Kris Versteeg, Blackhawks Hammer Sharks

Less than 24 hours after tanking in Nashville, the Blackhawks returned home to face a hot San Jose team that spent Saturday night.

The homecoming was more significant for Kris Versteeg, playing his first game in Chicago since the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. When the final horn sounded, Versteeg and the Blackhawks had turned in a statement victory against an imposing foe.

Versteeg goal

Versteeg skated 15:10 in the game and filled the stat sheet. He was credited with one goal, one assist, one blocked shot and two hits. He now has three points in two games since putting the Blackhawks’ sweater back on.

Brandon Pirri scored his sixth goal of the season to get the Blackhawks on the board in the first period. He had another strong game as well, adding an assist, two hits and a takeaway in 14:40 on the ice. Pirri won only three of nine faceoffs, but his defense continues to show improvement.

Pirri now has six points (four goals, two assists) in his last six games, and Sunday night was his third multi-point game of the season. He has 11 points in 16 games since joining the Hawks.

Even without Marian Hossa in the lineup, Patrick Sharp continues his hot streak as well. Sharp had two goals and one assist in the victory, including a penalty shot goal with 71 seconds remaining in regulation. He attempted seven shots in the game – four making it to the net – and was plus-three in the game.

Jonathan Toews “quietly” had another solid evening as well. The Blackhawks’ captain scored his tenth goal of the season, won 11 of 20 faceoffs and was credited with one blocked shot and three takeaways in the game.

Brandon Saad had two assists for the Hawks, and Patrick Kane recorded a point for a seventh consecutive game. Kane has been credited with at least one point in 11 of the last 13 Blackhawks games. Andrew Shaw led the Hawks with seven hits, and Marcus Kruger had a gorgeous assist on Sharp’s first goal of the night.

There are 30 players in the NHL with at least 19 points at the time this is being written. Three of those 30 – Kane, Sharp and Toews – are Blackhawks. With two points from Pirri on Sunday night, the Blackhawks now have ten players with at least ten points this year as well.

On the blue line, Michal Rozsival played a very strong game as coach Joel Quenneville was able to spread out the ice time among his defensemen. The top ice time total for the Hawks on Sunday night was 21:26 by Johnny Oduya, while 18:15 for Rozsival was the lowest.

Shelden Brookbank skated 8:52 as a forward because Marian Hossa missed a second straight game because of a lower-body injury.

Corey Crawford stopped 23 of 24 San Jose shots to earn the victory.

Before the game, Antti Raanta was recalled from Rockford and was the backup on Sunday night.

37 thoughts on “Kris Versteeg, Blackhawks Hammer Sharks

  • November 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Now that Blackhawks hockey.

    That makes up for the garbage (night) bag last night & just about evens out the 3rd period goal differential from the first 5 games of season.

    F-ing Right Chicago.

  • November 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Playoff focus from the Hawks players and it showed…CC did not have a lot of work at all due to the smothering team defence, but once thing to note about CC is that after letting in that softie, especially after last night’s performance, CC did not panic and break down…he settled back in and kept the whole team confident.

    Pirri is really turning into a nice player, and his offence will only get better as he is still thinking defence first right now…he just needs to get a little better on the draws…

    Sharp was excellent again, as was Saad, Versteeg, Shaw and Kruger…the whole defence was very good…

    The only “downer” was seeing BB at wing again…and until the Hawks scored that 4th goal, BB had just under 3 minutes of playing time…he is a waste when we dress him as a winger and a liability to that 3rd line when he is on the ice…the Hawks need to find a way to have the money to bring a real forward up if a player is injured…

    BTW…the Hawks put Bulin on LONG TERM injury tonight, meaning Raanta is here to stay for a while…hopefully this gives us some CAP flexibility for the trip…NO MORE BB AT WING…

    Great effort Hawks, thanks!

  • November 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Yea, we do have some cap space right now as Tab pointed out recently (with 3 guys in ltir) to have one extra fw on the 23man. The plus side, everyday while we dont provides us with more cap space for deadline… but yes I think we should have a fw for the long roadtrip.

