pull the trigger? Could a player like Dennis Rasmussen come into the picture?

And, if the Sens were willing to eat some of Spezza’s cap hit, how much sweeter would the package become?

There’s another question Ottawa can’t answer: Do the Blackhawks even want Spezza?

Given the future contractual obligations that both Ryan Kesler and Joe Thornton carry, it’s hard to see the Hawks making a significant play for either given the new deals for Toews and Kane will kick in during the 2015-16 season. The fact that Spezza has only one year remaining on his contract is what makes him the most intriguing fit for the Hawks this summer.

However, TSN’s Darren Dreger had a few interesting comments about Spezza earlier this week on TSN 1200.

“In Jason Spezza, general managers look at how he plays,” he said. “Some of them are okay with it because he generates the offence that he does and we’ve seen that kind of high-end ability, but there are others, who are more defensive minded, who can’t stand the tricks and some of the maneuvering and whatnot particularly in the neutral zone and how defensively porous he can be at times… so I think you’ve got a mixed bag here.”

Organizations that aren’t big fans of players who are “defensively porous” and who “can’t stand the tricks and some of the maneuvering” certainly sounds like it would exclude the Hawks from the running for the veteran center… but Stan Bowman traded for Kris Versteeg last year.

The next couple weeks will certainly be interesting to watch.

96 thoughts on “Blackhawks Trade Target: Jason Spezza

  • June 14, 2014 at 6:25 am

    I´m not a fan of trading both Smith and Krueger, let´s keep at liest one of them, from my point of view Smith. Kkueger, Morin + some junior (hayes/dandenault etc.) seems fair for me.
    But now, I´ll wait what will happend in LA and NYR, both Richards can be on the block, maybe even buyout.

  • June 14, 2014 at 7:40 am

    OTT would defiantly retain salary cap hit they have a lot of cap space and its only for one yr.

    (50%) would be 3.5 cap hit.


  • June 14, 2014 at 9:04 am

    The question of Ottawa retaining salary is answered “only if they have to” or “if it gives them the best deal”. There are probably enough suitors for Spezza that they will not have to retain salary. Teams like St.Louis, Nashville and others have the cap space to handle $7M, and what makes Spezza especially attractive to those teams is that his actual salary is only $4M next season. So essentially that get Spezza for 1 year at $4M and have the cap space to absorb the additional $3M off the cap.

    The Hawks are in the opposite position. They are not a team on an internal budget under the cap so they would pay the full $7M but they don’t have the cap space without moving out significant pieces. Kruger and/or Smith and a prospect or two may or may not be the best deal Ottawa can get for Spezza (I think they will get better offers), but I seriously doubt that deal entices Ottawa to retain any of Spezza’s salary, let alone enough of it to make it work with the Hawks salary cap situation.

    To get Spezza, I think one of Leddy/Oduya and one of Sharp/Bickell will need to be traded – no necessarily both players to Ottawa for Spezza, but removed from the Hawks salary cap one way or another.

  • June 14, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I would say no to Spezza

    Boyle would be a better fit… But in my world they keep Kruger- (Tab before you wrote this – I was looking at the Hawks w/ 16/Boyle paired next year)- of course they would have to make room for Him… I really don’t see Kruger’s next contract being expensive- at the end of the day- he can’t finish!!!

    I am still optimistic- on Rasmussen being a significant player next year… AND I am still thinking Hawks move 27- cuz they will get nothing for him in a year (UFA)…

  • June 14, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Not happening at all…Ben Smith is more valuable than Spezza because Ben Smith can excel at both ends of the ice and has WON at every level he has played. Players like Ben Smith and Andrew Shaw are absolutely necessary to win Stanley Cups…you don’t trade players like this.

    As I said last week, while Toews and Kane are here the ONLY goal every season is winning the SC. Last night the Kings won, and that should have been us. EVERYONE in the Hawks organization should feel SICK this morning after pissing away another Cup by f$cking around with has been players on our roster. Bowman is responsible for the Handzus, Bollig and Roszival contracts on our roster. It is up to Bowman to trust in his outstanding prospect system and let them play along side our star players. They have all been taught well and know how to win by being part of this system. We don’t need Jason Spezza, we need solid 2 way players, who can do all the little things well, and know how to win…to that end Boyle makes far more sense than Spezza…but really, we already possess everything we need right here…let Clendening, Dahlbeck, Morin and Nordstrom play and move forward.

  • June 14, 2014 at 9:18 am

    to EbonyRaptor’s point about clearing cap space – the reason I didn’t mention Oduya in a potential deal for Spezza is I do not believe the Senators want/need any of the Hawks’ NHL defensemen. Their blue line is decent, relatively deep and YOUNG. They need to re-stock their forward depth and will likely use a deal of Spezza to try to accomplish that.

  • June 14, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Wall, I agree with your thoughts (as is usually the case)…and I too really feel that we MUST move Oduya while we can. He limped through the BOS series last year, but couldn’t match that level of play this year…he is NOT the right fit in our top 4 anymore. Its time to bring up Dahlbeck and Clendening…Johns is right behind. Stephen was so good for those 3 weeks with the Hogs that it wasn’t even funny…after an intense season of College hockey..the same for Hartman…those 2 impressed BIG time with their AHL debuts. Dahlbeck just finished as close to a “perfect” season that he is capable of in Rockford…there is nothing left for him there…any when you think of Dahlbeck, think of Hammer, but with significantly more strength and a little more speed.

    You know the funny thing is that the best of the bunch coming (DMen) might just be Carl Dahlstrom, our 2nd rounder in Sweden. The kid is ALREADY at full NHL size and strength…going into this past season, his Defensive game was outstanding, but needed to work on his offensive and breakout games…he did this…his skating is VERY good and he is a force in front of his own net. With Dahlstrom, I hope that he comes to Rockford this season, because one year with the Hogs, and he will be ready too. That’s 4 DMen likely ready between now and 2 years. And Svedberg (the nephew of Lurch from the Adam’s Family) actually had a good season in Rockford and has the reach of a city. And as I said to you the other day, with the forwards, besides Morin and Nordstrom being ready now, you have TT, Ross, Danault, and Hartman all ready inside of a year, maybe a year and a half.

  • June 14, 2014 at 9:40 am

    To Brad’s point about forward prospects – the reason Spezza makes more sense than Kesler or Thornton is because he only has one year left on his deal. Adding a veteran for a limited amount of time – see Rasmussen getting 1 year (but club has RFA rights next summer) – affords the organization time to not have to force Teravainen or Danault to the NHL level sooner than they want.

    I think most would agree that Oduya has value to other organizations but is easily replaced internally. I would be surprised if he’s a member of the Blackhawks organization on July 2nd.

  • June 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

    ER, you are right…and with the Marian Gaborik “experiment” a huge success in LA, you can bet the teams you mentioned are going to be willing to look past Spezza’s defensive shortcomings to become that “missing piece” to the puzzle like Gaborik seems to have been for LA…I can definitely see the execs in STL drooling over this possibility.

  • June 14, 2014 at 9:48 am

    To that end Tab, its possible…a 1 year rental player as you said. And if the Hawks were a fluke goal against in OT of game 7 away from repeating as Cup champions, then Spezza would likely put them over the top…as you say, at the end of the day, what would it cost us for this “chance” versus moving forward internally which is how we are structured? The Hawks absolutely KNOW what it takes to win another Cup and how to beat LA. Any changes that we make should address this singular concern…get past LA and the Western Conference…what is needed?

