NHL: Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks

Let’s Compare The Destruction

This is a post we might have to keep coming back to as the summer develops. But I thought it would prove useful to compare the sell-offs of the summers of ’10 and this one, and to compare how poised the Hawks are for their next Cup as they were with that one. It won’t make for pleasant reading, but so much of what we do doesn’t either so you’ll be used to that. No time like the present, let’s dive on in and not care if the water is shallow or not.

What Hawks Lost After ’10: It’s a pretty long list. Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Kris Versteeg (and it’s pretty funny that they simple CAN’T move him now), Brent Sopel, Ben Eager, John Madden, and Colin Fraser. In other terms, the Hawks lost 2/3rd of their third line (Versteeg and Ladd flanked Bolland most of that season), their 4th line center, a top six left winger (that’s where Byfuglien ended up anyway), a couple other components that rotated in on the 4th line in Eager and Burish, and their #5 d-man.

I should also add that Antti Niemi had to be left on the side of the road after his arbitration hearing.

What Came In: This will be return on those trades and other signings/draftees who replaced what came before. This isn’t that pleasant a list either. Bryan Bickell came up for his rookie year and managed 17 goals, almost all of which were wristers from the circle that teams kept giving him five minutes to line up. Viktor Stalberg floated around the bottom six. Jake Dowell centered the 4th line for a good chunk of that season. Michael Frolik was brought in midseason. Nick Leddy also appeared for the first time. This was also the dawn of the John Scott era. Nick Boynton and Jassen Cullimore briefly wasted all of our time on the 3rd pairing.

We forget that the Hawks did return basically their entire top six that year, and their entire top four defense. It’s also an indication of just how bad Hjalmarsson and Keith were that season that the Hawks barely scraped into the playoffs, but you want to give Hammer a pass as it was only his second season and he was still very much in his developmental phase (the following season wasn’t any better for him, however). But there was simply no depth behind any of this. After the top six was… I guess Bolland? Stalberg wasn’t anything, and eventually Marcus Kruger showed up as The Plan All Along.

However, a couple seeds were planted that would be part of the Cup winner two years later. Frolik and Leddy and Kruger, all mid-to-late season additions in 2011 were all some part of a Cup winner in ’13, and Kruger in ’15. You could argue that Hjalmarsson was part of this growing crop as well, taking two years of major lumps to be an integral cog in two further banner-raisings.

And of course, Corey Crawford took over for Marty Turco and he’s been something of an important piece in two Cup winners.

What Hawks Have Lost This Time: This is the problem, because we’re probably going to have to add to this list as July rolls on. But so far, the major difference between the two reconstructions is that the Hawks have lost a third of their top six (and I really hesitate to call Byfuglien a top six winger back then. I know it’s where he played but he dragged his ass for a good majority of that season). However, the forwards have already been much better fortified depth-wise than they were in 2010.

The bottom six now has some combination of Dano, Teuvo, Garbutt (who does have use despite the bile being spewed toward him right now), Shaw, Desjardins, I’m going to guess one of Hartman or Danault. We’d like to think Kruger will be added to that list as well, but we’ll hold off on that until it’s official. That’s certainly a better start than Dowell, Pisani, Stalberg, Skille, Potulny, a 19-year old Morin (when the Hawks still believed in him), and whatever other garbage water was used there. So that’s a little encouraging?

The Hawks of ’10-’11 also didn’t have a second center, as this was about the time Sharp moved permanently to wing until he absolutely had to go back to the middle near the end of the season and playoffs. This time Anisimov is already here, and Teuvo and Dano can fill-in there as well (though it seems both might be better off at wing, and I wonder if they haven’t pegged Kruger for a bigger, third center role this year if they can get him in).

The other big difference might be that unlike that ’10 purge the Hawks could lose one of their top four d-men in Oduya. They have a replacement in Daley, but that’s a step down (and we’ll go over why tomorrow). But much like the previous team, the third pairing is at best unknown and at-worst a mess. Despite the claims of many we still don’t really know what the Hawks have in Trevor van Riemsdyk, especially coming off two major leg injuries. While we think we might know what David Rundblad is, he only has 100 games of NHL experience and 180 in North America. Remember what Leddy’s first 100 games in the NHL looked like and maybe there’s still hope he can be something of a contributor down the line (I tend to doubt it but I won’t give up on the idea wholly yet). Worse yet, there doesn’t appear to be any Leddy ’11 candidates in the system now to grow beneath what is already set.

