The 2008 NHL Draft: Chicago’s Worst Of The Decade
With news on Wednesday that Shawn Lalonde is headed to Germany, the Blackhawks 2008 Draft Class takes another hit. Looking back five years to that group, the Hawks nearly missed on an entire draft.
After hitting a number of home runs in the draft between 2001-2004, the Hawks wasted five years and more than 30 picks.
In the five years between 2005-09, the Blackhawks made 43 selections. Of those picks, only 11 have played in an NHL game, and only eight have played in at least 10 NHL contests. (That number should increase this year; Brandon Pirri was selected in the second round in 2009.)
In fact, each of the Blackhawks’ drafts from 2005-09 has produced only one player who has made an impact with Chicago at the NHL level:
- 2005: Niklas Hjalmarsson (5th round)
- 2006: Jonathan Toews (3rd overall)
- 2007: Patrick Kane (1st overall)
- 2008: Ben Smith (6th round)
- 2009: Marcus Kruger (5th round)
(In saying one player has made an impact from 2008, we’re giving Smith credit for the 2011 postseason. And no, 2005’s Jack Skille never made an impact in Chicago.)
The 2008 NHL Draft has proved to be a decent class. Five years after the selections were made, a number of players from that group have emerged as prominent pieces on winning NHL rosters.
Chicago owned the 11th overall pick that year, and watched a few future stars come off the board before they were on the clock. Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty were the first two names called, both of whom quickly developed into elite players at their positions.
Between Doughty and the 11th selection, a few other quality players were called. Zach Bogosian, Alex Pietrangelo, Luke Schenn, Nikita Filatov, Colin Wilson, Mikkel Boedker, Josh Bailey and Cody Hodgson. At the end of the 2013 season, only Filatov and Hodgson had played fewer than 200 regular season games from these first 10 picks, while four have played more than 300 career games already.
With the 11th overall selection, the Blackhawks selected Kyle Beach.
He has yet to play in an NHL game.
A few of the names that were called after Beach in the first round in 2008 included Tyler Myers (12), Erik Karlsson (15), Michael Del Zotto (20), Jordan Eberle (22) and John Carlson (27).
Chicago did not have a second round pick in the 2008 Draft; it was part of the three-team deal that brought the rights to then-restricted free agent forward Martin Havlat to the Hawks.
The second round in 2008 may have lacked a Chicago selection, but some good names came off the board. Jacob Markstom, Slava Voynov, Roman Josi, Justin Schultz, Derek Stepan and Travis Harmonic are a few of the players that were picked in that second round. Toronto selected Jimmy Hayes with the 60th overall selection; he was traded to the Blackhawks two years later after his younger brother, Kevin, was selected in the first round of the 2010 Draft.
By the time the Hawks were back on the clock with the 68th overall selection, a lot of talent had come off the board. And only two selections before Chicago’s pick, the New York Islanders called David Toews (younger brother of Jonathan).
With their second pick of the draft (68th overall in the third round), the Hawks called Shawn Lalonde.
He has played in one NHL game.
After Lalonde, a couple future NHL regulars were selected in the third round. Ottawa picked Zack Smith at 79, and New Jersey used the 82nd overall selection on Adam Henrique.
The Blackhawks did not have a pick again in the fourth round, and watched as Braden Holtby and Gustav Nyqvist came off the board.
More picks from the fifth round of the 2008 Draft (five) have played more than 50 NHL games than from that year’s fourth round (four). Andrei Loktionov and Matt Calvert were off the board by the time the Hawks were back on the clock at pick number 132.
With their third pick in the 2008 Draft (132nd overall), the Blackhawks selected Tiegan Zhan.
He has yet to play in an NHL game.
Following Zhan off the board in the fifth round were Matt Martin and Philip Larsen.
The Blackhawks had three picks in the sixth round in 2008, but watched as Jared Spurgeon and Cam Atkinson were called before the first of the three.
