Central Division Free Agency Update

Blackhawks fans have been underwhelmed by the team’s moves in free agency to date, but looking around the rest of the division shows only one team – St. Louis – has made strong moves. Indeed, Minnesota is the only team to give out more than two multi-year contracts thus far.

The list below does not reflect trades, including the Blues acquiring Ryan O’Reilly.

St. Louis Blues

  • David Perron, F – 4 years, $16M
  • Tyler Bozak, F – 3 years, $15M
  • Chad Johnson, G – 1 year

Colorado Avalanche

  • Ian Cole, D – 3 years, $12.75M
  • Matt Calvert, F – 3 years, $8.4M
  • Joe Cannata, G – 1 year
  • Scott Kosmachuk, F – 1 year
  • Sheldon Dries, F – 1 year

Minnesota Wild

  • Greg Patryn, D – 3 years, $6.75M
  • JT Brown – 2 years, $1.45M
  • Mike Liambas, F – 2 years
  • Eric Fehr, F – 1 year
  • Matt Hendricks, F – 1 year
  • Matt Bartkowski, F – 1 year
  • Nick Seeler, D – 1 year

Nashville Predators

  • Zac Rinaldo, F – 1 year
  • Jarred Tinordi, D – 1 year
  • Rocco Grimaldi, F – 1 year
  • Connor Brickley, F – 1 year

Dallas Stars

  • Anton Khudobin, G – 2 years, $2.5M

111 thoughts on “Central Division Free Agency Update

  • July 2, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Good Lord. I’m pretty happy with what the Hawks did. That’s too much money for too many years for some average contributors. As nice as a top 4 defenseman would be, there were none available in free agency this year. I love the draft, I love the cap space inevitably saved for Schmaltz and Debrincat, and I love that we have prospects and a full allotment of draft picks saved up. This year may or may not be any better than last but let’s let the kids keep playing.

  • July 2, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Nashville signed purported “Family” trifecta. Rinaldo is the ringleader.

  • July 2, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    The whole division free agency grab is pretty underwhelming. That’s not to say the teams didn’t improve, if only marginally, but all the big fish got away from the Central Division. It would be helpful to have the list of players the Central Division teams lost to free agency and trade to make a better assessment or their improvement, or not.

  • July 2, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Let’s have some fun and examine Bowman’s greatest moves:

    Replaced star Panarin by Saad – Big Loss

    Replaced Hall of famer Hossa by Little 5’7″ Debrincat – Bigger loss

    Replaced TVR by Rutta – Big Loss

    Replaced the Hammer by Murphy – Bigger loss

    Replaced Panik by Duclair then by a 38 year old Kunitz – who cares but still a loss

    Replaced Oduya by Osterle – Loss

    Replaced Kempny by Manning – Loss

    Replaced Danault by Wiese and Fleishmann – dumbest loss

    Replaced Teuvo by Kero by Kempf – crazy loss

    Replaced Sharp by Garbutt – loss

    Replaced Johns by Daley by Scuderi by Erhoff – loss

    Replaced Jurco by 165lbs, 6th round pick, hyped 23 year old college kid Sikura – another loss

    Replaced Evan Bouchard by smallish Boqvist – Loss

    Replaced Oliver Walhstrom by smallish Beaudin – another loss

    So, why does he fire Mike Kitchen before firing himself, Kelley and Gauthier? BIGGEST LOSS EVER

  • July 2, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Austin. I have to agree. This is now a Draft & Development league. I absolutely loved the Hawks draft a week ago and the stellar class of 2017 as well.

    I have to think that Stan is now in listening mode when it comes to a big center like Anisimov. No urgency to move him at this point, but other teams that did not get who they were hoping for on 7/1 might suddenly have more interest.

    I’m still curious what Carolina will do with Hamilton-Pesce-Faulk-TVR all right handed defensemen. Hmmmm

  • July 2, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    The crazy dollars and term thrown at an underwhelming free agent class confirm once again how critical the draft has become to long-term success. With regards to Justin Faulk, I don’t see what our package would be unless AA is part of the deal. Rumor has it they want Saad and I hope Stan doesn’t bite on that.

  • July 3, 2018 at 1:30 am

    Makita21, here’s a mission for you – try to find something positive. Anything. Even the smallest little thing. It will do you a world of good.

  • July 3, 2018 at 6:06 am

    Glad Bowman didn’t make big free agent moves and will go trade route, should be better value.

  • July 3, 2018 at 7:23 am

    ER- Amen. But the brain wires what it fires.

  • July 3, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Debrincat was a steal in the 2nd Round, perennial 30 goals + per year for a decade at least.

    Kane showing no signs of slowing down, dedicated and loves to play, he’s good for another solid 5-6 years minimum.

    Chara is nearing grandfather age, he played very well last year, Seabrook is 7 years younger, he has the hardware and credibility, he will play well w/ the correct, steady partner.

    Toews is a dedicated, proud guy, he’s not going to allow the nonsense we saw last year to happen again.

    Schmaltz is firmly established in top 6 role now.

    There are enough young, skilled forwards on the roster that the bottom 6 will shake out nicely (sans Martinsen who is pushing 30).

    If Crawford wasn’t healthy, Bowman wouldn’t have signed someone like Ward w/ his (and Q’s) job security on the line, this alone bumps the Hawks to wild card playoff seed at minimum.

    Q will have a better comfort level this year knowing Crawford is healthy and players he didn’t care for are gone, he’s not going to fool around playing junior high teacher’s pet nonsense.

    None of the goalies in the Hawks’ division are Stanley Cup caliber, they all have warts and zero hardware. Crawford is a proven commodity.


