USATSI_7943108_160885884_lowres

At The Center Of It All – Hawks Bring Back Peter Regin, Sign Brad Richards

Today Stan Bowman took further steps in Quenneville proofing his forward group by bringing back step-child Peter Regin for one year and $650K, and Brad Richards, in a career reclamation move predicted on this very site about 24 hours ago.

The first move of the day was Regin, who it was rumored that the Hawks were interested in retaining Regin’s services after Bowman had acquired him from the Islanders in February. During intermittent action, Regin demonstrated a brain and feet, something two large and departed members of last year’s group could not. Regin was particularly effective during the season’s final two weeks with Jeremy Morin and Bryan Bickell, where they were a possession juggernaut that still failed to impress Quenneville enough to warrant much playoff time for either Morin or Regin. Regin also was instrumental on the specific play that allowed Patrick Kane to score the series clincher in St. Paul, only to find himself once again in the press box once Brandon Bollig returned from suspension. Now with Bollig in Calgary and fresh paper from the Hawks, it seems as though at least Bowman saw enough to force Quenneville into playing him more.

In Richards, the Hawks get a player who only three years ago was the prize of the free agent crop, and signed for a ransom in Manhattan to become the Rangers’ number one center. During that time, Richards produced .719 points per game in 210 regular season games, and .51 points per game in 55 playoff games. Those aren’t bad numbers….for a number two center. Similarly, Richards has been solidly on the positive side of the possession battle during the regular season, posting back-to-back years of a 54% CorsiFor. But it’s the playoff woes that led to Richard’s buyout, once again proving the Peter Principle, that talent generally rises to the level of its own incompetence. Richards was taking #1 center assignments and counted on for #1 center production from the Rangers, and when the space gets tighter and the matchups get more stringent in the playoffs, having him face the other team’s top end threats just wasn’t enough.

However, here in the Hawks situation, whether Quenneville is running a traditional makeup of two scoring lines, a checking line, and an energy line, or it’s three scoring lines with a human shield, Richards figures to face favorable competition and placed in a role to succeed. And though Richards didn’t play with complete bums in New York, there are far more options for him in the winger department here. Additionally, Richards has played a point on a power play in his career, giving the Hawks more looks in that department as well. And all for the price of a one-year, $2 million dollar deal. By all accounts, Richards is a bright guy, and clearly is conscious of what he needs to do to possibly get one more real contract before his career ends. This contract is a very clear case of Richards gambling on himself, with minimal risk from the Hawks. If he does go completely balls up and he does in fact have nothing left, the deal is easy to get out from under, and Teuvo is still waiting in the wings. It seems like a win-win for all parties involved.

Now if Stan could just find some team desperate for the floor upon which to pawn off Versteeg.

  • JustSaying15

    Points last season:

    Michael Handzus – 19pts
    Mike Richards – 51pts

    Monster upgrade and is a better overall move long term then locking in a Paul Stastny type for a bunch of money and being against the cap every year shedding payroll. It gives Tivo time to develop and Richards will make that 2nd line so much better then it was with Handzus or even Shaw when he played center.
    Now they just need to get under the cap. My guess is Johnny O is gone. Solid player especially since him and Hammer play well together but he is 34, will be a FA next year and is going to make a couple million next year. See ya.

    • Oregon_hawk

      Only reason I say Steeger instead of O is that Oduya has a limited NTC.

      Oduya makes more sense, as it is one move which not only gets us under the cap, but under the cap with space. And it frees up a D-man slot for a youngster.

      • lizmcneill

        Or Rozi?

        • John Nolan

          Exactly, Liz… personally, I was shocked StanBow gave him a 2 year deal. He’s not *that* much money if you need a 6th or 7th d-man.

    • Peter Turner

      Mike Richards had only 41 pts.
      Brad Richards has 51pts. So yeah, 2 thumbs up for the deal. Statsny has 60pts but he’s eating $7m cap. Even if we had cap space, I’d still go with Richards over Statsny.

    • wardrums

      Wow, when you pout it like that-the advantage jumps out at you.

      How is Richards on face offs and back checking?

  • Oregon_hawk

    Big fan. Also a pretty standard Bowman move.

    Saad/Toews/Hossa
    Sharp/Richards/Kane

    It actually looks like a full top 6. Swap out Bicks or Morin for one of those LW spots.