  • June 14, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Great point about LA winning with their 4th line on the ice, and all getting over 15 minutes of playing time. Would the Hawks have been in this same position with our 4th line with Bollig on it? That’s the question Bowman should be asking…because if he’s not capable of duplicating this, then he shouldn’t be on the ice…the bullsh$t about needing an enforcer is such a load of crap in this day and age. The difference between winning and losing in the playoffs is a single goal, good teams can’t afford to have goons that take stupid penalties. That’s why you always dress your best lineup, not your most physical or aggressive…and clearly Q didn’t do this.

  • June 14, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Two questions have to be asked about Spezza. First who are the Hawks moving in order to add him? At 7 million dollars he would be the most expensive Hawks minus the new Toews & Kane deal that will likely be complete in the next month.

    Second what’s cost? To add Spezza its likely a 3 piece deal being a combination of roster player(s) prospect(s) or pick(s). Is Spezza a huge upgrade over Sharp(most likely the roster player)? I don’t think so. If Ottawa is asking for Clendening or TT the answer is no. If the Hawks can move Mark McNeil or a few lower prospects maybe then. But then how do the Hawks make the numbers work?

    Spezza is a nice player but not at that price tag. He’s also an extremely limited player(nice offense, poor defense). I would pass on him unless Ottawa is giving him away and paying him to go away(which is unlikely). There are many more players I would rather the Hawks target instead of Jason Spezza. Here are a few,…

    Evander Kane
    Jumbo Joe
    Jussi Jokinen
    Top 3 draft pick

  • June 14, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    SSHM – Spezza isn’t merely “nice offense” – he is “elite offense”. He is a better offensive player than Sharp. He will make the offense better because he plays center and for whatever reason Sharp no longer plays center. Therefore both of the elite RWs the Hawks have will have an elite center to play with. Kane’s goals and assists will go up more with Spezza then they have playing with Sharp. And while it’s true the Spezza has never been known as a good defensive player – let’s be honest about Sharp’s defensive play, it is not as good as it used to be a few years ago. So the net difference between Spezza’s +offense and Sharp’s +defense probably cancel out so the difference between Spezza’a and Sharp’s cap hit ($1.1M) gives the Hawks an elite 2C for an elite LW. I make the deal that replaces Sharp in the lineup with Spezza, as long as it makes sense with whatever pieces involved (i.e. Saad and TT not part of the dead).

  • June 14, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Sr.Brad, “…needing an enforcer is such a load of crap in this day and age.” — Why does Colorado play Cody McLeod? Dallas – Antoine Roussel? St.Louis – Ryan Reaves? Montreal – Brandon Prust? Anaheim – Patrick Maroon? Nashville – Richard Clune? Vancouver – Tom Sestito? Ottawa = Chris Neal? …and a few others. (…some with a little more skill than Bollig, many not so much)

    My point is that as long as opponents play guys like these, Bollig is good to have around. He was an adequate “12th” forward when he was taking a regular 4th line shift (- that “Roll-four-lines” thing). For various reasons(?), the post season didn’t play-out that way. (“The difference between winning and losing in the playoffs is a single goal, good teams can’t afford to have goons that take stupid penalties.” – I don’t believe Bollig was on the ice often enough to take any game-deciding penalties?) I’ve said previously that in my opinion, if Q wasn’t going to play Bollig he should have dressed/played someone else(, but that’s been covered in different discussions). We completely agree that it’s best to dress/use the players who give you the best chance to win — I’m sure Quenneville went with who he believed gave him the best chance.

  • June 14, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Jussi Jokinen has overpay written all over him. He is a year and a half removed from waivers.

    I do think teams will overlook Spezza’s defensive deficiencies. But the Hawks aren’t one of them. I think Nashville is the perfect fit.

    Let’s envision Spezza’s lined up next to Kane. Scary in the offensive zone. Scary in the defensive zone. I’ll pass.

    If they do trade for a center, the roster player going the other way I would hope is Bickell. He’s a quandary to me. He lit it up last playoffs and was injured for most of the regular season. But he didn’t do a whole lot later in the playoffs this year. With the 2013 playoffs aside, he hasn’t done much to warrant a 4 million dollar cap hit. If Ottawa retains half of Spezza’s salary and takes Bickell plus prospect not named Teuvo, Hartman, and Morin its a deal for me. I think I’d have to swap Hosaa and Kane though. I don’t think I could have a line that boom or bust.

  • June 14, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Tab, both of your last posts make sense. Spezza and Boyle could work in different ways. Both have great faceoff stats. Both are seasoned. And I would buy in to either strategy.

    Spezza would definitely fill that 2c spot for the offense he would bring, but he doesn’t seem to fit the Hawk 2 way mold. He is definitely slack on D. Isn’t that why they moved Pirri? And wasn’t Spezza booed on home ice in the past for turnovers and lack of D hustle? Plus I don’t think Stan would pay the kind of trade ransom for a one way player when Danault and TT are just around the corner. But who knows, Stan is the guy that brought back Zus and Bollig at $3.25M. If Spezza can put more goals in than he lets in, I’m down with it.

    Boyle seems to make a little more GM sense. The way Saad, Shaw, Kane clicked, keeping Shaw at the 2c spot seems to be a good short term play while waiting for Danault and TT. I think Bickell, Kruger, Smith will prove to be a solid 3rd. And dropping an experienced 6’7″ free agent redwood like Boyle between the likes of Morin, Versteeg, Nordstrom, etc. might actually work on the 4th. He PKs fairly well also, unlike Spezza. Then there is always the Stan factor. Boyle, at your estimated cost, would leave right around $1M under the cap, assuming Stan signs Smith and Morin for the right numbers. And for the past two years $1M-$2M is about what Stan has kept in the bank going into the season for unforeseen opportunities. Would Spezza’s money give Stan an ulcer?

  • June 14, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Dickie, all the other teams you mentioned LOSE, not play for the SC year after year…Roussell should not be on that list…he may be a nut, but he can play and is a big part of their very good 3rd line. You don’t base your decisions on what anybody else does, especially losing teams, the Hawks need to dress players during the regular season that can skate regular shifts during the playoffs, so that our top players stay fresh. As for Bollig, he had the 2nd worst +/- in the entire playoffs, only Zus was worse, he took dumb penalties, and one could argue that his brain fart INT call way behind the play in the 2nd game at home versus LA, started the avalanche in the 3rd that cost us the game. Bollig was benched during the playoffs, 3 times he was dressed and skated less than 3 minutes, and averaged under 5 minutes…NONE of these things help, in fact Dickie they all hurt! And if you watched any Hawk games over the last 2 weeks of the season the most aggressive Hawk that defended players in scrums was Jeremy Morin…the guy who had the HIGHEST Corsi # on the entire team.

  • June 14, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    It was criminal the Morin couldn’t get a sniff in the playoffs. I’m not saying Morin would have help hoist the cup but I’m also not buying the team couldn’t have fit him somewhere.

    @Ebony Raptor. I be honest I haven’t watch a lot of Spezza but the limited sample size I’ve seen I’ve never felt he was an elite offense player. He’s probably middle of the road when I look at eastern conference centers. Crosby, Malkin, backstrom, Groux, Staal, Traves. Those are just 6 that come instantly to mind.

  • June 14, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    I’m not so sure that Bollig was our problem. During the regular season, our 4th line was very good. You can rely on Bollig for 10 minutes of non-flashy, simple play. Not many egregious mistakes. He’s an above-average NHL 4th liner. Would Morin have been better? Probably. But you can play Kruger/Regin and Smith with Bollig for an effective line.

    IMHO, the problem was/is Handzus. When Q shuffled the lineup to plug the 2C hole, Handzus dropped down to the fourth line and Kruger and/or Smith shifted up. So Bollig loses his linemates and skates with the anchor, when he skates at all. If Handzus neuters Patrick Kane, then how do you think he impacts Brandon Bollig?