  • July 3, 2018 at 9:18 am

    An Iceman shows up with a solid dose of optimism this fine Tuesday morning. Well done sir.

  • July 3, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Agree Iceman and not done yet, be adds with trades over tbe summer.

  • July 3, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Nobody butchers context like Makita. Lunatic.

  • July 3, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Stan interviewed on the Score/670 this morning stating he is pretty much done with free agency but is still wanting to make trades to improve the team. Nothing Earth shattering about that news but it’s from the horse’s mouth so there’s that.

    Regarding trades, I think the first priority is not hurting the 2020/21 team for the sake of the 2018/19 team. No player should be deemed 100% untouchable because even the best player in the league may bring back a package of players that make the team better. So with an eye to the future I would hope Stan does not trade Kane, Toews, Schmaltz, DeBrincat, Saad, Sikura, Boqvist, Jokiharju, Mitchell and Beaudin … UNLESS he gets back a young player or players who will make the 2020/21 team better than the player(s) traded away.

  • July 3, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Makita- don’t try to be positive or try to make sense. I like you just the way you are. It’s profoundly amusing to watch someone devolve into a prattling puddle of antagonistic goo. You have a problem for every solution. You sure you’re not a Blues fan?

  • July 3, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Thx EB no thought thats what it would be. He has pretty much said before that no core would be moving, so be surprised if they do. Schmaltz, Debrincat, Hino (maybe) and other young forwards are part of the future. So i would say AA, maybe a Kampf or Hayden off the roster would be all there. Saad kinda dark horse. Defensively probably guts like Forsling, Rutta, Gus, Dahlstrom, Oesterle and maybe Murphy depending who is coming back. Can’t see with all talk of future he would trade his top defensive prospects at this point, anybody in Rockford or Indy of course. Nalimov’s rights and maybe one of the depth roster goalies.

  • July 3, 2018 at 11:59 am

    ER,that was my first thought list players who left teams as well to see what they really added.

    Playing in hardest division in hockey since league went to divisions, will be god for us to improve/young guys better compition.

    I am totally ok with not making playoffs this yr, in order to get the younger guys to next level for them. I do think we’re good enough with roster as constructed right now to be 34 or5 seed. I see LA ANA DAL VEG COL teams having a harder yr and teams like EDM CAL CHI doing much better then last yr/where they should be.

    Overall doesn’t matter, we want to take it to another level for the young guys. The core players will be more like normal. I do think though the core players will play for real once more of the younger guys are ready and take it to next level for them. They know what’s going on. Also have too much pride though so I can see 3 seed.

    Reguardless of regular season records, hands down NAS and WIN are top 2 teams in conference. Those teams deserve to win this yr or TB.

  • July 3, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I’m sure that Tab will be getting around to this; curious on what trades anyone is hearing out there that make sense for the Hawks? I’m in the long view camp, not giving up on this year but really hoping to see some smart moves in the near term that will net bigger dividends down the road.

  • July 3, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Craig/MS that’s what I am thinking. Even though we have a plethora of 3rd pair Defenseman I wou,d love to have Riemsdysk again. I know we need a top4 though.

    Anyways I am excited for the first time since we didn’t show up to play against NAS, other then game 3/that we won, with the route we’re doing.

    Pay your dues, no short cuts. load up for coming yrs, we still will have 19/88 playing good for those who think their done in 2/3 yrs.

    Its all coming around. Patience the good young wag is coming 2yrs and we’re lookong good again for being deep.

  • July 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm


    Kane, Toews, Keith, Seabrook, and Crawford is positive. Saad will bounce back but he is a playoff performer not one that will get you to the dance with 60 points or more.

    Hey Ebony, you like that Begium goalie he drafted? That KHL goalie drafted also 6th or 7th round? You like Gravel who was drafted in the 6th round? You need to be solid as a GM with your first 3 picks each year because those are the players who make the majority of the NHL and make your team championship calibre. And to draft 4 smallish dmen, 3 who shoot right and not draft a top winger with size, skill and speed is a failure in my honset opinion. Going small is going nowhere. Our teams that won cups had Kane, Shaw and TEUVO that where on the smallish side…with Campbell and Leddy one year each!!! Figure it out!

  • July 3, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Can’t believe what i’m reading here today, trade AA = losing the only net front presence they have, trade Hayden = losing the only player who will hit. Drafting players who won’t be ready for 2-3 years wtf. People the Hawks finished dead last in the division and you got Morrison saying he doesn’t care if they do it again this year. I sure hope Rocky Wirtz doesn’t think like that.

  • July 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Amen Tab, Makita needs to put down the crack pipe. Clearly the health and age of Hossa is Scooter’s fault…and it goes on and on…LoL.
    What about Oduya again? I know he had some injury issues, bu his plus/minus was 27 better than Erik Karlsson’s this year…the guy all of Canada thinks is a God.

  • July 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    If Bowman trades Saad for Faulk, well, that’s another dumb move. We do not need another right handed dman. He needs to trade Murphy and Anisimov but that might be too late because James Neil is in Calgary, Our wingers with Vinny, Kane, Debrincat, Sikura…..only Kane, maybe Debrincat can stay but the rest will be pushed around….Let’s be serious. Has our GM watched the playoffs the last 10 years?

  • July 3, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Ice,an, yea that’s our Sharpy for this decade.
    It’s a long way to OCT for the 19 roster.

    Big picture guys. That’s not the 19 or maybe 20 season, its21 and on baby.