  • November 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Nashville? I don’t recall – did something happen in Nashville recently?

    That was nice.

    I had my doubts about Pirri, especially because he was going to need to play well defensively in order to stay in the lineup, but I’m becoming a believer. He had another couple good defensive plays tonight and he goes to the net and scores. He can’t get too comfortable and he needs to keep working hard – but right now the arrow is pointing up.

    I hope Hossa isn’t having a major problem – that would be devastating. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    Crawford would have had a shutout if he hadn’t scored on himself.

    It’s nice to have Versteeg back.

    It’s also nice to not give up a goal on the PK.

    Let the circus trip team bonding begin.

    Go Hawks ! ! ! !

  • November 17, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Hoss, get well soon.

    No ‘Prefontaine’ s-x positions, eh.

  • November 18, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Thanks Tab, nice article. GREAT game for the Hawks. SJ looked flat last night but that is OK with me. Regardless, Brad is right. The Hawks played with focus.

    I wish to add the Smith also quietly had a good game. The young wing makes very few mistakes and is starting to show some offense. He along with Pirri are here to stay (I hope). Pirri has a nose for the net, that is for sure. These two will really help the Cap issue next year.

    How do you say it nicely? WTF is Brookbank doing on the roster. A serviceable 6th D man maybe, but a wing????? I know he is a good teammate on and off the ice but…….BB only costs the Hawks about $325K when he is in Rockford. Bring Morin back PLEASE

    Really glad to see Rosy playing well. Q likes veteran D men. But it is time to use a rookie as the 7th Dman. Looks like Kostka is out long term.

  • November 18, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Why isn’t Mills playing anymore?

  • November 18, 2013 at 6:45 am

    I could not agree more with Morrison’s assessment. This was a signature example of what Blackhawks hockey is all about. The guys were were really flying to the puck all night. D zone clearance was crisp and team defense was stifling, allowing CC to shut the door. Tab has rightly pointed out how balanced points are getting spread through the lineup. Few teams can boast these kind of numbers.

    For the Hawks to play as well as they against a very good team last night without Hossa speaks volumes about the depth of the Hawks right now. While it can be argued the Hawks didn’t show up to play in Nashville Saturday, yesterdays game was still a back to back on the schedule, and they had some real jump on the skates. Impressive. Let’s assume Hossa will be back soon. We are so much better when he is in the lineup.

    Let the circus trip begin! There are going to be some interesting matches in the next few weeks.I am happy we play The Ave’s right out of the gate on this road trip. Considering they ended the streak last year in Denver I am sure did not sit well with the boys last year. I think the Hawks will be primed and ready tomorrow night. For some reason I want to see Roy stew behind the bench. That game and the Nucks Saturday are the ones I look most forward to. Let’s also play a good game in Calgary…..for a change. It seems as though its been 3-4 years since we have gone there and not played well. Some real stinkers. Raanta will be tested on this trip and we need him to play adequately so Crow gets some needed rest. Winnepeg, Oilers and Stars seem likely games for the new guy to step in. We just need to have our backup goalie keep us in games. Khabby sad to say wasn’t getting it done. Lets go Antti!

    Overall, I am really pleased with the early results this year. Pirri is blending in very well, and is going to stick around. Versteeg will pay pay big dividends I believe as he gets his legs back. Watching the past 2 games he does not look as fast as he was a few years ago prior to his knee injury, but his hockey sense is very strong. It was heartwarming to see Steeger get a big reception at the UC last night. You know he is jacked to be back in Chicago and that he never wanted to leave. I am sure Ladd and Buff would say the same. Ladd remains the big one that got away. Sonofa…..

    Oh well.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • November 18, 2013 at 8:24 am

    So bad games happen. That’s all that needs to be said to address Saturday.

    Some observations:

    Pirri has it. There was a lot of concern over him, but Q has actually done a good job at sheltering him in these first 16 games. You can see the game slowing down for him and he’s using his strength to push people off pucks in the D zone. It’s almost like his first handful of games he had concerns over penalities and now he’s just chopping people and shoving them off the puck.