    I’d be absolutely shocked if Bowman adds Spezza this offseason. During the season, maybe, but this offseason, no. Bowman likes having cap flexibility at the deadline so we can make moves to address needs that we can’t foresee in June. While that strategy isn’t foolproof (see Versteeg), I think it’s smart (see Gaborik), and Spezza’s addition would eliminate all flexibility. Plus, maybe TT shows up at a ripped 195 in September, and follows Saad’s path to the show.

    Open three roster spots (Handzus, Oduya, Rozy) and let kids fill them. Keep the cap flexibility and plug the gaps later, if we even need to. Classic Bowman. We could still add Spezza halfway through the season at a reduced cap hit anyway, right?

  • June 14, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    No thank you. Not worth giving up prospects/players like Smith, Morin, Hayes, or Kruger for a one year rental player.

  • June 15, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Sr. Brad, “You don’t base your decisions on what anybody else does” – as I said, “as long as opponents play guys like that” – yes, you do base that decision on what others specifically do. Bollig could/should be available to at least rotate in and out of the lineup as needed.

    “…teams you mentioned LOSE” – OK, Kyle Clifford: 71GP 3G 5A 8PTS 81PIM +6 Brandon Bollig: 82GP 7G 7A 14PTS 92PIM -1 <<< I don't see a WORLD of difference. I didn't include post season stats because Bollig did not get close to the ice time Clifford got.

    "…could argue that his INT call way behind the play in the 2nd game at home versus LA, started the avalanche in the 3rd that cost us the game" – possibly, but a weak argument at best.

    "…And if you watched any Hawk games over the last 2 weeks of the season" – please give me the benefit of the doubt. "Jeremy Morin…the guy who had the HIGHEST Corsi # on the entire team." — the ONLY comments I've made about Morin have been that he really wasn't given much of a chance, and that he looked good except for one bad penalty (as I recall). Also, I've previously suggested that Morin, Regin, Nordstrom – any/all – could have played instead of Handzus, Versteeg, and (yes) Bollig. Remember, I agree with you concerning playing the players who afford you the best opportunity to win. But, as I said, I believe Q did just that – the players *he* believed gave him the best chance…

  • June 15, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Spezza isn’t happening. For a lot of reasons. That said Bowman will acquire a primetime Center out of sheer necessity. Shaw is best suited to play RW, so to think he can graduate from the 3rd line to the 2nd line to play Center on a nightly basis is silly. I’m not going to be seduced into the panic necessitated magic that Saad-Shaw-Kane produced in several playoff games against ONE opponent. Likewise, I will not fall victim to overrating the role and value of Smith. His highest and best use is as a versatile player who is on the fourth line but can step into other voids when the need dictates.

    A veteran Center is coming. But it won’t be Spezza. I also am of the increasing view that Seabrook is on the trade block right now. That’s not necessarily my preference, but I do think he is in serious play right now. Bowman is going to shake up the defensive corps and use what he has on that side of the ice to make veteran additions otherwise. I’m not sold that Oduya is out. He skates well and has clear positive chemistry with Hjalmarsson. Most importantly, his contract is highly favorable right now.

  • June 15, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I’m with Sr. Brad in not getting rid of Smith-I have a hunch he’s going to be a valuable, possibly top 6 guy-certainly third line stud.
    Boyle would look good and Spezza as well, but not at the expense of Smith. I think he loves to be a Blackhawk, and he’s seems like a very nice kid

  • June 15, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Good stuff Travis. ER the two are equal/elite, bottom line center position.

    Ben & Jerrys needs to stay.

    Depending on what/anything happens with the 2nd line center thing, I think 27 stays his contract (trade 8/32 when we need/have to). We can add a good 3or4 line center (like Boyle) and keep all of our key players. I like doing that.

    When ever we trade 10, I want moar than a one yr guy. I want future term, good young player, etc.

    Whatever we do its going to be a good thing because we will still be a top team, but with 4 lines again.

  • June 15, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Smith doesn’t get Spezza or Boyle. It’s a mute point anyway. I like Smith, but this love affair with a hard working plugger has gotten carried away. There is a ceiling to his ability. Nice guy to carry on the 4th line and who has the ability to fill in during a pinch otherwise. That’s his resume folks. Nothing more than that.

  • June 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Say the Hawks decide to keep Seabrook. But they trade Oduya and Leddy and Rozsival retires.

    Would anyone be scared of having Dahlbeck paired with Hjalmarsson. And Clendening and Johns as a third pair? Usually having 3 defenseman with a combined zero games of NHL experience would scare the hell out of me. But I’m surprisingly open to the idea.

    I remember after the Hawks got bounced by either Phoenix or Vancouver, a lot of people blamed it on being too young and inexperienced. Now a lot of people are clamoring for the youth movement. I hope if we get the youth movement, those same people don’t use that as an excuse if they have an early exit.

  • June 15, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    RTF – agree on Smith. He’s a nice hard working complementary player but not irreplaceable. If he needs to be a piece of a trade package – bye bye smitty. Unlike other positions, a bottom six C/W is just what the Hawks have plenty of – Nordstrom, Danault, McNeill, Ross, Hartman and Morin if he re-signs. All of those guys are going to eligible to move up to the NHL in the near future so losing Smith in a trade is not necessarily a bad thing.

  • June 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Boyle is a ufa, eh.

  • June 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Ernie – three rookie d-men in the lineup scares me too but the only opinion that matters is Q and I can’t imagine a scenario where Q plays three rookie d-men. One of Q’s favorite words is predictability and a rookie d-man is usually not predictable – let alone three of them.

    The Hawks play their best when the d-men work in concert with the forwards allowing them to play the fast puck possession game. A moments hesitation by the d-man can result in the play breaking down and then rather than having the advantage of a transition game attack the Hawks are put in a disadvantage of having to chase the puck in a scramble. Having one rookie d-man in the lineup allows Q to shelter him to some extent – there would not be enough sheltered minutes to play three rookie d-men.

  • June 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Boyle is UFA but after the fine playoff performance he just had – I think he’s going to get a lot more than the $1.7M he made this season.

  • June 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Rufus I love your confidence in Stan adding a center. I really hope you are right because I’m afraid SB will see the results of Shaw at the end and think that is adiquiet.

  • June 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    There is no way in hell Spezza should be on this roster over Patrick Sharp. As for the 3 prospects for him, no thank you again. This guy is a great player and at the right cost would be a great fit, I just do not see a price that works for both sides happening. If we give Sharpie it is probably just a lateral step that breaks up some of our core guys, if we give the prospects we will regret it when he walks for a monster deal next year. If we are willing to remove a player like Sharp from our roster it should be for a player that is visioned as a staple moving forward, not a rental.

  • June 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    SSHM- I am with you. I anticipate a very slow summer from the hawks. I think shaw will get his chance at center, and we will not attack any of the top tier FAs. Boyle is the caliber of player that I would not be overly shocked if they hawks obtained, but he will probably get too much money due to this postseason. Never know though, but in reality the only move I hear being thrown around that seems at least possible is the trade to move up in the draft. A lot of sites are saying its not the deepest draft, so I would not be shocked if we could get FLAs pick for some prospects.

  • June 15, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Rosival isn’t going to walk away from the one year remaining on his contract for our convenience. Assume he is back on 2014-15. Assume also that he splits time with Runblad or somebody else.