  • July 3, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Anisimov, Forsling, Beaudin, Sikura, Murphy and 2020 1st rounder for Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and 2019 2nd rounder

  • July 3, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    ER/Ian. That’s the ticket I am buying. Be smart and make it better. We have the leverage now with the AA trade.

  • July 3, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Makita21, good to hear a little more balance.

    Regarding the goalies in our system – I really don’t know enough about them to have an educated opinion. I know Crawford is a top-5 goalie in the league if he’s healthy but we don’t know if he’s totally healthy. Ward is just a stop gap and none of the rest of them has proven to be NHL quality. So the whole goalie situation is in question, not only for this season but future seasons as well.

    Regarding your opinion on taking Boqvist over Wahlstrom – I disagree, especially from a futures perspective. The Hawks cupboard was bare of d-men who are projected to be in the the top-4 until the 2017 draft when they used the first 2 picks on Jokiharju and Mitchell. Even assuming that both of them pan out and will be top-4 d-men in a couple years – that still leaves the Hawks 2 top-4 d-men short of actually having 4 top-4 d-men. So I was fully on board with using the first 2 2018 pick on d-men, with one of those having potential to be a star player. Getting stocked with top-4 projected d-men was more important, in my opinion, than getting a forward because we already have 5, if not 6 top-6 forwards so the need for a top-6 forward was less than it was for a potential #1 d-man.

    Regarding smaller players versus bigger players. My opinion is is a fast and skilled big player is better than a fast and skilled small player. A no brainer statement but the point is that I do value size – just not over speed and skill, especially in a top-6 role. Using Teuvo as a reference, the knock on him was that although he had top end skill, he didn’t have above average speed and had no element of physicality to his game. So off he went as a 21 year old only to score 64 points as a 23 year old for another team 2 years later. My opinion is it would be nice to have that 23 year old Teuvo playing for our Hawks this coming season.

  • July 3, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    @ER: would you have drafted Boqvist or Dobson? Also, would you have drafted Beaudoin or Veleno?

  • July 3, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    @ Jordyhawk

    Teams don’t really win or lose on draft day

    Let’s see in 3-5 years if SB drafted the right player or not

  • July 3, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    “Anisimov, Forsling, Beaudin, Sikura, Murphy and 2020 1st rounder for Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and 2019 2nd rounder”


  • July 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    re: Jordyhawk – Boqvist, when healthy, is elite. Dobson is a really nice defenseman. IMO neither of those guys would have been a bad pick, but Boqvist may have “fallen into their lap.”

    re: Beaudin or Veleno – Veleno is a smart player but profiles as a 3C at the NHL level. Beaudin could be a top 4 defenseman. If we’re looking at organizational depth and potential for the player (asset) to help the team in the future, I will generally default to the defenseman in that scenario.

  • July 3, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    @Tab: thank-you for your response. I’d have gone with Dobson (ability to play big minutes and all situations) and Veleno (top 9, possibly top 6 is pretty good return at #27 and we could use depth at centre), but I can see the argument for Boqvist in particular. Probably my biggest issue with Stan is, especially on defence, he overwhelmingly prefers small PMDs to the exclusion of SHDs. I think you still need both.

  • July 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    jordyhawk, ditto what Tab said.

  • July 3, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Jordyhawk i’m a big Dobson fan and thought gotta take him. But look at how the bigger defencemen dropped down in the draft, not just Dobson and Bouchard but guys like Jared MacIsaac going from mid 1st to 2nd rd. The number of teams taking smaller skilled dmen says the game is headed in that direction, so yes Boqvist is a good choice for potential he has and as Tab said a potential top 4 dman at 27th vs a potential bottom 6 center is a no brainer.

  • July 3, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Another thought on Teuvo. I’m not sure if it was so much that the Hawks “gave up on him” more so than they felt trading his future potential was a price they were willing to pay to offload Bickell’s contract. So maybe if Bickell’s contract wasn’t an issue they would have given Teuvo more time to develop into the 64 point scorer we saw last season.

    With that in mind, I’m kind of drawing a comparison to the situation with Sikura. It a certain sense Sikura reminds me of Teuvo in that they are close to the same size, which is to say slightly built, they both have high end skill and neither is Johnny Gaudreau speedy/quick, although Sikura may have a slight edge in skating over Teuvo. I think it may be a year of two before Sikura hits his stride and I think it worked out well that he played his senior year in college so he’s starting his NHL career as a 23 year old. My hope is that the Hawks have more patience with Sikura than they did with Teuvo – and there isn’t s Bickell-like contract situation where they are compelled to trade Sikura only to watch him go someone else and reach his potential.

  • July 3, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    I haven’t watched a ton of highlights of Veleno and he’ll probably be a good NHL player at some point. I watched more highlights of Jake Wise than Veleno and admittedly watching youtube highlights isn’t the best way to eveluate players – but Wise looks like a better player than Veleno to me. I’m probably wrong because the professional talent evaluators had Veleno rated considerably higher than Wise – but I wouldn’t be surprised is Wise ends up being a better middle-6 two-way center than Veleno.

  • July 3, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    The expansion draft might have factored in, in a way/not totally.

    I liked/still like Teravainen. Watched him in Lake Placid. Talked to Bowman there about team. Bullshit they move world juniors to other state.

  • July 3, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Regarding the draft it is a good exercise to go back and look at recent drafts for perspective. It is human nature to have a strong feeling that one guy is clearly better than another but by looking at all the picks from 3-6 years ago you get reminded how many first round picks don’t amount to much, let alone any later round pick. If we can get two solid guys from a draft we have done an excellent job, if one is a star then you hit a home run.

