So That Happened

On Sunday, when the news first broke that Jarome Iginla was definitely, for the first time and a good year or two after he probably should have been, on the block and the Hawks were on a shortlist, I think a lot of us got a bit carried away. I know I did. It seemed like the Hawks had a real shot at making a big splash, which they haven’t been able to do in a few years due to cap constraints or not having the assets to pull it off.

In the end, we all knew that Iginla was a much wonkier fit here than he was in Pittsburgh or Boston. Those teams have openings on the right wing in the top six. Here, either Kane or Iggy would have had to shift to the left side (though I think it would have worked fine for Iginla, as he’s a right handed shot which would have made him more open to shooting opportunities that Kane or Toews would have fed him by the bathtub-full). Sharp would have had to move to center, and we all know that will never, ever happen (not until the playoffs, which it has the past three seasons). The Hawks are more interested in a center.

But when you look at what the Pens gave up, you can’t help but ask yourself if some sort of configuration of Pirri, Olsen, and whatever else would have trumped it. But that’s not how these things work.

And from what everyone could gather, Iginla made it pretty clear Pittsburgh is where he wanted to go most. Once that happened, the bidding war was over, and Ray Shero could put away the bills and pull out the coins. He had no one to compete with.

It also looks like the Hawks weren’t in the final talks. But we also saw many reports that they had made an offer, and the Flames had hinted it needed to include Brandon Saad. When that came up as distasteful to everyone as you’d expect, I guess that’s where things stopped.

I’m guessing that Feaster took the Hawks offer as part of a process to get Boston and the Pens to keep upping their offers. I’m also guessing that Stan Bowman probably made his offer a take-it-or-leave-it, because the Hawks weren’t as hot after Iggy as the other teams were. Because it’s Jay Feaster, he waited long enough to have the bottom fall out on him and got Ray Shero’s already-digested bagel in return.

I know what’s disappointing for Hawks fans, and you’re not wrong if you feel this way, is watching another GM back up his team’s chase for a Cup as strongly as Shero has and still waiting for Bowman to do so. While Bowman has made good trades and appears to be an above-average drafter, at some point you have to show your team that you believe in this team. That he’s going to go for it this year, and we’ll worry about what comes next later. You can only win this year’s Cup, and sometimes you have to make things harder for yourself down the road (though not irrevocably).

In previous years, Bowman couldn’t or wouldn’t. They were humping the cap or they didn’t have as many prospects as they do now or couldn’t spare anything off the current roster.

But we can’t judge fully until we see what Stan does between now and Wednesday. There are fewer and fewer names out there. Tyler Bozak is one that could be had. I’m not sold Mike Ribeiro is a lock to stay in DC, as much as that would make my beer turn sour. Phoenix is ready to be blown up, and Boyd Gordon would fit nicely on the 4th line. Christ, Jussi Jokinen could have been had for free, but teams were scared about his money next year. Find a way for Carolina to eat some of that, maybe….

Whatever he decides, it’s not just the fans who are counting on Bowman to do something. The players are too. They aren’t idiots. They know where they could use some help. They won’t say that, but they know. And they all want management to show them that it believes these players have a chance at something special, and will do everything they can to make it come true.

As for the Pens, they’ll make great TV, that’s for sure. Their defense can still get….well, it can be totally not there at times. The equine Marc-Andre Fleury has nights and weeks where he looks like he’s in his own personal rave. Those could still pop up. But there are many miles to go before we worry about that.

  • trois murs

    My perspective on this is that Iginla would have been a fun addition but not the “right” addition. It may have even worked beyond expectations due to the off-hand wing playmaking like you suggested. But beyond that, what additions are there to this current team that are both possible and likely to be effective? Centers with decent draw rates are rare.

    Despite the youthful nature of the hawks, they have playoff experience by the bucketful and don’t need the over-exaggerated intangibles of “gritty veterans” that gets tossed around a lot around the deadline every year. I don’t think many of us would be upset to have been shown a May playoff roster 6 months ago that was generated from within our current team+farm system. The issues we have at center are a problem, but you cant expect a flawless team in this era. Deadline trades seem to be more commonly an impact based on feeling rather than end result and if we fast forward two weeks I think a lot of this talk blows over(other than hammering Q to move sharp to 2C before the playoffs start).