With the 162nd overall pick, the Blackhawks selected Jonathan Carlsson.
He has yet to play in an NHL game.
With the 169th overall pick, the Blackhawks selected Ben Smith.
Smith has played in 20 regular season NHL games, but should be on the roster on Opening Night this season.
And, with the 179th overall pick (just after Zac Rinaldo), the Blackhawks selected Braden Birch.
He, too, has yet to play in an NHL game.
In the seventh round, with the 192nd overall pick, the Blackhawks selected Joe Gleason.
Not surprisingly, Gleason hasn’t played in the NHL yet either.
A couple notable names from the seventh round in 2008 were Jason Demers and Anders Lindback.
Five years after the 2008 Draft, the seven players selected by the Chicago Blackhawks have combined to play in 21 regular season NHL games – and 20 of those are from Smith.
The best move Chicago made with picks from that year’s draft was using the second round pick two years prior in the trade to acquire Havlat; 2008 wasn’t an overwhelming draft after the top few picks, but there was good depth throughout the seven rounds.
From 2005-09, the Blackhawks missed on most of their draft picks. With news that Lalonde is leaving for Germany, the 2008 Draft appears to have been one of their worst.
32 thoughts on “The 2008 NHL Draft: Chicago’s Worst Of The Decade”
Tab excellent insight, I was actually looking at the 2008 draft after I saw your news on Lalonde. It sounds like you and I differ on the amount of talent in the draft in general, however, we both agree that Hawks 2008 draft was awful. Its amazing that the Hawks only had 21 total games played out of that class. IMO Dale Tallon will go down as the guy who brought the Hawks “back” but really when you look at his drafts they werent all that great. Especially when you consider that Dale was drafting at the top of the drafts and Stan has drafted near the bottom. I think Dale deserves alot of credit for Toews, Kane was kinda a no brainer however.
Stan deserves alot of credit for Saad who is the top 29th prospect according to http://www.hockeysfuture.com/. However, for me when I’m looking a Stan’s drafts I’m looking at 2 guys and they are the Hawks next 2 guys(according to hockeyfuture) Tuevo and Clendening.
Tuevo specifically because the Hawks had the opportunity to select a guy I was hoping they would have grabbed Andrey Vasilevskiy. Tuevo and Andrey were selected 18th and 19th. Tuevo has only improved modestly this past season and Andrey has had a meteoric rise to top goalie prospect. Either way both prosects won’t be in the NHL for proabably 2 seasons anyways
SSHM—Stan also drafted Andrew Shaw in the same draft as Saad.
Wow…outstanding article Tab…absolutely top notch…I’ve been holding back some thoughts on Tallon, because everything has ended up working out so well for us (2 Cups in 4 years)…Dale Tallon came in during a difficult time in Chicago, where NO ONE wanted to play for this franchise, and to sign FAs he had to overpay (see Brian Campbell). But there really are no excuses for his drafts and some of his trades (big passing grade on Patrick Sharp). The fact of the matter is, when you take the time rationally to lay everything out neatly, Tallon actually did a pretty bad job as GM in Chicago. Toews and Kane were BOTH no brainers…there were tons of sites in 2006 that had Toews at #1 overall because of his maturity and leadership…when he was there at 3, Tallon had NO other choice…Kane was merely manna from heaven.
When you look back at those drafts, after so many years, and take away Toews and Kane that were gimmies, its pretty clear that every other “hit” was purely luck…statistical %’s where by sheer averages, we had to hit something eventually. In other words, they didn’t know what they were doing. And regardless of any sport in any era, outside of shocking talent, you always draft CHARACTER. Because its the high compete, high character kids that make it…even if some of them find out their talent isn’t as superior as they had hoped, character kids learn from this, work hard and get better….kids like Kyle Beach sit in dumfounded shock that they no longer stand out. I’ve got news for anyone who hasn’t followed Beach in Rockford over the past 2+ years…HE HAS NO GAME…Nada, nill, zip…about half way through last year Kyle finally began to see an image of himself that he could stand…a rugged 2 way winger that could mix things up and crash the net. At this rate, in another year he MIGHT become a decent 4th liner for us…I promise you, unless the light miraculously comes on, that’s it for Beach.