  • July 3, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    What probably tipped the scale to selecting Boqvist over Dobson is that Boqvist is seven months younger and thus has a little more upside. Either one, you couldn’t go wrong. Also, as tempting as it was to pick Veleno, Beaudin has more upside. And with Keith and Seabrook past their prime, the Hawks need many promising D-men in the pipeline. Some, like Pokka, were expected to make the team, but did not. It is not certain Forsling will step in either.

  • July 3, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    I’m being “Mr Optimistic” today so in the spirit of more optimism, I went back and looked at DeBrincat’s rookie season highlights. You wanna get a dose of optimism – go look at those highlights and factor in he’s only 20. Kid can just plain out shoot the puck and his play recognition and passing is elite level too. Sometimes playing the “woulda-coulda-shoulda” game is nonsense but I’m going to say again he would have scored more than 28g/24/52pts if he had played more games with Kane, Toews and/or Schmaltz – guys who play at the same level as he does. He certainly would have had more assists as I can recall too many times he set up a linemate only to have the guy not be ready for the pass or flub the shot. Guys like Anisimov, Jurco, Sharp and a few others missed opportunities to score that Kane, Toews and Schmaltz would have scored.

    The speed at which he gets his shot off and on target is amazing and it’s what the best pure goal scorers do. All manner of shots from all over the o-zone too – including going to the net and battling for rebounds. He’s small but he doesn’t play small, at least not on offense.

    Yeah baby!

  • July 3, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    D-Cat is the real thing-would like him to play with a highly skilled passer/vision winger (Kane) and a bigger center that can skate (not AA). He needs to be on his off wing, as Kane does. That would be a hell of a line.

  • July 3, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    With all do respect Ebony, who are your top 6 forwards in this coming season? Did you forget how many times we were shut out last season. Our offence was poor, in fact extremely poor. I think Walstrom would have a solid pick, And I think Mitchell last season was another wasted opportunity to draft a skilled winger with size. I am not talking about a player with size and non scorimg touch. Bowman, draftred at one pointr onlyt centres…DANAULT, MCNEIL, TEUVO and SCHMALTZ in the first wound. What about a solid winger??? That is balamce Ebony!

  • July 3, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Well there goes Calvin De Haan to Carolina. They now have a top four of Dougy Hamilton, Brett Pesce, Jacob Slavin and deHaan, all moving more than $4 Million per year. Cue up the Justin Faulk trade talk.

    They also have TVR and Haydn Fleury at 5 and 6, plus Jake Bean and Roland McKeown waiting in the wings.

    Hmmm. Anisimov and Faulk would pretty much be a salary match and Rick Dudley loves big centermen.

  • July 3, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    I ll take Schmaltz and Mitchell and be very satisfied. They were excellent picks.

  • July 3, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Debrincat is going to wake the neighbors.

  • July 4, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Makita21, The 2018 draft picks weren’t intended to contribute this coming season. The 4 d-men picked at the top of the last 2 draft classes are to become the d-corps of the future. The focus should be to get back to a legitimate Cup contender in 2-3 years. It’s unrealistic to think the Hawks could be in contention in 2018/19 even if they had taken Wahlstrom.

    As to the top-6 forwards going into the 2018/19 season – Toews, Kane, Saad, Schmaltz and DeBrincat. That’s 5, and if Sikura has a rookie season like DeBrincat did last year – that makes 6. Even more to the point – those 5 will still be here in 2-3 seasons whereas the only legit top-4 d-man the Hawks have now is Keith and he’ll be 2-3 years older so who knows is he will still be top-4 caliber at that time.

  • July 4, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Blackhawks are going to wake up the general public in 2ish yrs.

  • July 4, 2018 at 4:21 am

    Draft for the future, trade or sign fas, whichever works for now needs. The only way to do it.

  • July 4, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Robin Lehner for 1.5 mil would have been nice. Luckily it’s for one year as is Ward’s so there’s the target for next year.

  • July 4, 2018 at 9:45 am

    @Ian: Dobson fell but so did Boqvist and Hughes. Bouchard went right around where he was projected to go. I don’t see any trend in that.

  • July 4, 2018 at 9:51 am

    The trend would be over recent yrs drafts, not just this 1st round ones.

  • July 4, 2018 at 11:00 am

    So the question I have, as others probably do too, are the Hawks in a rebuild? Or rather, are the Hawks in an unannounced rebuild? To my knowledge they haven’t come out and used the “rebuild” word. But tea leaves kinda look that way – don’t they? I think we can say it isn’t a full blown tear it all down type of rebuild. So the question becomes better defined by considering the question – are the Hawks focused more on 2018/19 or future season? If their focus is future seasons (with less emphasis on 2018/19), then it is a rebuild of sorts. This is not meant to be a game of semantics, it is meant to give reason for the moves the Hawks have made – both at the draft and with free agency. It’s the difference between thinking Stan is incompetent and that he is following a plan, albeit one not announced to the faithful.

    I guess we’ll see if Stan trades any of the “future” to strengthen the present. I hope he doesn’t. I’d much rather take our lumps for a couple seasons and come back ready to be a legit contender in 2 or 3 years. Selling the future to try to make the playoffs this season is a ticket to mediocrity. That’s what we don’t want.

  • July 4, 2018 at 11:11 am

    We already have our version of Robin Lehner = Anton Forsberg.

  • July 4, 2018 at 11:54 am

    That’s what probally botherspeople, people using the word rebuild, when their trying to say retool.

