What’s Next For Chicago Goaltending?

Catching up on the current state of goaltending in the Blackhawks organization is easy:

Corey Crawford started the 2017-18 season playing at a Vezina-caliber level. He had a .935 save percentage in October and followed that up with a .927 in November. With all of the glaring holes that were exposed in his absence, he finished the season with a 16-9-2 record, a 2.27 goals against average and a .927 save percentage.

Here’s the problem: he finished the season on Dec. 23.

Crawford leaving the lineup was the biggest contributing factor to the demise of the Blackhawks this season. With him turning 34 on New Year’s Eve, his long-term health is a significant concern moving forward. He has two more seasons on his current contract with a $6M cap hit. Shockingly, his deal also carries a modified no-trade clause as well.

In the wake of Crawford’s injury, the goaltending situation in Chicago was a shitshow.

The only moment of brief hope came from an accountant from the burbs who, unlike the Hawks, had a playoff game to be worried about a couple weeks after his moment in the sun. Scott Foster earned his #BlackhawksLegend status with a terrific relief performance against the Jets.

Here’s what the contract status situation looks like for the Blackhawks between the pipes moving forward:

  • Corey Crawford: $6M (thru 2019-20)
  • Anton Forsberg: $750,000 (thru 2018-19)
  • Collin Delia: $767,500 (thru 2018-19)
  • JF Berube: $700,000 (thru 2018-19)
  • Jeff Glass: UFA
  • Scott Foster: UFA

At least the Hawks’ mediocre depth is affordable?

The Blackhawks have drafted two goaltenders since 2013: Ivan Nalimov (6th round in 2014) and Wouter Peeters (3rd round in 2016).

Nalimov, 24, had an interesting year. With the financial struggles in the KHL, Nalimov terminated his contract with Admiral in December. As Scott Powers of The Athletic noted on Dec.21, Nalimov had been the KHL’s hottest goalies early in the season.

“[Nalimov is] second in the KHL with a .942 save percentage and has faced 265 more shots than the save percentage leader. Nalimov has stopped 532-of-565 shots this season,” wrote Powers.

Powers quoted Nalimov’s agent throughout the piece linked above, and he was firm that there was no way Nalimov was going to come to North American with the Hawks having a crowded goaltender situation.

Does that change with the organization’s need at the position?

On the other hand, the youngest

Peeters, who will turn 20 on July 31, is a big kid (6-4, 205). He opted to play in the USHL with Youngstown this season and performed reasonably well in his first season on North America. He’ll likely stay with Youngstown for another year before the organization has a conversation about the professional ranks.

So what happens if:

    • Crawford isn’t right again
    • Nalimov doesn’t want to come to North America yet
    • Peeters isn’t ready, and
    • the guys under contract clearly aren’t good enough?

No, really. What about free agency?

The top of the list of unrestricted free agents isn’t very sexy. Does Kari Lehtonen or Jaro Halak or Cam Ward of Ondrej Pavelec do anything for you? I guess we could all rally around the idea of  Jonathan Bernier, but his career has consistently been… inconsistent.

If we wander down the restricted free agent road, Petr Mrázek appears to have fallen out of favor in Detroit and might be a change of scenery candidate. Philipp Grubauer got a couple starts for Washington in the playoffs this spring and… nevermind.

We’ve talked about the Hawks’ forwards moving forward. Chicago looks pretty good up front.

We’ve talked about the Hawks’ blue line looking to the future. Chicago has questions, but a lot of skill coming.

The picture isn’t nearly as rosy between the pipes. If Crawford isn’t right, the Hawks will need to do something drastic this summer to fill an enormous hole.



81 thoughts on “What’s Next For Chicago Goaltending?

  • April 17, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I presume Crawford’s medical problem was a concussion-related injury. But I have not seen any detailed report as to what is actually the issue. Has anyone seen this?

    Which brings me to another beef I have with the NHL. How come every injury is described as either an “upper” or “lower body injury?” No details.

    This is not the case with other major professional sports. For example, when Derrick Rose injured his knees there were detailed medical reports as to the extent of the injuries. I recall participating in Bulls’ message boards and blogs where there were numerous opinions provided on the extent of his injuries and his prospects for his full recovery. These were all based on the details released on his ACL or meniscus injuries. What gives with the NHL?

  • April 17, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    McDonough, Bowman and Q all said Crawford would be fine for next year, just wonder why Crawford isn’t telling the media that too. I had hoped he would have been available after season to offer his reassurance.

  • April 17, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    There does seem to be a bit of mystery and lack of details concerning Crawford’s condition.

    However, Reg, in basketball the other players aren’t travelling over 20 mph with a stick that can be used as a weapon to test how ‘healed’ your injury is. Targeting injuries of opposing players for physical punishment is a long standing tradition in the NHL and part of the reason teams try to hide injuries as much as they can or be as non-specific as possible.