Smith, Hammer, and Kruger are all great picks in my estimation, but when its 3 out of 43 (and those 3 all came late), you’re just throwing darts at the board (blindfolded). When you consider Tallon’s drafts, his trades, his FA contracts, and then the wholesale shedding of top shelf talent after the Cup win in 2o10, 2 things become apparent…One, a good GM doesn’t do things this way, and tw0, a good GM (actually, likely a great GM) followed after him. To have won a Cup only 3 years after the first one, using key pieces from his own recent drafts, and not selling away the farm for a legitimate 2nd line Centre, Bowman has been a miracle worker. We don’t win the Cup without Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad, Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik. We don’t win the President’s Trophy without Ray Emery and Michael Roszival. Emery, Rozy, and Handzus all came at a small price…Shaw was a 5th round pick that played with us in his FIRST YEAR out of juniors. Bowman latched on to Kruger right away, and got Marcus to sign a pro contract and play in Rockford in his first season after the draft…and then in his 2nd year he became a Hawk regular…Brandon was our SECOND selection in the 2nd round, and he played in his first season after the draft, even seeing time in a playoff game. This year, he was only the best rookie in the NHL logging first line minutes with Toews and Hossa, allowing the Hawks to stack the 2nd line and compensate for the lack of a true 2nd line centre…that’s huge…and in acquiring Frolik, who was AMAZING all year long in his role, Bowman traded away another first round, top 10 bomb in Jack Skille.
Now consider all that, and the fact that we just won our 2nd Cup in 4 years, and our roster for next season has depth like we have never seen it before, a great balance between youth and age, and we are $2 million under the Cap…can anyone say hocus pocus??? Because if that’s not magic, its a close substitute.
Bowman should be given a medal because of what he has done in Chicago, and he’s had to be so good, so fast, because honestly, Tallon was that bad for that long. Trading Brian Campbell for Rusty Olescz and then looking like a fool to your own fans??? That’s not a trade that ANYONE wants to make, but he did it, and without ripping Tallon in the media, because HE HAD TO…
And the kids that are coming this season, Hayes, Morin, Smith and Pirri, are good players and going to become good Hawks…the kids that are in the system developing are top notch, and the last draft we just had (7 days after winning the SC) was breathtakingly good because we didn’t have hardly any picks to use…again, Bowman didn’t want to trade this year’s 2nd and 3rd for Johhny Oduya, but that’s the price he had to pay to get another good, transistional DMan for the playoff run. With Oduya in our lineup, we have barely lost any regular season games since he has been here, and won a cup…that’s an incredible pickup, and then to have the balls to trade away Dave Bolland (who’s meant so much to our franchise) and Michael Frolik (who was a key component of our Cup win) only 5 days after winning the SC, is incredible…and as good as our pick was in the first round (Hartman, and believe me that this kid is going to be a good Hawk for a long time), his 2nd through 5th rounds were incredble. Many of you still don’t know yet how many home runs he hit…many scouts had Dahlstrom as THE surest DMan in the draft to make the pros in a few years…John Hayden is lookig like a first round talent…and many scouts felt Robin Norrell had the most offensive talent of any DMan in the draft…but because of his size, playing in Sweden and his age, no one wanted to spend a high pick on him…
Look at last year, TT has Patrick Kane-like talent…Garret Ross is Andrew Shaw with hands…Fournier is looking like he will make an outstanding puck moving DMan in another couple of years. From 2011, Danault has big time hockey player written all over him…he’s a cross between Henri Richard and Jean Bealiveau, just oozing character…Adam Clendening is going to be a STAR NHL DMAN…Saad is already one of the best young players in the game and Andrew Shaw is a rock star.