    • Sparky_The_Barbarian

      The only way Iggy makes sense for the Hawks is if we were to immediately extend his contract and trade one of our existing (and injured) top two right wingers to make the cap space. In effect, Iggy for Sharp or Iggy for Hossa.

      No thanks. if we can find a 2C or a power forward or an extra D man for the right price, great. If not, please don’t make a trade for the sake of giving us something to talk about.

      • Hjammertime

        The “only way” it would have made sense?

      • nextgame

        On the extra D man front it seems we will have a capable veteran ready to recall from Rockford in Montador. He’s played several games now with, apparently, no recurrence of concussion symptoms (best of news for him personally), and is apparently rounding into form having potted a couple goals already. (This observation is based solely on reading reports such as those provided by CI’s own kimwrona, not personal observation)
        If he continues to be symptom free then I’d say we’ll be pretty stacked at D going into the playoffs.

  • mightymikeD

    Soccer reference (Just for Sam)… Bowman does strike me as a “Wenger” type in that he will not overpay for a player on an open market and has an inbuilt abhorrence for bidding wars.. although hopefully it work out better for Stan than Arsene..

    • TheFullAmonte

      Does that make Shero Mancini?

      • mightymikeD

        I don’t think Shero’s about to be fired

  • Waylon

    If Stanbow and Rocky are indeed following the SCUM MO to the letter, this behavior makes sense in context. I don’t remember SCUM overpaying for a late – season addition during their Cup runs, but I admit my memory may be faulty on that score. They usually picked up a veteran on the cheap and/or scrap heap and watched it spun into gold.

    • Waylon

      Quick add here – does it really matter if Stan “shows” the veterans his commitment for going all – out for a cup this year? Isn’t it enough that he extended the core when it was proactive for him to do so, and is it not enough that he’s stockpiling a heck of a lot of talent that yet may make a significant impact during the playoffs? I like his style, and I think he while he may show too much love for his own prospects, his record so far proves his tactics are valid.

      • mightymikeD

        100% agreed

    • mightymikeD

      also incredibly late draft picks turning into Gold… looking at you, Mr Saad..

      • Accipiter

        Incredibly late ?

        • mightymikeD

          Saad was in the second round in 2011.. Datsyuk was in the sixth.. both incredible

          • Accipiter

            2nd round is still quite early, but yes we were lucky to get Saad at 43rd overall (Dats 161st overall, quite late).

        • mad-hatter

          If you’re German, maybe.

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      Well…chelios i guess but i can see why everyone would like to forget that one

      • Phil Collins

        Anders fucking Eriksson

  • amontesawesome

    I don’t know. Anytime you can add a 35 year old with average possession numbers, whose former teams was outscored by the same rate whether he was on the ice or not, and who was 212th in the league in GVT I think you gotta do it.

    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      See … this is where stats can mislead, though. Iggy on Calgary is not Iggy on Pittsburgh. To imagine he’s going to carry forward those numbers and keep them while on a line with Crosby or Malkin, I think that’s pretty unrealistic.

      • MySpoonIsTooBig

        You’re not wrong, but the point is that Iggy of this season is not Iggy of 2 or 3 or 4 seasons ago. He’s still a very good player who has plenty of value to add to that already stacked Penguins lineup, but he’s nearly the dominant force he used to be.

        • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          Agreed … but the Iginla of this season still has a lot to give, I think. It won’t surprise me in the least to see him put up numbers at better than a point per game.

          • birdhead

            He probably will if he plays with Sid, but, you know: so does Chris Kunitz.

  • JesusMarianHossa

    Add a faceoff savvy center that can move 36 back to the 3rd line or stand pat. This team is pretty damn good when everyone is healthy.

    • Joe Banks

      No problem. Stan has this covered. Philip Danault is 44/83 at the dot in the playoffs, and Brandon Whitney is about to make him available.
      Bazinga!

