NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Chicago Blackhawks

Roster-Palooza

The Hawks cut down their roster to 28 today, sending various scraps to Rockford, along with two of their security guards in Cody Bass and Pierre-Cedric-Luc-Zinedine-Stephane-Thierry Labrie off to pasture as well. The Hawks have five more cuts to get to 23, if they can even end up carrying 23 depending on how they solve this cap problem that Stan has backed himself into. Because I’m totally sure the offers he’s hearing as we get closer to the regular season are getting better all the time.

So who will be the five to have their dreams crushed? We can be sure Ryan Hartman isn’t going to stick around here, especially after missing camp. The Hawks won’t carry three goalies, so one of Leighton and Raanta is going as well. Almost certainly Leighton, but you never know. So now we’re at 26, with three cuts to go.

This discussion is probably a little silly, because Leddy and Versteeg could be traded by the time I’m finished writing this and then the Hawks would be at 24 depending on what came back. But we don’t have much else to do today, so…

Essentially, you have Teuvo, Morin, and Mashinter vying to be kept on the roster. I could throw Peter Regin into that discussion, but I can’t imagine that Stan re-signed Regin only to lose him on waivers when attempting to get him to Rockford. But then again I couldn’t imagine Stan would have let this cap problem go all the way until a week before the season, so anything is possible. I know people love to bring up Ryan Stanton but I really don’t know what else Stan was supposed to do as Stanton didn’t have a place here, especially after Q fell in love with Michael Kostka for reasons that elude anyone with two eyes and a general grip on reality. Shit happens.

I would imagine the Hawks would like to keep two extra forwards and one extra defenseman (though let’s not rule out eight d-men with Cumiskey being trotted out at forward because that’s totally going to happen). That means one of the aforementioned trio is going to miss out. Obviously, Mashinter is the one who should be given that he has no versatility or skill, whereas Morin and Teuvo can do a couple different things. But I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.

As good as Trevor Riemsdyk has looked, I just can’t see him sticking here to start the season. He only had 26 games in the NCAA last year, and then a handful in Rockford, so unless he’s immensely more talented than we’ve been led to believe he’s not sticking around. Plus, it does him no good to be in a pressbox as a #7 or #8 d-man. He needs to be playing wherever he is. So essentially you have your eight d-men if the Hawks go that way. But it’s a little clouded because Leddy, Cumiskey, and Rundblad all in theory do the same thing and would make terrible partners for each other on the nights Rozie needs a rest. Which makes you think Leddy is most certainly going, but he hasn’t yet and just about anything could happen.

I suppose we’ll get our answers Wednesday. Either Mashinter or Morin will be trotted out with Smith and Kruger, and if they look good while doing so you can be pretty sure the other is going down I-90. They’ll probably take Teuvo with them due to cap problems, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Teuvo gets as much in these last two games to prove he doesn’t have to.

Again, all of it is conjecture until Stan does something to get under the cap, unless the plan is to have McDonough bribe the NHL to not punish the Hawks for going over. And let’s not rule that out.

  • BestPredsForward

    Teuvo should definitely start the season in Rockford. There is no reason to rush him up and there is every reason to build up his confidence and skillset in Rockford. No need to make him the Blackhawks’ Gordon Beckham.

    • unkind

      I agree.

    • Bobby Otter

      As a Sox fan can you switch that to Corey Patterson, Baez or Vitters?

      Somewhat kidding aside, let’s agree not to compare any top prospects who don’t have any obviously holes prior to joining the big club to Beckham.

      • ballyb11

        Baseball is very, very, very hard sport.

    • Bob Lanz

      Not the same, not even close. The only reason to not ” rush ” Teuvo is because we have a talented team who is a prerenial cup contender. Funny how no one worried about rushing Kane or Toews too fast. That’s because we sucked then and they were better than most if not all other players on the roster. Well Teuvo is better than the bottom half of the roster and definitely better than anyone he is battling a roster spot for. So tell me why again we are worried about “rushing” him? He is ready and don’t give me a size arguement, see Kane.

      • rhodes

        “He is ready….”

        Maybe, maybe not. I think Stan/Q may not be convinced. Why else would Stan have gone out and gotten Richards on a 1-year deal?

        I predict they start the season without him. Maybe you see him mid-year if he’s lighting up the AHL and the Hawk’s “Plan A” up the middle of the roster isn’t working out.

        But, I agree with everything you’re saying about “need” dictating when he comes up.