And with Kevin Hayes (forward) and Johns and Holl (DMen) from 2010, essentially another year maybe 2 years away, this organization is like a dream…that’s why Sports Illustrated rated it the best run franchise in professional sports…and behind all of this is Scotty Bowman (who just won his 13th SC ring) reminding everyone how to do things…you let your goalies walk when they want $5 million plus…you draft Phillip Danaults and Teuvo Teravainians, and you promote from the minors Bryan Bickells and Andrew Shaws…
So, again, sorry the length, and the criticisms of Dale Tallon, but as Tab brilliantly laid out, Tallon’s legacy is far from perfect in Chicago.
Look at 2006 and 2007, behind two obvious gifts at the top of the 1st round in each year, those drafts produced NOTHING at all…and we were picking at the top of each round, with a bevy of picks in the first 4 rounds…sad, really.
In 2005 we had 7 picks in the first 4 rounds, at or near top in each round…and besides Hammer (in the middle of the 4th round) it too produced nothing…thankfully Bowman traded Skille for Frolik who was a key to winning the Cup for us, and then traded Frolik to make room for all the young talent we have in return for John Hayden and Luke Johnson…Hayden is looking like a first round talent and ready to play in the bigs soon.
SSHM- not sure what you are trying to say about TT… But I am a HUGE fan of TT.
IMO- TT can be a Better NHL player/scorer (compared to Juniors/SM-Liga)- if paired with the right mix of players- he has similar talents of Kane- And we have seen what Kane can do with the “right” players around him (and what he can’t do w/ wrong players)!!! TT- was his best at the World Juniors- when paired w/ best talents!!!
Brad- great writing – I agree 100% w SB targeting “character” and IQ players (that can skate)- especially when you have later/lower picks… the only clear miss to me has been McNeil… Kruger, Hayden, Danault, Motte, Shaw, Saad, Hartmann, Hino… all are character/IQ-types— winners-
Tab and Brad, thanks for the insight.
This year will tell us what we need to know about Mark McNeil. But he is such a high character kid, I just can’t see him as anything but successful. I still beleive he is going to be a good player for us for a long time.
And this is the thing that everyone needs to focus on…what effect will all these kids coming to the show have on the Hawks team??? What effect did Andrew Shaw have? The kid oozes character, and was one of our leaders and best players during the playoffs including the Cup finals…kids like Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin, Ryan Stanton, Adam Clendening, Phillip Danualt, Mark McNeil, Ryan Hartman, John Hayden and Stephen Johns are all HIGH CHARACTER guys…they are all about compete and winning…this only makes us better and the transistion from our current core players easier.
Great information and reviews by everyone here and yes both Bowman’s deserve alot of credit. It’s interesting to see the drafting by Tallon and the differences that the Bowman’s employs (great character kids). I would go one step further and show the brutal drafting by the likes of Murray, Pulford and the worst Mike Smith with all the Russian players he drafted that were a bust.
Golden, if you go way, way back with the Hawk drafts, we have never really drafted well as an organization, which explains so few Cups until recently. Even the Savard/Ludzig/Larmer draft, Savard was a no brainer, Ludzy was a decent player and Larmer was luck. I think the 2003 and 2004 drafts were pretty good…2003 was Seabrook, Crawford and Big Buff. 2004 (we had 17 picks!!!) brought us Barker, Bolland, Bickell and Brouwer…the Killer Bees…Barker was a complete bust, but Bowman turned that into Nick Leddy…so Leddy, Bolland, Bickell and Brouwer…Bolland brought us Carl Dahlstrom (a great pick this year), and Brouwer brought us Phillip Danault, who is going to become a fixture here. So the 2004 draft has a chance to be one of our best, but it took Bowman’s moves to make it so.