    Rebuild- trading 88 50 and others for picks/good prospects as signing a Hoss for free/to take the embrace the suck into flipping trades and sign top ufa/51 81
    Retool- trading 72 to get 20 back, keeping every pick/adding picks, drafting guys with higher ceilings then nhl ready picks, then maybe sign 72 for free/creative ways
    Tweaks- adding guys like 14, Madden, Hands, when we’re loaded and want to fill the tank and reserve tank

    Everyone has their own version of meaning of word/s. When really people are saying the same thing. More in depth have personal, do I actually believe we can do it, with certain roster players/ where each guy is at and going, feelings/thoughts on what best way to do it.

    I am not saying I am right and whoever is wrong. To me anyone who uses the word rebuild doesn’t know what their talking about or does and using inaccurate word. They really mean retool.

    Could also have more then three words to choose from when describing what where doing for building the roster back to where it belongs. So there isint grey areas inbetween and people getting frustrated with words and not focusing on good ideas we can do. That’s where people think of things they wouldn’t have thought of.

    We can be creative with the way we do it.

  • July 4, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Right, and that’s why I said I wasn’t playing a game of semantics. The point being I believe the Hawks have their sights set more on “tomorrow” than “today”. At least I hope so. But, there is a business aspect too and I doubt McDonaugh would be on board with telling the fans we’re going to suck for the next couple years but please hang in there with us and, oh by the way, please keep buying our product.

  • July 4, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    I’m not a conspiracy nut … really, I’m not … but IF there was some funny business going on with the NHL draft lottery … and I’m not saying there was … but playing along that maybe there was – then here’s a possible scenario.

    Premise: the Chicago Blackhawks are a huge TV market, not just local to Chicago, but also across the country. Whether that’s due to transplanted Chicagoans living all over or whatever, the point is the NHL does well economically when the Hawks are a contending team.

    Therefore, maybe Bettman “accidently” rests his little pinky finger on the scales and lo and behold the Hawks end up with Jack Hughes in the 2019 draft and are propelled back to the top of the mountain by the 2020/21 season.

    For those of you who haven’t seen Quinn’s little brother play – he very likely will be the #1 pick in 2019 and immediately step into a super star role ala McDavid.

    Imagining a DeBrincat-Hughes-Kane line is glorious and adding to the potential enjoyment will be the naysayers complaining the line would be “too small”.

  • July 4, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    That business aspect mentioned by ER is interesting. Is the 10 year goal of an organization a few realistic shots at a cup or is it a borderline competitive team that gets you several years with a round or two of playoff games?

    In a 10 year span, would you rather have 1 cup after several terrible years or a steady stream of playoffs with no cups?

    I think the majority of organizations want the steady stream of playoff years and then hope like hell you get lucky and steal a cup. At least keep the fans thinking you have a chance to get a cup.

    As a fan, I would prefer the terrible years followed by a big chance for a cup. That is because during the terrible years I can stay home and put my attention on other teams or sports. I’m not concerned about a few empty seats and jersey sales.

    If the optimists are right and the Hawks can “retool” then that is fantastic! I have my doubts and would put the odds of the Hawks winning another cup with Toews and Kane at about 1 in 20. If you think the odds are better, you’re dreaming.

  • July 4, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    It’s true – I’m a dreamer. :-)

  • July 4, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Bls2 what odds did you give them for winning 3 cups in 7 years, quite sure it would have been less than 1 in 20 seeing how seldom it happens.

  • July 4, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Actually 3 cups in 6 years – even lower odds

    As long as 19, 2 and 88 are in CHI I think you have to be thinking of how do we win another cup – if you’re not then you should be looking to trade one or more of them

    Based on nothing other than the magic of 3 cups I want to believe they have a 4th cup in them – realistically not next year but the year maybe two after

  • July 4, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I love the Hawks and hope for the best-but they are a team stuck in the middle-the last rankings had 17 other teams with better odds to win the Cup-not 2 or 3 or 5–17

    We saw Keith last year decline and in the next two years that will be more obvious (greater league speed and his unique God given speed/agility gearing down a bit.) 88 is elite and will be, as someone said he has a skill set that doesn’t downgrade that quickly. But one of his undervalued skills is his motor/foot speed which will lessen somewhat as he ages, he will not be unique there.
    19? Still a really nice number two but his days of being an all-star would appear to be gone-He will turn it around based on what? That another player did that? I’d take him on any team as he is a true grit guy with important skills. Crow? Who knows?
    The old core is AT BEST a B as a grade and a young core very early on with some interesting parts (they wouldn’t be in the top of the league there as well)-love a couple of them and hope 2 or 3 more emerge.

    No matter what proud to be a Hawk fan but not blind to certain realities.

  • July 4, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Man, I really don’t enjoy being a downer. I love the Hawks just like others on this blog. Like Noonan96, there are realities.

    I believe when the Hawks core was in their prime they had Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, and Sharp all in the TSN list of top 50 NHL players. Can’t recall where they had Hossa. Toews was top 2 or 3 if I recall correctly.

    So at that time, 3 cups would be a great feat but certainly feasible. When you are the best, the odds of winning are high. Just look at MTL, NYI, Edmonton and Detroit during their cup years.

    In three years, how many Hawks will be ranked in the top 50 player lists? Perhaps Kane. Perhaps Toews. Perhaps a new prospect. At most 3 and likely none in the top twenty.

    Let’s start a rebuild or just get used to being a medium to good team but not a cup winner.

    The bigger question is what are the odds of winning a cup in 10 years if they do sell off assets. Yikes, I don’t have any idea. Maybe 1 in 10? Better than not selling assets in my humble opinion.

