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Nice season wrap, Jim. From the heart and echoing my thoughts. Hopefully Stan can get all of the right pieces in place by the time summer camp starts. I'd hate to see "the core" age into another group of Blackhawks one cuppers.
Seriously folks, does anyone think this "core"of players has another Cup in them? I believe that some of the wrong players, who were not salary cap liabilities were sent packing. Kris Versteeg comes to mind, as does John Madden, and Dustin Byfuglyn. Maybe Stan should have let San Jose take Hjalmarsson. All I can think of is Cristobal Huet laughing all the way to the bank. Did Stan even try to re-negotiate his contract? He would have been a capable back up to Crawford, and lest we forget, he had a few shutouts to boot! Here is what I believe needs to be done, in no apparent order: Say goodbye to Bolland, Hjalmarsson, O Donnel, Kruger,Morrison, Brunette,Leddy AND your beloved Duncan Keith. Playing all those minutes for the last few years has turned one of the fastest players in the league into an above average skater at best. He is unable to score a goal, but he sure can find a lot of shinguards with his shot. Leddy needs to go also. He is fast, but his speed does not help his many unforced errors that lead to opposition goals, plus Dylan Olson seems to be at least a shade better defensively. Bolland seems disinterested most games, and he should NOT ever be seen on a power play. He should not be considered an offensive threat. Even his defense seems to have suffered a major setback. Brunette, too old and slow. Same for O Donnel. Hjalmarsson has fallen apart. No offensive upside, no defensive upside either. Kruger needs to go to Rockford to learn some offensive tecniques for a couple of years. I would keep Mayers and Montador. Mayers is still an asset, and Montidor played better as the year went along. It looks like the 'Hawks are stuck with Crawford after they signed him to the longer contract. I hope all he suffered was a case of the sophomore jinx, and not a Steve Mason like career downturn. As far as good ol' coach Q, maybe he should go a bit longer in games before he starts pulling names out of a hat for line combinations. Please put Mike Kitchen on the bus. The guy wasn't much of a player during his career, nor was he much of a head coach in Saint Louis either. Last, but not least, Stan Bowman needs to be a better judge of talent when he tries to sign free agents or make trades. Dale Tallon broke the bank, but at least he knew talent when he saw it. Don't forget it was Tallon who put the Stanley Cup winner on the ice,NOT Bowman. I make these observations not as a casual fan of just a few years, but a true blue fan since 1968. who also had season tickets for many years in the Chicago Stadium before moving out of state. These are just my humble oponions, and I don't expect too much agreement from most readers on this subject.
I don't think it's so far-fetched to think the core guys have another Cup in them. Their average age is around 25, and if I counted myself out of being successful in life at that age I would've killed myself by now. Many things have to change, but that core is still something to build around. It's just a matter of putting the right pieces around them, which hasn't happened the past two seasons.
I am so afraid of this bunch turning into the 1985 Bears that should have done so much more but didn't.
I can't stand the style of hockey that seems to be prevailing in this post season. Defensive minded, pack it in, system-driven, counter punching teams are winning. Candidly, I loathe the idea of watching these teams play hockey the rest of this year. I'm trolling the Eastern Conference for a team I can get behind that plays entertaining hockey. It just makes me sad. I hate that in a copy cat league, the success of the Blues, Preds, and Yotes (in particular) could lead to more of this type of boring crap. And, I worry that the Hawks may infuse some of this into their own style. Maybe this is the future and I need to come to grips with the fact that the rope-a-dope is a recipe for success. I'm just extremely disappointed and fear a set of changes from Bowman could include a more conservative brand of hockey being played at the UC in 2012/2013. We might win more and, yes, that will be fun. But, I hate for it come at the expense of playing entertaining hockey.
I think hawks did good not great but nhl has a way of picking football refs that know nothing about hockey really all the penalties not call all the goals not waved off and two pucks on the ice wow nhl knows how to pay refs but doesnt know how to pick them this is pro playoff hockey for the Stanley cup this is not squirt hockey where you dont really have to worry about a loss