    Seabrook, Leddy and Oduya are the three in potential play. Again, I think the fact that Oduya is a fantastic value with only one year on his deal makes it far less likely he is traded. The think about Leddy is that he is gifted, but terribly overrated. Also the acquisition of a skate first defenseman in Runblad really makes me wonder if Leddy is staying in Chicago. Final analysis for me? One of Seabrook or Leddy will be traded this offseason. Maybe Oduya also gets moved, but I doubt that.

  • June 15, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    We do not need a veteran 2C centre in June. We might need one in January, but not in June. Smith, Shaw, or TT have realistic chances of filling that position. They have each shown glimpses; give them their chance. If all three fail, then make a move. In this scenario, we have short-term options and cap space at the deadline.

    Sign one big-time expensive veteran centre, and we have practically no options.

  • June 15, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    The Hawks are built to win now. Shaw is best suited to play right wing. Smith is 4th line material. Teuvo is likely going to need more development time. Meanwhile Kane and Toews are both entering their walk years and it IS clear the Hawks need to go the extra mile to make 88 happy and his most productive. The Shaw-Saad-Kane combo worked very well for 3 friggin games against one opponent when the Hawks were in desperation mode. To translate that sample size into saying Shaw is 2nd line center material is assinine. Shaw is a vital member of his club, but even as the primary center on the third line he was miscast. In an ideal world he is an invaluable right wing on the third line.

    Hawks need a quality veteran center. They just do. Next season it is about going balls out to hoist another Cup. Not about experimentation and wishful thinking on who can really play a consistent and quality center role on a second line that includes Kane.

  • June 15, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    ‘Plus, maybe TT shows up at a ripped 195 in September, and follows Saad’s path to the show.’

    Its not a matter if, its when.

  • June 15, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    RTF, you might be right. We very well might need a veteran centre. It might even be likely. But even “likely” isn’t sufficient to make a cap-crippling move right now. Just be a little bit patient, wait to see what we have, and pull the trigger if need be. What’s the rush?

    Shaw – Yes, the line did work well for 3 friggin’ games. No, I’m not translating that tiny sample size as “Shaw is 2C material.” I’m translating that as “Shaw MIGHT be 2C material.” So give him a shot before you cripple your cap space.

    Smith – Looked good during his brief time at 2C. Again, small sample size. So is he the guy? Maybe, maybe not. Give him a shot before you cripple your cap space.

    TT- Likely does need development. But maybe not. Give him a shot before you cripple your cap space.

    If those three don’t work, go balls-out and make your move in December or January. What’s the downside to being patient?

  • June 15, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Mo- here’s hoping!

  • June 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    RTF- last thing. I agree next season is about hoisting another Cup. But I’m wondering why experimenting for 20-30 games hurts our chances. Give me valid reasons why an early-season trial period hurts our chances at the Cup more than the loss of cap flexibility, and I’d concede.

  • June 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    I like to stay out of the back and forth with RTF but to dismiss Smith and say he’s 4th line material is laughable-some eyes and experience in the game is all that’s needed to know how wrong that comment is.
    He’s not in the elite range but each team can only have two or three of those. Losing a Pirri is one thing but losing Smith will be a true mistake!

  • June 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Ben Smith is a good plugger type. Of value yes. But also very replaceable and an interchangeable piece at the bottom of the roster. Don’t confuse that reality for being a rip on the guy. It’s not. He’s the type who should always be battling for playing time and a roster spot on a good club.

  • June 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I don’t usually agree w Rufus but I think his observation on both smith and Shaw are on the money. Smith is probably at best a 3rd line player and Shaw is best suited for wing. It doesn’t mean you can’t move those guys up but when you look at other clubs it shows the Hawks flaws. Stoll was a guy who was out last year against the Hawks and look at the difference he made. Saint Louis, Colorado and Minnesota are all getting better. Having a deep roster is key towards continued success!

  • June 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Travis – your point about waiting to see if TT or someone else steps up and grabs the 2C spot and then looking to add someone mid-season if need be makes sense on the face of it, but what isn’t being considered in that is that it is much easier to make a trade after the Finals and at the draft because all team have their rosters in flux. That isn’t the case mid-season when rosters are pretty much locked in and even team open to a trade have a more difficult time making it work with the Cap. But the main obstacle is that most teams don’t want to trow in the towel on the season until around the TDL because with parity and 3 point games most teams still have hopes of making the playoffs and aren’t going to trade a player good enough to be the Hawks 2C. That’s why making a deal now, if it the right move, is the right time to do it.

  • June 15, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Teuvo Teravainen is Ryan Reynolds in disguise.

  • June 15, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Rufas, your last post totally right.

  • June 15, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Travis, in terms of Saader like, Sont ta Bitch yeah. Teuvo is coming regardless of what anybody says. Realistically and for real. The good Lord (with his wicked scouts on our side)(Pretty Lady Pheiffer… I love you, eh) has brought us Saader & T.

  • June 15, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Wicked means very good (in case anyone was off on that one). The good Lord is on our side guys. Just look who is in the stands, eh. Beauty Clark.

  • June 16, 2014 at 1:57 am

    I think you guys are severely undervaluing Ben Smith. If Smith can win 50% of his draws, he gets the first extended crack at 2C, hands down.

    His production is absolutely outstanding. At first, 26 points in 75 regular season games doesn’t seem inviting. But when you consider A) his linemates, B) 12.5 minutes TOI per game, C) a good chunk of that 12.5 is PK time, D) 1/4 (!!!) of his shifts start in the defensive zone, and E) very little PP time, that production is excellent. Freaking excellent.

    He’s solid on the boards, good skater, netfront presence, defensively responsible, and built like a Maori. He is not interchangeable. His role is.

    Give Smith 18 minutes EV and elite wingers, and I think that second line just might go nuts. And for ~5M less than Spezza.

  • June 16, 2014 at 7:18 am

    I view Ben Smith and Phillip Danault as somewhat interchangeable at this point. Smith is due a raise, no question. I love Ben. He’s everything you want. The story last year as the lockout ended was Smith was on the cusp of making the team but just missed a recall. The next game he gets crosschecked and fights the guy who was 6’4”. I thought I remember him coming back later in the game and scoring, but in the fight he broke a bone in his hand costing him a future recall.

    The guy is selfless and a hell of a person. Unfortunately, this is a business. And Danault can slide in. Danault was pinned to 3rd and 4th line in Rockford so his offense took a hit. But he was still a +11. McNeil was -12. Danault is good on faceoffs but is a left handed shot like a ton of guys are. Good defensively (QMJHL best defensive forward 2010/2011), hard working with offensive upside and decent size. And was drafted as a winger.

    FWIW, Dahlbeck was a +21…on a team that allowed 24 more goals against than goals scored. Pretty impressive

  • June 16, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Travis- good call on Smith… Is he a true 1st/2nd line guy??? probably not- Can 28 play w/ Hawk’s top lines? I say he could- in fact I would have liked to see him Play on 1st line w/ 29/19… and Put 81/10 together on 3rd… If 28 played 1st line minutes/zone time- he could easily pot 20 goals every other year (note- because 28 is not TRUE top line guy- he won’t consistently score- but he is capable/hard worker/good IQ/decent hands).

    Re: Kane opens up a lot of ice for anyone who can skate with him ( 26/Grandpa can’t skate)… So while Shaw is just above average on skill- his tenacity/IQ/Willingness to get to the “dirty” areas -compliments Kane’s ability to skate/get the puck into the dirty areas…

    At the end of the day- Hawks just need more “true depth” quality/responsible players… two ways to do it– Go get a stud on the market- which moves “good” players like Saad/Shaw down the flowchart… or 2-3 “prospects” need to shine/become the next Shaw/Saad/36/67…. I really think/HOPE this Rasmussen guy can “Fill” one of the holes ( from what I have read- hopeful)… but the FACT that SB is looking overseas for “These types” of guys- Kind of indicates -what I have been saying- The Hawk’s Forward prospects– just aren’t there yet (then again- it’s SB’s job to always search for the next Prospect/find)… Hope they prove me wrong.