    Also, center depth is:
    Toews
    Richards
    Kruger
    Regin
    Shaw

    And through it all, Tivo is waiting in the wings.

    I’d be shocked if Sharp is moved at this point. Everything appears to be set to absorb the increased cap hit of 19/88 next year, and phase Tuevo in over time.

    • JustSaying15

      I agree. I think they only would have moved Sharp this year if they were going to get Paul Stastny or something like that. Richards is a much friendlier cap move both this year and beyond so for now I think Sharp stays. But next year, I think he might be gone….

    • ballyb11

      How do they absorb at least an extra 8 mil. Don’t understand.

      • MySpoonIsTooBig

        They absorb it two ways:

        1) The salary cap going up. Given the way it has trended since it was instituted in 2005, it’s safe to assume that salary cap will rise $4 – $5M again next summer. It already went up $5M from 2013-14 to 2014-15 and that’s not even fully taking into account the new Canadian TV contract.

        2) Expiring contracts / trades. Oduya and Roszival are both UFA next summer, as will be newly signed Brad Richards. I absolutely do not expect any of them to be re-signed, which is nearly $8M in cap space right there by itself. One or more of them may be gone via trade before the season even begins (obviously not Richards), and I’d also expect Stan to execute a trade or two purely as a salary dump to free him from another contract or 2 like Versteeg’s $2.2M or possibly even Bickell’s $4M.

        I think the ‘Hawks are actually sitting pretty well right now.

  • Oldfarthawkfan

    Boyle signs for $2.3 mil. for 3 years Ranger 3rd or 4th line center (played wing in SCF), Richards getting 1 year $2 mil. this is a steal. If he get 51 points this year, I will be very satisfied.

  • AirTrafficAJ

    I like this. Win/Win.

  • Bob in EP

    Stan just made my day.

  • Oldfarthawkfan

    Bickell – Toews – Hossa
    Saad-Richards-Kane
    Sharp-Shaw-Morin
    Versteeg-Krueger-Smtih
    Teuvo-Regin

    I will go to war with those lines

    • pepe_silvia

      I’d rather see

      Saad-Toews-Hossa
      Sharp-Richards-Kane
      Bickell-Regin-Shaw
      Smith-Kruger-Morin

      • Oldfarthawkfan

        Q generally sets up his lines traditionally – puck winner, set up guy, finisher, your lineup has too much of the same on each line IMHO

        • pepe_silvia

          I see what you’re saying. I think the only thing I really have a problem is Shaw centering that third line. I think we’ve all seen that Shaw is better on wing than in the middle.

          • Oldfarthawkfan

            Well Q has played him mostly at center for 2 years, and Kruger is better suited with this team as part of the human shield. Plus the Hawks have right wing depth to die for, you move Shaw to wing, Morin sits again I am afraid

      • Brain Sprain

        Saad and Kane need to be together.

        Saad- Toews-Kane
        Sharp-Richards- Hossa
        Bickell- Kruger- Shaw
        Morin-Regin-Smith

        This could work for the first period of game 1. After that, blender baby!

      • birdhead

        I don’t love Morin on the human shield line.

        • YoAdrienne

          I don’t, either. I liked him with Bickell and Morin. I also really liked Saad with Kane. And, there was absolutely nothing wrong with 10-19-81. Why break them up?

          • Oldfarthawkfan

            Because when push came to shove against the Kings, Bickell and Sharp traded places. Toews and Hossa casue of their defensive abilities usually draw a tough defensive assignment, even if the fourth line is used as the human shield line. Since Sharp showed little inclination at playing defense last year, put him on the bum slayer line with Shaw and Morin, and let Bickell help out Toews and Hossa in the offensive zone. I got tired of seeing the stretch pass to Sharp not working, and Toews and Hossa have to work hard to get the puck back.

        • Hags

          I don’t either. Has Stan or Q definitively said what Teuvo is gonna do this year? I still lean that he is going to be on the big club, and if he is, why not pair him with morin and shaw on the 3rd scoring line and bum slay? You could slot Bickell into the human shield line. So essentially the lines would be.

