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3 in 6 now go for 4! Hawks year in review


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m7ykw_JX2hYaW4WTucJ_SOw.jpgPRESEASON EXPECTATIONS: Always on the short list for being a cup contender with stars such as Keith, Kane and Toews, anything less than a conference finals appearance would have been considered a bad season.

 

FINAL RECORD: 48-28-6 102 points, 3rd in Central. Went on to defeat Predators, Wild, Ducks and Lightning (all of whom hit the century mark in points) to win their 3rd cup in six years.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR: With five minutes to go in game six and the Hawks holding onto a precarious 1-0 lead over the hungry but beaten up Bolts, Richards fired a perfect pass to Patrick KanemJcfPYsvXUp1SUAuoet9kUg.jpg who fired in the dagger and give the Hawks a 2-0 lead and essentially end the game and the season. The Hawks set themselves up to be considered a possible dynasty.

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR: Kane broke his collarbone in late February, they were sitting at 35-20-5 and not a lock to make the playoffs. They reached deep, going 13-8-1 without Kane who was expected to miss the first two rounds of the playoffs. Instead he came back early in time for the postseason. The other low point of the year, the clubhouse is rumored to be in turmoil with rumors everywhere that Sharp slept with Keith's wife.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Well they won the cup. They added Vermette, Timmonen as rentals who both contributed nicely. Scott Darling had a brilliant 1.94 goals against average to push Corey Crawford. Captain seriousmfOYQE6pIDDiWmQD7OJwjgA.jpg (28-38-66 plus 30) carried the team most of the year. Kane 64 points/61 games was star material pre injury. Hossa (22-39-61) continues to age like fine wine. Brandon Saad (23-29-52) established himself as a star in the making. Duncan Keith won the Smythe and had a great regular season, he may be the best defenseman in the game today. Rugged Bickel (14 goals) had a nice bounceback year. Hjalmarsson (plus 25) was solid. Seabrook had his usual year. Brad Richards was okay as a 2nd/3rd line center.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG: Teuvo Teravainen (4 goals, 34 games) was given every chance to take a top six role and showed he is not quite ready. Patrick Sharp (16 goals) showed signs the end is near. Andrew Shaw continues to be frustratingly ordinary. Kid players not including Teravainen, such as  TVR and Nordstrom (and 4 other rookies) played a total of 68 games with zero goals. Corey Crawford was third on his own team in goals against and save pct and went a very ordinary 32-25.

 

STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR: Not a team you want to be forced to win a faceoff against. Toews and Vermette finished in the top five for faceoff pct. Patrick Sharp may be slipping but is still deadly on the power play with half (8 of his 16) of his goals on the power play.

 

UFAs:

 Vermette

Richards

Rozsival

Oduya

Desjardins

Cumisky

 

TOP PROSPECTS FOR 2015-16:

Teravainen is expected to take a top six role on the wing, period. Nothing else will do. Darling established himself last year in net, he may push Crawford for playing time. With the team up against the cap young kids will be given every chance to earn a role on the team, high on the list are forwards Mcneill, Hartman and Danault and d-men Pokka and Trevor Van Reimsdyk are almost certain to be with the big club. This Stanley Cup winning club could ice five rookies not counting Teravainen and Darling.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS: How to ice a team with two players making ten million a year eating up 30 percent of the cap? A huge list of free agents, all nice spear carriers, are all almost certainly gone. Where do they find a number two center? Can they trade Sharp who is eroding before our eyes? on a given night can they stay on top of the league with so many holes expected to be filled by kids who are good prospects but not great ones? Can they convince Crawford to waive his NTC? The biggest, like I mentioned a few lines up, who on Earth is going to be the number two center?

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m7ykw_JX2hYaW4WTucJ_SOw.jpgPRESEASON EXPECTATIONS: Always on the short list for being a cup contender with stars such as Keith, Kane and Toews, anything less than a conference finals appearance would have been considered a bad season.

 

FINAL RECORD: 48-28-6 102 points, 3rd in Central. Went on to defeat Predators, Wild, Ducks and Lightning (all of whom hit the century mark in points) to win their 3rd cup in six years.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR: With five minutes to go in game six and the Hawks holding onto a precarious 1-0 lead over the hungry but beaten up Bolts, Richards fired a perfect pass to Patrick KanemJcfPYsvXUp1SUAuoet9kUg.jpg who fired in the dagger and give the Hawks a 2-0 lead and essentially end the game and the season. The Hawks set themselves up to be considered a possible dynasty.