As for Mike Smith et al…check these 2 beauties out…in 2000 we had 2 picks in the top 11 and a total draft of 15 players drafted, NOT A SINGLE ONE TURNED OUT…that’s actually quite a skill to be that bad…and in 2001 Ruutu was a decent player and we traded away Craig “All Universe” Anderson…at least Ruutu was turned into Andrew Ladd, and thanks to Bowman, Ladd to Adam Clendening.
1 9 2001-9 CHI
TUOMO RUUTU F FIN 6′ 0″ 205 FIN JOKERIT
1 29 2001-29 CHI
(FROM DET) ADAM MUNRO G CAN 6′ 1″ 187 OHL ERIE
2 29 2001-59 CHI
(FROM DAL) MATT KEITH R CAN 6′ 2″ 200 WHL SPOKANE
3 10 2001-73 CHI
CRAIG ANDERSON G USA 6′ 2″ 180 OHL GUELPH
4 8 2001-104 CHI
(FROM MTL) BRENT MACLELLAN D CAN 6′ 3″ 211 QMJHL
4 19 2001-115 CHI
(FROM TOR) VLADIMIR GUSEV D RUS 6′ 1″ 189 RUS
4 23 2001-119 CHI
(FROM SJS) ALEKSEY ZOTKIN L RUS 6′ 0″ 200 RUS
5 11 2001-142 CHI
TOMMI JAMINKI L FIN 6′ 0″ 183 FIN BLUES JR.
6 9 2001-174 CHI
ALEXANDER GOLVIN L RUS 5′ 11″ 192 RUS OMSK JR.
6 21 2001-186 CHI
(FROM SJS) PETR PUNCOCHAR D CZE 6′ 1″ 202 CZE KARLOVY VARY
7 9 2001-205 CHI
TEEMU JAASKELAINEN D FIN 6′ 0″ 198 FIN ILVES JR.
7 20 2001-216 CHI
(FROM SJS) OLEG MINAKOV R RUS 6′ 2″ 183 RUS JR
9 9 2001-268 CHI
JEFF MILES C CAN 5′ 11″ 188 ECAC U. OF VERMONT
1 10 2000-10 CHI
MIKHAIL YAKUBOV C RUS 6′ 3″ 202 TOGLIATTI 2
1 11 2000-11 CHI
(FROM VAN) PAVEL VOROBIEV R KAZ 6′ 0″ 194 YAROSLAVL
2 19 2000-49 CHI
(FROM SJS) JONAS NORDQVIST C SWE 6′ 3″ 202 LEKSAND IF JR.
3 9 2000-74 CHI
(FROM NYR) IGOR RADULOV L RUS 6′ 1″ 186 YAROSLAVL
4 10 2000-106 CHI
SCOTT BALAN D CAN 194 REGINA
4 21 2000-117 CHI
OLLI MALMIVAARA D FIN 6′ 7″ 230 JOKERIT JR.
5 21 2000-151 CHI
(FROM LAK) ALEXANDER BARKUNOV D RUS 180
6 10 2000-177 CHI
MICHAEL AYERS G USA 186 DUBUQUE
6 26 2000-193 CHI
(FROM WSH) JOEY MARTIN D USA 198 OMAHA
7 10 2000-207 CHI
CLIFF LOYA D USA 200 U. OF MAINE
7 28 2000-225 CHI
(FROM WSH) VLADISLAV LUCHKIN C RUS 185 CHEREPOVETS 2
8 11 2000-240 CHI
ADAM BERKHOEL G USA 5′ 11″ 185 TWIN CITIES
9 1 2000-262 CHI
(FROM ATL) PETER FLACHE C CAN 190 GUELPH
9 10 2000-271 CHI
RETO VON ARX F CHE 5′ 10″ 179 DAVOS
9 30 2000-291 CHI
(FROM PHI) ARNE RAMHOLT D CHE 215 KLOTEN
SR Brad I have to disagree with your assertion that Kane was a no-brainier. MANY people felt that Van Riemsdyk or Turris was a better pick because Kane was too small and his glory was due to playing with Sam Gagner.