  • April 17, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    This is the huge gaping hole in the Hawks “contender vs rebuild” status right here in the blue paint. Crow is 34 yrs old and his mysterious “upper body injury” is extremely concerning. For the last few seasons, the Hawks were able to dive into the scrap heap and “find a goalie” Emery, Raanta, Darling and it worked. It worked because the team was good. The players around the goalie were good. They aren’t that good anymore. What SB did before isn’t going to work because of the roster isn’t as skilled. This is a continuing theme for Mr. Bowman, finding solutions outside of what he did in the past. The last time SB brought in a goalie was an Epic failure-Sub .900 SV% Marty Turco. Prior to that Dale made a worse signing in Christobal “loaned to another team” Huet. Not exactly the track record of an Org that knows goalie talent.

    Petr Mrázek appears to have fallen out of favor in Detroit and subsequently got traded to Philadelphia where he is back on the bench. There are worse options than him but at 4 million a year No. If you can sign him for 2 million a yr prove it deal maybe then.

    If I am SB I make a RFA offer to Philipp Grubauer and sacrifice a 3rd round pick thats a 1.9 million dollar offer. He is not the savior but at minimum is a young proven NHL backup. These other guys just suck; Forsberg and company all belong in RFD. Just like the blue line no quick fixes here either, which is why this just smells of multi-year rebuild and tear down.

  • April 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Ian I agree about him not saying anything- even if you let people know your committed to returning when healthy (the no visibility only leads to more rumours)
    Oh well, hope he’s OK.

  • April 17, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    re: SSHM’s Grubauer thought – why sacrifice a pick via offer sheet when you have assets to work with and they’re looking at likely needing to replace John Carlson. Think they’d take Forsling + Forsberg + the rights to Duclair for him?

  • April 17, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Through not even all the Game 3’s yet of the 1st Round, we have seen goaltending is the key, it is vital, the lifeline of all teams. If your goalie doesn’t play well, good night Irene. You are toast.

    Tab’s list looks like spoiled bread (other than Crawford).

  • April 17, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    If Caps go for that, be worth it but depends on what value they put on him.
    Anton Kudobin could be option too, he had a decent year in Boston backing up Rask.

  • April 17, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Crawford and prayers.

  • April 17, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Scott Foster …. WTF
    I can’t believe you wright that Haha!

  • April 17, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Write Sorry***

  • April 18, 2018 at 12:22 am

    Sign Hellebuyck to an offer sheet? Cap Hit: $2,250,000 — how much would it take/what would Winnipeg pay to match? (Just a thought…)

  • April 18, 2018 at 6:36 am

    Agree with Dickie Dunn. At least make Winnipeg pay.

  • April 18, 2018 at 6:57 am

    Duckie Dunn the qualifying offer would have to be between 4-5.8m and cost them their own 1st and 3rd round picks. Without their own 2nd rounder they can’t offer over 5.8m or between 2- 4m basically, according to cap friendly. Rfa s rarely move that way so not sure if they’d go that route or not.

  • April 18, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Not only is it a dangerous move, but there is probably another reason why it doesn’t happen much-GMs and assistant GMs want to work in the industry long term.
    If it’s to hurt another team you piss people off, and if it works you further damage the rebuild.
    (this move would also say Crow is done)

  • April 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

    SSHM- agreed… Great teams in past- made Emery/Darling/Niemi look a lot better

    Tab- while I like a lot of the “speed/skill” guys, and their ages – Forwards- Kane/8/D-cat/Kampf/Saad/Sikura/Hino… This group is MISSING SIZE…

    Size to Cycle
    Size to win Board battles
    Size to win /battle in front of net (and will – see A. Shaw)…
    SIZE- to win/Exit D zone… and Take hit on boards in D zone…

    The “exit D zone” size/skill is GREATLY missed.. this was very evident watching
    Sikura play last few games… the Kid did it with skill/IQ – quick , easily, making Hawks faster…

    Jets- do it with Forward/size and speed

    Hawks- Forwards- are lacking there-imo

    we Know the D sucks (mostly # 5/6 D men)
    we Know Goalies suck (back-ups)

    But- the Team D and lack of Forward (size/speed combo) as constructed…
    NO Goalie- will really make difference/save day.

    Can Hawks- find a couple of Forwards (in $2-3.5M range) with Both Size/Speed- to chip in 12-17 goals… like a Ladd/Bickell/Frolik… Hawks had these guys- and won- BEFORE- they signed there BIG $$$ deals… tough Job for SB and Hawks to find/draft these types???

    Martinsen? I like all he brings… only question- can he score the 12-17 goals?
    Hayden- same as above
    Kampf- I like
    Ejdsell– don’t know if skating is there??

  • April 18, 2018 at 8:46 am

    @ Tab

    Interesting concept, I hadn’t really thought about trading for the rights of Grubauer. The problem is Washington is right up against the cap so whoever the Hawks would send back would need to be a cost controlled player. Forsling sure, but I’m not sure DuClair would be desirable for them. Blake Hillman or Osterle might have more value to the Caps. I wouldn’t mind the Hawks parting with several of their younger D prospects because I don’t think any of them are building block type players.