    Leddy seems significantly stronger this year. He still makes some questionable decisions in his own zone, but it would probably help if not everyone was flying the zone as soon as he touched the puck. I think I read that he led the Hawks in icetime through the first two periods?

    Ben Smith has been pretty valuable so far. The fourth line had a few stinkers in a row, but they are also almost always starting in the D zone and against a high quality of competition. I’m not sure if Q is just testing them to see if they can handle the top lines of opponents or what.

    Bollig has really improved his game this year, but this is 3 games in a row with a bad penalty? I’m sure if Pirri committed one bad penalty, Q would bench him for the rest of the year. If they get the space, I wouldn’t mind seeing Bollig sit a game and rotate someone else in on that fourth line. I’d clamour for Morin, but I think we know that Q is done with him.

    Do Bowman and Q talk? Part of the reason Bowman brought in Versteeg was to help the PK and Q has given him about 30 seconds of PK duty in 2 games. Also, from looking through some statistics… the Hawks PK will stabilize. They don’t give up THAT many shots on the PK and they are only getting something like .750 save percentage. So I’m not overly concerned about the PK.

    As far as Mills goes… he’s a 31 year old career minor leaguer. Nothing to see here.

  • November 18, 2013 at 9:10 am

    JS agreed about Bollig. MUCH improved but penalties 3 games in a row. Albiet, that should have been offsetting minors last night. Versteeg will grow into the PK. Got to give him a little time to become familiar with his teammates. And as said earlier, Smith’s game is quietly valuable and he was rewarded with some extra shifts and over 15 minutes of ice time..

  • November 18, 2013 at 9:18 am

    JS- ya took the words out of my mouth… Bollig is paid to “not make mistakes”… and he has a made several recently… wouldn’t mind seeing A. B-hurst (if money allows-and if it continues- even if its to send a message to 52 and Morin)- I know he isn’t physical but would be good forechecker/IQ is there. + give the kid some incentive/reward for better than expected start in AHL…

    And perhaps the Morin/Pirri thing is blessing/curse situation… they are both RFA’s next year… if they both come in and score 15/20+ goals- It would be very hard to retain both… The Pirri RFA situation- could get out of hand if he continues on this scoring pace (which I don’t think he will- but who knows)…

    IMO- the Hawks would have been happier w/ 26 plodding along on the cheap- and signing 37 on the cheap… 37 is on his way to asking for $3M+ if he continues…

  • November 18, 2013 at 9:55 am

    IMO- the Hawks would have been happier w/ 26 plodding along on the cheap- and signing 37 on the cheap… 37 is on his way to asking for $3M+ if he continues…

    IF Pirri stays that hot, im curious if he gets moved at the deadline where he will bring back better return than he would later…say at the draft. Although that said, He seems to have found his way, and it might be worth it to take less in a draft day trade(or nothing at all ) than give up on him (cuz we wont be able to pay him) for a few picks.

    (and this is my “mad scientist” trading, and in no way a reflection of what might actually happed… just saying this for conversations sake)… If a team falls out of the Playoff picture early (say Buffalo) and we could deal Pirri to a team where he can build a future while we pick up an UFA player to replace him for the year and then maybe a pick (4th or 5th) in the process. The deal that would come to mind would be Ott and a 5th for Pirri. If Buffalo doesn’t plan to resign Ott this would give them a player they can slot into their 2nd line for the future at only the risk of the 5th. This could also apply to Marcel Goc with the Panthers. The caveat to this is that Ott and Goc probably get more return with another trade partner than the blackhawks… but is fun to think what might work.

  • November 18, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I don’t see the Hawks moving any current starters. They MAY make a play for a backup goalie, but that would probably come down to emergency. Handzus will once again be the depth center acquisition, and barring injury, they have absolutely no need for anyone else.