There are of course other differences. The ’10-’11 team contained Toews and Kane who hadn’t even hit their primes yet. They’re smack dab in the middle of them now. Keith was just starting his prime back then, and we like to think he’s got a couple more years in it even now but we’ll have to wait and see what last year’s Krpyton-inspired effort took out of him. Hjamarsson had a lot of development back then to do, he doesn’t now. Seabrook is at least on the latter half of his prime, and so with either of Daley or Oduya or both. Hossa is one year farther away from his prime. The good thing is you know almost exactly what you’re getting from all of them. The bad thing is the promise of more than that is pretty slim. There’s also no question about the goalies, we think.

I suppose there are as many seeds that could possibly be part of the next Cup winner here now as there were in ’10-’11. Teuvo’s already been part of one and has a lot of growth to go. Dano’s pedigree would suggest he could be too. Anisimov is 27 and should have a few prime years left and can certainly be part of a winner. We don’t know about Patarin, but we’ll throw him in to be charitable. We’d like to think Hartman could be a fourth or even third liner on a championship team, but we don’t know that.

What worries you a little is that Saad was supposed to be another one of those seeds, and some thought Johns could and would be too. But at least the loss of Saad has a potential equalizer in Dano.

I guess the bottom line is that the Hawks right now are better positioned at forward than they were the last time there was a major fissure of a championship team (as of right now). And they’re basically just about equal to where they were on defense, and could be better off if Keith and Hammer don’t take major steps back as they did then. And there’s no reason to think they will do that (though Daley is certainly not going to be anywhere near as good as Campbell was that season, but that’s a fight I’ll have another day).

  • TKHO

    Also in 2010, replaced Niemi and Huet with Crawford and Turco.

    • Jim

      Turco shat the bed. But Crawford turned out alright.

  • Andrew Heitman

    Is Morin going to get a chance this year?

    • I would be shocked if he’s still here by training camp

      • Andrew Heitman


    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Magic Mustache says: Answer unclear, ask again later.

  • Andrew Heitman
    • Harry Longwood

      Every goal in that video was the result of either a nice pass from a teammate or a rebound. So I guess Dano has a knack for losing his man and getting open the slot?

      Nice wrist shot, but he doesn’t seem to have the north-south speed or ability to win board battles that Saad does. He’s young and still has room to develop, but looks like he needs somebody to get him the puck in a shooting position (Teuvo?) to be effective.

      • Andrew Heitman

        His release was the best part of it. Quick hands and can pick a corner.
        Slippery shit who goes to the net for not being a huge guy.

      • mazer_rackham

        Unless you are basing your comments off something else I don’t know how you can say he doesn’t have Saad’s speed or ability to win board battles. The videos didn’t show much other than that he looks sneaky and he’s not afraid to go to the net…

      • CurvedBlade

        Dano himself said he needed to work on his first-step speed. I guess some reporter asked him what he needs to work on, and he hasn’t learned the art of talking but saying nothing to the press.

      • Jim

        I don’t it’s fair to compare Dano to Saad. They are entirely different players. Everybody wanted Saad to stay, he was 1/3 of the best line in the NHL.

        By extension of your argument, Dano can’t backcheck like Toews either.

  • One other point I think is that we didn’t necessarily pump up a division rival in 2010. We were able to move most folks to the Eastern conf.

    • lizmcneill

      Winnipeg eventually became one though.

  • Jim

    Another way to ask this is: What did other teams gain?

    Only 3 teams have won Cups since 2010, and Hawks trading partners have not even had much playoff luck. The chunk of talent going to Winnepeg hasn’t done much.

    The teams getting Saad and Sharp are thinking some pixie dust lands on them, but I think it works the other way around. It’s the system + core that is the magic. And we got some new players coming back, Dano, AA, Panarin, Daley, that seem like they can fit into the system. Speed, exceptional skating, (which is the raw material) and defensive responsibility (which can be taught).

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      What you’re selling bud, I’ll purchase. Just hope buyer’s remorse doesn’t spoil my feelgood. Am big on Panarin & Dano. Daley not as much but you can’t teach speed and looks like he still has wheels..

