Blackhawks '18-'19

#1
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Hawks signing Cam Ward to a 1 year deal for $2.5M. Not sure how to embed a tweet. Source is Will Nault, @Fan960Nault.

Not a Ward fan, but, strictly as a backup, he may be decent. Like the term, don't love the money. But it is what it is. Couldn't give Forsberg the backup goalie spot after last season.

Crow better be back!
 
#5
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Thoroughly underwhelming FA pick ups. That said, (1) their terms are short; and (2) no deal >>> bad deal. How many of these GMs are going to have buyer's remorse in a year or two?

Hawks will try to move Hossa's contract, bundled w/Oesterle, Gus or a mid round pick. Anisimov is on the block too. ~50% chance he goes.

One more item of note: Hawks are going to carry 3 goalies. Forsberg has to clear waivers and the Hawks aren't going to risk having him claimed.
 
#6
Thoroughly underwhelming FA pick ups. That said, (1) their terms are short; and (2) no deal >>> bad deal. How many of these GMs are going to have buyer's remorse in a year or two?

Hawks will try to move Hossa's contract, bundled w/Oesterle, Gus or a mid round pick. Anisimov is on the block too. ~50% chance he goes.

One more item of note: Hawks are going to carry 3 goalies. Forsberg has to clear waivers and the Hawks aren't going to risk having him claimed.
Agree with you on the free agent signings, but I don't think they had that much to work with cap-wise. I heard they have about $3 million left. Too many old guys on payroll with no trade clauses. I'm going to go out on a limb and say its doubtful this team will contend for the playoffs this season. For Bowman to simply hope that some of the veterans will raise their level of play is pollyana-ish. You can't turn back the hands of time.
 
#7
Agree with you on the free agent signings, but I don't think they had that much to work with cap-wise. I heard they have about $3 million left. Too many old guys on payroll with no trade clauses. I'm going to go out on a limb and say its doubtful this team will contend for the playoffs this season. For Bowman to simply hope that some of the veterans will raise their level of play is pollyana-ish. You can't turn back the hands of time.
I dont think its crazy to believe this team could at bare minimum contend for a WC spot. In fact, I think they will be just about that--average. 16 teams make the playoffs, I think the NHL has some of the best parity in sports, so everyone has at least a shot at advances to the finals.

That being said, that hinges heavily on some of the Dmen not named Keith playing at top 4 level and the return of Crawford. If either of those things dont happen, this teams window is officially closed.
 
#9
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
The Hawks seeming obsession with re-acquiring their old players is strange.
The trade was to secure cap room, plain and simple. Hino was sacrificed, to move Hossa's contract. AZ sent us trash, but no biggie. Krugs has a year left @ ~$2.6. That's nothing. Hawks gain beaucoup cap room: 4M this season, 6.8 next, 5.275 year 3.

I was pretty high on Hino, but we have Sikura (more skill) and Kahun (equally fast).

Bowman now has the flexibility to make real moves. Great trade, IMO.
 
#11
Houston, Texas
The trade was to secure cap room, plain and simple. Hino was sacrificed, to move Hossa's contract. AZ sent us trash, but no biggie. Krugs has a year left @ ~$2.6. That's nothing. Hawks gain beaucoup cap room: 4M this season, 6.8 next, 5.275 year 3.

I was pretty high on Hino, but we have Sikura (more skill) and Kahun (equally fast).

Bowman now has the flexibility to make real moves. Great trade, IMO.
That young right winger has some skill and could be a 3rd liner but the other two guys, yeah, they aren't anything.
 
#15
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Season opener. Probably going to be a development year, but maybe not. Lots of high-end D prospects in the pipeline. Anyway, my take on this season's squad:

Forwards:

Debrincat and Schmaltz now have more experience and have looked better than last year in the preseason. Kahun looks like a good find. We have replaced older, ineffective players like Sharp and Bouma with younger players who can all skate well. Players like Kampf, Hayden, etc. now have another year of experience. Saad needs a big bounce back season.