  • June 16, 2014 at 7:52 am

    If Ben Smith is playing anything beyond the 4th line at wing, and if Andrew Shaw is playing anything beyond 3rd line at wing…then the Hawks are a team with weakness in its forward mix. Its just as simple as that. Also, Shaw is a way better player than Smith can ever hope to be. Can both guys temporarily fill in at other spots on the ice? Of COURSE they can.

    The Western Conference has become formidable and wicked deep. The Hawks also have been exposed as a team that doesn’t handle great skating teams well. The imperative is to absolutely, positively address the Center position this summer. And be in a position to use Shaw to his highest and best use. Smith? I like him. But my goodness has he become INSANELY overrated by some of you. If he were traded today the Hawks could replace what he brings to the table right now. He’s very replaceable no matter how much his fan club wants to protest otherwise. Is he going to get moved? Highly doubtful, so cool your nuts.

  • June 16, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Tab, with you mentioning twice that Kruger may be on the way out, is that intuition or while still protecting your sources, can you say yes or no to the Hawks “listening” on Kruger. I would actually be surprised at that move (not disappointed) because he plays his role exceptionally well and I did not think was a problem, but obviously you have to give up value to get value.

    I would go along with this consensus on Smith (much like Rufus) that he has value and can is well suited to be a solid contributor on the 4th line and PK. His tenacity allows him to play well in other roles in times of injury to others or during line blending (which is a great asset to the Hawks), but I do not see him as a long term answer at these higher roles. Smith reminds a lot of Frolik, not as fast, but actually able to pot some of his scoring chances. Therefore, Smith has value and I want him to remain part of the Hawks, but don’t think he should sniff permanent 2nd line minutes.

  • June 16, 2014 at 9:50 am

    @ Peter re: Kruger being mentioned twice – the only reason Kruger’s name has come up twice in this space is because there are 5 players who need new deals in the summer of 2015: Toews, Kane, Saad, Kruger & Nordstrom. Of those 5, the one that intrigues me most this summer is Kruger; the Hawks may feel that they can replace him internally or affordably, and he may be a valuable enough piece in a potential trade that his name comes up. My opinion is that Toews, Kane & Saad will get paid. If that doesn’t leave room at the table for Kruger – and there’s an in-house replacement they can afford while keeping 19, 88 & 20 – he could be a guy they listen on this summer.

    I’m a big Kruger fan and have loved his development over the last 24 months. But the business side of the game might come into play.

  • June 16, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Wall said it best. While nobody is discounting guys like Kruger and Smith. Look at the Hawks top 6 forwards by value.

    Hossa(33 yrs old)
    Sharp(30 yrs old)

    Now who??? What’s missing? Another center! Hossa and Sharp did very little this playoffs. The Hawks need another impact player in their top 6. Outside of TT the Hawks don’t have that type of player in the minors either

  • June 16, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Does anyone have any confirmed reports that the Blackhawks are listening to offers for Sharp and/or Seabs? I don’t think we will see either of them leave, and I don’t think either should. Championship teams with good prospect pools don’t trade top 6 wingers or top 2 Dmen when they have favorable contracts….

    It seems like everyone is hoping/thinking there will be some big move or acquisition. There won’t be. Not Bowman’s style right now. We’ll go into next season with virtually the same line up minus Hanzus and perhaps Oduya. They won’t trade for or sign a “real” 2C. Smith, Shaw and TT will all see time at 2C next season.

  • June 16, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Um wow. For a rent-a-player, depending on the package Ottawa is looking for than may be fine. Spezza is pretty sick at hockey and maybe due one last pay day so as a gap player that would be not a bad thing.

    Smith’s Rights for Spezza is a no brainier if they could find $ for it. Smith is a nice player however comparing the two is pretty silly.

    Sharp would probably need to be salary dumped, which I don’t have a problem with, which not too many people agree with, which doesn’t bother me.

    Grabovski would be interesting if they could sign him for cheap (3 million range). The guy is a possession machine and a natural center.

  • June 16, 2014 at 11:33 am

    @ Kyle the kid. Barry Rozner on 670 the score said the Hawks are actively listening to offers on Sharp. He did not say the same thing about Seabs. Barry is a long time Hawks guy and has many sources on the Hawks so I don’t think he would go on the radio and make that statement unless he felt it was accurate.

  • June 16, 2014 at 11:55 am

    There are two things I think. One, that the Hawks will seriously think about trading Seabrook or Leddy. Two, that Sharp could actually be on the trade block.

    With respect to Sharp, I’m okay with trading him. To be honest, he pissed me off in 2013-14. This team busted their balls to enable his selection to the Canadian Olympic team, with the net result being that this team was never quite right after the Olympics. I’m not calling Sharp selfish, but I guess I’m calling Sharp selfish. More importantly, Sharp is 33 years old next season and a downward flow can probably be expected. He was largely invisible in the playoffs, which is a leading indicator of things to come.

    So before I get ripped to shreds for my assessment, let me just say that Sharp has been a wonderful player for the Hawks. Well exceeding the modest expectations that came with his acquisition from Philly. But it might be time to part company. One, the Hawks can unlock some significant dollars that can be pooled into fixing the Center dilemma. Two, Sharp should be a nice return in trade. Three, I am big believer in the fact that the Hawks need to shake things up in a demonstrable way. Four, I think the Hawks are kidding themselves right now if they believe they are a lucky bounce or a minor move away from serious Cup contention once again. The Western Conference is getting tougher, and the Hawks can’t stand pat. I’d like to see Bowman make a bold move or two, and I think he will in the final analysis. I want to win another Cup, not live in the past or in denial. And keep in mind, Hossa is another integral player who is now in decline mode too. That declining level of production needs to be addressed in other ways, and even though losing Sharp will have obvious consequences I trust Bowman to make the new puzzle pieces work.

    We aren’t talking wholesale changes. But then again we aren’t talking some minor tweaks either. Trading Sharp (or Seabrook) might be what the doctor ordered. This all said, I trust Stan Bowman implicitly.

  • June 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    While I agree with Rufus’ statements about Sharp (for the most part), where I disagree is with the final piece. If you’re talking minor tweaks, trading the team’s leading scorer or #2 defenseman aren’t “minor.” Furthermore, unless you’re getting a guy back that’s both A) affordable and B) at worst break-even with what you’re giving up, a team that was a fluke overtime goal in Game 7 of the Conference Final from being a likely back-to-back champion is hard to consider such a move. Especially when there isn’t an internal replacement for Sharp OR Seabrook ready.

  • June 16, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    re: Sharp trade market – please remember there’s a difference between “listening” and “shopping.” I’m sure teams call and ask about Saad and Kane and Seabrook and Crawford and others all the time. Just because a team doesn’t immediately hang up the phone doesn’t mean they’re actively looking/trying to trade a player.

  • June 16, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Wow, what have you done for me lately, huh? Ben Smith was dynamite as the 2nd line Centre for Kane with us in a tough spot vs. STL…his deflection/pass to Kane for his 2nd goal, was the best pass by a Hawks player all season long. Smith then played on the 3rd line, 4th line and PK, and excelled at all he was asked. You clowns then say he is replaceable and judge his “lack of proven play” because his top 6 opportunities were limited by Q…but every chance he was given, he excelled. Patrick Kane said after the STL series he was excited playing with Ben Smith and hoped that they would continue to play together. Ben Smith has won a championship at EVERY level he has played at, save the AHL. By the end of the playoffs, he was on the ice as much as Toews during the most crucial times…but yeah, winners just grow on trees, so we can dump his a$$ and replace him with Danault…thank goodness you don’t run this franchise…f$cking braindead.

