NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues

You Have To Be This Short To Get On This Ride

Taking a break from eviscerating the players and people who made being a Hawks fan character-building at times, and going to look at the Hawks’ still lingering cap problems for this season.

It’s kind of surprising that Stan Bowman hasn’t, or hasn’t been able to get the Hawks under the salary cap for this season. We were sure there would be a deal at the draft, and there certainly were a lot of talks, as that has usually been Stan’s M.O. Bolland and Frolik were punted there the previous season, after all.

It now looks like Stan might be waiting for training camp, which he can do, for something to fall off of someone somewhere and he can parachute whatever spare part he wants in to get the Hawks under the cap. Can be risky, as there’s no guarantee that will happen, and the closer the Hawks get to Opening Night without this solved the more tenuous their bargaining position gets. Stan is probably holding out for something of value, even if that’s just mid-round draft picks which he covets. He doesn’t want to have to punt Oduya for a 7th rounder until he absolutely has to, for instance.

But there are some simple deals screaming to be made, in my opinion based on absolutely nothing other than it’s August and my mind has too much time to wander. Here are three that make sense in my world, not necessarily the real one. These aren’t things I’ve heard or been reported, just my own delusions.

Michal Rozsival to Detroit: This one should be batting practice. The Wings have no right-handed defensemen, and currently have to throw out Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff and pretend it’s something they want to do. Danny DeKeyser isn’t signed yet either. Rozsival’s slowing feet probably don’t mesh all that well with Mike Babcock’s style, but neither does Smith’s, Quincey’s, or Lashoff’s slowing brains. The Wings should be as desperate as the Hawks to do anything on their blue line after striking out on everyone in free agency.

Kris Versteeg to Calgary: This is based on nothing more than he being from around there, the Flames being run by utter morons, and also lacking any skill among their forwards. The Flames probably don’t want to toss Gaudreau and Arnold into the deep end right off the bat, and their only support right now is Mikael Backlund (whom they don’t like anyway), Jiri Hudler, Matt Stajan, Sean Monahan, and a probably over-slotted Mason Raymond, and a bunch of rockheads. They’re well under the cap, so they can take on Steeger’s salary. I’m sure Stan can send Brian Burke video of Versteeg throwing haymakers at Patrick Eaves to get Burke salivating.

Johnny Oduya to the Islanders: The Isles are everyone’s watch team, and with good reason, They have a returning Tavares to team back up with Kyle Okposo. They signed advanced stat darlings in Grabovski and Kulemin. They actually have a goalie who can maintain oxygen intake. But outside of Travis Hamonic this defense is still a suck-fest. You can count on 20 good games from Lubomir Visnovsky before he either gets hurt, stops caring, or gets hurt while stopping caring. They need another puck-mover to get it up to what is a pretty dynamite forward corps (a third line of Nielsen-Bailey-whoever is a lovely thing to have). Oduya fits the bill, and the Hawks need to open up room for Johns or Clendening or one or two others anyway. We know Oduya is on the block because Stan is loathe to lose anything for nothing and it’s hard to conceive how Bangkok Dangerous can be re-signed after this season as is.

  • Wiz of Corsia

    I think I speak for all Wings fans when I say no thanks to Rosival. We have problems on D, but they won’t be solved by him. Also, we have a couple righty prospects in GR that have earned a shot.

    You have our number if Leddy becomes available.

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      Rozsival’s been eating well this summer, training non-stop. I saw him in person race his training partner (Carl Hagelin), and Hagelin couldn’t keep up. You can quote me if Holland asks for a source.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Stan has always been good at selling in a buyer’s market, but this delay worries me. Could be the fish aren’t biting, holding out for bigger bait like a Sharp or a Seabrook.

  • OMFS88

    Less #Versteeg = Less #Headaches

    • Brain Sprain

      How do you get rid of him? Seriously, who wants him at this point at $2.2. Hell, they got Richards for that. Do they have to eat some salary/cap hit? Could he be the highest paid Icehog in history?

      • jordyhawk

        I thought we could ship him to Calgary and throw in the rights to Mr. Poo so they could sign him before he goes UFA (in 3 days time). Not looking like it will happen though.

        • Yachtsman

          Yeah it’s a shame they haven’t been able to trade Stairwell’s draft rights in a package with a veteran such as Versteeg for some non-cap-hit prospects. But I still like the way the roster is going to have more overall speed and skill this season.

          • JRoenick

            It’s because we get a compensatory 2nd rounder if he doesn’t sign. No way we are getting a higher pick than that for his rights.

          • Yachtsman

            Yeah I guess if Calgary wants him and KHayes wants them back, then they can just wait for his free agency and not give up anything at all, and not even take on a throw in veteran that the Hawks need to salary-dump.

        • Joe Banks

          Mr. Poo – gotta love that moniker.
          “Chose Mr. Poo, that’s the game, and he’ll flush your draft picks down the drain”…

  • Yachtsman

    I think Bowman goes through training camp and evaluates which young buck stands out the most. Depending on which side (offense or defense) that new player slots in at, that will dictate whether he moves a veteran forward or defenseman. The competition looks pretty stout so far, with some promising ready-for-prime-time prospects. To beat a dead horse, the competition got better with the subtraction of Bollig and Handzus.

  • Andrew Heitman

    For some reason, I got the premonition of Kruger being involved in a trade….I know it defies logic, but the value of Centers carries a multiplier now.

    • Yachtsman

      Is that because the organization told Danault to model his game after Kruger’s?

      • Andrew Heitman

        Less rational than that- I had a weird feeling. He’d sweeten the pot on a Versteeg deal, a couple young centers in the system….

        • lizmcneill

          Not until Q can trust another center (not named Jonathan Toews) to take on the defensive heavy lifting.

  • seabsrat

    I’m just curious, as I’m a new fan, began watching in the 08-09 season (sorry, please don’t hate me)…

    Was the sentiment always negative for Versteeg and what he brought to the team? Maybe I just remember him more favorably in my mind because of the cup win, but I seem to remember thinking he looked like a promising forward with a lot of potential. When he was traded away along with the rest of the team, I was a little bummed out, and when I heard that the Hawks had acquired him again this season, I was very excited to see him in red again. I was, obviously, very disappointed with his play this season as he seemed to be more of a liability on the ice than he was an asset, but do you think he’s beyond repair? Has his game become too meatball oriented? Was it always that way?

    • mightymikeD

      ain’t no-one going to hate you for when you came on board.. and if they do, they can hate me, too, as that’s around my time as well.

      Asa for versteeg, I didn’t know him as a Hawks that well, but was in Chicago when word came that he was coming back and boy, was everyone excited. The disappointment after he failed to perform after his return has, for sure, added to the venom (not that he hasn’t been terrible). I still like the theory that he’s not been 100% fit, and I’d love to see a rejuvenated Steeger next year (not that I’m holding my breath)

    • JRoenick

      I’ve heard that his knee surgery is still affecting him and he isn’t 100% from it yet, which isn’t unheard of for a catastrophic injury like that. It would be nice to see him fully rehabbed this season.