Stan Bowman

It has been a crazy couple days in the NHL, viagra sale the trade deadline has come and gone and you may be asking yourself what did the Blackhawks do? Well, online they won the trade deadline, viagra that’s what they did.

The NHL standings are as tight as they come and making deals on Monday before the deadline wasn’t easy for the contenders. However, the Blackhawks seemed to make the most noise and as they say. The rich got richer, and the thoughts of a repeat are starting to become real.

The Blackhawks added Andrew Ladd, Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann over the weekend. When you look at the Blackhawks roster before the deals they were already one of the best playoff teams and with these additions, watch out.

Andrew Ladd should sound familiar; the winger won a Stanley Cup with the Hawks in 2010 and has spent the last six seasons wearing the “C” for the Winnipeg Jets. Ladd still has swagger and will eventually be on the Hawks top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. I love seeing Ladd back, even though his stint will be short with the Hawks. They won’t be able to keep him with the salary cap next year. In the Ladd trade the Blackhawks received Jay Harrison and Matt Fraser. Harrison and Matt Fraser are both depth players and will probably stay in the AHL. The Hawks did send a good young player Marko Dano to the Jets for Ladd; however Stan is playing to win today.

The Blackhawks didn’t stop there they acquired defenseman Christian Ehrhoff from the LA Kings in exchange for Rob Scuderi. When you breakdown this trade, it was a swap of veteran defenseman. When you look at it Ehroff is a better fit in our system than Scuderi.

When you are playing with house money, why stop there. Bowman is clearly focused on winning a fourth cup in seven years and the future, is just that; he continued to make the Hawks better by trading for Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann of the Montreal Canadiens.  Weise and Fleischmann will be secondary scorers but they add amazing depth to the Hawks forward group. The Hawks did give up prospect Phillip Danault and a second round pick for those two.

The roster has been refreshed but in Stan we trust and I am excited to see how these new additions will improve  an already outstanding Hawks roster.

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2014-15 Blackhawks

Hockey is back folks, for sale and I’m sorry I have been MIA the last few weeks. In between my worldly travels and FTJ (Full Time Job) I have dropped the puck on our beloved Hawks. Don’t worry; I am back and ready to get after another exciting season and run for Lord Stanley’s Cup with the Hawks.

This year, health besides the traditional game previews and recaps, we’re going to dive a bit deeper and bring you some kick ass op-ed’s, profiles, etc. more to come on that, later this season.

I am not sure about you, but I attended my first Hawks game of the year last week versus the Calgary Flames and what stared back at me was frightening.

 

Brandon Bollig As A Flame

Brandon Bollig As A Flame
(A part of me died inside)

Brandon Bollig in a Flames jersey, WTF…

It got me thinking. We have some newcomers loaded with talent. We have had to say some painful goodbyes to some fan favorites, with big personalities. And finally we have locked up our bread and butter (Toews & Kane) for many more years to come.

Here is our list of roster shake ups this year for our beloved Blackhawks.

The “Newbies”:

I can’t really say “newbies” because both of these guys have been in the league a long time and one boomeranged back to Chicago. However, it’s my article so let’s just go with it.

Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks

Brad Richards

Brad Richards: This was the Hawks BIG catch this off season. It’s been a while since the Hawks had another quality center. Richards isn’t the same high point scorer he was with the Lightning or Stars, but he has retained most of the skills that made him one of the league’s best centers in the past. Originally slated to be the second line center, Richards is currently leading the third line with Bryan Bickell and Ben Smith. Results still need to come and patience is a virtue. Hopefully he can add some life to the always “subpar” power play. When he hits his stride with the Hawks, look out Chicago he will become a fan favorite fast. #fingerscrossed

 

Dan Carcillo

Dan Carcillo

Dan “CarBomb” Carcillo: CarBomb never really hit his stride with the Hawks his first time around during the 11-12 season. The injury bug hit him early and he was never able to show Chicago what he had. Last season he spent most of the season on IR with the Rangers and Kings. However healthier and stronger, CarBomb is looking to provide energy and instigate each night. If he scores, just consider that icing on the cake. The Hawks brought him back to provide grit and toughness. He has a long litany of fines and suspensions throughout his eight-plus seasons in the league. Look for him to keep that in check this season. I for one am excited to see what he can do when he is healthy.

The Ones That Got Away:

Nick Leddy: The Blackhawks had to free up salary cap space and fast or they were going

Nick Leddy (I feel ya)

Nick Leddy
(I feel ya)

to get hit with some major NHL penalties. Unfortunately, Nick Leddy got the shitty end of the stick. Earlier this month Leddy was traded to the New York Islanders for defensemen Ville Pokka and T.J. Brennan and the rights to goaltender Anders Nilsson. Leddy, was a great fit for the Blackhawks’ third defensemen pairing and power play. He had 20 goals, 73 assists and was a plus-10 in 258 regular-season games. He also played in 54 playoff games and contributed greatly to the Hawks 2013 Stanley Cup Championship.

 

Brandon Bollig, Monica Murphy Vargas and I

Brandon Bollig, Monica Murphy Vargas and I

Brandon Bollig: This one hurt… and maybe that is because I was blindsided by this. If you have read any of my articles you know I have always had a soft spot for what Bollig brought to the table. Yes, he wasn’t the most skilled. However, he did what was asked and I had fun watching him do it. Bollig was traded to the Calgary Flames for a third-round pick on draft day in June, seeing him in a Flames jersey last week hurt. However, working in sports I know it is a hard core business and sometimes tough decisions need to be made. For whatever reason Stan the Man pulled the trigger. I guess I have to accept the fact that after winning two Stanley Cups, he may know what he is doing.  I will miss how approachable and willing Bollig always was to talk to us and we here at SDI wish him the best.