      Ansimov is the one that bugs me b/c Bowman laying the $$$s on him
      BEFORE he’s ever skated a shift here just doesn’t sit well w/ me. But Bowman has earned the benefit of the doubt I admit.

    • CurvedBlade

      Just what I was thinking, Jim. Saad has benefited from skating with stars in arguably the best system in hockey. I would expect a step DOWN in CBJ. Sharp brings the chicago leadership and work ethic to Dallas, but he no longer has the legs.

      On both of these trades, Stan won.

      Now if only we can get SOMETHING/ANYTHING for Bickell. Versteeg is fine at $2 million.

      • Sopel the catfish

        I don’t think it will be a huge step down for him, from what I’ve seen it looks like he’ll be playing with Ryan “Pay Me Now” Johansen and Foligno. I watched quite a few Lumbus games last year and Foligno was a beast.

        • 60MinutesBaby60

          I think COL will play post-season puck next season and won’t be surprised they go deep.

  • Jane Doe

    For those worried about Daley, here's some comments re: Oduya when #Blackhawks first got him (@suntimes_sports) http://t.co/M9SUlNeri9— Tracey Myers (@TramyersCSN) July 13, 2015

    • seabsrat

      Haha those comments are pretty hilarious in hindsight.

    • YoAdrienne

      People were still calling to get rid of him a mere six months ago. Lots of short memories.

    • Budi

      I’m definitely in the camp of feeling at the time the Hawks overpaid by spending two 2nd rounders on him, and now in the afterglow feeling that the Hawks won that deal big time. I think we all tend to overvalue draft picks, and in hindsight now, two 2nds is really nothing. Now for Timonen though…..

    • Peoria Joe

      Beards like that are why we beat the Russians.

  • 60MinutesBaby60

    Re your point on Jammers’ bumpy road to present day excellence (backhand zone clear off the boards excepted AND accepted) : Could Rundblad possible follow suit? Or is my Hawk kool-aid spiked w/ Everclear?

  • KoalaKowalski

    I love this site and all the people that are a part of it but i cannot use the site anymore. It lags horribly and i cannot even read the articles because of the constant ads playing and screen randomly warping to another part of the screen. I use Chrome, any help here?

    • Sopel the catfish

      Ad blocker Plus my Polack frent

      • KoalaKowalski

        Is that a Chrome plug in, frent?

        • Sopel the catfish

          It is, I have it on my chrome browser at work and it works quite well on here, underneath the “Blogroll” section on the right hand side of the page are simply 3 little white lines and no ads or videos.

          • KoalaKowalski

            Oh thanks you!!! 99 up boats for you!!!

          • Sopel the catfish

            Anytime, from one Kowalski to another.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        I second this, especially if you are still running XP.
        Works with IE, too.

      • DJLalow

        I love and use ad blocker plus but disable it for this site. Those silly ads you see are probably one of the main ways the TOS keep the site going. I feel it’s worth it for my favorite site on the whole internets

        • Sopel the catfish

          I’ve been tempted to turn it off for here but the shear number of ads and percentage of them that are autoplay videos makes me not. I figure my sub for the CI gives them more direct money than the fractions of a penny my clicks would give.

    • CurvedBlade

      Ad blocker plus is a must have, but it’s only half the battle. Also get the “noscript” plug in. This blocks java scripts. Some of them have actually crashed/hung my browser.

      • Hockey Newbie

        Or you can try disabling Shockwave add-ins. That was causing me numerous crashes. If you prefer to have that add-in running for other pages, you may try disabling “protected mode”. I do agree about add-block plus though

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      @ Koala-ski –
      Sites seem to have pluses & minuses each. For sure SCH loads faster and its highlighting for read-unread comments very nice.

      But I – for one – LOVE TCI’s edit button. Now if only SCH didn’t have a countdown limit on doing that AND ProHockeyTalk let you do it at all, maybe even half my comments might make SOME semblance of sense. 😉

    • Black JEM

      I have the same random problem. I cannot read anything in the Chrome environment when its doing that.

  • Sam

    How does the D-men corps look through the lens of vets training younger kids? Vermette mentioned the Hawks professionality and discipline. If champion level poise can unlock potential that would elsewhere go untapped, do any of the younger D-men exhibit signs of exceptional promise under Keith and Seabs? Leddy and Hammer proved their worth, no doubt.