  • July 4, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I would think the odds of 1 in 20 are that Toews and Kane cannot win another Cup in Chicago.

    Odds are different now, that there is only 2 top5 teams these yr each yr. Also only about 5or6 bottom10 teams. Everybody else is there.

  • July 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Naysayers or Believers cant be right about both.

    its trade everything we can to add top ufas/trades to make roster good now
    build for future yrs/the coming yrs by retooling the way we are. No shortcuts.

    One or the other wins.

  • July 4, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    It did take the redwings about 10 yrs to get their 4th, and their first 3 were padded with 95m payrolls in the mid90s.

    We won 3in6 yrs, should have in 14 as well.
    Now 3-5 transition.
    Then were at it again with a deep roster to win the 4th Cup.

  • July 4, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    I think like the draft everyone will have to wait to see whos right about this.

    I hope people do not think we have to have a dynasty type or stacked roster to win. Theres no teams anymore like the ones during 2010-2015. In the Waterdowned Bettman Hockey League.

  • July 4, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Who ever like prospects and getting intot he development part of the thing. This is your time to shine. Wall. Good info on the young guys coming and details of a dang good 23man in the making.

  • July 4, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Ebnony, of course the 2018 picks were not for this season? Although Evan Bouchard will make that Oilers roster. But what about balance? This is my point! They all may turn out to be solid picks on defence, actually maybe 2 out of 4 but it does not excuse the fact that 2 of those 4 picks should have been wingers with size and skill combined. And take a real goalie prospect in the 3 round. That is all I am saying. Then again, you cannot expect much logic from a GM who signcd Osterle,Rutta, Bouma, Franson, Kunitz, Manning etc…

  • July 4, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Who is our top left wing prospect who should have or could have been part of the roster if he was drafted in the last 2-3 years? Knott? Icaopelli? Who is our top right wing prospect? Not Debrincat who is a perimeter player, please! And if we trade Anisimov, who is out top centre prospect? NONE, that is my point.

  • July 4, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    DeBrincat is not a prototypical LW but to say he is a perimeter player is to not acknowledge that he goes into and scores from the tough areas too.

    We discuss opinions, I have mine and others have theirs but they are just opinions and there will always be disagreements and that’s OK and actually a good thing to spur good conversation.

  • July 4, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Noonan, I think we can be 1 of 2 best teams for 5 yrs in 2/3 yrs. When 19/88 are 30-35 and 50/2 are 35-40. On a couple of them and the others be one of the 4/5or6 best teams that have legit shot of winning. That’s why I think odds are good for those 5ish yrs not until then though.

    We could surprise people this yr, then get preparing for those 5yrs.

    People arnt arguing but I do believe we get roster to that for those yrs and that’s the time.

    Have to get excited knowing whats coming for those 5ish yrs. Not let peoples personal opinions make people fell that’s the end all. Some people believe it some do not, I going to leave it at that. I do really think we can get our roster to that again. Which includes getting 81 and 4 back with other good players.

    From now to then its just what people want to think/believe. No one know until then.

  • July 4, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Getting a lot of Defenseman was more important then FW/big FWs. We do need to get some bigger guys during these 2/3 rys.

    Doesn’t have to be draft for those type. Could be trade/ufas. Which I think well get during the ‘good’ 5 yrs coming up. Like Noonan, the good young wave of players aren’t going to light it up rookie yrs. What will be light it most of roster will be in place by the time their ready/starting. Then we just stronger each yr, during those 5yrs.

  • July 4, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    What yr is the next Bettman lockout.

  • July 5, 2018 at 8:04 am

    I don’t recall which year it is when the CBA allows for one or both sides to essentially back out of the agreement. I wanna say it’s next summer but not sure.

  • July 5, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Someone take the bong away from Morrison, he’s making no sense at all. Toews and Crawford both need to show up this year and yes we do need bigger faster forwards that can score now. Win now or risk losing your fan base and that national attention that has been there. When they lose you get left behind and we all remember those days, can’t afford that right now.

  • July 5, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Heres a post that sums up the retool/rebuild words.

    It’s basically a semantics issue.
    What people keep calling a rebuild does not classify as a rebuild.
    As long as Toews/Kane/Keith/Seabrook/Crawford are still on this team, it ain’t a rebuild.

  • July 5, 2018 at 9:54 am

    There was 2 free buyouts at the last cba, right.

    Like the Wise info.
    Wise is a Bolland/Krugs in the making. Is that right.

  • July 5, 2018 at 9:59 am

    I believe the national attention has already moved on.

    Bigger, faster, better – yeah, good idea. And then real life reality shows up and more times than not it becomes – bigger/faster/better, pick one.

  • July 5, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Mo the compliance buyouts last cba were to allow teams to get out if contracts impacted by the recaptures penalties introduced. There may not be any buyouts this time around if recapture rules remain as is.

  • July 5, 2018 at 11:53 am

    @Mikita21 Dead on SB loses. He is are biggest problem and his contracts. Sums up last 3 years and this year will be the same. He’s a idiot posing as a GM.

  • July 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Ian, when the current CBA went into effect, I thought there was a date/year set where one side or both could break the agreement before the end of the duration (which I thought was 8 years?). There’s been 5 seasons played since the CBA went into effect in 2013 and I thought there was some form of out clause after 6 years.

  • July 5, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but weren’t the Hawks in danger of losing Teuvo to the expansion draft if they kept him for the 2016 season? I thought that was a big part of the reason why they elected to trade him to move the Bickell contract. Had they tried to keep him on the roster they would have most likely lost him in the draft for nothing. It’s easy to say that Bowman made a mistake trading TT, but what would the comments here have been if Teuvo was drafted by Vegas and we got nothing in return.