Tom there were a few other players talked about, but Kane was ranked #1 on almost every pre draft board…you are right, there were lots of people questioning Kane’s size, and rightfully so. It was a good thing Tallon wasn’t one of them.
Hawks sign Winchester !?!. LeBlanc signs for $575k and Stanton $550k each for TWO years……Talk about a couple of potential BARGAINS !!!!!! And they are both RFAs in 2015. Now the Hawks have the ability to carry 24 on their roster at almost any time.
Yeah… about that whole carrying 24 thing…
“There may be a maximum of 23 players on each Club’s playing roster at any one time from the commencement of the NHL regular season through the trade deadline.” per NHL
Mike, I was impressed with LeBlanc’s 2 games with us…a full year in Rockford will really help him…I think he’s only a year away.
Wall all I am saying about TT is lets hope he pans out because the guy that was taken right after him has made significant imporvements in his game (according to some experts) and TT has not. Its still VERY early to make any final judgements on TT or any other player from 2012’s draft just making a comment based on the recently updated top prospects list. I guess I was just surprised by TT lack of improvement based on this list.
Does anyone know if Ludvig Rensfeldt(2010) draft is still part of the Blackhawks organization? He was 1 of 4 2nd round picks that season
Rensfeldt was released from his contract…I have no idea why…as to TT, I thought Teravainian made significant improvements to his game this past season. If he wasn’t injured, he would have been in the Top 10 in league scoring…plus he came back from a significant injury without missing a beat. He put on more size and strength, and showed absolutely top notch play making skills and freakish talent…plus his shot got even better, if that’s possible.
In my mind, there is no doubt TT will make a Kane-esque pro for the Hawks, its just a question of when. I agree with Mike that TT should be given a season in Rockford to learn to deal with the physicality of the NA game. That likely happens next year, and he is in the NHL in 2 seasons. Now that is a direct infusion of elite talent, which so many here are quick to say we are short of in our system.
Good follow up as always Brad. I was looking up TT bio online and it appears that TT signed a 2 year contract after the season ended with his league and most likely isn’t coming over until 2014. I’m excited to see his game next rookie camp since he has some elite aspects of his game.
I’m very curious to see who from the 2010 draft is stepping up and making progress. The hawks had 10 picks and Ludwig is already out of the mix, number 36 overall and he’s a bust. There was a lot of talent taken in that round let’s hope Stan hit on some. Juries still out its very very early.
Sr.Brad: Well, you and I typically agree on topics related to the hawks, but on this one we seem to have far different views. While I understand your enthusiasm for the current depth of the farm system and potential of many players listed, my POV is we are not here without Tallon. (Again to all of Jr’s fan club, I am not a hater and admire what he has accomplished after taking over the Champion 2010 team.)
Yes, DT had flaws and identifying talent thru drafting was clearly not a strength (don’t forget that Pulford was also there looking over his shoulder and “advising” almost every step of the way which was also of NO help.) Regardless, under DT we acquired the foundation of the 1st Championship team in 49 years! It’s great having “good players” in the farm system, but you require bold moves to make a Champion and DT pulled it off. As a reminder of the STAR talent acquired while Tallon was GM:
* Sharp (trade)
* Hoss (FA)
You can debate who was a no-brainer, etc, etc.. BUT, without these guys the Hawks are simply a good team that would not have won the cup (let alone 2.) I thank Tallon for that and I thank Bowman for re-stocking the fridge and making a nice long run at the top a real possibility.
SS good comments about the 2010 draft, which hasn’t generated anything yet, but I still think it was a very good draft, its just the nature of our picks…a lot of young, college kids who will always take longer to develop…since 2010 we have had the proliferation of the US Hockey Leagues and the US under 20 and 18 hockey programs…so now we have American kids who are ready to play hockey sooner.