    As far as Pirri goes… The Hawks primary goal should be to win the Stanley Cup and putting yourself in the best possible position to do so. My guess would be that this means not moving a 22 year old RFA playing at a high level. Since he is a RFA, you give him the offer you need him to play at next year and if he doesn’t take it, he isn’t going to play. If someone offer sheets him to $3M+ the Hawks will make out with a first and a third… which is more value than you will get by trading him.

    I’m looking forward to this next 14 days and a whole bunch of Blackhawk hockey.

  • November 18, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Re: 37- I could see that or a Nielsen (assuming Isles are out and… they eat some of his contract) Hawks win- Isles win, get 2 pieces for 1… Hawks actually save Cap/ and perhaps get a “better/skating/playmaker”…

    It could get interesting w/ Teams eating salary… there are more options out there!

  • November 18, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Before we trade Pirri away… take a look at the Blackhawks’ cap situation. Not much flexibility, and there’s little/no reason for the Isles to move Nielson when he’s under contract for a few more years. Furthermore, if the Blackhawks believe in their organizational depth why would they add another player under contract for the next 2-3 years? I’m on board with letting Pirri continue to grow and develop. Worst case scenario you trade him at the draft for picks; best case scenario you have an inexpensive 2C for a couple more years and Teravainen doesn’t have to rush to the NHL.

  • November 18, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Tab- I agree it is not likely… but my scenario COULD happen… and Isles are currently under achieving… I for one expected better from a team that pushed Pens to game 7…
    and if Isles want/need to tweak line-up Hawks could offer 2 Young ready players for 1…
    and really it could be cap friendly for Hawks so WHY wouldn’t they take another Quality player for 2-3 years on the cheap like Vsteeg???

    Like I said- a lot of things need to line up (37 scores near 20, Isles continue to suck, and SB would have to have big balls to let a 22 yr. old scorer go… BUT it might actually save Hawks cap space/and make better team.) and Nielsen is better today!

  • November 18, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Agreed wall. And Like Tab said, no need to trade he away today… still lots of hockey and a lot of things need to happen first. I know i seem to jump the gun on trade concoctions i come up with, but i just like to play the what if game.

    Although JS, you made a great point. since he is Restricted we would actually get good compensation if we were to offer him a deal and he leaves for 3+.

    I do like Pirri, I think he is making great strides… Just stinks to think he might price himself out of Chicago … (good for him… bad for the Hawks…).

  • November 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Didnt see game, 2 only skated 20:06. Unheard of. Was he shaken up for a bit? Or is Q possibly about to do the unthinkable by saving a little bit of Dunc for a later date.

  • November 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    good catch RyanDale… I know 81 and 2 were not at practice on Friday…
    so perhaps he is nursing something…

  • November 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Great comments Phil, JS, Wall, Mo, Tim and Mike…guys I agree with Bollig…he should be our 13th forward moving in and out of the lineup, not an “entrenched” guy as he still isn’t as good as the rest of the Hawks and is still working on his self discipline…and JS/Mike you are both right, if Pirri took 3 penalties like Bollig, he would be currently sitting, and if Morin did it, he would be playing hockey in Siberia…

    JS, I agree on Pirri…I haven’t wanted to say too much because I was the guy “pimping” Pirri, Smith, Morin, etc…you can see him focusing so much on defence right now…so when he relaxes a little more he will start more rushes instead of always rushing up ice to catch up to the break out…

    Tim, I would say with Pirri if we have FINALLY found our trusted 2nd line centre, and he’s 22 and homegrown, we don’t let him go…as JS said, the Hawks hold the upper hand…he is a RFA so that we can offer him what we can afford and if someone matches, then we get a 1st and 3rd…thats’s better than any trade we possibly hope for…Ideally, Bowman works something out with Pirri longer term and then sheds some salary this summer to make that room…first, Clendening is likely ready now, and probably should have been the 7th guy this season, so he’s a given to start next year…the guy he replaces on the roster is Oduya…as good as Johnny has been for us, his time is up…Bowman will be able to move him for a decent return this summer…and there is no way Brookbank is resigned and Rozy could be done…so we could very well sign Clendening as our new 5th and rotate Rozy/Kostka with say Stephen Johns as our 6/7, or perhaps Klas Dahlback…so there is room for Pirri’s contract…the key will be the cost of signing Raanta long term…this is probably why Bowman wanted him in Rockford this season so that he couldn’t play here and raise his value…it will be tight, but Bowman will manage it…as we simply cannot move a homegrown 2nd line Centre…we have been waiting 5+ years for this player…