    I see his name mentioned a few times in the comments and thought it might be relevant…

  • July 5, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    EB 2019 there is an opener clause in there and 2021 if not you are right.

  • July 5, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Miroslav you are right about TT being lost in expansion draft. However, Bickell also could have been socked away in the AHL and had his cap hit minus $925k on our books for that year. Or we could have flipped him at the trade deadline. There were options, but they were not guarantees.

    Hard to say we got much of anything for him. We wound up with a couple later round picks.

    The history of guys who have won the scoring championship at the World Juniors and led their team to gold, like Teuvo did, is STELLAR in terms of having a productive NHL career. There was no question he would produce when his body got a bit more mature, we just couldn’t wait for it with the cap pressure and then the expansion draft.

    Of course there would have been the option to wheel and deal with Vegas like lots of teams did to keep players. Matt Murray should have been available to Vegas but Pitt worked out a trade so they could keep him. Plenty of other teams did similar deals with them. So don’t let anyone tell you the Hawks had zero option but to dump TT because that is not accurate.

  • July 5, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Didn’t know about that part of it/affect us so didn’t bother.

    Thinking that could be another blessing in disguise, like deep draft on an rare off yr-that including transition yr and lots of first yr players. To where the timing of something could be good for us. Like how some of the other top teams in 2/3 yrs might not be as good, when we are again, where some of their top players are age/come down some. Then their not as good as they were and were coming on each yr. Like NAS did.

  • July 5, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Not sure if this is, if Bicks wasn’t on FW protection list then Teravainen could have been picked anyways.

    Eating Bicks caphit, .925, would be better for now. Bonuses already paid then, with having extra cap space now-that’s not being used/same difference. Better used for 16 playoffs/got screwed by refs game 7 we win/have to beat SJ/ok.

  • July 5, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    I really like king of the roads.

  • July 5, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I like the idea of working out a deal, like other teams did to skirt the draft.

    I do think that no team should be able to do that in expansion draft though. and that every expansion team should have to suck for 5-10 yrs because they should have to draft and do it the way every team in league did it.

    Not buy/steal teams players/picks of established NHL players. Really WTF is that.
    Bettman is the piece of shit not Bowman in every way here.

  • July 5, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Miroslav heading into 2016 off season moving Bickells contract was a priority by Bowman and most posters on here. His 4m caphit in the minors would have been still 3.25m coupled with 3.5m bonus overages mostly Panarin. The Blackhawks were running with less than the 23 man roster to start the season and about $200,000 or $300,000 capspace after moving his salary so carrying him in the minors would’ve been basically impossible.
    As far as expansion draft, Jurco was one of the protected forwards.

  • July 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    A lot of water under the bridge. I wish Teuvo well.

  • July 5, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    @ MAKITA21

    Excellent points regarding Stan and his recent track record. Sometimes I feel like there is way to much fan boy silliness site. Stan has been spotty at best recently. Here is another; DuClair signing with the BJ’s for 650K. If DuClair goes out and has a solid season 15-20 goals and 50 pts Stan is going to look really silly again. Granted the team that drafted him and the team that traded him didn’t sign him but he was here last.

    I’m already sick of the “hardest division” nonsense. That’s just excuses.

    This is a wildcard team at best. Winnipeg, Nashville and Colorado are all better and Stl & Minny are no push over.

  • July 5, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Not arguing with you/others.
    These are some good posts, I think/believe of Bowman had to work with these recent yrs and yrs we were stacked.

    Lots of rookies got valuable experience last year that will pay off this year. Time to management minutes on the older statesmen. And one more items…Kudo’s to Bowman for keeping the core together with competitive contracts and a stagnant salary cap. Most years during the Cup runs he was still able to bring in veterans for the play-off push(es).plus still added DeBrincat, Hayden, Schmaltz and even Panarin……just tremendous work by Stan.

    Stan’s approach changed in 2015, and he has been continuing that same approach since then.
    Previous to that, the teams have been mostly veterans, with one or two prospects brought up per year. Since winning that 2015 Cup, he has been shedding expensive established players, and bringing in more kids, along with a few cheap established players on short contracts. The past couple of years, the youth movement has been on steroids. He has been doing things differently over the past few years, but it hasn’t been in response to what Vegas did. It was in response to a stagnant salary cap, as well as that backlog of prospects who were due their shot at the NHL. He couldn’t keep a lot of those veterans, because he couldn’t afford to do so. Otherwise, I think things would look a lot different than they do now. Imagine if the cap went up sufficiently in 2015, to where they could have kept Saad, along with bringing in Panarin.

    I am good now, with anything Bowman and crew did in the past or recently and then next, until we see what the roster looks like/where the young guy are at in 2/3 yrs from now. From now until then 2/3 yrs from now to progress and roster improves every yr to then. Were back as a top 1or2 team and 4/5or6 top team for those 5yrs.

    I look at last yr or so and these couple now as growing pains. Not things that actually happened, sch., clichés people say for excuses or not.

  • July 5, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    When every team in division is 10 games over .500 to 33 and 35 over .500, we would be if Crow didn’t play 60 of 80 games.

    Its by far the hardest division.

    Maybe that didn’t have anything to do with us sucking. Ok then, not arguing.

  • July 5, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Article makes sense.

  • July 6, 2018 at 12:31 am

    That’s cool, we havnt been. Its ok the usual guys here think diiferent on things. I respect your and others that think diff on some things and I am being realistic. I just cant think theres no way possible kind of thinking. I do think well get roster back and hope the half of core we keep by then 19/88/2/50/20 are still good for them. Because then well be good again.