    What most of you are continually forgetting (and then head straight for panic mode) is that players like Ben Smith, Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger, Brandon Saad, Bryan Bickell, and Nick Leddy haven’t even begun to hit their benchmarks as players. Just because they came in and did well at what they were asked, doesn’t mean that you have seen their ceiling as players. So many of you want to dump Shaw as a 3rd line winger, without seeing what’s right in front of your eyes…Shaw scored 20 goals as our 3rd line Centre in just his first full season, with Q pulling his line away from him 2/3rds of the way through the season, and battling a few injuries. Holy sh$t, what more do you want from this kid? Late in the season, Shaw changed his stance at the dot and used the new Marcus Kruger “grip” and since that time, and through the playoffs, he was over 50%, playing against some of the best F/O men in the game. The last 3 playoff games versus the Kings as 2nd line Centre, he was UNFREAKING BELIEVABLE…that line almost won the series for us, after being down 3-1. The Kings are the BEST TEAM in the world, and Shaw was skating against some of the best players in the world, with a target on his back…but yeah, let’s sign a veteran FA Centre like Vern Fiddler to centre Shaw on the 3rd line…WTF??? When did stupid become the new 30?

    Here’s a news flash for you…Bickell, Saad, Leddy, Kruger, Smith and Shaw are all going to be EVEN BETTER players for their time and experience…or don’t you think losing at home, in OT, by a fluke goal, to the new SC champs is a profound experience??? All those OT games, where we kept our collective heads and nerves are going to pay massive dividends moving forward. And remember, as nice as a person as Handzus was, his play was AWFUL this year, and worse in the playoffs…the guy was apologizing to his teammates and the fans via the media after game 3 in the King’s series!?!? With Stan Bowman doing NOTHING but getting rid of Handzus and having a full summer to rest and then reload, this team will be MUCH better than this past season, and we SHOULD HAVE WON THE CUP!

    We don’t NEED to have anyone added to the roster that isn’t already there. And if Bowman hasn’t done jack sh$t for the 2nd line Centre position for the last 4 years when we needed it, what makes you think that he will now that TT is here and Smith and Shaw have shown they can play the position against the best competition in the league? Huh? The Hawks will likely stand pat…they might add a Brian Boyle type as Tab mentioned, but they don’t need to. And we must have matriculation with the prospect Defencemen in the system, so I do see Oduya being dealt (at his highest value) for picks, making way for Dahlbeck and Clendening to work into the rotation, and leaving room for Johns and perhaps Dahlstrom the following year.

  • June 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Rufus, without “ripping” you apart, for Sharp’s season and post season, just go back and look at his stats skating with Toews/Hossa and then with Handzus…when Sharp was FINALLY cut loose from Zus with 2 games to go in the playoffs, he was arguably our best player in those 2 games? So before you go rushing him out the door because he “pissed you off” looking like a model and making the Olympic roster, maybe, just maybe, do a little research first. The same “model” applies to Patrick Kane as well. Just look at Kane’s stats with and without Handzus…and you still don’t want to levy any blame on Q and Bowman? When players like Sharp and Kane were given line mates like Shaw, Smith, Saad and Kruger (not our best) they had great numbers once again…do the math.

  • June 16, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Don’t make the mistake of hustling 2 time SC contributors out the door…and remember, we should have won the Cup again this year…players like Sharp who are major contributors to us winning championships are HARD to find…it isn’t just about numbers, and that’s where most “fans” make their mistakes…its more about intangibles and knowing how to win. Changing places with Sharp and Spezza isn’t a Madden video game…it isn’t these #s for those #s…for as talented a player as Spezza is, he doesn’t know how to win…why would we want to get rid of Sharp and Seabrook (a guy known for scoring series winning OT goals) for players from losing teams??? Down 3-1 in a series, is the time to look at your players, and see who shows up? To my recollection, our entire roster short of Zus, Versteeg and Bollig did? Why would you want to get rid of ANY of them? Moving Oduya is necessary to make room for Dahlbeck and Clendening, and staying ahead of the Cap.

    Rufus, without “ripping” you apart, for Sharp’s season and post season, just go back and look at his stats skating with Toews/Hossa and then with Handzus…when Sharp was FINALLY cut loose from Zus with 2 games to go in the playoffs, he was arguably our best player in those 2 games? So before you go rushing him out the door because he “pissed you off” looking like a model and making the Olympic roster, maybe, just maybe, do a little research first. The same “model” applies to Patrick Kane as well. Just look at Kane’s stats with and without Handzus…and you still don’t want to levy any blame on Q and Bowman? When players like Sharp and Kane were given line mates like Shaw, Smith, Saad and Kruger (not our best) they had great numbers once again…do the math.

  • June 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Sigh. Like I said before…it Andrew Shaw is your 2nd line Center and Ben Smith is in your 3rd line mix, then the Hawks are a team with distinct weaknesses at the forward position.

    Sr. Brad LOVES to extrapolate the small sample size to make an argument. Or he twists things around to suggest that people are being critical of a player like Shaw or Smith. Which couldn’t be further from the truth of course. Indeed, Shaw has been an exceptional role player for the Hawks and nobody can dispute the pluckiness and spirit of Smith. But where I jump off is this default logic that Shaw and Smith (and the others listed) all have automatic upwards leaps coming to their NHL game. It’s nice to let homerism and emotion take over logical thought, but c’mon.

    Newsflash…the Hawks were terribly inconsistent from the Olympic break forward in 2014. Also, there was glaring weakness and the Center position all season long. You can’t sit there and extrapolate a THREE GAME sample size of Shaw-Saad-Kane as a second line dilemma has been magically solved for eternity. That’s bullcrap. Pure and simple bullcrap.

    But of course, this comes from the same guy who loves to highlight the one game out of five that Jeremy Morin is productive on both ends of the ice to claim Joel Quenneville is a coaching idiot. Or the one game out of five where Brandon Pirri wasn’t torched by the opposition’s offensive rush to say he should be in the lineup every night.

    The Western Conference is getting better boys and girls. And the Hawks absolutely cannot ignore that they were highly inconsistent the final 5 months of the season. Or that Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa have probably entered career decline mode. Or that this team as currently constructed could not adequately handle opponents that skate well like Colorado and Minnesota.

    But listen to Sr. Brad if you want…he’ll keep on claiming that the answer is simply the improvement tract of several young players (p.s., what happened to Bickell’s improvement tract last season ?!?!? he wen’t backwards Professor) or to employ a robot coach smart enough to let nothingness players like Morin and Pirri play.

  • June 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    TT is far from arrived. Please keep in mind he did not even make the national team for the Worlds this year and part of the logic behind him not being a black ace was so he could participate there allegedly. If he can’t make that team, I don’t understand how he will have an impact with the Hawks straight away.

    Toews, TT, Shaw, Kooga is not good, nor is Toews, Shaw, Kooga, Smith. Some of those guys are tremendous role players but it is too important of a position to play two converted wings. Toews Sharp Bolland Madden was pretty darn legit. The last Cup they won had Toews Zeus Bolland Kooga\Shaw, which wasn’t ideal but worked. Not the strongest but still much better than this year.

    The Hawks are the only team in the post lock out era to win a Cup without a 1-2 punch up the middle and that certainly wasn’t in 2010. Teams with strength win there for a reason. At a minimum they need to improve there.

    Also, Spezza is one of the better centers in the league, even when playing like garbage so comparing him to a 3rd line or 4th line player is pretty absurd. There are a lot of moving parts that would have to work to make than an option so it is probably not all that realistic.