    Anton Kudobin or Cam Ward aren’t bad options but they are older and are going to cost more and aren’t long-term fixes. I have a feeling Bernier resigns with the Avs the longer he keeps them in the series with Nashville. At least with Grubauer, it feels like he can provide some upside. Clearly, there is no one in the pipeline ready to be an NHL backup or eventual starter.

  • April 18, 2018 at 9:50 am

    The Caps have 17 roster players signed for next season and have just under 65m committed to them. If Carlson signs for 8m/yr., that ‘s 73m with 18 signed. There is speculation that they will buyout the last year of Orpiks contract and save 3m. That would be 70m with 6 spots to fill. If the cap goes up only to 78 or 79, resigning Grabaur may come down to how bad they want to upgrade their defense behind the big 3 of Carlson, Orlov and Vistanen, which they likely want to do.

  • April 18, 2018 at 10:57 am

    re: Wall’s comments about size – if you have 2-3 guys in your bottom six who can score 15-18 goals you’re alright. If Hayden & Ejdsell can do that, terrific. Also, let’s keep in mind that under the current roster format Anisimov is a 3rd line center, and he should be a 20-goal guy if utilized right.

    I did laugh when you talked about adding “size, speed + chip in 12-17 goals” and then named Frolik, who scored 11 in 3 seasons in Chicago and despite his 6-1, 190 frame was never considered a “big, physical” guy like you’re advocating w/ Ladd/Bickell.

  • April 18, 2018 at 10:59 am

    re: Dickie Dunn’s idea of an offer sheet for Hellebuyck – if you’re going to do it, $2.25M isn’t big enough. Winnipeg is going to have to pay him more than that already. It would need to be comparable to Hjalmarsson’s offer sheet ($4M+ for 3-5 years) and that’s something that’s hard to mitigate w/ Crawford’s contract + unknown future. The Hawks had a $4M backup in Darling and couldn’t afford to keep him.

  • April 18, 2018 at 11:22 am

    My Hellebuyck thought/suggestion was only if Crawford is done – age and recent injury prone. I mentioned the current cap hit as reference to speculate what (obviously more) it might take to lure him. If Delia or Peeters are candidates to develop into legitimate #1 goaltenders, it probably won’t be in the next couple of years. Their own first round pick this season is prime, but that could weighed against possible success without someone with Crawford-like ability in goal.

  • April 18, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Tab– let me rephrase…. those guys w/ Size/skill/speed in Bottom 6 – are CAPABLE of scoring that and more (when skating top 6 — (Like ladd/Frolik)) yet- are also capable of playing bottom 6… and grinding/cycling/etc. (Bickell/Frolik’s)…

    Frolik- was a capable scoring threat – when utilized on other team’s…

    and if u don’t think he is a Great- Utility player- or able to Muck on boards/Physical..
    I strongly disagree… He was NOT a hitter… but very capable/strong skater/board mucker

    Hey- Kruger has no size… BUT super capable/willing to fight on boards- to make plays… back in the day… and very quick/agile skater

    to Clarify- They need forwards- who can play strong on boards and skate–
    mixed in with the Smurfs/that are skilled/quick… if they score – has alot to do with how they are utilized.

    I would be happy with Martinsen scoring 5 goals on 4th line…
    but if he skates on 2nd line- 15 minutes… I am going to need 17-20 goals… can he do that???

    I say- Frolik/Bickell (before $4M contract/MS issues)/Ladd could all do that

  • April 18, 2018 at 11:48 am

    I think Frolik was a terrific role player here, Wall. And I agree that the Frolik/Kruger role is a significant void. I like what I’ve seen from Kampf and Hinostroza in that regard, but agree the Hawks need more…. grit… guys who are a pain in the ass to play against. That said, I think there are guys coming to fill those roles.

  • April 18, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Wall and Tab…….good points about size and board battles. My thought process was that the Hawks were never going to “bury” the opposition with body checks, but they needed to win more board battles. Sometimes it takes more heart than it does size to win a board battle.

    I think the Hawks know that and, like you said Tab, those guys are on the way. We hope.

  • April 18, 2018 at 1:11 pm


    who do you see as those guys?

    I only see Soderlund as that “Shaw” type… I don’t see anyone at Rockford right now like that… Size or WILL w/ + skating (like Frolik /Kuger/Shaw)…

    I haven’t seen enough of Barratt- so-idk

    kinda – why I see that as a need- that SB Hawks can maybe fill 2-3 slots for under $3M… BUT- still need to spend on top 3 D + find legit Backup Goalie (or better-pending Crow’s status)

  • April 18, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    It would be nice if Stan could ID a bigger player who also has skill, perhaps someone like Evander Kane? The Hawks have to have one of the smaller rosters in the NHL.