    The thing to consider is this…if Pirri does stick, as he looks he’s going to, with Toews, Pirri, Shaw, Kruger and TT, where does a Danault or McNeil fit in…McNeil can play a wing, but he would be fighting Bollig and Ben Smith for a role on the 4th line…Danault likely is going to have to spend another season next year in Rockford waiting for Kruger’s 2 year deal to expire…Shaw can always be moved to a wing, but whose spot would he take???

    Sharp-Toews-Hossa …. best in the league
    Saad-Pirri-Kane …. if Pirri sticks, there’s no room here
    Bickell-Shaw-Versteeg …. All World 3rd line & we are paying Versteeg 1/2!!!
    Bollig-Kruger-Smith …. Smith has been great and Kruger is developing offence…

    If anyone is looking for spots in the top 6 it becomes a question of time…until Sharp and/or Hossa leaves, there’s no room as Bickell and Versteeg could easily play in the top 6…if Pirri is for real, then TT joins the growing list of Hawk prospects looking for a place to play…Morin, McNeil, Danault, Ross, the Broadhurst brothers, Kevin Hayes, Hartman…all pushing for spots on the 4th line…

    Good problems to have…right now the play of Pirri and the acquisition of Versteeg have us looking great even without Hossa…now, what will Raanta do?

  • November 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    JS, I agree, Handzus is our trade deadline trade…and he’s already on the roster!!!

    Tab, and any others, if the Hawks move Oduya next summer and let BB walk, and keep Rozy/Kostka, then promote Clendening and perhaps one other…would we have enough money to offer Pirri and Raanta $2+ million dollar deals if that CAP went up another $3-4 million???

    Ryan, for the last 2 games, Q rested the regulars over the last few minutes of the game…this is why I don’t get the BB thing…he’s causing big minutes for our forwards who are going to need their legs come playoff time…

  • November 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Hard to believe this is the same team that got wooped in Nasville. Just shows you that on any night any team can win. Tonight however the Hawks played great. I would go as far as to say it was their best win of the season. SJ is a solid team and the Hawks put it to them. When Rosy comes to play he can really play, he came to play last night. I was shocked Crow started and if not for a bad bounce he woulda had the SO. I will be watching the backup closely now that Khabby went on LTIR and Raanta will be here for the time being. Very curious to see his game in the NHL.

  • November 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Brad wouldn’t you like a pairing with Leddy and Clendening? No doubt Clendening is ready now but why rush him up. Especially w the Hawks defensive dept, Oduya and Rosy both have this year and next year left on their deals. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to move Oduya. He isn’t great but he is very good NHL player. Of the 2 I would rather the Hawks have Rosy as a 7th d-man and play Leddy and Clendening these are the 2 future cornerstones on the blueline. That sends Brookbank packing and leaves the Hawks w some depth.

  • November 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Leddy and Clendening are too similar of players. The way the Hawks have constructed their D pairings is to have one physical guy and one puck mover. I think you’re more likely to see Hammer with Clendening and Johns with Leddy (just assuming that Q won’t want 2 rooks on the same pairing).

    As far as cap space next season goes: The Hawks have $64m committed to 16 players. Assuming a $70m cap, they don’t have a ton to work with. Oduya has a cap hit of $3.4m, Rozi has a hit of $2.2m. I wouldn’t be surprised if both of them get moved, assuming Johns is ready.