          10-19-81
          20-Richards (91?)-88
          11-86-65
          29-16-28

          Red Wedding line reunited, Saad and Kane stay together, Human Shield 2.0 would no doubt be better than Human Shield 1.0, and JMo-Tivo-Shaw can bum slay against the easiest quality of competition. Mashinter/Regin/Versteeg (or nordstrom if versteeg is launched. He needs to develop more truculence so we can shoot him over to Calgary!) slot in as needed.

          • birdhead

            I like this lineup, which of course means that not a single part of it will happen.

          • Hags

            Well of course not. We may get lucky and see it 1 game of 82. We can always hope though.

    • ClusterPuck

      You forget Q’s new love child Marshin. So Tivo, Morin and Regin rotate for his 4 mins per game.

    • Aaeismacgychel

      I’d go:
      Sharp-Toews-Hossa
      Saad-Richards-Kane
      Bickell-Shaw-Morin
      Regin-Kruger-Smith
      And rotate Morin and Regin with Versteeg and Teravainen. Versteeg to play on 2nd or 3rd line, with Saad taking the remaining 2nd/3rd line spot and Morin/Regin taking the 4th line spot. And when Teuvo plays, go with the following:
      Teravainen-Toews-Hossa
      Saad/Sharp-Richards-Kane
      Saad/Sharp-Shaw-Bickell
      Morin/Regin-Kruger-Smith
      I could really see the Regin-Kruger-Smith line annoying opponents and the Hawks playing the 3d and 4th lines relatively even minutes.

  • Brain Sprain

    Like both signings. Are we about $2.3 mm over the cap now? Goodbye oduya. Or Leddy. So next question, who is paired with Johns? Hammer I guess, but I think it would be fun to see him with Keith.

  • OMFS88

    How long before I can buy a jersey?

  • Oldfarthawkfan

    Kyle Quincey gets 2 years $8.5Mil., Willie Mitchell gets 2 years $8.5 million, I bet Stan gets some good assets back for Oduya’s one year at $3.3 million

  • jordyhawk

    Richards huh. At least he’s not as old as Keef.

  • wowwowweewoo

    I personally think it’ll be leddy shipped off. Probably won’t get as much of a return if we waited to the end of the season. I just can’t see leddy, runblad, Clendening, or Johns filing the pk role Oduya plays. That should be enough to get us under the cap if we start with 22 and TT in Rockford, bring him up after a month or so.

    • West Madison & Co.

      They are going to let Johns get situated in Rock Vegas. So will Rundblad. Need to dump Oduya and see if they can get something for Leddy. He has the skill, but not the finish.

      • wowwowweewoo

        I agree that Johns needs to get acclimated to the every day pro game, I think Clendening is the more likely fill in, especially if it’s leddy sent off. Clendening plays a more similar style. I just don’t see Oduya going though because of the pk thing. I know it’s hard to admit, but we may very well be on the verge of a purge and reload season in 2016, pending toews, Kane and Saad contacts. All this means this year is your shot, and you’re in less of a “maximize assets” situation that keeps getting tossed around as a reason to trade Oduya.

      • lizmcneill

        Rundblad can’t go to Rockford, he’d have to be waive and he wouldn’t clear.

        • mightymikeD

          excuse me, that’s RUNDBLAD to you, lady.. (we have to get the ALL CAPS thing in place before next season!)

        • wardrums

          The times I saw Rundblad play last year, left me very unimpressed. Am I missing something here?

          • TitanTransistor

            Came into the league as a pretty highly-touted prospect.

            General consensus out of Phoenix among educated fans/bloggers/media was that he never got a fair shot from Tippett. Either a style clash, or just too much of a log-jam on D for him to get decent ice time, or a combination.

            Jumped onto the Hawks roster, different system, no acclimation time.

            I’d say give him a training camp before making a judgement call. He’s costing us basically nothing for the moment.

  • West Madison & Co.

    Seeing the lines as I do now this makes me smile:

    Kane – Toews – Sharp
    Hossa – Richards – Saad
    Shaw – Kruger – Smith
    Morin – Regin – Teravainen / Bickell (when he decides to play to potential)

    Keith / Hjammer
    Seabs/Leddy
    Oduya/Leddy

    Spares: Versteeg, Roszival, Rundblad, Nordstrom

    • TitanTransistor

      We’re 2 million and change over the cap. One major player or a few minor players need to go.