    • Aaeismacgychel

      I thought TVR looked really good last year. He looked like a real deal future 2nd line defenseman to me. Of course injury derailed that. If he can come back at the same level that he was playing at last year when healthy and is able to stay healthy, then I honestly think his progression is way ahead of where Leddy’s was in his 2nd year. After that though… Well, we’ll need to see them in action. If Pokka has bottom pairing potential, we should be in good shape. If not though… I think our defense next year really revolves around everyone staying healthy and that’s a dangerous gamble.

      • CurvedBlade

        Rundblad and Cummisky will be fine as a bottom pair, just as they were in the playoffs.

        I Daley is going to make hawk fans very happy. Once he becomes part of a D first system, all the concerns will fade away.

        • 60MinutesBaby60

          @ CurvedBlade –
          “Rundblad and Cummisky will be fine as a bottom pair, just as they were in the playoffs.”

          Say what?!

          • Budi

            I agree, I think Gufstafsson will be the surprise on defense out of camp. Pokka could be alright, but I believe he’s still 1-2 years away from competing for a spot.

        • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

          Can’t go a whole season with your bottom pair skating six minutes a night. Playoff run is one thing, 82 game schedule quite another, but as the Hawks proved this year, (and LA in the past), you don’t need to finish first in the division to have a deep run.

          • CurvedBlade

            Agreed Sparky. But that is just what Q does. He played 6 d-men during the regular season. You didn’t see the top 4 playing huge minutes. But during the playoffs he shortens the bench. We’ve seen that for a few years now.

            I don’t think that means the young guys did a terrible job. I think that’s just how Q rolls. During the predators series, our defense was pretty shaky for a few games. The last 3 games against tampa we gave up 2 total goals. Let’s remember that.

          • Bob Lanz

            He doesn’t shorten the bench as much as he did this go around. Usually he drops down to 5 and mixes in thethe 6th in a controlled as he can shift. This was four and an occasional shift for the bottom 2.

        • Bob Lanz

          Cummisky is no longer a Hawk and where does TVR figure in if he was?

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Small sample size, but I was impressed with TVR while he was healthy last season.

  • Aaeismacgychel

    Right now I think we lost similar albeit different pieces to 2010. In 2010, we indeed did lose all our depth on those bottom lines and replaced the with unproven pieces. This year, we are doing the same just with basically our 2nd line. We lost Saad, Sharp, and Richards, all of whom were our Top 6, and replaced them with proabably Anisimov, Panarin (Possibly Versteeg), and Teravainen (Possibly Dano but we’ll likely shift him in on the bottom lines first) all of whom are unproven. Granted, Teuvo looks the real deal though still unproven, but Anisimov is proven though more a 3C that we’re plugging into the 2C position, and Panarin/Versteeg is unproven/inconsistent. So while or 3rd and 4th lines look exceptional so long as we bring back Kruger, the “2nd line” (Toews-Hossa-Kane being our “true” 1st line) of our Top 6 will be largely unproven and more than a bit suspect. We also are taking a major hit on the PP without Richards and an even bigger hit on the PK if we lose Kruger (not to mention that Sharp and Saad have been historically two of our most dangerous forwards on the PK), and our defense while having 3 huge pieces is suspect as well beyond that (that said, most teams have the same issue with their bottom pairing and they have maybe 1 player who is as good as Keith, Seabrook, or Hjalmarsson).
    But we do still have Crawford in net which is extremely important to stability and was nowhere near the disaster of Niemi for Turco. And TVR, Teuvo, and Dano have all show some very strong signs of being starters for years to come. So there are a lot of questions, but we are probably in slightly better shape for the future than we were in 2010, which is really remarkable. That said, repeatig next year will be extremely extremely difficult and largely unlikely

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      Permit a respectful request?
      Please break up the long paragraphs in to shorter blocks. Some of us are reading TCI thru bloodshot eyes. 😉

      (But I am NOT driving a motor vehicle like some newly paid UFAs.)

      • Aaeismacgychel

        I actually did try making a paragraph for the “But we do still have Crawford…” line but forgot the extra enter. That said, I am rather notorious on here and in general for making very long replies with limited paragraphs, so I will defiitely try helping you nice folks out im the future. No promises though, lol

  • GoldenJet

    I wonder if they can manipulate the cap using Bickell’s vertigo to place him on LTIR and be able to resign Oduya…

    If they peg the Cap at $71.4…then place Bickell on LTIR, they can go to $71.4 plus Bickell’s cap hit.