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR: Kane broke his collarbone in late February, they were sitting at 35-20-5 and not a lock to make the playoffs. They reached deep, going 13-8-1 without Kane who was expected to miss the first two rounds of the playoffs. Instead he came back early in time for the postseason. The other low point of the year, the clubhouse is rumored to be in turmoil with rumors everywhere that Sharp slept with Keith's wife.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Well they won the cup. They added Vermette, Timmonen as rentals who both contributed nicely. Scott Darling had a brilliant 1.94 goals against average to push Corey Crawford. Captain seriousmfOYQE6pIDDiWmQD7OJwjgA.jpg (28-38-66 plus 30) carried the team most of the year. Kane 64 points/61 games was star material pre injury. Hossa (22-39-61) continues to age like fine wine. Brandon Saad (23-29-52) established himself as a star in the making. Duncan Keith won the Smythe and had a great regular season, he may be the best defenseman in the game today. Rugged Bickel (14 goals) had a nice bounceback year. Hjalmarsson (plus 25) was solid. Seabrook had his usual year. Brad Richards was okay as a 2nd/3rd line center.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG: Teuvo Teravainen (4 goals, 34 games) was given every chance to take a top six role and showed he is not quite ready. Patrick Sharp (16 goals) showed signs the end is near. Andrew Shaw continues to be frustratingly ordinary. Kid players not including Teravainen, such as  TVR and Nordstrom (and 4 other rookies) played a total of 68 games with zero goals. Corey Crawford was third on his own team in goals against and save pct and went a very ordinary 32-25.

 

STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR: Not a team you want to be forced to win a faceoff against. Toews and Vermette finished in the top five for faceoff pct. Patrick Sharp may be slipping but is still deadly on the power play with half (8 of his 16) of his goals on the power play.

 

UFAs:

 Vermette

Richards

Rozsival

Oduya

Desjardins

Cumisky

 

TOP PROSPECTS FOR 2015-16:

Teravainen is expected to take a top six role on the wing, period. Nothing else will do. Darling established himself last year in net, he may push Crawford for playing time. With the team up against the cap young kids will be given every chance to earn a role on the team, high on the list are forwards Mcneill, Hartman and Danault and d-men Pokka and Trevor Van Reimsdyk are almost certain to be with the big club. This Stanley Cup winning club could ice five rookies not counting Teravainen and Darling.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS: How to ice a team with two players making ten million a year eating up 30 percent of the cap? A huge list of free agents, all nice spear carriers, are all almost certainly gone. Where do they find a number two center? Can they trade Sharp who is eroding before our eyes? on a given night can they stay on top of the league with so many holes expected to be filled by kids who are good prospects but not great ones? Can they convince Crawford to waive his NTC? The biggest, like I mentioned a few lines up, who on Earth is going to be the number two center?

Word is, Richards might resign on the cheap again since he is still collecting 2 cheques. But how cheap?

 

These guys are BONED by the raises to Toews/Kane. Assume Sharp gets traded(Near certainty)

 

?????/Toews/Kane

Panarin/?????/Hossa

Versteeg/Shaw/Teravainen

Bickell/??????/???????

???????

 

Keith/Seabrook

Hjalmarsson/???????

???????/???????

???????

 

Crawford

Darling

 

The Hawks sit just over 64 million.....LOL.

 

Panarin is a nice signing. But he has a bonus laden contract. Up to 3.5 million. If he scores well, that could bit em in the arse and bring them up to 67.5 million and cause them to go over later, bumping the penalty to the year Seabrook needs a raise. TT has bonuses in his contract too.

 

Sooooo, Saad and Kruger need extensions. Word on the tweet vine is Saad is probably not thinking hometown discount given the example set by team leaders. Looking for 5 million. Kruger is the best 4th liner in the league, and will likely get 2 million.

 

Trading Sharp effectively pays Saad and leaves you room for a 4th liner like resigning Desjardins for 800k.

 

So that puts them near the cap with no second line center, and in need of 3 defensemen?

 

Bickell's trade value has never been lower. And he has a NTC. They will have to package a pick to get a team to take him for free.

 

Even if Bickell's 4 million comes off, that 4 million only gives them enough room to add ELC's. So 3 rookie defensemen? Move TT to second line center and bring up another ELC?

 

In any case, it will be like last time in 2010 when they had to mass dump, only worse. A few years of first round exits

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@J0e Th0rnton

 

With Toews, Kane, Keith, Hossa and Seabrook I absolutely do not see them as a first round out every year. They may need everything to break right but if it does, they are as good a bet to win it all as everyone.

Lets look at what they are losing, assuming they keep Saad and Richards which i believe highly likely.

 

Vermette, a one month rental who was a healthy scratch in several postseason games. He is a favorite of mine IMHO a very underrated player but didn't do much in Chicago.

 

Roszival and Oduya as well as Timmonen are coming off poor years. Frankly, the rookies cannot be worse.

 

Sharp has always been overrated, the star effect of playing for a perennial power house, but now he is near the end of the road. Their asking price is absurd and no GM in the game is going to give them what they want but he will certainly be dealt. As long as TEravainen lives up to his potential he is easily replaced.

 

Yeah, they will be thinner and at risk of an injury or two derailing them but I think they are going to be fine.

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