I will regret saying this one, but as a joke:
Theme to Buffy the Vampire Slayer-Big Buff. hahahaha
I will regret saying this one, but as a joke:
Theme to Buffy the Vampire Slayer-Big Buff. hahahaha
"...so if we acquired him and Tallon didn't lock him up, some team will give him a big contract and the Blackhawks will have to match it, and if they do, we have another big contract on our hands and we still need to give guys like Kane, Toews, and Keith bigger contracts."
You just have to remember that w have over $17MM in salary coming off the books after this year, so there will be some room under the cap. If the NHL raises the salary cap to $60MM, that puts us almost $20MM under the cap for 09-10. And if Barker does get shipped in a trade, that frees up almost $3 MM more in cap space. So while Tallon does have to contend with RFA status for Toews, Kane & Keith after next season, he will have some room to maneuver.
To clarify a bit on what Hoorock said. As I noted in two posts before his, the Blackhawks do have Lang, Khabi, Havlat being UFA's next year and they will most likely not be back. I cannot see a scenario where they would be. Sharp, Ladd, and Bolland will see very small raises as well. The Cap will most likely continue to go up. However, Tallon does not have Toews, Kane and Keith all being RFA's after the next season. Toews, Kane, Keith are all RFA's after the 09/10 season so we have two seasons with them before they become RFA's.
Keith and Campbell would be my votes as alternates, but Burish and Sharp also rank high on my list.
I disagree with the need for Lapointe to be back in the fold....he's past his prime and doesn't fit in here anymore. This team has some guys with playoff experience and even the young guys have world junior experience, including Toews captaining the Canadian team to a title. I'm not worried about leadership, especially when you look at the difference in play when Toews was out in January. His motor is what gets the team going....well, that and a good power play (hello Soupy!).
And as for needing toughness - Burish, Seabrook, Byfuglien and Sharp provide plenty of grit. And Eager (Burish too) provides the insurance policy for the kids. I just met Buff at the convention and he's scary big.
Here's his fight vs Jared Boll last year...
Can we make this the Convention Wrap-Up thread?
I was wondering who made it out....what the best moment was....who was the best person they met....best seminar they attended....changes or improvements....etc.
I was out there the whole time.
Best moment - The Toews as captain announcement on Friday night.
Favorite Person - (believe it or not) Rocky Wirtz. He was sooooo nice and down to earth. Man I never thought I'd like a Wirtz.
Best Seminar - I only went to a few, but I loved the Old Barn seminar. Dennis Hull was hysterical and Pit Martin was great too. I also enjoyed the Winter Classic session and listening to how McDonough thinks about everything.
Changes - Better management of the autograph signings. Either more signings at the same time or more frequent player appearances. Some of the lines...especially the Toews and Kane ones were ludicrous. I also would have loved to see a big wrap-up rally on Sunday. The convention was fantastic, but ended very unceremoniously.
Overall though, damn it was a fantastic experience. I got to meet Burish, Byfuglien, Ladd, Hendry, Bolland, Keith, Campbell and a few others from the current team. And I talked with Eddie Olczyk, Troy Murray, Dave Mackey, Steve Larmer among others from the alumni. And meeting Rocky and John was great as well. This convention really propelled my excitement for the coming season into the stratosphere, which was the exact intent.
I loved seeing the players, especially the old timers, interact with each other and fans during the seminars...telling stories, cracking jokes, and seeming to have a really great time. I can't imagine more teams not doing this next year and I'm pretty sure that we'll see even more alumni attend next time around once they hear from the attendees how much fun this was.
The Blackhawks used to roam this town in anonymity, but the convention sure must have made them feel like celebrities and I'm guessing they'll get recognized a lot more now. It was truly a wonderful experience and I'm so glad I went.
How did the rest of you feel?
Hoorock, while your points are all valid, I do not agree that Burish should be in consideration for alternate captain at this point. Even though him and Toews share the same amount of time in the NHL, I think that Burish a 4th line second year guy hasnt exactly earned that spot yet. He leads by example no doubt, but I don't think he is the kind of support that we need for our current captain, Toews.
While I don't think that we need Lapointe back with Eager/Burish/Adams right now, I would love it if the blackhawks got rid of a guy like Adams and put Lapointe in there. He is only 34 years old, believe it or not and he seems to have been a better leader than Adams and plays with more grit than him. I think he is a good asset to a winning team, no doubt.
I think people just look at the big hits that Byfuglien has and label him as a guy with grit. While Big Buff can definitely lay some guys out, a lot of times he plays too soft and he rarely drops the gloves. The fight against Boll of the CBJ is one of the only fights I can remember him getting in. I also have to disagree that Sharp provides "grit". He plays a great defensive game and can hit guys every once in a while, but I think saying that he provides grit is a bit misleading.
Like I said, all your points are valid and well taken, I just feel differently on them.
I agree that Campbell, Keith and Sharp are better choices than Burish, but he's definitely a solid 4th pick here. Nobody else on the team has the personality to wear the A. Maybe at some point Kane grows into that role, but not in the near future. My best scenario is Toews as captain, Campbell and Keith and alternates.