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          Disagree thoroughly with your assertion that they went out and got Richards on a 1-year deal because they’re not convinced that TT is ready for the NHL. There’s a HUGE difference between being ready for the NHL and being ready to handle a top-6 forward role, bringing in Richards on a 1-year deal absolutely does not preclude TT from playing for the ‘Hawks this year it merely servers to remove some pressure and make it so there’s need to throw him into the fire of 2C in his first full year in North America. Maybe TT starts in Rockford, maybe he starts in Chicago, but Richards presence does not signify anything beyond the ‘Hawks not wanting to force a rookie into such a pivotal and high-pressure role right away.

      • Wiz of Corsica

        The difference between Kane at 20 and Teuvo at 20 is like the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing it.

    • Aaeismacgychel

      I think it depends on how we’d use Teravainen. If Q would only use him as an every other game player, he might be best served in Rockford, especially if him staying would be at the expense of Morin getting his shot which he has clearly earned. If we make a trade though that opens a spot and he has a chance to earn his spot as a full time player, then I’d say he’s a best fit with the team. Whatever happens this year though, roster spots will open next year and he will be a roster lock and starter by this time next year.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Possibly the wrong end of the stick. Is he ready? Even if he is, does he do us more good as a sometimes 4C, sometimes press boxer, or honing in the Rock?

  • unkind

    Things should be getting really exciting soon. Just waiting for the trade to pop up on my phone any day now.

    • http://www.nosqldatabases.com Derek Stainer

      At this point there is no way we are going to get anything close to a “fair” deal. I keep coming back to why the hell would any GM help out Bowman by making a fair deal. I’d have Bowman having to overpay me to take players

      • Bobby Otter

        I don’t agree. This might end up being true, but it also works the other way. Waiting until the last minute might also get someone to bite on Versteeg. Trading Leddy shouldn’t be hard nor should getting fair value. But why trade Leddy if there’s a chance someone will take Versteeg off your hands?

        • jordyhawk

          Ideally we move Versteeg on his own. Plan B is Versteeg plus a sweetener (Leddy or one of the yutes). Depends on the market. Plan B (Leddy version) would free up a lot of cap room and with the glut of prospects on defense if that’s what it takes to move Versteeg I say go for it.

          • http://www.nosqldatabases.com Derek Stainer

            Another issue here with just trading any of Versteeg/Rozi/Leddy is that on their own they just get you compliant. It leaves no room left for midseason deals, etc.

            I’m curious how the NHL is going to deal with this if the Hawks aren’t able to make the appropriate moves.

          • jordyhawk

            I don’t recall anyone being non-compliant although fines, lost picks, are the punishment I believe. Agree on moving just one. We need some room to move (shoutout to John Mayall) and moving at least two is the only way that happens.

          • Bannerman

            I disagree. The Hawks have players that they can plug in for a short term injury. For a long term injury they could LTIR that player and use those savings for whomever they could get that would be better than what they already have. There’s no need to trade any forward except Versteeg to make room for a player that Bowman has never gone out and gotten before.

          • jordyhawk

            We need room next year; Kruger, Saad. As well, I am still not convinced Leddy will ever (again) be #4 on our club and he will likely be looking for a raise next year.

          • Bannerman

            Oduya likely won’t be back.The cap should be going up. I believe that Bowman will eventually find a taker for Roszival at the deadline when there are always teams looking for help on defense.

          • Aaeismacgychel

            Boston’s signing of Iginla last year made them become non-compliant. As a result they were fined and had their cap this year reduced by that amount (about $4.8M). They are now in a bit of a salary cap hell though their young players in Krug and Smith didn’t stick to their demands and nobody made an RFA offer otherwise Boston surely would’ve been in pretty much the exact same situation we were in after 2010 with the Hjalmarsson RFA offer. Needless to say, we do not want to be over the cap, and there is absolutely no way Stan would allow that to happen as that would only mean that next year things would be much much worse. Apocalyptically worse considering the raises to Kane and Toews along with Saad needing a new contract with a large raise.

          • jordyhawk

            Good post.

          • 1985AH1985

            I thought the Inginla thing was that the contract was structured as mostly bonuses that were paid the following year (remember Toews winning Con Smythe cost Hawks 1.5 mil). Thus they are paying 4+ million in bonuses this year (most from Inginla). I don’t believe that they were technically not in compliance however.

          • John Nolan

            Yup! Cap Geek has them paying $4,779,500 in “Carryover Bonus Overages” and over the cap by $3.6 million.

          • TKHO

            The NHL has a defined set of punishments in that scenario. That said, I’m not sure why anyone thinks the Blackhawks miss that deadline. Irrespective of any argument over the return in the inevitable trade(s), does anybody honestly believe that Bowman couldn’t just broadcast, “Hey, Leddy is available for a 2nd rounder or best offer.” and not get at least a couple of potential takers?