    • CurvedBlade

      When Daley came in, Oduya saw that as being pushed away. Even with the right money, I think he signs elsewhere.

      Unless Bickell is really incapacitated, unlikely he agrees to take a full season off.

      • Sopel the catfish

        “Here’s 4 million dollars, go play with your pitbulls and take your wife out to dinner”
        I don’t see him taking the season off either, hopefully we can get some regression to the mean out of him this year the way most of us expect Sharp will too.

      • CurvedBlade

        Well, after reading a summary of the collective bargaining agreement I think there is another sneaky loop hole.

        For each player you put on waivers and move to the AHL, you get to deduct $1 million from your cap hit. So if you need 3 mill, you sign 3 retiring players to a token amount (with their consent) and put them on waivers. Let’s say Rozsi for one.

        • Sopel the catfish

          I think it’s you can deduct up to 1 million to their individual cap hits, so a player with $500K hit would merely become a zero cap hit, not a negative $500K. Whereas if Bicks were to be sent down (and clear waivers) *only* 3 of his 4 million would count towards the cap.

          • 60MinutesBaby60

            @#$% Nowadays seems you have to be a frickin CPA and/or corporate attorney to follow the NHL.

            Oh for the old days … Gimme Boom Boom Geoffrion, a cold six-pack and my rabbit-eared portable tv and leave me alone wilya?!

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      @ GoldenJet
      My thoughts re Bickell & LTIR exactly, Tho admittedly, do not know the particulars of it.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Depends on the kind of contract OD wants. I’d be very leary of anything over two years, and leary of anything in excess of his current salary.

    • Bob Lanz

      John’s agent said not returning to Chicago

  • Well looks like Oduya is gone

    Johnny Oduya will not be re-signing with Blackhawks, according to a source.— ESPN Chicago (@ESPNChiHawks) July 14, 2015

  • MattC86

    I know this wasn’t the intent of the post, and Sam did mention it, but the biggest difference between 2010/11 and 2015-16 is this:

    2010 Crawford: 57 GP, 1,507 SA, 128 GA, 2.30 GAA, .917 SP
    2014 Crawford: 57 GP, 1,661 SA, 126 GA, 2.27 GAA, .924 SP

    2010 Turco: 29 GP, 799 SA, 82 GA, 3.02 GAA, .897 SP
    2014 Darling: 14 GP, 419 SA, 27 GA, 1.94 GAA, .936 SP
    2014 Raanta: 14 GP, 389 SA, 25 GA, 1.89 GAA, .936 SP

    If Crawford keeps his game up and Darling doesn’t regress wildly, that alone is a 10+ point improvement over the 2010-11 team, all other things being equal. . .

  • Matt

    Someone should make a lineup of Cup-winning ex-Hawks from the year after they were traded and see how that “team” would stack up in the NHL. I bet they’d be pretty OK.

  • Matt

    It’s funny how we (myself included) have come full circle. I feel like right after the Hawks won, everyone was just happy but also pretty much expecting a step back this upcoming year. Then when trading time actually happened, I feel like everyone kind of forgot about the step back and is instead lamenting the losses and what could have been.

    I’m not saying the trades and losses aren’t a bummer, because they are. But I mean, we DID know this stuff would happen at one point, including the step back.

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      Kinda like back being a smart-ass kid and hearing your Ma say, “Wait til your father gets home.”

      You knew you were in for it, but until it ACTUALLY happened you really didn’t feel the pain.

    • CurvedBlade

      Let’s not forget Stan is 2 cups more experienced now too. I actually like both trades.

      For saad we get a younger richards replacement, a 20 YO potential star, and we avoid another cap problem. For sharp (who did nothing last season) and johns (who did nothing EVER), we get a younger oduya replacement and welcome cap relief.

      I like our team next year. If somehow we can deal bickell and keep krugs, I think we have a shot at defending the cup.

  • HossasPierogi

    Nick Boynton was on the 2010 Cup winner — was actually on the ice for Kane’s clinching goal

  • Pete

    I find the Kruger situation very interesting. Even without oduya the hawks are still pretty close to the cap so they really can’t offer enough but he is an Rfa so somebody else has to tender an offer sheet It seems obvious that versteeg needs to be moved to clear the space for Kruger I’m starting to think Bickel is coming back.