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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


Neno

I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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    Chicago Blackhawks

    jedi17
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    Chicago Blackhawks Empty Chicago Blackhawks

    Post by jedi17 Thu 12 Jan 2017, 8:27 pm

    What to believe, what not to
    January 12, 2017, 9:32 AM ET [139 Comments]
    John Jaeckel
    Chicago Blackhawks Chi
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    When it comes to rumors, I have learned the hard way—it’s important to qualify the source—and make sure readers understand that for every trade that happens between two teams. or for every free agent acquisition, there are literally hundreds of conversations—between agents and GMs or between GMs about players—that don’t turn into transactions. 

    So most rumors, even the valid ones, are just that: conversations.

    I will also not deliberately mislead readers. And sometimes, I tell them what they want to hear. Sometimes I don’t. 

    And sure, GMs issue denials that conversations even took place—but only the naive assume that GMs never deflect or divert, because they'd simply rather just avoid having a "situation" with a player or his agent or the other GM over an inquiry that was going nowhere anyway.

    But in 2017, more than ever, people believe what they want to in the absence of common sense. And I digress.

    The rumor mill since early fall has been very quiet. But there are reasons for that, and I don’t think it means the Hawks are sitting on their hands.

    The reports that have been bubbling up lately that the Hawks are in the market for a wing to play with Jonathan Toews seem legit. They have been looking for that for a year and a half. Andrew Ladd was acquired last spring to fill that role—then left. 

    The limitations and obstacles the team is reported to be encountering (high asking prices, cap constraints) are also legit.

    On the next bit of information, I don’t have a lot of specific, recent information from sources. I do know that the Hawks had interest in LWs Jamie McGinn and Tomas Vanek this past summer—and a source told me in the last week that they continue to. 

    Is the Hawk shopping list limited to those two? Highly doubtful. But I am relating names I have specifically heard, not speculating.

    Speaking of speculation, a couple of other blogs have floated the idea of trading Scott Darling to acquire some help for a playoff run. He’s good—and cheap for the rest of this year anyway. And the Rockford Ice Hogs just signed 31 year old journeyman netminder Jeff Glass out of the KHL.

    But let’s use some logic here. 

    If the goal of trading Darling would be to acquire help for a Cup run, why potentially hinder yourself in net in the playoffs by swapping out Darling—who as a backup is proven in the playoffs as a guy who can come in and win big games—for a guy least seen on a camp PTO by Toronto this fall or Lars Johansson, who might not even be a good AHL goalie? 

    Truth is, Darling is a UFA this summer and that could mean he is wearing another sweater next season. And that is more likely why a guy like Glass was brought in—to see if he can provide some depth next year in the event of Darling leaving.

    To deal Darling in-seaon would be a heavy bet on Crawford staying healthy through the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. And while Darling could be an attractive trade chip, any team dealing for him still has to sign him as a potential UFA this summer.

    Doesn't make a ton of sense, but stranger things have happened, I guess.

    As the trading deadline approaches, more players roughly (at least) fitting the mold of what the Hawks are looking for will come on the market, and the price may come down a bit. If the Hawks feel they are close in terms of a long playoff run, they will pull the trigger on something and likely, in the estimation of most fans, “overpay.” 

    My educated guess is the Hawks will deal a young defenseman and a young forward—and not their first round pick in this year’s draft, as I was told a couple of days ago they apparently want to hold on to the pick for this summer’s draft to be held in Chicago—to acquire the forward help they crave. How the Hawks make the dollars work remains to be seen.

    Some eyebrows may be raised and inevitably, unless it results in a fourth Stanley Cup in 8 years, fans will complain after the fact. 

    Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it is the modus operandi every February of an organization that is committed to winning Stanley Cups.

    As far as the upcoming summer, there are many factors that will come into play that ultimately inform what the Hawks must do to become cap compliant, and ice a competitive roster next season.

    Those would be: where they finish this year, where the 17-18 cap is set, performance bonuses counting against the cap, the expansion draft and who goes to join the Las Vegas franchise, no movement clauses, cap hits, potential return in trade, etc.

    All that said, and as I specifically heard a couple of days ago, take nothing for granted. Assume nothing. I hear different things from different sources about who the Hawks might deal to cut cap this summer and why. But there are some striking similarities in things I hear from disparate, credible sources that might surprise a lot of fans.

    Why? Because the team’s judgments are based on a lot more information than most fans have. 

    I could name names of players I think are more likely to be traded than others. But it’s way too early to say anything definitively. Much could change. Much could happen. That said, the following guidelines might provide some clues as to which ways the Hawks will lean.

    1) They like solid citizens

    The on-ice or marketing persona of a player can often be quite different than what the player is like off the ice. And the Hawks like any other team, will tolerate a fair amount of nonsense relative to a player’s talent and value as a performer.

    That said, there are very few players who can publicly misbehave in Chicago (or elsewhere as a Hawk) and get away with it for long. 

    And the team has long memories when it comes to public malfeasance.

    The Hawks have invested many millions of dollars and have had huge success transforming a dogmeat professional sports franchise into a model of success as a brand in the last 10 years. It is a remarkable story, and something the Hawks will defend zealously. Winning is part of it, but the way players carry themselves—or appear at least to carry themselves—is too.

    I can think of at least 4 former Hawks in the last 7 years who were not long for the Indianhead in the immediate aftermath of “hijinks,” either publicized (very bad), on camera (very, very bad) or not (still bad).

    2) They like Swedes

    And not just, say Alicia Vikander or Lena Olin. But Swedish hockey players and the Hawks’ own Swedish culture of players. It’s this culture that likely helped the Hawks sign Niklas Hjalmarsson to a bargain deal a few years ago, got Marcus Kruger to agree to a cheap bridge deal in 2015, and almost kept Johnny Oduya in Chicago that summer. They like Slovaks and Czechs, too, but the Hawks seem to really want to build a Swedish culture within the organization.

    3) They like defense

    Not just defensemen or defensive defensemen (hint) but forwards who also play defense (bigger hint). And let me throw in an even bigger hint—if the Hawks had to choose between a deep, stout blueline as part of a great defensive team, and a great goalie, they would probably choose the defensive skaters because at least some power players in the organization believe they (and a great goalie coach in Jimmy Waite) can still guarantee a strong team. 


    Infer from that what you will. I am not hinting at anything except which ways I think the Hawks would lean—all else being equal. I have heard some things specifically.

    But “all else” is really yet to be determined and the Hawks hand will be played when it has to be and how it has to be.


    I’ll have a Washington preview tomorrow. 

      Current date/time is Mon 24 Jun 2024, 10:07 pm