The Future:

 

Jonathan Towes & Patrick Kane

Jonathan Towes & Patrick Kane

Toews & Kane: I like to call them Chicago’s new Jordan & Pippen. Their vital significance to the Blackhawks was made loud and clear when the two veterans were locked up with long-term deals this summer, signing matching eight-year, $84 million deals that start next season and, will earn them the highest annual average salary ($10.5 million) of any player in the NHL.

Next Round is on them, eh?

Make no mistake Toews and Kane are no longer young guns, they are the leaders of this club and it makes you excited on what can potentially be the new Chicago Dynasty.

Remember change is good. The roster may be a bit different, but the goal is still the same. WIN THE CUP. Let’s embrace this and buckle up, it’s going to be one incredible season once again! Go Hawks!

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handshake

The Handshake

Well, sildenafil Chicago…We are not dreaming, unhealthy we are not heading back to the Stanley Cup Finals and is it just me or does this one sting like a mother?

We had the Kings on the ropes and I truly felt we were going to get the lucky goal in OT Sunday night. Alas, here the resilience of the Kings was just too much for the Blackhawks.

I know many of us want to crawl back into the bottle of top shelf we enjoyed the other night. The NHL is the toughest league to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions, especially in a post salary cap era. It hasn’t been done since the Detroit Red Wings did it back in 1997-1998 season.  That is why the NHL playoffs are simply the best; you can’t predict them and who would want to? They have been incredible once again. Stanley is going somewhere else this summer…sigh… There will be no parade, #CupTracker , or girls throwing themselves at players for a #selfie with the Cup. However my friends, this season was not a total wash. Coach Q said it best last night “It is hard to get to the big dance”. They sure gave it their all and it was exciting as hell.

There were many improvements and a few disappointments on the team over the last few months, here are a couple of my thoughts about what went right and what was oh so wrong…

Improvements:

 

Ben Smith

Ben Smith

Ben Smith: Is it just me or was it awesome watching Ben Smith progress this season? In the regular season Smith contributed in every way he was asked and watching him in the 75 games he played with 26 points was great to see from the second year forward. Smith also had a great post season, always knowing where to be and had some clutch goals down the stretch. I’m excited to see Smith next season and his continued growth.

The evolution of Corey Crawford: Anyone that says Crawford isn’t a top 10 goalie needs to shut the front door. Crawford was solid once again during the season and kept the Blackhawks in most of their playoff games. Crow is young and is evolving and I like what I am seeing, he is only going to get better and I would take him over the other 29 goalies in the league. Last time I checked it needs to get through five players in order to get to the goalie, so check yourself…. Especially when Crow’s GAA in the post season was 2.53, pretty dang good.

Brandon Saad

Brandon Saad

Brandon Sadd: Another young bun that was really fun to watch this year. Saad with his magical mullet this post season was once again a threat netting 16 points in the post season and igniting a line with Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw. Saad has the opportunity to be a star in this league and I am giddy with dreams of a Saad & Kane magic mullet legacy.

Disappointments:

Kris Versteeg: I was really hoping that when Steeger came back, it would spark some old steeger2010 magic. Unfortunately it didn’t. Steeger just couldn’t seem to find his role on this team this season, it’s too bad he is a great player. I just don’t see him in a Hawks jersey next year, he barley played over five minutes in each game in this last series and many wondered why Coach Q didn’t scratch him.

Patrick Sharp in the Playoffs: Sharpie had another strong regular season for the Hawks. He stepped up with both Kane and Toews went down and was one of the hottest things on ice this season…. Then came the playoffs and Sharpie was not good… except last night’s game 7, Sharpie was pretty much non-existent in the playoffs and if he isn’t firing on all cylinders, that is a problem for the Hawks.

What Needs to Be Done?

I love Stan Bowman. I think he is one of the best in the business hands down. His idea though of ‘just putting the band back together” last season was a miss though.

  • Michael Handzus

    Michael Handzus

    This off season the Hawks need a second line center. Michael Handzus is just not cutting it and even though Andrew Shaw stepped up nicely it’s not good enough. It is time to part ways with Handzus and get a younger veteran in the door. Boy how good would Derek Stepan of the Rangers or Lars Eller of the Canadiens sound?!?!

  • We need some big bodies. Ones that can get the garbage out of our zone. The Blackhawks couldn’t hold a lead to save their lives in this series and a lot of that came from second chance opportunities. We need guys who can get in there, throw their bodies around and get the puck out.
  • 4th line help… It takes four lines to be unstoppable and the Blackhawks fourth line stunk. Brandon Bollig and Kris Versteeg played under four minutes apiece in game 7 and having to roll three lines down the stretch is tough.
  • Jonathan Toews &  Patrick Kane

    Jonathan Toews &
    Patrick Kane

    Lock up Toews & Kane: Obviously! Both of their contracts are up. This is Stan the Man’s #1 priority this summer and it will get done, if it didn’t all hell would break loose.

What’s Next:

Time to put Chelsea Dagger on the playlist backburner folks. It is going to be an interesting off season for the Blackhawks. I am excited to see what new additions Stan and the crew will bring to Chicago for next season and to start another run for the cup.

For those of you asking, I am not a Rangers fan and I think the two best teams were in the West, with that… Go Kings and until next season Hawks fans; keep it classy.

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