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yave1964

Blackhawks offseason review

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2016-17 A QUICK LOOK BACK Feb 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

  The Hawks over a decade have won three cups and are constantly in the mix for the best organization in the game, Bowman masterfully works the cap era roster, moving pieces out (and often back in again over and over) while relying on the core of Toews, Kane, Seabrook, Keith, Hossa and Crawford and throw in Anisimov and Panarin for good measure for one of the leagues top cores.. They have remained relevant and constantly in the mix as a perenial cup contender out west.

  The 2016-17 season followed the usual script, Campbell and Oduya were back for a repeat performance to shore up the back end, kids Hartman and Schmaltz showed promise up front, Richard Panik added 22 goals, Crawford won 32 games, Darling as a premier backup went 18-5-5 and they looked like a three line deep team heading into the playoffs ready for a deep run, people were talking of a dream matchup between the Hawks and Crosby's Penguins. The Hawks won the division and looked ready for anyone.

  And then it all fell apart quickly. Pekka Rinne didnt just beat them, he STONED them, sweeping the Hawks in 4 straight games by a combined score of 13-3 and frankly it was not even that close. A couple of trades later and they are left to pick up the pieces.

 

FREE AGENTS:

 

BRIAN CAMPBELL found no suitors and hung them up. ODUYA and DESJARDINS are still looking for work in mid July.

 

RASSMUSSEN took his 4th line skill to Anaheim but wont be missed.

 

additions are:

SHARP is the latest returnee hoping to rediscover magic in his homecoming. Wingels has lost a step and doesnt hit like he once did but the Hawks are hoping to get him back on track. Bouma, like Wingels plays a heavy game the hope is the two fo them will give the bottom six some scoring and hitting.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS:

 

1) IS THE LEAGUE SERIOUSLY GOING TO ALLOW HOSSA TO GO ON IR BECAUSE HIS SWEATER ITCHES?

 

 The Hawks circumvented the cap signing Hossa years ago and now that he is down to the final three years of his deal he is likely retiring but if he does so, the Hawks get hit with a cap hit the same as the Wings with Datsyuk and other teams with 35 year olds who retire mid contract. Instead, he is going to go on LTIR because of a rash.

  My hope is the league tells the Hawks to take a hike, that this circumventing of the cap will not be allowed. But I also hope for peace in the middle east, for free healthcare for all and for one night with Heather Locklear but all of those three things seem move likely than the league stopping the Hawks who have become Bettman's version of a teachers pet.

 

2) PANARIN FOR SAAD?? AND WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER DEALS?

 Speaking or reunion tour, Saad is back in a pretty huge deal along with Forsberg, a pretty solid backup goalie in exchange for the bread man and Tyler Motte, an undersized but offensively gifted winger. The thought is that Saad will move froward from the 45-50 point a year guy that he has turned into back in Chicago and that Forsberg replaces Darling who was sent out to Carolina in a salary dump.Personally i would take Panarin any day of the week over Saad no questions asked. I like Forsberg but equally like Motte and the Hawks need secondary scoring, they potentially lost two top nine wingers in the deal.

  The other deal was with Arizona, trading Hjalmarsson who has been an underraated steady defender for hard hitting blueliner Connor Murphy and a meh forward named Dauphin, the deal was motivated by the financial end of the game. Then Kruger/Trevor Van Riemsdyk were shipped out to Carolina.

 

3) SO WHO IS OUT/WHO IS IN? WHAT DOES THE ROSTER LOOK LIKE NOW?

 

OUT: Hossa, Panarin, Darling, Campbell, Oduya, Motte, Rassmussen Van riemsdyk, Oduya, Desjardins and Kruger

 

IN: Sharp, Wingels, Bouma, Dauphin, forsberg, Saad and Murphy.

 

Massive changes, 11 players who saw regular ice time are gone, the core is mostly still on place and Saad and Sharp on return engagements. 

 

4) ARE THEY STILL CUP CONTENDERS?

 

 IMHO that ship has sailed and the Hawks are where the Kings were a few years ago. A bit long in the tooth but still some bite but they have been passed over by other younger hungrier teams and are sliding toward the inevitable decline. 

 

So a massive change of the roster leaves them thinner everywhere and makes them too reliant on the core who are another year older. They may still be a playoff team but just another one at this point.

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51 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

IN: Sharp, Wingels, Bouma, Dauphin, forsberg, Saad and Murphy.

 

Great write up. I have to say i like the moves they made they were strapped for cap space.

 

Jan Rutta will be asked to come in and be a quick study to help on the blueline.

 

He gives them some size and a righthand shot back there.

 

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He could be paired with country man Kempny on the bottom pair.

 

But their division didn't get any easier for sure. The deck is stacked against them.

 

 

 

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@OccamsRazor

 

in this salary cap age a certain amount of roster turnover is to be expected, but seriously, 11 players who all played significant roles last season gone? From a division winning club?

 

Agreed with Kempny and Ruttaboth could be decent with a certain amount of on the job training as they go. Murphy is one of those guys who you gotta love, stays at home cleaning up things in front of the goalie blocking shots and hitting everyone, And the other new guy on defense will be Forsling who got his feet wet last year without embarrassing himself.

 4 of the 6 d-men being replaced, of course you have Keith/Seabrook playing 26 minutes a night in all situations making it easier.

 

  I understand the whole cap thing, I just dont see this as a true cup contender in the forseable future. The Blues added Schenn to replace Backes from two years ago and have done a decent job retooling, the Preds have an outstanding defense, perhaps the games best and forwards who can surprise you, The California and Alberta boys are still to be reckoned with, IMHO the Hawks are now just another team and I see them as first round fodder for someone to warm up against. I think there day is done but I agree, Bowman did everything he could with what he had to work with, I just dont think it was near enough.

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