  • William S

    Seems kinda hard to imagine the Leafs trading their top line center given they look likely to make the playoffs. At least Iggy got moved early so the whole market isn’t waiting to see where he lands. Going to be interesting to see what comes next.

  • MySpoonIsTooBig

    Solid analysis Sam. As much as I would have loved seeing Iginla in a ‘Hawks sweater, it wasn’t exactly an ideal fit seeing as how the ‘Hawks are pretty set on the right side. I’d advocated moving Kane to center while Iginla takes his draws, but given the reaction that idea got around here I think I was probably in the minority. Either way it didn’t make a difference. All the meatballs that are pissed off at Stan for not out-bidding the Penguins clearly don’t understand how contracts work in the NHL with NMC’s and NTC’s – if Iginla wanted to play in Pittsburgh then it didn’t matter what Stan offered Iginla was going to Pittsburgh.

    As far as targets the ‘Hawks could actually acquire, I’m going to keep banging the drum for Paul Stastny. He wins more than half of his draws, has decent possession numbers (i.e. he’s on a crap team and the numbers aren’t completely brutal), and starts fewer than 40% of his shifts in the offensive zone but finishes in the offensive zone better than 50% of the time. The Avs do perform better scoring-wise with him off the ice, but I’d attribute a lot of that to luck as his PDO is pretty miserable at 949. Point is, he’d be a great fit for the ‘Hawks at the 2C position. The only concern with him is that he’s still got another year on his contract with a $6.6M cap hit, but I’ve got an idea about that one. For at least the last several years Colorado has been one of those teams with its own internal salary cap. Now that the CBA allows for the trading of salary and/or salary cap space, let’s take advantage of that. The Avs certainly wouldn’t be willing to retain any salary for someone they trade, but if the ‘Hawks were willing to take the entire salary I’d be willing to bet that the Avs could be convinced to keep 1/2 (the max they can) of Stastny’s cap hit in a trade.

    • Paul the Fossil

      I’d love to have Stastny but that cap hit…how much talent would the Avs have to be paid in order to both give up one of their best players _and_ absorb half his cap hit? Probably a lot.

    • justforkicks

      And what exactly do we give up to get him? Lord knows the asking price for o’reilly was pretty damn steep

      • mad-hatter

        Leddy don’t you know? Oduya is a QB and we have three prospects ready to take Rabbit’s spot.

        • justforkicks

          Good Christ doing remind me.
          1) I don’t consider leddy part of the blueline!
          2) I want to win now so lets go into the playoffs with rozsival and brookbank as our 3rd pairing!
          3) I want to win now so lets trade leddy and keep a hole in our line up because Clendening will be ready someday!!
          4). We’re going to have to make some hard decisions with the cap going down so lets get Stasny!

          • mad-hatter

            Remember that Crawford is a “serviceable” goalie and that Emery starting on Friday means he’s our new number one going into the play offs! Because apparently once you’re a month out you should only play your starter and never let him catch a breather.

          • Accipiter

            What is Emery’s record this year ?

          • Country_Bumpkin

            Not that good. 12-0-0.

          • mad-hatter

            FIRE SALE

          • Country_Bumpkin

            They should go out and get Mason from the Beej or Ryan Miller. 12-0-0 is just not cutting it.

          • ahnfire

            Does Elliot have to go through waivers? Can we pick him up?

          • Country_Bumpkin

            I was hoping we could pick up Mike Smith off the IR.

          • Joe Banks

            Trade him to the Pens for Fluery

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            only 12 wins with a month left in the season???

          • justforkicks

            SIGH

          • Joe Banks

            We could all use a little breather.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Is ‘deal Leddy’ becoming a thing?

          • mad-hatter

            If you’re BLou. He’s been in top form these past couple days.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Fuck BLou, then.

          • mad-hatter

            But but but! He’s a partial season ticket holder!

          • Z-man19

            That pretty well defines Blou

          • Country_Bumpkin

            Really like Leddy. Quick pregunta. Out of the D-men the Hawks currently have at the NHL level (including Monty), who is expendable? Johnny O?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Rozsival.