      • Joe Banks

        Rozival/Versteeg

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Too many Leddy’s, possibly two too many Leddy’s and possibly one too many Oduya’s.

      • raditzzzz

        permanent double shifting.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Reading that we signed Richards made me happy. Reading that we signed him for 2 MM made me very happy,

  • TitanTransistor

    It’s totally petty and pathetic, but I think the best thing I got out of today is the fact that nobody wants to go to Detroit, while useful veterans are leaving money on the table to come here.

    Complete 180 from how things were in the late 90s and early 00s. :D

  • ballyb11

    BUT WHY DID BOLLIG PLAY???

  • Hockey

    Like the moves.

  • mightymikeD

    I’m usually completely wrong, but I think we can finally forget all the “Sharp getting traded” rumours.. (sorry, Jackass) . They’d be looking for pieces back in that trade and there just ain’t no room. So yeah, my money would be on Oduya or Leddy going.. the D-man free agent class is rancid and the “best” have already been locked up to hilarious deals.

    • mightymikeD

      I’ll add: I like the look of this Richards deal for a lot of reasons.. the cap hit for one, the term for another and the idea that the Hawks have a very motivated player looking to get another big contract while playing for a contender..

    • Bannerman

      I’m not saying your wrong but who would be more easily replaced: Sharp or Oduya?

      • birdhead

        “Who’s easier to replace: our leading scorer or our fourth defenseman?”

        The latter, no?

        • mightymikeD

          dingdingding

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    So Stan signs Smith, Richards, Morin, and Regin for about the same money Uncle Dale gave our favorite Rat.

    • raditzzzz

      perspective is a beautiful thing.

    • YoAdrienne

      Good for Rat. Glad he’s getting that kind of money, but I’m also glad Uncle Dale is paying it, and not Stan.

  • HawksRule

    We need to dump Versteeg. Perhaps the Oilers will take him for a late draft pick.

    • lizmcneill

      Or the Isle. Doesn’t he already have a Garth Snow type contract?

  • Clubstav

    The Richards deal is a nice move that could work out as a catch if Q can inspire him to get some of the old magic Q is the kind of guy that can definately inspire it. But that’s all it is, just “nice”. Lets see what Bowman has up his sleeve for the 2,2 mill over the cap and all the non movement clauses around.

  • JD

    Yes
    the Hawks are a great puck possession team but who on this roster other than
    Seabs and Bickell can deliver a check and move a body when needed? Some of you
    people are too fascinated with a Euro style puck moving non pyhsical game. Yes fighting has
    decreased but the leagues is much bigger and faster than ever now. Taking a
    pounding night in and night out especially in the Western conference without much of a response will eventually take
    a toll.

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      First of all, who the fuck cares? The ‘Hawks have gone years without having someone at or near the top of the league in the hits stat and seem to have done just fine in that time. Why? Because you can’t throw a hit if you have the puck, and the ‘Hawks have the puck a lot, and having the puck is a fuck ton more correlated with winning than hitting is.

      Second, if you actually paid any attention whatsoever you’d see that there are plenty of other ‘Hawks that throw their bodies around when needed. Players like Sharp, Shaw, Saad, Hossa, Rosy, and Hjammer have no problem putting a body on a man when need be, the only reason it doesn’t happen all that often goes back to the point up top about having the puck more often than not.

      • The Nutbrown Hare

        Agree with your assessment. I don’t find the Hawks to be particularly ‘soft’ by any means…a bit under-sized, maybe. But the players you mentioned definitely play physically when needed. Sharp’s defensive sensibilities may have waned the last season or so, but if you really pay attention, he does have a bit of red-ass in him a decent amount of time. Shaw plays well above his size in regards to physical contact, and the others don’t habitually shy away from physical play, either.
        Furthermore, I don’t see the lack of big, plodding thugs as having been the reason for the team failing to win the Cup in any of the seasons they’ve missed out since 2009-2010.

    • Jalamanta

      When was the last time the Hawks *needed* someone to deliver a check? Who did you have in mind for 2C – Brian Boyle?

      It’s not that we’re too fascinated with the Euro style – it’s that you’re living in the past and completely out of touch with reality.