          • Tornsys

            There is no “trading Versteeg on his own”

        • raditzzzz

          i have noticed the hawks organization have been pumping versteeg’s tires to the point of explosion recently…

      • SuperHawk27

        It’s a poker game at this point. Who will raise and who is bluffing? Nobody knows. It could play out that there is a deal already in place but Stan is waiting for a better offer and he is using the current deal as leverage. Not likely but plausible…..it could be working the exact opposite too. We’ll find out when we find out. At the end of the day, there isn’t a whole lot that Stan can do to weaken the roster as there are capable fill in’s in the minors.

      • ballyb11

        ” no way we are going to get anything close to a “fair” deal.”

        Just wrong.

        • http://www.nosqldatabases.com Derek Stainer

          Each day no trade is made is another day where the pressure to make a deal on Bowman increases and the more leverage other GM’s have (at least in theory).

          Couple of equalizer’s here. First, there might be a few favors to call in that might keep any potential deal relatively fair. Second, there are GM’s that are out there that make confounding moves regardless of the situation, i.e. Burke, Uncle Dale and Snow fit into this category here.

          • John Nolan

            I’ve been concerned with that as well, Derek.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            Flip side – each day no trade is made is another day another day of panic for the GM of a team who has lost valuable assets to injury just before the start of the season (there are several of them). Stan is banking on the likelihood of one of these GM’s panicking and offering at least fair market value for an asset to fill one of those holes despite the ‘Hawks cap woes, and chances are he’s not wrong.

          • http://www.nosqldatabases.com Derek Stainer

            Agreed, looks like Columbus is in need of an entire first line…

  • John Nolan

    Question: Odyuya’s not back next year, right?

    Do you wait till the trading deadline to trade him and get something back? Is this season’s attempt to win another Cup too valuable? Do they sacrifice getting something back and let him walk?

    The Rozy deal’s albatross cost looms larger and larger.

    Leddy is a near certainty not to be back next year – given that he’ll get a raise to something close to 3.5 million. He doesn’t get you cap space + room to maneuver unless they send 86 to HogHeaven.

    • 1985AH1985

      The Hawks goal this season is to win the Cup. They can trade his rights before the draft for a 5th round pick. He’s a big part of this years team.
      Leddy + Verstegg gets you all the room you need, and some for next year.

      • John Nolan

        Oh that’s right!! He *can* be moved prior to the draft. Thanks for that!!!

  • OMFS88

    I’ve been saying it all along. Now that we have #TiVo we have #goals. Also, his skill set makes Patrick Kane redundant so just trade Kane for a bag of pucks and move on already

  • Hawks_MANia

    I agree with Bob Lanz – If we had a serious “need” for Teuvo, we wouldnt have these discussions. That said, I’d almost trade Rozi and/or Versteeg for anything – anything – picks, deferred cash, prosps, whatever. Just get them off the books for anyteam that is willing to pay. Hell, even pay 1/2 salary each to a team and gain picks or prosps later. The Hawks need to keep some cap room for a true need, should one arise, in the season.

  • ballyb11

    I think ” the offers he’s hearing as we get closer to the regular season,” quite possibly could be ……. ” getting better all the time.”

  • PE-TER RE-GIN

    Seems like it would’ve been easy to “forget” Versteeg in Saskatchewan and ask the NHL that his contract be removed because the ‘Hawks couldn’t find him.

  • OMFS88

    Looks like an unlikely candidate, ebola, might alleviate our cap concerns entirely: http://www.click2houston.com/news/cdc-confirms-first-us-case-of-ebola-in-dallas/28325978

  • Brain Sprain

    Scott Powers wrote on his ESPN blog that Brad Richards will be on the point with Seabrook for the 2nd PP unit. Does this mean Leddy is a “traded man walking”?

    • 1985AH1985

      Good catch. I’ve thought that all along and this certainly supports that theory.

  • HawksRule

    Teuvo needs to be in the NHL. Hawks are too slow with their prospects. Saad would not have gotten to play when he did except for Carcillo getting hurt. Saad would not have been the player that he is today without having gotten the NHL experience that he did.
    Kane spoke about how much he benefited by Savard’s coaching – allowing rookies to develop.

    Coach Q wasted Pirri. We need to develop some of our young prospects in the NHL.

    • John Nolan

      Case in point is the LA Kings. Pearson and Toffoli were given real playing time in 2013, in part because of injuries. They played very well last years and were big contributors to their success!!! I heartily agree.

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      Q did not waste Pirri. It is not Q’s fault that Pirri lacked both the skating ability and the defensive awareness to truly fit into the 2C role