          • Country_Bumpkin

            SRSLY? I think he’s been a great addition. He skates well out of trouble and plays well in the o-zone.

          • AMR

            Only by idiots who do not understand hockey

    • HungryHungryPanda

      Dear god that 6.6 mil hit is brutal. Sherman should get skewered way more than he does.

      • MySpoonIsTooBig

        That cap hit is absurd, which is why I only advocate said trade if the Avs keep half of it on their books. Considering that they’ve got 20 players under contract next year with ~$14M in cap space available according to capgeek I don’t think that should be a problem…

        • AMR

          Sherman is a GM that is they only way to describe him. He is not a great GM or a good GM, but I can’t say he is a bad GM either

  • Paul the Fossil

    “at some point you have to show your team that you believe in this team. That he’s going to go for it this year, and we’ll worry about what comes next later.” While as a general instinct I tend to agree with this, actually in the Blackhawks’ specific context it doesn’t seem right.

    For one thing the Blackhawks’ core is still mostly in its prime years and the team is now doing a pretty good job refreshing the team with young talent and finding particular pieces for good value when needed. Yes I share the frustration about the 2C issue but in real life a team can’t always find all that it wants and Bowman has found other useful parts without draining the talent coffers. If the Hawks were in a situation like Vancouver’s where the talented core is all 30-plus I’d feel very differently, but they aren’t. They’ve set themselves up to compete seriously for a bunch of years to come and that’s great.

    Meanwhile in today’s competitive NHL the record is pretty mixed about late-season trades putting teams over the top to hoist the big silver chalice in June. The Kings didn’t make any major trades last year at this time. The Bruins in 2011 got Kaberle, that was pretty big. The Hawks in 2010 made no major moves. The Pens in 2009 picked up Bill Guerin, that was a moderately-big move. The Wings in 2008 picked up Brad Stuart, again a moderately-significant move. The Ducks in 2007 grabbed nothing but a couple of spare parts. The Hurricanes in 2006 picked up Recchi, again a moderately-big move. In each of those years there were more significant trades which didn’t result in the acquiring team taking it home than did — far more.

    All of this is art more than science and frankly if there was a serious 2C out there to consider renting the logic might shift the other way. But right now it feels like Bowman is on the best path all things considered.

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      whoa whoa whoa the 2010 ‘Hawks made no major moves?!? Uhm, excuse me, what about Kim Johnsson?!?!?

      • Accipiter

        He was dying to come to Chicago.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Apparently he died IN Chicago. Or so we’ve heard. Rumors and innuendo…

        • MattC86

          Brilliant.

    • birdhead

      “The Kings didn’t make any major trades last year at this time. ”

      I know the Carter trade was late Feb, but it was pretty major and although he didn’t exactly put up points a lot of statsheads pointed to that change as really improving their offensive numbers.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Yea, fair point, I forgot about the Carter deal. He did make a difference for them no question.

        • birdhead

          Though that shouldn’t detract from your overall point, which was very well put.

  • chichicagochi

    People looking like horses references will never cease to make me laugh. OT: Rayray staring on Friday… Cue the controversy?

    • Preacher

      No controversy: Maybe it’s just the “going with the numbers” feeling that in his last two games, Crow gave up late game leads and lost. Call it going with the hot hand.

    • justforkicks

      no freaking controversy.

  • Preacher

    I have made no secret of my lack of confidence in Stan’s abilities as a GM the last couple years (John Scott, anyone?). But I can’t fault the guy for keeping solid players who work well with the team’s system. Sending off prospects in a rental trade is OK, but sending off quality players who are right on the cusp of being NHLers, players who’ve already shown some REAL promise–I’d be reluctant to do that. As much as people wanted to dump Hammer and trade Stahlberg (and let’s not forget all the “Kane for Miller” foolishness) in the last season or so, Stan quietly stood pat. So far, it seems to have worked out pretty well. Given our current squad’s place in the standing’s and the flashes of brilliance they’ve shown this year, it’s hard to knock Stan’s moves…or lack of them.