    As for Hellebuyck, No it’s not a smart move to spend all those resources and money to bring him over from Winnipeg. Besides, let’s see how Winnipeg finishes. They have an awfully talented team around him. I guess what I’m saying is I’m not sold on him for what they would need to give up to acquire him and Crow is still here after all.

  • April 18, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Wall alot of how the bottom 6 looks is going to depend on if Sikura gets 3rd line time to adapt like Debrincat. Also how useful Ejdsell and Kahun if he signs will be. That will probably play a big part in AA s role next year or if he still around. I would have no problem from the point of being more physicsl in resigning Wingels. He can give you depth at both wing and center as interim basis without hurting you too bad. He score some but not alot and showed he is capable in the crunch as well.

  • April 18, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Although the chatter is quiet on if on Soderlund is going to being in Chicago next year, he seems to be doing good in his teans playoff run. There was a comment made that he always comes through in big situations.

  • April 18, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    I wouldn’t offer sheet any goalie. Just not worth it.

    Of the goalies mentioned I’d go for Cam Ward. Yes, he’s around 34 and his prime years are behind him but he has a pedigree and respect. He also knows the number one goalie so if Crawford does go out he woildnt be overwhelmed like the goalies that filled in this year.

    I do agree with the suggestion of using assets to acquire a goalie but I doubt Mr Bowman is ready to part with Forsling. (I personally have my doubts aboot Forsling but given the defense situation, I do think we have to give him one more crack.)

  • April 18, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    good comments about forwards with some grit to win those 50/50 pucks which the Hawks seem too often to be on the losing side of

    Looking back the 2010 we had Buff, Hossa, Ladd, Brouwer, Bolland, Eager, Madden, Burish plus Toews in his physical prime – that’s a whole lot of grit among just the forwards

    I haven’t really looked closely at the available UFA forwards but James Neal is interesting to me at a reasonable price of course because of these exact reasons

  • April 18, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    IF Crawford doesn’t return at (or very near) 100%, and you hope for a serious Cup run while Toews, Keith, and (possibly?) Seabrook still have a pulse (- this depends on whether two or three of them can actually rebound to acceptable form…and, include Saad with them, except for the “still have a pulse”), Cam Ward or any other second tier journeyman is not going to do it. (I believe it was Tony Esposito, while departing, who said, “You will never win anything with two back-up goalies”…)

  • April 19, 2018 at 12:01 am

    …Oh, and let the record reflect that I would have to seriously consider whether of not I could move a first round pick with a chance to be #1 overall, and actually a pretty good chance at #2 or #3 for ANYTHING. Especially since the Hawks have not been drafting anywhere near that early for several years.

  • April 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Serious cup run ??? are you serious Dickie ? 2018 -19 will identical to this underwhelming season .The majority of our forwards are so green and unproven Q has no choice but play the revolving door blender game again. Our D are so old and tired or so overpowered outmatched , untalented and unskilled that bringing in a u.f.a. or 2 in either position will be well ,.,.,pointless . The Hawks management has not kept up with the times .

    We are in for a 2 -3 year rebuild , by then you know who will be real slow and worn out,.,.,yeah OUR CORE .lets draft a goalie ,some big Canadian D boys , hope Crow is o.k ,what was the play where he was injured ?

    Carry on Hawks .

  • April 19, 2018 at 11:03 am

    I am not against the Hawks landing one of the top forwards in the draft, especially if they move up to the 2-4 spots.

    Talented wingers with or without size is not something we have in the system right now either, as much as we need a top flight defenseman, gotta take the best player available.

    We do have numbers on the young defensmen coming, and maybe one or two of them develops into legit top 4.

    We need high end talent regardless of position.

  • April 19, 2018 at 11:42 am

    I say get the best player you can and if it makes sense move up for a forward. But whoever is drafted is likely a year away.

    If Hossa is preseason ltir this year they can go to 84m range heading into season. Why not look at Acquiring a winger like Mike Hoffman who may be available, he could fit into top 6 right off and allow Sikura time to become a top 6 forward. Hoffmans contract runs out in 2020 to co-incide with Debrincats next contract and expansion draft. Sikura could play 3rd line with Hino on other wing and AA or if Ejdsell looks like he can handle that, move AA. That would still leave room to acquire a mid range salaried dman and goalie help, although probably want one if them to come off the books again next year.

  • April 19, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Personally i feel that the goalie situation will be a reliable not overly expensive backup who can be trusted to play if Crawford has issues. If things look like acquiring a number goalie can put them over then that would a mid season move.

  • April 19, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Hoffman is good-a consistent 20 to 30 goal scorer. He is another guy that needs space (he isn’t a creator of space) and has a great shoot. One of Ottawa’s legit mature pieces and they would want quite a bit-not sure what. Rumour in Ottawa area is the Blues want him. Also the Oilers.
    There first decision is Karlsson, who looks like he will be gone–it’s a mess in Ottawa.