2010 is what it is…a game of time…Simpson and Carruth are both going to make good NHL goalies…I think Simpson has a chance to become an elite NHL goaltender…both will compete for the #2 spot in Rockford this season, and in 2 years time, they are the Rockford goalies, and in 3 years, one of them backs up Raanta in Chicago. Kevin Hayes is coming along very well, but understand what’s hard for him right now is that he is growing so much…he is becoming a physical beast in front of our eyes, and its hard for him at times…I think he will be in Rockford next year and in the NHL in 2/3 years time. Johns and Holl are both being counted on as NHL DMen by the Hawks…both will get pro contracts to Rockford at the end of their college careers this year, and play 1 to 2 years in Rockford before making the leap. Nordstrom made a good leap to Rockford this past year…the first 3/4 games he was like a deer in headlights, and then settled in…he’s a smooth skater and a good playmaker…plus has a strong understanding of positioning in the D zone…the Hawks have remained high on Nordstrom all along. So I think 2010 will turn out well, its just a slow developing class.
1 24 2010-24 CHI
(FROM NJD) KEVIN HAYES R USA 6′ 2″ 201 HIGH-MA NOBLES
2 5 2010-35 CHI
(FROM NYI) LUDVIG RENSFELDT L SWE 6′ 3″ 192 SWE-JR.
2 24 2010-54 CHI
(FROM NJD) JUSTIN HOLL D USA 6′ 2″ 170 HIGH-MN
2 28 2010-58 CHI
(FROM SJS) KENT SIMPSON G CAN 6′ 3″ 182 WHL EVERETT
2 30 2010-60 CHI
STEPHEN JOHNS D USA 6′ 3″ 215 USHL USA U-18
3 30 2010-90 CHI
JOAKIM NORDSTROM C SWE 6′ 1″ 160 SWE-JR. AIK JR.
4 30 2010-120 CHI
ROB FLICK C CAN 6′ 2″ 205 OHL MISSISSAUGA
6 1 2010-151 CHI
(FROM EDM) MIRKO HOEFFLIN C DEU 6′ 0″ 174 GERMAN-JR.
6 30 2010-180 CHI
NICK MATTSON D USA 6′ 1″ 189 USHL INDIANA
7 11 2010-191 CHI
(FROM DAL) MAC CARRUTH G USA 6′ 2″ 169 WHL PORTLAND
Oh, and Tallon also brought us Q… That didn’t hurt either…
Negzz, I agree that Tallon was in a difficult spot and did put together the basis of the SC team in 2010, and thus deserves credit…but how he handled things directly related to the fire sale in the summer of 2010…and remember, if DT simply files those renewal tenders on time, we keep Andrew Ladd.
The basis to dynasties (which are unrealistic in this new age) or annually competitive teams in the salary cap age depends entirely upon how well you draft and how well you develop players…the Hawks under Pulford and then Tallon did neither well. So the best DT was going to give us was one Cup before we were back into problems again…in other words, he would have wasted Toews and Kane’s talents for another Cup…Bowman not only got us that 2nd Cup, he has now put us in a position to be contenders for the next 10 years…and while each year teams throw away their futures with FA and blockbuster trades, we only have to tweek our lineup with calls ups from Rockford…who all come up with affordable cap hits.
So, I don’t want to run down Tallon, as I am thankful for the 2010 Cup, but his path would have led us right back to disappointment and mediocrity without any plan to draft and develop talent in a different way.
Nordstrom is an interesting player… I have limited sample size as far as watching him play… but I thought he was one of the better/quicker skaters during Elite Tourney i watched… he is very skinny/slight though… But if he has heart like 67/16… and or puts on 15lbs. + in next 2 years- I think he could be a sleeper!