  • Jim A

    Just my opinion (non quoting any website), but I wouldn’t mind seeing Antoine Vermette in a Hawk uniform. Might have to give up Pirri and another guy either Hayes?), but he’d be a good 2C.

    • MattC86

      I have the same exact thought about the guy who is currently the CBJ 1st line center, Brassard. Either would really fit in well in that second spot.

    • Z-man19

      Vermette has 2 yrs left at 3.75, I’d have to think he’s going to be pretty pricey to get. Can’t see the league trading off an asset from a team they are trying to sell unless they get good value in return

      • 10thMountainFire

        Not unless they take Bolland’s salary off of the books. And I’m not keen to lose Bolland… I’d just like to place him back on the 3rd line and replace him on the second line with an addition or a move of Sharp when he returns.

  • 10thMountainFire

    There are two types of GMs in this world: Kenny Williamses and Stan Bowmans. There is nothing wrong with either archetype. Everyone would prefer to see their team improved. However, addition is not always a guarantor of improvement. There is a part of me, truth be told, that wouldn’t mind seeing us deal Rattlehead… we’re going to lose him, anyway, and there may be some value in return. But that’s just meatballing.

    I like our guys.

  • Paul the Fossil

    Looking at the East standings right now, I wonder if the Flyers are going to become sellers between now and Wednesday? Presumably after dropping the axe on Laviolette…with 16 games to go they’d have to pass _five_ teams in order to reach a playoff spot.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Hartnell, please. Thank you for your time.

  • 2883

    FWIW the 4th period is reporting the Hawks are eyeing Yandle from Phoenix. The writer speculates also that Hjalmmerson and an NHL ready prospect would head back to Phoenix in such a deal..

    I don’t know about all that mostly because the last thing we need is another 5 MM defenseman. (2+7 are already over and 8 will be one day too)

    • mightymikeD

      shoot to kill

    • 10thMountainFire

      Holy fucking hell. No way that deal gets made. Fuck that and whoever wrote it.

    • justforkicks

      DNW to trade Hjammer. no no no no

      • 10thMountainFire

        Ain’t gonna happen.

      • Country_Bumpkin

        NFW. Hammer has had a great fucking year.

  • bannerman

    The benefit of having a big lead in the division is that the Hawks can afford to experiment with in house options and see if anything sticks. Send down Bollig and bring up Smith or Pirri and plug them in where they make the most sense.
    Not a new idea but what harm is there in trying?

  • Z-man19

    Holy shit, Yotes beating Preds 5-0 with 10 min left in first, make it 5-1 now

    • Z-man19

      5-2 still more than 10 min left in first

      • 10thMountainFire

        Just prolonging the pain, Phoenix… just go to sleep.

        • Z-man19

          And trade us a center

          • 10thMountainFire

            And move to Quebec.

          • AMR

            And screw up the realignment

          • 10thMountainFire

            Fuck the re-alignment. It’s shite.

          • AMR

            I will not disagree but that said if the NHL puts a team in Quebec one division will have 9 the other eight in the East and in the west 6 and 7

          • 10thMountainFire

            It would serve the league office right. They’d have to put Detroit back where they belong.

          • AMR

            Then we will never hear the end of their crying an bitching until there is another realignment

          • 10thMountainFire

            Face it: we’ill never hear the end of bitching out of Boston, Philadelphia, and NY.

          • AMR

            That is just a given because it was happening before realignment

          • 10thMountainFire

            Yep. Now that they got the match-ups they wanted they can start bitching about ‘how much tougher the East is’.

          • AMR

            Don’t they always saying the the East is the better conference?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Always.

          • ahnfire

            I heard two Rangers fans talking about that last night.

            I ignored it for my own sanity.

          • AMR

            That’s my policy

          • 10thMountainFire

            I actually saw a post by a Flyers fan (on ESPN) claiming that if they were in the West, Philadelphia would be leading the conference. Seriously.

          • AMR

            Just like how they beat chicago for the stanley cup or wait……. They didn’t

          • 10thMountainFire

            Philadelphia and Boston are always too busy telling everyone how tough they are and how underrated they are.