    Bowman acquired Zeus to fill the second line center role. It was A move which is definitely more than Jack.

  • June 16, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I really would hate to see Sharp or Seabrook get traded but it’s inevitable that one or two pieces need to be moved to keep the team at the top, especially since Sharp’s stats probably won’t get better than last year (trade value at peak). I read where the Hawks may be in trouble with the “cap recapture” on the Hossa contract if and when he decides to retire. So going forward trying to keep Toews, Kane and Saad some pieces need to be moved.

  • June 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    This roster went on one of the best runs in NHL history in 2013, and a fluke goal from probably doing it again in 2014. We need another impact player and major roster moves like St. Louis needed a difference maker in net last year.

    When Q put anybody but Handzus on the 2nd line, the line produced. We’ve done very well without a true 2C the past 5 years. So I really don’t get the arguments that we “need” a true 2C.

    Nobody promoting a big 2C acquisition has addressed the core of the argument: what’s the downside of giving Smith, Shaw, TT extended looks, then making a move if needed? Because there are about 5 million upsides to that scenario.

  • June 16, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Teuvo Teravainen did not impress in his limited time on ice, he unfortunately fits the “small size” of our Hawks. Spezza is a good fit , he is 6′ 3″ about 230 pounds. A big guy with talent and not easy to nock off the puck and strong. Hawks have a lot of great role players to trade, they really just need Spezza and one NEW defensemen with size to enforce just a little more. Crawford . . . was beaten up big time. Hawks need help KINGS, BLUES, AVS and even WILD will make another CUP impossible with this Hawks team, too physical over a 7 game set. Teuvo is trade bait!

  • June 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    re: the potential cap recapture issue w/ Marian Hossa –

    The Blackhawks can use a traditional buyout w/ Hossa. There would still be a cap hit, but they could avoid the cap recapture armageddon that many are fearing. HOWEVER, there’s one potential issue w/ the traditional buyout route…. which is where it gets complicated. A player needs to clear waivers before they’re bought out. If Hossa went on waivers, and a team claimed him, the recapture penalty would remain on the Hawks’ books. Hossa does not have a NMC clause according to Capgeek, so he cannot block the waiver process if the Hawks went the traditional buyout route w/ him.

  • June 16, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I literally mean that TT has “arrived” not that he has proven himself to be our 2nd line Centre…but he’s close, and that Hawk’s obviously think so too, as they brought him over from Europe just before the playoffs started.

    No one has compared Spezza to a 3rd line Centre…

    Bowman did not bring Zus in at the trade deadline to be the 2nd line Centre…he was a veteran piece that could help win F/Os…his first destination was the 4th line. He became the 2nd line Centre by default. We didn’t have one and Q trusted him as he played for Q before. Zus did a decent job as a depth forward/centre, but he wasn’t a good 2nd line Centre. So, yes, Mike Johnson/Michael Handzus to become (in your own words) the 1-2 punch up the middle, over 4 years, is indeed jack…

  • June 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    If the Hawks could move Sharp and make an offer sheet to ROR of the Avs, it would solve the 2c and weaken the Avs a bit (except for the compensation, which hopefully they could obatain in the Sharp trade). any thoughts????

  • June 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I wonder if the AVS are dumb enough to let ROR get out of their organization. He is a guy worth 7 million a season if he doesn’t get retained. I’m not sure why the AVS keeping jerking him along.

  • June 16, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    The Avs let ROR get to this point. I feel his specific situation is what is making the Hawks kick the tires on getting Saad done before RFA. I think the ROR offer sheet Calgary was/is insane, nevermind the fact that they most likely wouldn’t have signed him (because he would have had to clear waivers up until Calgary) based on when offer sheet was signed and that he played professionally during the lockout. But the Avs let him get to that point by playing the we are going to undervalue you card and not offer what you are really worth. He said F you and extracted more than he really should have gotten. Good on him. Now he is about to really mess their books up.

  • June 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Very clear to me that Bowman is going to do something “significant.” Which I for one think is much needed.

    Rationalization run amuk by some of you on the abrupt end to our season. Lets not kid ourselves…the Hawks were NOT the same team after the Olympic break. In fact, they were highly inconsistent. And lets also be honest about the St. Louis and Minnesota series…if not for Crawford standing on his head, then the Hawks were going to probably be eliminated by both of those teams.

  • June 16, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I am with you Rufus, I think the hawks absolutely need to make a significant move. It is not just us and the Kings. Yes I realize that those 2 are the last 4 cup champs, but the kings win a lot of game 7s and the hawks have to battle too. Teams are getting better and we need to keep pace. I think Sr. Brad has a right to expect growth out of some players, but he surely is on the optimistic side……especially with bickell.

  • June 16, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Incredible Rufus…what happened to the Hawks after the Olympic break? Remember? A little tired from the Olympics, some of the players, just like every other team, and the return of Zus and Bickell to the lineup and the jettisoning of Pirri and Morin…we played at an .850 clip with the rookies, and when Zus came back, under .500!

    Your sad story about being tired is just plain stupid. So were the Kings who only played 4 fewer games than the Hawks did over the past 2 seasons. As soon as Q finally stopped skating Zus anywhere but the 4th line, we started scoring and winning…we should have won game 7, and it SHOULD NEVER HAVE GOT THERE had Q stopped his love affair with Zus sooner. Kane ZERO points in 4 games with Zus…Kane 13 points in 3 games with Shaw. Sharp ONE goal in 5 games with Zus, 2 goals in 2 games without him…so do us all a favour and stop this bullcrap story. You were wrong ALL YEAR LONG about it being an issue…if you want to spout off that Bowman, the guy who never pulls the trigger on a big deal, is going to pull a flying monkey out of his butt this summer, have at it…at least that’s just speculation.

  • June 16, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Small sampling??? The Hawks won at an .850 clip with Morin and Pirri in the lineup this season…the Hawks, a team a fluke goal away from potentially repeating as SC champs, were BELOW .500 with Zus in the lineup this season…and through the playoffs we finished a total of 4 games below .500 with Zus. How’s that for a sample size? Q skates Bollig ALL SEASON on the 4th line and doesn’t let anyone one of the rookies get a chance there, not once…and yet he scratched Bollig twice in the playoffs, 3 times played him less than 3 minutes and averaged him under 5 minutes…that’s a massive blunder…because someone else could have used those minutes to become ready to skate a regular shift come playoff time…or your supporting Q when he wouldn’t dress Regin, a forward with speed who plays and Centre and Wing, was taking the body and was defensively responsible, over Zus and Bollig. Or continuing to dress Rozy over Brookbank when we were UNDEFEATED with BB as a DMan. You have been WRONG about everything you speculated this season…EVERYTHING…do you know that or do you just choose to forget? But I will give you credit, you just keep coming back to be wrong again…and again…and again…and again.

  • June 16, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    If the Kings buy out Mike Richards, any chance the Hawks take a flyer???
    I haven’t followed him too much but what would it take to sign him, would he want to come to Chicago? I’m looking at any and all possibilities at 2C.

  • June 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Also about Richards…

    As Sr. Brad likes to say about Ben Smith, Richards is WINNER throughout his career. Junior championships, Olympics, Calder Cup, 2 Stanley Cups.

    I believe Teuvo will be good in the future but if Bowman isn’t certain he isn’t completely ready, Richards might be worth a look.