  • April 19, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    From the sound of Nalimov’s season, I’d say its worth taking a chance on him. Tell him he’s #2 after Crawford.

  • April 19, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Noonan he won’t be given away but for sure, but ufas probably want long term deals so choices are limited. If you give Ejdsell a shot at 3rd center, you could start off year to allow Sikura time to adapt.
    15 19 88
    20 8 12
    95 14 48
    48 64 13/ Kahun
    Wouldn’t cost anything and let everybody play their way up and down, in and out of the lineup.

  • April 19, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    wow Panarin is so skilled! The Hawks were way more of a threat and fun to watch when he was on the team, before one of the worst trades ever- for Saad.
    Panarin: top 20 player in league
    Saad: top 200 player
    Hawks are finished for quite awhile, sorry to say. Hockey is still fun to watch though, enjoying watching Buff destroy opponents in Winni.
    Painful to watch Blue Jackets however.

  • April 19, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    Hartman establishing himself as a goon. Delivers cheap shot to the Carl Soderberg’s head. He’s lucky to receive just a one-game suspension. Now if the Hawks can make a decent pick from this trade, it’s a big win for us.

  • April 20, 2018 at 12:36 am

    SIZE and SPEED on offence and defence! The best teams in the playoff season do not dress players like Osterle, Rutta, Hinostroza, Highmore, Gustafson, Murphy, Kero,…and so on. Are you looking at these NHL playoff rosters?

    We simply do not have the talent to rival with teams like Vegas, San Jose, Preds, Pens, Caps, or the Bruins. The difference is enormous. And listening to Gord Miller talking about the top teams made up of mostly 1st, 2nd or 3rd round picks with maybe one free agent or one player drafted low like Patrick Hornquist, it’s no secret why the cream rises to the top.

    For an organization like the Hawks to not have enough new quality players drafted in the first 3 rounds results in a mediocre lineup.
    Players like Blake Hillman and Dylan Sikura??? Really? 5th and 6th round picks?
    Sikura would not make any lineup of the current teams playing in the playoffs, neither Hillman or 2/3 of the players on the Hawks. Bowman, Kelley and Gauthier are to blame.
    How do you explain Graham Knott? Drafted in the second round and he can’t skate? Vinny was another 5th rounder…
    Why would you sign a Div111 player like Pelletier to take a roster spot in Rockford?Another 5’7′ player like Anthony Louis??? Why would you draft a goalie out of Belguim? CANADA!!!! Look at the CHL for players!!!! ?? Carter Hart was available. Years ago Matt Murray and Tristen Jarry was available????
    I mean that tells you all you need to know about the amateur scouts and pro scouts in this organization. This is why all 3 need to be fired. And unfortunately, when a GM trades players like Leddy, Panarin, Teuvo, Danault, Saad, Sharp, Johns, and you get nothing in return, you have a team without any talent left. Too bad because Kane, Toews, Keith, Seabrooke and Crawford deserve better.

  • April 20, 2018 at 6:46 am

    Its funny Mikita the same things were said about Hartman, Wingels, Kempny and even Panarin they are all doing nicely playing contributing roles for contending teams.

  • April 20, 2018 at 7:31 am

    And to add-“Kane, Toews……….deserve better”-??
    better then 3 Cups when stars play their whole life not getting one? Not to mention money most only dream of—-hhmm, I think they’ll survive.

    Now you can make some kind of argument that the younger group deserves better but not the 2010 core.

    Life and Sports has both ups and downs.

  • April 20, 2018 at 9:51 am

    I have been impressed with what Kempny has been doing with his ice time next to Carlson in Washington. I was skeptical at first, but the more I watch those games he is showing the ability hold his own on defense.

    When you look at what’s left here under contract, ie, Osterle, Rutta, Gustafsson, Forsling, Dahlstrom, etc, it makes me wonder if we didn’t trade the wrong guy.

    The Hartman deal is only a good one if we get an NHL player with Nashville’s pick. If we take a stiff like Graham Knott, Dylan Olsen, etc, then it was a waste. He was an RFA with no leverage and would have come back pretty cheaply. Keep an eye out for the cap hit on his next deal with Nashville. And Kempny’s next deal with Washington…….

    Danault by the way re-upped with Montreal for 2 years at $912,500 per after the Weise trade. Johns re-upped with Dallas for $725k per year for 2 years after the Sharp trade. I bet the Kempny and Hartman deals will be for very reasonable dollars.

    It would be nice if we were on the receiving end of a deal getting young useful players that can be resigned cheaply and play every game, carving out a role on our team. Instead we keep gifting them to the rest of the league.

    Same reason I am against trading Forsling. He makes next to nothing and might be able to earn a role next year, and will make very little on his next contract. Or should make very little on his next deal…

  • April 20, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Great thoughts Mikita21 ,we have unfortunately become a product of our own success .