Brad: I get it and largely agree with your points. What I am trying to point out is I am not one to quickly forget the 50 years of mediocrity (or worse). As a kid hanging out in Northbrook when the Hawks trained there in the 60’s, thru the 80’s/90’s as a season ticket holder in the Barn, I have seen more than my fair share of heartbreak following the Hawks (as we all have.) I was at the Stadium when the Pens completed the sweep and stayed in order to simply be “that close” to the actual cup fearing I’d never see it in Chicago under Dollar Bill. What would I/you have given if promised back then that I would see the Hawks hoist just one cup in my lifetime?! A LOT! I thank DT for that and will be forever appreciative in that context.
That said, I agree with your assessment of DT’s shortcomings as an administrator, drafter, etc. I also appreciate the Bowman effect on the Hawks earning a 2nd cup (unreal as that is!), as well as moving forward and building a talent rich and responsible organization. Would have to thank Rocky Wirtz in the same breath for taking the bull by the horns and elevating the entire organization in the process. My view is we are doubly blessed in that respect and plan to keep enjoying the dream…
to those that took this as a Tallon bashing article, the intent was far from that. Indeed, I have always been an enormous supporter of Tallon, as evidenced by a number of articles I wrote in 2010 (read this one) and what I had to say about him in my book. He took over the Blackhawks in an awful time, at absolute rock bottom. He had to overpay free agents like Khabibulin and Havlat and Huet to come here because agents wouldn’t answer calls from the 312 area code. He had to pay a steep price to make the Blackhawks relevant.
And he made tough choices, like taking Kane over van Riemsdyk and Toews over Kessel, in spite of what some analysts may have said to the contrary. He did a magnificent job trading for quality players like Versteeg & Sharp, and made the two biggest money picks in the organization’s history on draft day. Fans should forever be thankful that Tallon did what he did to make the organization a champion.
But he didn’t draft well overall, and his overpayment for players like Campbell wasn’t a luxury the salary cap allowed as high picks that actually made it turned into superstars.
Tallon built the first Cup team. Bowman built the second, and is putting together an organization that can – and hopefully will – sustain excellence.
Mark my words, Teuvo is going to be ‘Wicked’. I really like Danault too.
I ll be in Lake Placid for world jrs in a week.
Morrison, whatever you do, DON’T go into the lake…
Negzz, I agree…I remember those years as well…I really thought we had something special with the Chelios/Keenan years, but because we couldn’t draft and develop, it slowed down and then collapsed. I mean trading away Hassek, Belfour and Roenick is unforgiveable, and I never have forgiven Dollar Bill…but you are right, his son stepped in and saved this franchise, and now its the model franchise in pro sports with 2 championships in 4 years…that’s incredible…and you know that Rocky had a hand in Tallon’s demotion in 2009/10.
And I want to be clear on this as well, as Tab said so well above, I don’t want to bash Tallon…he did what he had to in resurrecting this franchise, and is largely responsible for the 2010 Cup win, but remember, we perpetually drafted at the front of the each round in the draft for a reason, because Tallon/Pulford didn’t draft and develop well…
And for those that haven’t purchased Tab’s book (100 Things…) you should, its the definitive read on the Blackhawks.
Morrison- please post some thoughts and comments on what you see out of TT and any other Future Hawks you see there!
Yea, that lake ‘placid’ your referring too is in Maine (& the waters of Ness-Scotland) have sea monsters.
Sure. I was there in 7/’12 & Teuvo stood out @17 yrsold.
I think this is the list…
*I dont know why Hartman isn’t playing…
Hartman is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Tab: Enjoyed your 2010 article regarding Tallon…
Brad… and have purchased Tab’s “100 things” book.. Looking forward to a memory lane perusal.. Thx for the tip…
Don’t forget the bonehead trades by Mike Keenan trading Dominik Hasek to obtain Christian Ruutu and I’m not sure if it was Bob Pulford or Bob Murray who traded Jeremy Roenick for Alexi Zhamnov (absolute lunacy).