  • June 16, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Sr. Brad: Not sure why you’re using three ?s behind small sampling. Morin & Pirri were in the lineup together for NINE (9) games during the 2013-14 season. Sorry to break the news, but <10 games = small sample size

  • June 16, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    re: Mike Richards – it’s going to be incredibly hard for the Kings to buy him out; he has a long, personal relationship with Lombardi and is great friends w/ Carter. That said, if the Kings did buy him out, I’d take him on my roster any day of the week. GREAT leader who plays hard and well in every situation.

  • June 16, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Sr Brad is irrational. He correlates the team’s won-loss record singularly, repeat singularly, to when Handzus was and was not in the lineup. I did not know that a 37 year old role player had that much God like power on a hockey team to be the SINGULAR causation on the team’s won-loss record !

    We get it Brad. You have distilled the season down to brutally simple terms inside your head!! Sit Handzus and Bollig, play Morin and Pirri instead ! And now your latest mathematical theory is that all the Hawks need to do in order to hoist another Cup is set back and wait for the inevitable uptick in performance surely to come from Smith, Bickell, Morin, etc …

    I have religiously played, coached and watched this sport for the big majority of my 51 years on this planet. To include what has now become a long stretch of season ticket ownership at the UC. So I sorta like my own opinion of things and find it to be grounded. The world can disagree with that but I could really care less. That said, I am about as polar opposite in my assessment of the Hawks in camparison to you than it can get. You live on another planet pal.

    I’ll say it again. The Hawks are in need of a serious change or two. What I saw of this team since January and what I see happening across the Weatern Comference speaks loudly to me. Very much so. And I think it does the same for Bowman and Q. Changes are coming. I’m 100% convinced Bowman is going to pull off a corker. Whether it be acquiring a serious upgrade at Center, jettisoning Seabrook or Sharp or something else heretofore unimagined.

  • June 16, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    That may be true Tab, but still… Are the Kings really going to have Richards center the 4th line for a 5.75 mil cap hit, especially with Gaborik needing a deal and Kopi and Doughy shortly?

    I too would like Richards in the Indian Head so I can see it happening.

    Pardon my accidental pun in my last post, asking if anyone would take a (Philadelphia) flyer on him.

  • June 17, 2014 at 12:07 am

    I feel like SB has done an absolutely excellent job on the bottom six of this roster. Guys like Bickell, Shaw, Smith, and Kruger have ALOT of value to a contender. So if the Hawks want to put themselves in the conversation to hoist another cup there are only a few roster spots that need to be addressed.

    Saad is now a top 6 forward, I believe he will continue to take the steps in his career to skate big minutes on this club. IMO Hossa’s contract keeps him in the Indian head sweater until he’s done playing, so it leaves Sharp as the odd man out. I like Sharp but the Hawks will need some turnover and Sharp draws the short straw IMO.

    I am not confident that Stan will make the “big move” necessary to remain competitive in the West for years to come but I really hope so.

  • June 17, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Boyle would be a very interesting addition bringing a new dimension and perhaps a real smart one. Spezza…hmmm…too much in light of Kane /Toews negotiations and too much in terms of lost talent in return. No way we give up Seabrook…he is a true leader on the team and his value is priceless. Agree with Rufus on most points but not Seabrook/Sharp departures. All the speculation is very interesting and kind of fun, like Napoleon shuffling around armies on a board but we don’t have to resort to put downs and mockery. If I had a crystal ball to see into October I’m going to say we will all be surprised. Also agree on Ebony’s point on the need for a goaltender..if Crawford goes down we are very vulnerable. Minny, Colorado, Kings will be fearsome opponents and adjustments will come to stay ahead of them. Grabovski maybe? good addition who could thrive with the Blackhawks style.

  • June 17, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Grabo (or Grabo type player contract might be the ticket)… would allow the Hawks to move Saad up and down lineup. Allows Shaw to play 3rd C/RW (assuming Rasmussen makes the team- and I think he will)… Grabo would be an instant Boost to the PP…(remember how Caps/Grabo torched the Hawks on PP last year)…

    Grabo/Cap hit might only cost Hawks one of 27/23… and 23 should be gone either way… But I fear that SB will hold on to 23 in the same (usually wrong) way that one holds onto a stock that just took a 20% dump overnite… always hoping that the stock will comeback and trend to its “Old ways”…

  • June 17, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Tab, its not just Morin and Pirri together…it includes just Pirri and then just Morin…it just takes a long time to explain all of that. And I haven’t totalled it, but that is like half the season…

    So to spell it out in tiny words for the mental midgets to understand…a little over half the season with Zus…4 games below .500…a little under half the season with the “rookies” winning at over an .800 clip. You can’t argue this by any means…Zus was an awful hockey player this past season and it took Q being on the brink of elimination against the Kings before he demoted him to the 4th line…that’s not being loyal or trusting your veterans, that’s plain STUPID…and more than that, reckless, as it put an entire organization at risk. Patrick Kane was on pace to lead the league in scoring with Zus out of the lineup, when Zus came back, Kane fell out of the Top 20…Kane and Sharp’s only production in the playoffs came when either Ben Smith or Andrew Shaw centred him…nada with Zus. Now what part of this do you blockheads not get?

    As for your claims Rufus, I GUARANTEE that you have not played or coached this game at any level besides rec league. And I mean GUARANTEE…you know NOTHING about how hockey is played and won…you know NOTHING about how an athlete’s mind works, and you know NOTHING about personnel decisions. You are merely comedy to some of the more serious thoughts posted here…

  • June 17, 2014 at 8:51 am

    2 quick things:

    to clarify the point that took to long for Brad to explain – Pirri & Morin played 9 games together. Morin played 15 w/out Pirri, Pirri played 19 w/out Morin. 43 total games impacted by at least one of those two.

    to Brad’s guarantee – there are plenty of folks that would make the same GUARANTEE about you & your sources. So before we start calling people “merely comedy” let’s take a deep breath and remember that many of us are full of shit from time to time.

  • June 17, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Wall, regarding Grabo, he’s looking for a 5+mil multi year contract. I can’t see us getting him.

  • June 17, 2014 at 11:07 am

    I am full of shit all the time.

    Rufus, many coaches, especially the ones of Q’s generation play their veterans in that manner. Especially if those are the guys who “got you there.” That isn’t how I would run a team but it is what it is.

    At the end of the day, after the John Scott kerfuffle, Bowman should have known better than to give Q a player like that when he had different plans for the line up. That looks like it will somewhat be rectified and hopefully Stan is more careful with the roster he provides.

  • June 17, 2014 at 11:53 am

    AJ, I too am surprised by the latitude Bowman gives Q sometimes, but then we have to remember that Q had to sit through 2011 and that fire sale. I do think we see Bowman tighten up the ranks a little bit and refrain from signing the Handzus/Bollig/Rozy types (older veterans or players with limited overall skill) this offseason. However, I think the only signing Bowman really regrets is Zus because of how Q ended up using him. I don’t believe in a million years Bowman thought his $1,000,000 signing of Zus would see him play more games at 2C than being on the bench…he was supposed to be a role player/13th forward. I can’t blame Bowman for the Rozy signing. 32’s play deteriorated a lot from a fairly high level last year.

    IMO, and I do not want to fire Q, or really am that upset with him…the decision to play Zus, Rozy, and Bollig in Game 7 against the Kings is probably what cost the Hawks that game.

  • June 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Frolik- assuming Grabo can be had for around $3.5M…

    $5M- is too much

  • June 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Grabo, I mentioned before because only needs around 3m (getting paid by his buyout contract). Add a Boyle & trade 23, 32 (retires?) & 27?. That would cover their contracts.


  • June 17, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Morrison- I love that line up … it would be incredible

    especially skating 2 # 88’s!!! lol- I know Hoss… but really a dream line-up

  • June 17, 2014 at 5:21 pm


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