      • JD

        I love the Richards pick up but if you believe for one second that the Hawks didn’t play lacksadaisical and fatigued after the Olympic break than you’re kidding yourself. Yes a lot has to do with tons of hockey played by this group but after the physical series against the Blues that took a ton out of this team. Yes they beat the Wild but the Hawks were outplayed in that series in almost every game and i dont care if they were close or one shot away they didnt win and went down 3-1 against another physical oversized Kings squad. My beliefs dont have shit to do with the past the facts are the facts the Western conference plays big and physical and do the Hawks have enough in that department…no! I personally dont like seeing my team take a moon pounding along the boards on a nightly basis which also makes them more susceptible to injury!

        • Jalamanta

          Again, what is it that you want? Who are you upset that they didn’t get yesterday? Stan Bowman gave your big man Bryan Bickell a big contract after last season. Brandon Saad has plenty of beef. Marian Hossa is a tank. Ben Smith is a big ball of muscle. Andrew Shaw is fearless. Marcus Kruger always bounces back up. Hjalmarsson nearly killed David Backes in the Blues series.

          Are you angry the Blackhawks didn’t overpay Benoit Pouliot yesturday? Or is it that you’re complaining about size because that’s just what you do because you’re hopelessly out of touch with the modern game?

          As an aside, upvoting your own post is tacky.

          • JD

            LOLOL ” Saad has plenty of beef” was 5 feet away from the play and used it well to turtle the other way when Toews got plastered by Orpik. Hossa hasnt hit anything since the Bush administration and Smith has been in one fight IN A PRACTICE against Keith! Kruger is a human shield on a nightly basis also. Love the Hawks but I cant deal with the Homers on this site….i’ll talk to more of a knowledged crowd on the TSN boards.

          • jekyll1489

            we wont miss you….

          • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ Matt McClure

            In that case, enjoy your ban. You were warned.

          • Jalamanta

            I want to print this comment out and carry it with me always.

          • Hags

            maybe JD can become a Calgary fan. JD will see so many hits up there.

          • Jalamanta

            They have very knowledged fans up there in Calgary as well. JD will clearly embiggen the conversation on their websites.

          • MCKTRK

            Being big and playing big are two completely different things. You’re an idiot!!

          • Jalamanta

            Again, what exactly are you cretins proposing?

            The Blackhawks are a slightly undersized team that plays bigger than it is. It’s utter nonsense to suggest that this team suffers from a supposed SIZE AND GRIT deficit. Seven postseason rounds the last two seasons proves that.

            We’d all like a Milan Lucic type, but there isn’t one here at the moment and there wasn’t one available in the free agent market.

            But I guess I’m the idiot…

        • Hags

          The Blues series was taxing but that’s not why the Hawks struggled in Round 2. They struggled because they had no depth they could rely on and Minnesota’s depth and team speed burned the Hawks repeatedly (my God Erik Haula was a terror wasn’t he?) Ultimately, the Kings size did not determine that series, The combination of top-end talent and….wait for it….depth! (see a pattern here?) tipped the scales in their favor. They had 4 lines they could roll and score, and the Hawks played essentially all of round 2 and the 1st 4 games of the WCF with 2 competent lines. Q was unable to get after the Kings bottom d-pairings until games 5,6 and 7 (and essentially rolled 3 quality lines) and they ended up on the wrong side of a coin flip in game 7.

    • raditzzzz

      i am all for having physical players who can throw checks on this team. would i say the hawks are an “undersized” team? comparatively, yes.

      but just as there is a skill with finishing shots, there is a skill finishing checks. you know, the ones that are used to separate man from puck, not ones that come 3 seconds after the puck has left the opponents stick. skill along the boards, tenacity to maintain or generate possession, using the body to create separation, i’ll take that any day of the week over someone who is big, throws his body around just because they can and can’t stay in the play.

      i for one am really excited about not having plodders on this team, i want to see how much of a difference it makes, and if we do crumble. something tells me that won’t be the case (mostly the past four years). i am less interested in a “euro style puck moving non physical game” and more in a high scoring, possession motivated game. imo, speed and skill are what lead to that, not perceived toughness, raw hit counts or face punching.

    • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ Matt McClure

      “You people”

      • JD

        let go of your man crush on Bollig

        • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ Matt McClure

          Whatever your bit is, dial it back a bit or get launched.

          • cliffkoroll

            Best.Tagline.Ever.

        • JimBag

          Easy, Geek.