Defense:

We added a lighter Seabrook and a rested Keith. HJ is a talented rookie. Forsling should take the next step along with Murphy. Gus is fine as a number 6d. Rutta is healthy again after showing promise in his rookie NHL season.

Goalie:

This is the real question mark, is Crow going to stay healthy? Can Ward still play? Will Forsberg take the next step.

We have a new PP system that should be more effective.

No one is or should be denying that there are question marks but dismissing the young talent is foolish. Murphy and Anisimov will get moved at the deadline. Can they get Stone? (move Saad)
 
#17
We have replaced older, ineffective players like Sharp and Bouma with younger players who can all skate well.
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I have generally the exact same thoughts as you, but the above is the most important portion if you ask me. If Bowman wants to prove he actually is a top GM, showing he has drafted and picked up young guys who can make it to and produce big at the NHL level is crucial. We might not have a new core has special as the one we've enjoyed for the past decade, but showing that there he's acquired guys who are key players, rather than those on the peripherals, will prove whether he can keep this thing going.
 
#19
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
I have generally the exact same thoughts as you, but the above is the most important portion if you ask me. If Bowman wants to prove he actually is a top GM, showing he has drafted and picked up young guys who can make it to and produce big at the NHL level is crucial. We might not have a new core has special as the one we've enjoyed for the past decade, but showing that there he's acquired guys who are key players, rather than those on the peripherals, will prove whether he can keep this thing going.
Up until this year, we had poor or super poor draft position. Compounded by giving up draft picks for rentals (good strategy, BTW). Bowman/Kelly's drafting has been borderline sublime, considering.
 
#20
The Hawks have won 3 Stanley Cups during his tenure. I think he's already proven that he's a top GM.
Arguably with the team that Dale Tallon built.

Bowman doubled down on a "win now" mentality over and over and over. With three Stanley Cups it's hard to argue with the results. And with a team that made a mockery of the salary cap, in a league with anemic revenue growth, it was always going to be an uphill battle to remain on top.

We will see this year whether there is any juice left to squeeze from this core. If there isn't, anything is on the table.
 
#21
A Legend in My Own Mind
Montgomery, IL
Arguably with the team that Dale Tallon built.
I'll give you that for the first one, but the 2nd two are undeniably his. If you compare the 2015 team to the 2010 team, there's not a ton of overlap. In the salary cap era, finding complimentary pieces to add to your core is the biggest challenge.
 
Likes: Joel Goodson
#22
The Hawks have won 3 Stanley Cups during his tenure. I think he's already proven that he's a top GM.
There's different levels and assessments to this. He had available to him the core that was already in place, and the money to strengthen it. Stan joined after the core was in place. Credit where credit is due, his early signings helped the team transition from a young talent filled team, to a perinatal contender (and favorite), but the true mastermind behind the backbone of the team was Tallon.

It was not sustainable, and the aftereffects started to take their toll about 3 years ago. Bowman benefited directly from his predecessor.

I think it's become increasing clear that Bowman isn't the mastermind everyone thought he was early in the dynasty. This year is going to prove whether or not he actually is a good GM. I'm inclined to think he is not. Contracts, trades, and drafting have all been highly sub par.

An even more interesting question is whether or not Q is or was an elite coach. I for one, credit him for a lot of what the hawks accomplished, ten fold to what Bowman did. Now, he also might be the reason they fall into an abyss, but im more comfortable with giving him more credit and time to turn it around than Bowman. Sadly, the way pro sports teams typically work, he will be used as a scapegoat, at least initially.

Honestly, the real reason for almost any dynasty is mainly luck.
 
#23
If you compare the 2015 team to the 2010 team, there's not a ton of overlap.
There is in terms of the core.

That was the big lesson of last year for me, the team has shuffled around in a number of iterations around those core guys and it's always worked. But you take Hossa and Hjalmarsson out of the equation and the whole thing falls apart, it's not the same team anymore.