  • April 20, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Hawks- should keep tanking for– Long term fix

    watching PO’s – Jets/Preds/Avs/Knights… Hawks are far from actually beating these teams in PO series- IMO

    2019 draft– Jack Hughes

    2020 draft– Alexis Lafreniere– WOW!!! some impressive stats for young kid

    Anyone actually see this kid play???

    Is he better than 2019 stud– Jack Hughes???

    Re: 2018 draft…

    More I read on Wahlstrom- the more I like
    another 2 guys- lower (Pred’s pick)… if they are still there:

    Kravstov- lit up KHL in PO’s
    Bergrren- Swede kid

  • April 20, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Love the way Kempny can move laterally, and he seems more confident with the Captitals. Washington may have turned the corner and might be a real Cup contender, especially if Holtby has one of his runs.
    Selfishly I don’t want the Pens to get a 4th.

  • April 20, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I always liked Kempny

    Re: Q’s hate ( or lack of Like) for Kempny- always bothered me…

    imo- Q is really “Old school”… and there has to be something that left a real Bad taste in Q’s mouth… that Q could never let go- Regarding Kempny

    Kempny- was one of fastest D guys on roster… was Physical… had one of hardest point shots… actually got shot on net…

    Don’t get me wrong- 6 made mistakes… but never seemed to get the same “forgiveness” that Forsling/Rutta/Oesterle – got from Q

    I always thought Kempny was top 3 D guy that Hawks skated this year (at least he was Top 3 — on Hawk’s D roster filled with #5/6 D types)

  • April 20, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Kempny competes, scraps, engages, battles, whatever you want to call it. Osterle and Forsling are timid. Gus is a daffodil. And yet each of those guys got more ice than Kempny and now, behind DK, form the core of our muscular 175 pound left hand defense core while Kempny is gone. Frustrating.

  • April 20, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    I agree Jordyhawk…..and remaking a blueline is the toughest thing to do because every offseason there are about 30 other teams looking to do the same thing.

    Defensemen are like pitchers in baseball…..if you trade them young, …..it’s trader beware. The learning curve is slower with defensemen.

  • April 20, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Tuulola 6’3″ 215 lbs. A good skating left shooting offensive defensemen may be worth watching how he does during Icehogs playoff run and through to next season.

  • April 20, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Hartman I don’t think will be that cheap even though he’s RFA – he does have a 20 goal season on his 2 years in the league resume

    I’ve heard commentators speculate that his agent will be looking for $3 mil or so – he’ll likely settle between $2 – $2.5 is my guess

  • April 20, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    $2 million is not bad for a 20 goal scoring forward.

    Panik got $2.8 mil for 2 years from Stan, after basically half a good season, so I can only imagine what he would have given Hartman, something in the 3’s no doubt.

  • April 20, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Jordyhawk-you put it well-when you see a Hawk defenceman use some force, and actually make a forward feel uncomfortable it sticks out. (it’s so rare) And of course in the playoffs it’s a battle zone— Seabrook used to engage, and in the past opponents weren’t sure if Keith would lose it and carve somebody up. (Sometimes Murphy gets pissed off and will battle.)

    Now….? Com’on in and make yourself welcome. The rules have changed but the Hawks don’t do much in front of their goalies. It surprises me with Ulf there, so it must be in their personality and to a lesser extent size.

  • April 20, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    An article in LA Times today saying both the Kings and Ducks need to immediately transition away from the “heavy” game with slower players as the NHL is all about speed now. Kempny has been ok for the Caps but I read an article that indicated no decision has been made to re-sign him so I don’t think he has overwhelmed anyone. I will still take the draft pick we got for him. Regarding next year it is highly unlikely that any draft choice from this year will have an impact (unless we get a top 2 pick). Therefore the changes will need to come from trades, free agency or the current roster. This makes it very hard to see us catching up to the Preds or Jets in the short run. One interesting UFA will be Evander Kane. I have never been a fan of his but he is a completely different player with the Sharks and his size, speed and offensive talents have been very impressive lately.

  • April 20, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Nice week for ex-hawks with Hartman getting suspended and Panik getting arrested.

  • April 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Excellent post by Mikita. Following up on his point that the scouts should be fired, I do not know anything about them and who may be better out there and available. But let me just say that the Hawks’ drafting has been sub-par for many years and, unless some changes in personnel are made, we shouldn’t be optimistic that things are going to turn around anytime soon. As I posted earlier this week, THN ranks the Blackhawks’ farm system #29.

  • April 20, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Happy Birthday Seabrook.

    Kempny has the been the textbook definition of steady; it’s a novel idea what regular ice time and confidence from your coach can do for a player. It is utterly amazing that Rutta was re-signed for over $2M; Kempny has to be worth at least that much — even for one season — on the open market.

    Q dropped the ball on this one. He must have really had something against Kempny. Who knows what was said behind closed doors.

