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 New York Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky.
CONTRACT STATUS: Restricted Free Agent; $1.850 million cap hit in 2010-11
2010-11 STATS: 77 GP; 24 G; 30 A; 100 PIM; minus-3; 2 GWG
Last offseason became one of expected loss as Stan Bowman faced the daunting task of keeping the Blackhawks salary-cap compliant. With that and a disappointing 2010-11 season behind us, it’s time to enter another offseason of change – this one hopefully for the better.
With July 1 approaching and the ‘Hawks possessing some wiggle room under the cap, we’re going to take a look at who they may be able to afford when the time comes. However, Bowman isn’t allowed to speak to potential free agents until the clock officially strikes midnight.
That’s where Tim and I come in. We’ll be breaking down free agents over the next week (maybe longer) to determine who Bowman should risk the fine for to get a jump on other teams, and who he should leave alone until it’s legal – or at all.
Of course, we all know the Blackhawks would never dream of breaking NHL rules and couldn’t possibly ever even think of tampering with a potential free agent. However, for the sake of having some fun, let’s play along.
The posts will start shortly, but we wanted to give you the opportunity to tell us your suggestions for who the Blackhawks may pursue. Make a case and we’ll put together a post.
Fire away, ya’ll.
*Thanks to our friends at Nets are Scorching for help with the idea.
With the next goal determining either a long-awaited championship or an anything-can-happen Game 7, the last thing I ever wanted to experience was confusion.
At 10:06 p.m. on June 9, 2010, those who packed into the tiny J&M at Augusta Blvd. and Oakley were just as bewildered as I. The puck was gone, the Philadelphia Flyers looked stunned and Patrick Kane was undressing faster than a slut on prom night.
It must’ve gone in. Did it go in? I think it went in…
The Blackhawks’ off-season has begun, sooner than any of us would want, to be sure. But this is when us erstwhile robo-pundits take off our pants and open up the spreadsheets. Who is coming back? Who is being let go? Who is getting a qualifying offer, and who isn’t? Which free agents are available? Who is trade bait? And which of the farm team wanna-be’s are going to be part of the rookie class of 2011-12?
All of it makes for a worn-out keyboard, angry spouses, and sore… umm, hands…
Fortunately the news for the Chicago Blackhawks is not nearly as apocalyptic as it was last season. We were all still hung over from the Stanley Cup Championship parties when, almost without us noticing, five of our middle-tier players were shipped out of town. We’re not facing that kind of purge this year.
In fact, the real questions coming out of the Blackhawks’ camp have more to do with free agents being re-signed. We’ll get to that very soon. Let’s start with the easy stuff…
Breaking news via every Blackhawks beat writer on Twitter: Goaltender Corey Crawford has signed a three-year deal. A conference call is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. central time, when more details should be shared on the situation.
After the debacle with Antti Niemi following last season, it’s nice to get this done early to save for any stress. I’ll be on to update things as they come along, including the dollar amount.
UPDATE: Multiple reports say Crow’s deal is for $8 million, making his cap hit $2.6 million per season. Crawford is now making more money than Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick and Detroit’s Jimmy Howard.
Overall, this is fantastic news for the Blackhawks for a couple of reasons. First, there’s no more wondering who is going to be the starting goaltender, meaning for the first time in four seasons the ‘Hawks will enter training camp without any sort of goaltending questions. Secondly, the dollar amount is slightly more than we may have expected, but it’s not by much.
Between getting Crawford locked up and being able to do it for this price, the Blackhawks did very well on this one.
For those of you familiar with the Boxing feature here at Blackhawk Up, you’re well aware I have the extreme privilege of channeling the mind of ‘Hawks captain Jonathan Toews. Despite the fact the Blackhawks are currently making tee times, I was once again able to get into the mind of the fearless leader and read his thoughts on his individual season.
It was very difficult, I might add. Toews doesn’t much care for singling out players, including himself. If you remember when Toews skated back toward his teammates holding the Conn Smythe Trophy after the ‘Hawks won the Stanley Cup, he clearly reinforced the team accomplishment by stating, “This is for you guys.”
He’s the clear definition of the consummate team player – unselfish, willing to be the voice when needed and perfectly able to lead when asked. And, more importantly, capable of putting an entire team on his back to win for them, not just him.
That Selke Trophy nomination? Great. I’m sure he’d like to add more hardware to an already impressive collection. But it’ll never mean as much to Toews as that big silver chalice or gold medal, simply because it represents team.
Here’s a look at his season stats, followed by Toews’ season review of himself and my grade, since he’s too humble to possibly grade himself.
Well its been a while since I updated the former featherheads for you. I apologize, but College finals kind of took up the majority of my time, but now for the summer I’M FREE!
As for hockey, we know are into the Conference Finals and the San Jose Sharks will face the Vancouver Canucks in the West, while the Boston Bruins will have home ice advantage over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
There is a lot to cover so I won’t go into depth of each game and how many points were scored. Just know that the former Blackhawks haven’t really stepped up lately and the four which will be moving on are Ben Eager, Antti Niemi, and Scott Nichol for the Sharks, and Shawn Thornton for the Boston Bruins.
Click the jump for updates from the last couple weeks
Most folks are looking at this latest Patrick Kane incident the wrong way. I’ll try to summarize. Should he be able to live his life? Should he be able to chase every bit of tail in Chicago? Should he be able to drink himself to the ER, get into fights, stiff the cabbie, or strip naked in a limo?
It doesn’t matter. That’s not the point. And as long as he’s an NHL superstar, the point is this: he’s being a fucking idiot and putting his CAREER at risk by doing this shit. Furthermore, he’s risking disappointing Blackhawks fans who expect him to be with the team for another 4 years. Let me explain.
The Chicago Blackhawks’ defensive “crisis” in the off-season centered around Niklas Hjalmarsson, and the offer sheet dropped on his lap by traitor scum-bag shit-hole Doug Wilson, now GM of the San Jose Sharks. (You’re going to pay, Dougie — Logan Couture’s contract will expire at some point…) But once that was resolved, Blackhawks’ fans settled into the knowledge that they had arguably the best top-four defensive corps in the league, anchored by Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith.
Oh, how quickly things can change.
No time soon will Blackhawks fans forget Antti Niemi and his contributions during the Stanely Cup run last season. What many may not remember is Niemi and Corey Crawford were viewed equally for the backup goaltending job behind Cristobal Huet prior to 2009-10.
With Niemi out of AHL options and Crawford’s contract still at two-way status, Niemi may have won that job simply based off default and not talent. Rather than collecting a Stanley Cup ring, Crawford toiled in Rockford for another season and didn’t give up hope his time would come.
He got his shot this season, and what a hell of an impression he made.