You may have missed it today, so if you did our compatriot Chris Block did some excellent work on Teuvo Teravainen today and a few other things.
What Block concludes is kind of what I’ve always thought, that Teuvo is going to have to go out of his way to not be on the team by the holidays. He very well may start in Rockford, but he certainly isn’t going to finish there. As we’ve said all along, you can always tell when Q and Stan really like a player in the system, and those players always tend to find their way onto the roster.
Of course, all that means there’s even more of a jam among the Hawks forwards then there was before, especially if Teuvo earns a spot right out of camp. There are currently 14 forwards listed on the Hawks, and Teuvo isn’t one of them. And it’s a little less clear than the blue line who might move. At least on the defense, we know that Rozsival, Oduya, and or Leddy are probably the most likely to go and in that order.
Up front it’s not as clear. Obviously, the first choice for most would be Versteeg, but getting anyone to take that money is going to be a real trick and you figure if that were going to happen it probably would have already. Block suggest Jeremy Morin could be the man out, and that’s probably true, but Morin is probably your best Sharp-injury insurance.
Past those two, it’s hard to see who else they would try to move. The only other name we’ve heard is Bickell now that the Sharp stuff has calmed down since the draft. That would cure the Hawks cap problems, though take away a lot of the size they have up front. This seems like a break-glass kind of move. His playoff numbers could probably convince some GM to take him, as would Andrew Shaw’s flexibility and value money-wise. But I don’t see that happening at all.
At least with Teuvo, the Hawks have flexibility and depth they haven’t before. Remember last year when Toews was hurt we all saw Handzus/Shaw skating as a top line center, and no one wants that at a time when the Hawks might need points unlike the last month of last season when they kind of didn’t. Now, Richards or Teuvo could slot between Hossa and Sharp or whatever the concoction is, with Kruger, Shaw, and Regin behind that and you’d feel that could get the Hawks out of a couple weeks if need be.
Teuvo also acts as something of Kane-injury insurance as well, or Hossa. Not that he’ll produce like those guys, but you could have Teuvo skate there for two-three weeks and feel better about it than Shaw and Smith slotting up and whoever would then take their place.
Teuvo essentially makes the Hawks’ depth go from impressive to other-worldly, which is not a bad thing when you know Hossa, Sharp, Richards, and one or two others are likely to miss some time. In fact, the Hawks have been pretty lucky with injuries the past few years, as the only time they’ve been without multiple stars was the end of last regular season when they were entrenched in 3rd in the division. You feel they could weather that for at least a little bit now.