  • April 21, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Mmmmmm drafting ,.,.,we have traded or given away 5 or six first round players in the past 2 years . Mark Mcneill ,Tevo .Danault ,Hartman ,Kyle Beach ,Dylan Olsen .

    Now some could not make the cut ,.,.,because of poor scouting and evaluation but,.,.,.,.

  • April 21, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Kempny is clearly benefitting from playing with Carlson but I don’t think that means Q dropped the ball on him

    A handful of games on a much better team with a legit top 4 D man as your partner and you look better than you did on the Hawks does not make you a good defenseman – let’s give it some time to judge the player rather than the team he plays on – I would guess that Rutta would look better on WSH too

    Kempny has some similarities to Daley in his aggressive style and Daley didn’t work in CHI although he worked on a much better team in PITT but then didn’t work so well on a worse team in DET – he’s not a difference maker

    So maybe Kempney could play in CHI if we had a better team and better D corps but we don’t, so would he then have been an answer to upgrade what we have on D? or does he just play to level of the team and D corps around him? I think probably the latter but Imo the jury is still out on that

  • April 22, 2018 at 9:24 am

    A team is only as good as the individual pieces assembled by the G.M , Chicago has a rag tag assemblage there for we see the results . The coaching systems seem to be lacking ,any given night 44 and 82 had no freeking idea what to do or how to manage plays in our end .Very little defensive cohesion , You can throw the best in the league into that system and they will fail ! We have 4 D who are not n.h.l. caliber ,and at least 5 forwards in the same boat .
    Now goal tending , we rotated 3 goalies after Crow went down ,.,.,none ready for show time ,.,.,.,.this debacle lies solely on Stan, McD ,and our coaching staff which had been partially disassembled but unfortunately the head of the serpent in still intact .

  • April 22, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Looking around with Wingels playing a regular role in Boston, Hartman is obviously liked by Preds although his suspension is showing some reasons why Q sat him at times. Good on Kempny for playing with Carlson in Washington. Playing mid to high teens 5 on 5 mins. every game. Quenneville has the respect of entire league and a resume to match. So seeing these guys finding regular spots on contending teams after being in and out of Blackhawks lineup indicates to me the pieces in this roster are not as bad as some seem to want us to believe.
    Sure the defense needs some new faces, thats coming. Get some chemistry and play more like team, look less dysfunctional out there next year. Obviously that starts in the crease and a healthy Crawford and reliable backup first, bringing confidence to the team in front.

  • April 22, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Man do I miss having a vested interest in the Playoffs.

  • April 23, 2018 at 8:07 am

    ER, right Crow and Praying fully heals.

  • April 23, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Yes the playoffs were so much more exciting and engaging when it is your team you are living and dying with the result of each game.

    Glad Pitt eliminated the Flyers. Butchers like Gudas shouldn’t be mucking up the playoffs anyway. Good on Winnipeg for beating Minny. Young team with a lot of young talent, arrow is pointed up for them. Should be a great series with the Preds next. Preds were too strong and deep for Colorado to match, especially throwing out their 3rd string goalie by the end of the series, they had no chance.

    Panarin started like a house on fire in the series with Washington but he has been poor the last couple games. I don’t know if he is hurt but Washington has been physical with him. Putting Holtby in net completely turned that series around for Washington. I don’t see Colombus winning two in a row to advance but I’d love it if it happened. I don’t think Ovechkin will ever win a Cup as long as he is the man in Washington.

    Boston has Toronto by the short ones, Toronto does not look ready to take that next step to me.

    The San Jose / Vegas and Nashville/Winnipeg series should both be awesome. This might be the best round of the playoffs coming up. Probably gonna get Pitt/Washington again, and Tampa/Boston.

  • April 23, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Wahlstrom has nice offensive talents, what i don’t like is the reports on his defensive game. He was a center but because of his reluctance to battle physically for the puck and float and wait for turnover, so be would was moved to winger and center experiment abandoned. Just puts up a red flag to me, if he’s ok wuth that.

  • April 23, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Wow the last seed Icehogs are one game away from sweeping the first place Wolves.

    Too bad it’s the veterans on the team doing most of the heavy lifting. Clendening, Bouma, etc. Still, Delia has played well and it’a a step forward for the organization.

    Hayden, Edjsell, Martinsen, Bouma all getting regular ice time.

  • April 23, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Wingels can come back every yr, one at a time, he likes Chicago. He knows and doesn’t mind traded at deadlinw when we had a off yr, played not as good as we are, didn’t have a NHL goalie let alone a top goalie, etc.

    This yr for us was a one hit wonder. just like expansion team. Watch how much worse they will be next yr, when every team is playing a harder game against them. Same thing happened to EDM and TOER this yr. Those two teams, EDM and TOR, as well as STL and CHI will be back in force next yr. Its teams like LSV, COL and others that will have to earn it next yr, because every team will play a harder games against them for doing good this yr, even though their getting better/COL.

    Salary Cap will take away from TB and TOR a little, as we and others keep or get better.