          • AMR

            God forbid they actually go outside and learn about the founding of this country

          • 10thMountainFire

            They’re too drunk and violent to be out in public that long.

          • ahnfire
          • 10thMountainFire

            That kid is so great.

          • mad-hatter

            Where has Joey been? Did the Chicago mafia take him?

          • AMR

            maybe he was banned in the new CBA for being too awesome

          • mad-hatter

            That’s it. Another lockout. Right now.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Stop that. Stop that right now.

          • 10thMountainFire

            John Scott took him.

          • mad-hatter

            So, Kaner for John Scott and Joey? I don’t think that’s enough.

          • Country_Bumpkin

            What conference would that be? The annual NAMBLA conference? The Hawks pwned them when they were good. They’d be dogmeat this year.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You don’t seem to understand Philadelphia logic.

          • Country_Bumpkin

            I can’t get any dumber than I already am.

          • mad-hatter

            They’ll just have to come up with a new plan if the Coytoes move to Quebec, right?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Ok, then… Seattle it is.

          • mad-hatter

            I thought the plan was to put them in a market that would actually enjoy hockey though.

          • AMR

            I think the people in Seattle would enjoy hockey

          • 10thMountainFire

            I think Seattle is a good NHL market.

          • mad-hatter

            Then maybe it’s the Seattlites I’ve talked to. None of them have seemed all that into sports in general.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I have a buddy in Seattle who is almost ‘Chicago nuts’ about sports. He’s obsessed with the Mariners and Seahawks.

          • AMR

            The NHLPA will shit on that plan as quickly as they can I’m sure

          • DesertHawk

            Am I gonna have to have you kick my ass XMF? Them’s fighting words.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Do you speak Quebecois? I do not, actually. Maybe we should just let you keep them there.

          • DesertHawk

            French is easier than Arabic, according to people who measure these sorts of things, so I could probably learn it, but no, currently I don’t. I agree though, much easier to keep them in Arizona… so’s I can see hockey.

          • 10thMountainFire

            It beats sending the ‘Yotes to Riyadh.

          • DesertHawk

            That’d give people a legit reason to bitch about travel.

        • DesertHawk

          Boo, hiss!

          • 10thMountainFire

            You alright over there???

          • ahnfire

            I don’t think he wants to go to bed.

      • AMR

        7-3 16:20 left in the second

        • DesertHawk

          They should just pull all the goalies.

          • AMR

            I thought they had

          • DesertHawk

            Scoring slowed down a lot after the 1st, so… hopefully not

    • ahnfire

      7-3 now.

      Seriously, Nashville? 7 goals?!?

      • 10thMountainFire

        Poor Pekka.

        • ahnfire

          7 goals on 22 shots. daaaaamn.

          • Accipiter

            Just good shot quality.

          • Joe Banks

            Someone’s going to Switzerland.

        • Z-man19

          Mason started I believe

  • 10thMountainFire

    I peeked at Ladd’s stats and got sad. So I glanced at Buff’s listed weight and had myself a good laugh.

    • mad-hatter

      Do you enjoy bringing me pain? Do you?

      • 10thMountainFire

        Yes.

        • mad-hatter

          Rude. Now you can go to to hell!

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’m Catholic. I was born into it.

          • mad-hatter

            Yeah, I got no advice for you there.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Couldn’t use any, anyway. Because I’m thick.

    • DesertHawk

      And making fun of Buff… XMF I am disappoint this day.

      • 10thMountainFire

        He’s an easy target. Because he’s huge.

  • 10thMountainFire

    http://espn.go.com/chicago/nhl/story/_/id/9108806/jarome-iginla-calgary-flames-turned-trade-boston-bruins

    So Boston has commenced its usual bitching and moaning. In the future, maybe the front office will be a bit more proactive about the racist bullshit its fanbase spits out and the reputation it gives the franchise? Maybe? Maybe not?

    Or maybe Iginla just thought Crosby and Co gave him a better shot at a Cup. Either way, shut the fuck up already, Boston.