    I can’t imagine giving Raanta $2m. That’s almost 12% of your cap just on your goalies. With Raanta being a RFA, they will have some leverage. If he doesn’t want to back up for another year or two, his rights can be traded. He just needs to get on Cory Schneider’s level so he can be traded for the 8th overall pick. (not serious, only dreaming)

    Kruger is on a very friendly deal, and he is still a RFA when his contract is up, does he have trade value? If Danault keeps progressing and TT is ready, maybe you move Kruger, Shaw shifts to wing and you have a line up of



    Armchair GMing is fun. I know this scenario isn’t likely and I’m probably overvaluing the pipeline… but it’s fun. :)

  • November 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    “The thing to consider is this…if Pirri does stick, as he looks he’s going to, with Toews, Pirri, Shaw, Kruger and TT, where does a Danault or McNeil fit in…”

    Brad- I posted this in the Versteeg signing threat… but i think Bicks might get dealt in the offseason. Just like you said, if you consider 10/19/81/88/20/37/23/65/16 as roster locks that leaves 3 spots (right now Smith/Bollig/Bicks). Assuming Smith and Bollig hold their spots and TT is on the 14-15 roster that means we have a 4+mil 3rd liner. I find it hard to believe SB will eat that kind of cap on the bottom 6. He’s too slick with his ablilty to pull deals to do that. The spot Versteeg is now in was the “open spot”, but now he in it for the next 2 1/2 years meaning someone else will be “on the out”.

    That said, Bicks value is his Playoff value. We saw that last year, so do you really want to deal him… quite a quantry to have to make room for all these studs in the system!

  • November 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    SSHM, I agree with JS, I like the Hawks system of one puck moving DMan and one stay at home type…Leddy is a top 4 DMan so we have to move Oduya because he is holding up a similar skilled player with a greater upside…Leddy, IMO, slides in with Hammer, and then Clendening is part of a 3 player D rotation with 2 of the following: Rozy, Kostka, Johns…

    JS, Raanta is a RFA but he was targeted by a lot of teams last year when the Hawks signed him, so leaving things to a RFA offer sheet could very well lead to a “claim” being made…I would anticipate Bowman looking to have Raanta accept a 2/3 year deal worth around $2 million…and you know that Pirri will be worth every penny of that, so the question is can we afford it? Based on Stan’s moves, I am confident that the CAP will rise to at least $70 million, but next year CC’s extended deal kicks in as well…so Rozy may be a luxury that we can’t afford…because I don’t want to see Versteeg walk for the rest of his deal.

    Tim, I read your excellent analysis and I agree…that said, as you well know, Bickell’s is likely being paid for 20 goals during the regular season and a warrior during the playoffs…if he can deliver again, he’s staying…but I agree, if Bickell can’t replicate or grow, then he is a 3rd line luxury that we cannot afford.

    Great comments everyone!

  • November 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    awesome reading today guys, thanks

    @wall, 2 was over 27+ on thurs OT vs Pho so friday may be understandable. thanks for the insight on practice . He went 22+ in Nville, but 20:06 vs SJ?? Will monitor his toi

  • November 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Like some others said, I do not think anyone is going anywhere at least until draft. I have a feeling that Bowman will keep everyone as long as possible & then. At some point one of the D is going to have to and I always thought it wouldn’t be until those 2 more yrs… (Leads bridge/27). No way Raanta (.925) contract is higher than 16 is now…

    When we have 5 lines again (that’s what well be getting back to again…) 52 & maybe 28 will be the extra fw. Its the same thing as ’13. When T & Danault are in, those guys are the extras.

    Its not going to hurt anyone to be in ahl a little longer. We are jus that stacked in the farm house.

    Elite team problems.

  • November 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Arm chair GM’ing continued :)

    As the old saying goes – “one in the hand is worth two in the bush”. While it’s still too early to know with certainty, the trend on Pirri is looking pretty good. So if Pirri continues to play well and solidifies himself in the 2C spot, my opinion is that is worth more than the unknown of TT. While TT looked to have elite level hands and vision and projects to be a very good NHL player, he hasn’t even played an NHL game yet so I’m inclined to slot Pirri into the 2C spot for the foreseeable future (again – if he continues on the current trendline). So where does that leave TT? Who cares! If/when he’s ready to play on a contending NHL team, the Hawks will figure it out then. Maybe he plays 3C or moves to wing – or maybe even 4th line center. I recall Detroit used both Datsyuk and Zetterberg in the bottom-6 when they broke into the league.