    If WAS beat PIT,
    Go WIN and BOS.

  • April 23, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I donot think well have the 16/67 depth until we get roster more filled with the upside young players. Then just like that we can add a couple 57s.

  • April 23, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Been watching the Tor-Bos series – I think the Leafs pull it off

    Bos is reeling from Tor speed and Andersen is slightly out dueling Rask

    Bos is a one line team really – not enough skill on lines 2 – 4
    The Bergeron line is insane and if Bos is going to win they’ll have to do it all by themselves – not a good formula for playoff success

    The Leafs have the forward depth and the goaltending and they’re jamming the front of their own net when Bos presses and Bruins haven’t been able to score off the rush plus Leafs have stopped giving Bos so many PPs

  • April 23, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Why are Lance Bouma and William Pellitier playing ahead of 2nd round pick Graham Knott and 3rd pick Matt Iacopelli?? Who cares about the AHL playoffs? This is not the old Chicago Wolves or Las Vegas Thunder of the IHL??? Seriously, I want Stan Bowman to explain this to the fans? Journey men and free agengt nsmurfs taking ice time and development away from higher draft picks? What is the message here?

    A DIV3 player is getting ice time, geez he has a contract!!! Pelletier will never make the NHL…And BOUMA is out of the NHL…Cody Franson?….This organization does not get it!
    And people on this site are talking about Forsling for next year? Where’s Hillman(can’t skate anyway) and Snuggerudd? We still have Viktor (Can’t skate) Svedberg playing.
    Forsling is on the 3rd D pairing in the AHL? Why?….Let this young players play and especially those who were drafted 2nd or 3rd round…Anthony Louis, another 5’7″ player who will never ever play in NHL…. This is so laughable. Are BOWMAN and KELLEY watching the playoffs in the NHL? Or if this Rockford team wins he can sell the fans at the Convention that we have a good farm team….another smoke screen.
    All this is dysfunctional. KUDOS to the AHL coach for taking the company line.
    No one from this year’s AHL team came up and impressed. Maybe not his fault because all these players are BOWMAN and Kelley’s picks or free agents.
    Sikura, another bottom feeder, arrived along with Hillman from the NCAA.

    Wow…Not sure who is tuning in to watch Rockford play but there is a serious lack of talent. Adam Clendening is better than Forsling? Hmm, remember that trade Bowman?

  • April 24, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Mikita i usually don’t agree alot with you but after being impressed with the Icehogs 2 0 lead and special team play, and Delia strong play. I was troubled to see that Fortin, Knott, Iocapelli, Snuggerud, Hillman, Gilbert, Tuulola and Noel were all scratches and Ejdsell not very visible and Martinson taking alot of bad penalties took the shine off it.

  • April 24, 2018 at 7:19 am

    I agree with you Wraparound. The Leafs are the better team and can roll 4 lines. The Bruins a are a one line team. In the first couple of games all the bounces were going the Bruins way and they lived on the PP and converted everything. As the series goes the Leafs are imposing their will and speed on the Bruins. The Leafs just need to stay out of the box and not give Boston the man advantage and the Leafs win.

    Nashville/Winnipeg is going to be one great series and I hope the Jets knock them out.

  • April 24, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I do to about TOR, it just that TOR hadn’t really played since the first 40 games and looked like it the first few games so I thought they were like MIN and CHI last yr. They might have woke up just in time. (got enough games into series, to do so)

    IF WAS beats PIT,
    I am for WIN.

  • April 24, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Wall you mentioned Lafreniere, he currently playing in under 18 tournament and is really impressing and looks like real playmaker who can score.

  • April 24, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Ok, so Hawks didn’t make playoffs this year. This is a day though that should be remembered with great fondness by Hawks fans. This is when the deal officially was ON! For those of you like myself that were there, it was an unforgettable experience. Eight years ago.


    Lets Go Hawks!

  • April 25, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Thanks Phil-it must have been fun in person. Two things struck me-the Hawks DID have breaks/luck to win 3 Cups, you need them. And they won that game despite Niemi. He was average at best.

  • April 25, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Yes NOONAN96 Niemi was average against Preds in that round, but he was very, very good against Vancouver and San Jose. Incredible saves in some of those contests that kept Hawks moving forward.

    All teams need a fortunate draw, some puck luck, strong goaltending, and perseverance to win the Cup. The margin between winning and losing is so narrow.

    Moving forward I am pulling for Leafs tonight and then Jets, Sharks, Caps in those respective series. Can’t root for the cocky Preds, come lately Knights even though Vegas it’s a great story. Pens, forget it even though I respect their accomplishments. Can’t stand hacker cheap shot artist Letang! Bolts are very good, but I will pull for whomever plays against them.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • April 25, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    I’m agree with you Phil Go Leafs and Jets!

  • April 25, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Even though I would like to see WIN and BOS or TOR, its better that BOS won that so that’s better for TB. It might be TB that puts PIT to bed for good.

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