    I know its not just division, its way too many things last yr. Want it to only be the normal one or so things, like a usual yr.

    Its better then that east division, we would have been 15-20 over and not got a high top pick.

  • July 6, 2018 at 12:38 am

    Without even reading it yet, I can guess what it says. Most of division teams have moved up and past/last yr.

    CHI/STL were top 2 when we started
    others have gone up/thers just more good teams now in addition to CHI/STL, we went down for this transitions/growing pains yrs

    I know we can get back, its not a given though.
    Be good timing, when were on way up, net 2/3 yrs. Half of these teams are going down some.

  • July 6, 2018 at 4:54 am

    Do not see how the HAWKS can finish ahead of Nashville, Jets, Colorado and St. Louis? Not with this roster. Maybe Minnesota if age creeps up on them as well, but they are still have a more balanced team with a little more talent.

  • July 6, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Lets talk about the ”Core” that everyone brings up. Kane still one of the best at what he does, very valuable in trade talks if wanted. Keith still a very good player at his position, maybe lost a step and some desire. Toews still a good 2 way player but not showing the scoring ability he once had. Crawford a very good goalie that can’t be counted on for a full season. Seabrook a shell of what he once was, seems to have lost the desire that made him very good. The one thing they all have in common is they eat up a lot of cap space and they aren’t getting any younger, everyone knows what they did in the past but we need their all right now. Even Hull and Mikita and Savard got old, this core ain’t what they used to be.

  • July 6, 2018 at 10:36 am

    @ SEAT 24

    I like your last comment a lot, I think you are spot on however I think Keith’s game has fallen a lot more then you are implying. I would say he was borderline awful last season. Although I feel a lot of last season’s disaster has to do with him being paired with a guy better suited to play in the A. I hope that he can regain some of his form, but as I’ve said before HOPE is not a strategy. Keith has always been a transcendent player and his decline has been sad to see.

    Based on this offseason I fully expect that Stan and Joel will be fired next year, and a new GM will turn this roster over again. There are way too many questions for me to feel confident in this roster.

  • July 6, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    regarding the concept that the Blackhawks are “stuck in neutral while rivals get better” – if the Hawks had bottomed-out, Patrik Laine might have been an option. I think we’re all OK with them winning a Cup in 2015.

    St. Louis has nice centers. Their other situations are still problematic.
    Colorado added a nice goaltender and a top-four defenseman. But have they proven anything over the last six years other than they’re capable of… inconsistency? They win having Ottawa’s top pick next year; the Duchene trade is a Christmas gift – still.
    Minnesota isn’t scary.

    So what the Hawks are looking ahead to is a season in which they’re a healthy Crawford from being a playoff team. How the kids develop and what other moves they make will determine how deep they can go. But everything hinges on Crawford. Cam Ward is a capable backup plan, but this team needs Crawford at 100 percent.

  • July 6, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    This ur reminds me of 12 after a terrible 11 yr, people do not think were going to do good and we do really good, like 20 over .500 and then maybe not as good in 20 or about the same. Getting prepped for the 21 season and on. That’s when were deep again.

  • July 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Giving the younger guys another year to grow, wouldn’t be a bad thing and see what’s there and then have Jokiharju, Mitchell, Soderlund and maybe a russian forward to blend in next year. Get the ducks in a row regarding rfa contracts and load up where lacking.

  • July 6, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Here is my hope – that the “core” responds big time after the slap in the face embarrassment of missing the playoffs.

    Cool thing about this sport is that anything can happen.

    Case in point –

    Who can honestly say they saw Vegas making it to the finals…???

  • July 6, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    I know well be deeper in a couple yrs for a bunch of yrs.

    I do want to see the core guys and whoever else kick some ass and play hockey like they can.

  • July 7, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Tab-I agree that Crow is a key to this year and can certainly say they are a playoff possibility with him in net all year but this is still basically the same team that bowed out in the first round twice in a row-plus or minus guys like TT, Panarin, Saad and D-Cat. Plus the old core a couple of years farther along and no real proven NHL upgrade among d-men. (although there may be in 2 or 3 years).
    That’s why most hockey people have them fighting to be a playoff team, this year, at best. Would love to be wrong though.

  • July 7, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Last place division. 1st round division.

    We play in another division last place on central is 4or5th in every other division.
    Central you play top5 teams in 16 and 17/STL and NAS, you do not play top 5 teams in other divisions until 2 or 3 rounds.

    Doesn’t change anything your saying, other then really its like 2nd or 3rd round twice in a row. And a high top pick instead of 15th-19th pick.

    I think we make playoffs this yr, as 2/3/4or5 seed, depends on WIN and STL records for seed.

  • July 7, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I hate to repeat myself but I think it goes without saying. Nothing has gone right for the Hawks after lifted the cup in June of 2015. They have won 3 playoff games in the last 3 seasons. Signing Panarin was an outstanding move however outside of that little has gone right. Here is the list…
    Traded Saad
    Traded Tuevo
    Signed fucking Seabroke to a horrible
    Getting absolutely housed in the Sharp trade
    Resigned fucking Kruger then traded Danault
    When you have that many misses in a 3 yr stretch you deserve 3 playoff wins. When you follow up with those moves with this offseason you put yourself in a position where u lose your job. I’m sure I’m missing a few but those are the few moves that come top of mind after June of 2015.

  • July 7, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    We got work to do.
    Upside coming. Lots of it.

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