    Likewise the old saying goes fro Kruger too. Why think about moving Kruger out when Danault/McNeill/others haven’t even played an NHL game yet. Danault was recently quoted saying that Hawks mgmt told him to become another Kruger. Maybe he will end up better than Kruger, but he isn’t now and Kruger is still getting better. Unless there are salary cap reasons for replacing a current player of the replacement player has clearly proven himself to be better – don’t fix what ain’t broke.

    Regarding d-men – one consideration that I haven’t seen discussed is the left handed / right handed issue. We’re lucky that Hjalmarsson, as a left hander, can play so effectively at RD – not all d-men can play equally well on either side. This is especially important with younger d-men because they’re trying to get used to the speed of the game and puting them on their off hand will only make it more difficult for them (unless they’re used to playig there already). The “problem” now is that the Hawks have 4 left handed d-men (2/4/27/8) so one of them (4) is playing on his off hand. Moving forward, Clendening and Johns are both RDs, so they would join Seabrook as the 3 RDs and Hjalmarsson would move back to LD. (assuming Oduya get’s moved for salary cap reason). So if 2&7 stay together, Clendening and Johns would pair with Hjalmarsson and Leddy.

  • November 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Hmmmm. Duchene out for tomorrow night. Too bad as he has turned into a pretty good player and you want to face teams at their best. Anyone hear anything about Hoss?

  • November 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I forgot to post my Arm Chair GM forward lineup for 2014/15:


  • November 18, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    So true ER…go with what you know you have…

  • November 19, 2013 at 7:26 am

    ER I am with you on your D comments. However, Q is not likely to ever put 2 rookies on the same D pairing, especially on road. This is exactly why Rosival, Brookbank and Kostka are roster to fill one spot.

  • November 19, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I have limited viewings of Clendening… His passing and Shooting are +… but when I have seen him play- his skating is only average… no where near 2,27,8 and even 4 skates better… Just my Opinion!

  • November 19, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Great comments as usual, boys. Alot of chatter about wanting to trade Pirri. Let this kid develop. The NHL is full of former Hawks players who moved on to become quality players. Let the kid play, learn and develop.

    Over the years, we have traded young players away that were pretty good, but the coaching staff didn’t allow them the time and patience to develop. This management team is much more patient and also gives the young players the necessary tools to become serviceable NHL players.

    Young, skilled, smart players are needed for 3rd and 4th line duty. Pirri may be a 20G/15A player this year.

  • November 19, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Not really pleading for the 37 trade… just asking- if he keeps scoring at this pace … can Hawks afford him? or will Hawks dangle him for “better” options… (and Nielsen fits better – today- especially if Isles eat $$$)… skates/playmakes better… but IS older.
    And it would be a hard call for SB (assuming 37 puts up say 22 g’s and 46pts.)…
    but he might not really have a choice.

    37 is doing better than I would have expected… but at the end of the day… there could be better/cheaper options ahead. Either 37 or a quality defender will have to go assuming 37 continues on scoring pace, and cap is $70 or less! I prefer to keep the D guys we have signed for next year! And if cap is $72M + then the Hawks won’t have to anything.

  • November 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Love the Circus trip.Avs were very strong up middle vs us last yr. Duchesne out is a big loss, but Mackinnon is solidly in now…… if we stay strong thru the middle, win a few more faceoffs I like our chances tonight. of course an 81 sighting would do wonders. Avs were never going to keep that pace they were on . they will give up some shots, several probly so we need to cash in early. Avs are tuff when they have a lead to work with. A bit surprised they are below 49 on f/offs . Lets just run em ragged tonight ha. high flyin hawks!!

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