I don't want to unleash a flurry of obscenities, but I haven't hated a Blackhawks player as much as I hated Marty Lapointe since Mironov...or maybe Karpovtsev. He was terrible as a Blackhawk. He had a decent career with the Wings, but lets be honest....he scored 50 points once and never cracked 41 ever again.
His skills have deteriorated, he's too slow to play in today's game effectively, he's not a good fighter (he didn't win a single fight last year), he is a defensive liability (just look at his career -40, even after playing on all those great Wings teams), and he was traded to the Senators to give them "veteran leadership" which saw them tailspin further losing 7 of their last 10 and getting swept in the playoffs. Great f'in leadership there.
I spent the last three years watching Lapointe get outworked in corners, get the puck taken off his stick in both zones, look old and slow, and generally not live up to a single damn expectation that the Hawks had when they signed him. He was a combined -47 in his 2+ seasons here and even went -2 on an Ottawa team that made the playoffs.
To make a long story short, bring back Lapointe and I may have to cancel my shiny new season tickets. I can't take another season of watching him kill this team with his sub-par play and costly mistakes. With a team full of young studs (Toews, Kane, etc.), some great experienced players (Campbell, Keith, Sharp, etc.), and a pipeline of young talent that is the envy of most NHL teams, why on earth would we bring back Martin Lapointe?
I don't understand why you hate Marti Lapointe so much. He was a leader on and off the ice. Dale made a bad signing in the beginning but Lapointe's role was not to score 50 points. When you play on the 4th line you are expected to get about 10 points a season on the stat sheet but you create time and space for your other teammates by pounding the other defenseman. Lapointe and Burish were the only blackhawks last year who continuously stood up for their teammates.
The Senators sucked last year and blaming their downfall towards the end on Lapointe is a joke. A new guy in the lockerroom being a leader is a hard thing to do, but I will guarantee you that he helped a lot. It doesn't help with you have Ray Emery in their causing problems and Wade Redden being asked to be traded every night but refusing. The Senators had a lot of problems but Lapointe wasn't one of them.
Lapointe is a perfect 4th liner on a team like the Blackhawks. He stands up for his teammates, brings the crowd on their feet and is a great leader to a very young team, especially one with a young captain. Marti Lapointe can still play the game...on a 4th line, and he knows that is his role.
Afterall, it was Martin Lapointe who said last year that Toews deserved the C.
Were you actually watching Lapointe for the last 3 years? His skill level is in complete decline and his so-called "physicality" amounted to 4 total fights las season where he went 0-4.
My point about Lapointe on the Sens is this....if you want Lapointe back to add something to this team, then what did he add to the Senators last year? Where did his leadership and playoff experience, the two things they brought him in for, get the Senators? Why would the Blackhawks be any different?
All he did in the playoffs for the Senators was take a stupid high sticking penalty with less than 2 minutes left in game two, Pens converted the power play, and they lost the game on their way to a sweep.
Lapointe draws my disdain because he was supposed to be our veteran presence to bring the kids up to speed. With his diminished skills, propensity toward taking stupid penalties, his inability to keep the puck on his f***ing stick, and his non-existent offensive game, he did nothing of the sort. And when he left, the team looked better. They went 10-6-2 without Lapointe. So, if I didn't believe my eyes about Lapointe, I can't argue with the numbers.
Yes I have watching Lapointe for the last 3 seasons, I have watched him very well and very often. Yes his skill level is on the decline, yes his Physicality is on the decline, but he is still a good 4th line player and a great leader on and off the ice.
You take one penalty that Lapointe had and make it seem like his career. I can't remember many dumb penalties that he took on the hawks not at all.
Your point about his lack of offense is true and great, but a 4th liner is not supposed to put up numbers, so no you can't argue with numbers, because they lie for a fourth liner. A 1st or Second liner, use all the stats you want because that is their job, a 4th liners stats don't show up in the boxscore.
I'm not sure if any of you read this, but I thought it was pretty interesting to read. I know it's kinda long, but i figured I would post it up here anyway.
So far, the only thing i can say that i am mad about is that we havnt traded bulin yet and we dont have kopitar yet. both of which are not things to be mad about.
the hawks have had the best offseason by far of any team in the league. They started out by drafting beach and lalonde, two guys that fell far from where their talent was position-wise. then they signed the best defender and best goalie in the FA market. Then to top it off, they threw the fan convention in there all while announcing the winter classic to be held at wrigley.
no complaints on this end!
I don't think that you can really include Kopitar in the most disappointing moves of the offseason, as that isnt really fair to the Blackhawks to say. If it was, then I suppose you could say that about all the other 29 teams in the league who don't have Kopitar on their roster.
I do agree that not trading Khabibulin right now is a disappointment. If we don't trade Khabibulin, then I think the Huet signing turns into a bad one. I think it is a great one if we trade Khabibulin though. If we get rid of Khabi we would get under the cap by about 4 million (after all, whoever our backup goalie is would now count against the cap) and we can afford to go after some cheap help in the 1 - 2million dollar range to fill in the third line or open up a trade.
If the Blackhawks have Khabibulin to start the year, it will be a major disappointment in my mind.