The Blackhawks are poised to make some changes after a disappointing 2010-11 season, and with cap space to spare this offseason there’s potential for some quality moves. Blackhawk Up will take a look at who’s available for Stan Bowman to pursue over the next week. However, Bowman cannot negotiate before July 1 – or should he? On the docket today is Nashville Predators center Marcel Goc.

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CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent, $775,000 salary in 2010-11  

 

2010-11 STATS: 51 GP; 9 G; 15 A; 6 PIM; plus-10; 2 GWG

Why Stan Bowman Should Be Texting Him Right Now: Marcel Goc is a lot like Brooks Laich (which Tim covered Last Thursday) when it comes to size. He stands 6’1” and weighs in at 202 lbs. Goc is 27 years old and has played 6 NHL seasons. He is listed as a center but can also play wing.

As a center, Goc won 49.9% of his face-offs last season. That percentage is an upgrade from Jake Dowell (48.9%), Patrick Sharp (48%), Dave Bolland (45.1%) and Tomas Kopecky (42.2%) who all took a significant amount of face-offs for the Hawks last  season. An addition of Goc could mean that one of those players will be relieved of their face-off duties, which would most likely be Dowell or Kopecky. Although that 49.9% isn’t great, he did win 58% of his face-offs back in 2008-09 which shows he can handle the load.

Goc’s speed likely contributed to Nashville re-signing him to a one-year deal. He has used his speed a couple of times on the penalty kill to net a shorthanded goal. He averaged 47 seconds of ice time on the penalty kill last year and teams only scored 5 goals when he was on the ice as a PK player. He could be a good match with Bolland on the PK allowing Coach Q to use another center out there in case Bolland gets kicked out of the dot.

Don’t Risk the Fine: After 6 years in the NHL, Goc is still yet to post a season with more than 30 points. He was drafted 20th overall in the 2001 Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks and hasn’t really panned out to be a dominant player for either the Sharks or the Preds. His season ended prematurely last year with season ending shoulder surgery, and injuries have been the theme for Goc. He has played 55 games or less in three of the last four seasons and has missed many of those games due to being on the injured list.

Goc is very inconsistent at times, and is not a shutdown type of center which the Hawks should be looking for if they ask Bolland to step up and play on the second line in a scoring role.

The Verdict: Don’t tamper. A fine would be more than the salary which he will probably be offered, which I believe will be similar to what he received last season when the Preds gave him a $775,000 contract extension.

Tampering Week Rundown:

June 20:  Andrew Ladd
June 19:   Semyon Varlamov
June 18:   Ville Leino
June 17:   Eric Belanger
June 16:   Brooks Laich
June 15:   Brandon Dubinsky