Blackhawks Confidential

Kane, Toews impending contract signings don't mean the end of Keith

Dunc.jpgI see where my partner in grime, Red Light District's Jay Zawaski, has speculated that defenseman Duncan Keith might be "odd man out" if the Blackhawks spend all their money on Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in deals that reportedly will be announced this month-just as long as ESPN's Pierre LeBrun is being fed the straight dope by either the player agents or general manager Stan Bowman or one of his talkative henchmen.

Speaking of dope, I would recommend The Score have producer Zawaski redo his urine test to determine if he has begun smoking weed fulltime or perhaps stealing a reporter's old trick by stowing the bottle in the desk drawer. Jaybird is definitely under the influence of some kind of narcotic if he believes Keith is in danger of being shunned and targeted for expulsion by the Hawks because he deserves a big payday himself as a soon-to-be free agent.

My God, do you really want Pat Foley and Edzo to have a stroke? I mean, those guys aren't as young as they used to be. They have Keith among the three stars every night before the games start, so pencil him in one of those spots for that entire six-game circus trip that begins Thursday in Calgary and, yes, mark it down in permanent magic marker that Keith will be in Chicago for the forseeable future. And that will be a long time.

Dunc as odd man out? To say that's odd is an understatement.

Ain't happening. No way, no how, no bullshit. Stan really doesn't need Scotty to tell him he can't part with Keith. Foley and Edzo happen to be dead right. Keith started a little slowly this season, but he has been indispensable for weeks now, and despite the odd turnover, he's played just as significant a role as Kane and Toews in showing this team is better than last year's team.

Now, no one really knows what the future holds with the Hawks' salary-cap problem. Hell, I'm not too damn sure about my checking account, either, but somehow I'm managing to keep it all together without eating the Black Jack Taco one night and Spam the next. I'm sure the Hawks' geniuses can at least equal my ability to stay out of the homeless shelters and find a way forward financially that includes Keith.

I don't know much, but I do know this. Bowman is going to find a way to keep Kane, Toews and Keith. Otherwise, Dale Tallon could probably get together a pretty sizeable lynching party of disaffected fans-both Foley and Edzo will be up for it--and stage a palace coup that drives out prez John McDonough and the princely House of Bowman from power.

That could be one hell of a promotion, come to think of it. Just to shake things up and show we don't believe in the status quo in Chicago.

LeBrun wrote last Saturday on ESPN.com that Kane and Toews would be signed within the next two weeks if he had to guess. The only thing wrong with that is the Hawks leave this week and play their last of the six road games Nov. 28, a Saturday, in Los Angeles.

You're telling me that McDonough is going to waste the chance to get all the TV cameras and legtimate media (excluding blogs, you slackers) to the United Center to gush and glorify a once-in-a-lifetime double signing of two of the most exciting stars this city has seen in ages.

He would be sent to marketing prison for the rest of the season at least, and I'm not sure if they have cable there that can pick up VERSUS.

You don't take one of the biggest sports stories of the year in Chicago and not invite all comers with cell phone cameras to show up and snap it. I guess Nov. 30 is open before the Hawks resume at the UC Dec. 1 against Columbus.

But any major announcement before then would be marketing sacrilege.

Even the astute and venerable Puck Daddy picked up the drumbeat of worry about this being Keith's curtain call in Chicago, and referenced that pot-head alcoholic Zawaski.

"Does (Kane and Toews signing) mean we're watching Keith's last season in Chicago?" Puck Daddy puckered in wonder.

No, it doesn't mean that at all. If Kane and Toews sign ahead of Keith, Bowman will take time to shower nothing but love on the inestimable, indispensable Keith.

To risk alienating one of your most important players early in the season by focusing on those two cute kids would be just plain dumb. And the front office isn't that dumb to be thumbing their nose at Keith by making him seem beside the point.

Keith has had his hands in the all pies this season. The Hawks are not going to end up with a Soupy Sales pie in the face just to show all their love goes to Kane and Toews.

The boys should end up somewhere between $5 to $6 million annually. Whenever Keith signs, he'll be living in the same neighborhood.

You can take that to the bank right now.

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15 Comments

Dave Morris said:

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Doctor Kiley, once again your prescient prognosis demolishes the premature extrapolations of blogospheric jackanapes like he who calls himself the 'Puck Daddy'.

Heck, The DuncK is the best damn Hawk d-man since Pierre Paul Pilote.

Rockwell Wirtz knows it is so; and he has instructed his minions to push the elephant through the keyhole, as it were.

With Toews, Kane, Hossa, Keith, Seabrook, Soupy and Ham Sandwich locked up, and Huet playing more like Robespierre than Brigitte Bardot, you could put Rocky Hawk and the Ice Crew Girls out there the rest of the time.

Hey, did I just say that?

Cheers!

Mike Kiley said:

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I've had an upper body injury for about 45 years now, and yet the men at the mental health facility (aka nuthouse) tell me it's OK to believe Kane, Toews and Keith will live happily ever after.

Dave Morris said:

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Hey Mike, looks like Toews, Kane and Keith are set to sign new contracts. Guess you're not as crazy as you thought, eh.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/chi-17-blackhawks-chicago-nov17,0,1592678.story

Cheers, sir.

Alligator Derski said:

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Yeah those guys are in for sure...I am worried about how they'll fit under the cap. So based on the assumption that the trio will be intact, who gets dumped? Sharp?

Mike Kiley said:

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Since Byfuglien has started to show up to play once every 4-5 games, maybe the Hawks only have to pay him once every 4-5 paydays. I'm sure Stan The Statistician has it all worked out on the company abacus.
But since concise explanations aren't the front office's long suit, I'm not sure they'll share their plan. These guys dance with their answers so obliquely I hear Dancing With The Stars is calling them.

WindyCityHockey said:

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Not Dancing with the Stars, rather "Battle of the Blades." Someone thinking they'll let go of Keith is asinine, but I guess it's SOP to just wax idiotic on blogs.

Mike Kiley said:

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Only speaking for myself, I know I can wax idiotic with the best of them. It's a gift from God.

Jay Zawaski said:

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let me put down the bong and respond here. i said "if kane and toews don't take a hometown discount, keith COULD be the odd man out." i didn't say would, and i think it's also safe to assume they both took a lower deal to keep keith here. i guess we'll find out.

Mike Kiley said:

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Jay, personally I never thought it was a case of either/or with Keith or a matter of hometown discounts, no matter what Kane and Toews get. Keith was part of the package all along and will be paid just as handsomely. And I quoted you accurately by saying "might be the odd man out." Might and could are quite similar in my dictionary.
Feel free to return to your sucking motions on that joint.

FearlessFreep said:

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I've said for the past few weeks that the players on the block likely are Byfuglien and Barker. However, there has to be interest in these players from other teams for any deals to be swung. The way Buff is playing, his market value is beginning to decline (Adam Creighton mode again). Can value be put on never-ending potential? I would think Barker would have interest elsewhere. After these two guys, Sharpie and Steeger would have to be considered next - but I hope it doesn't get that far. I read somewhere on another blog about parting with Sopel - great idea, except I doubt you'd find any takers for him at his salary.

I still think somehow the Hawks will be able to pull this off, with some minor collateral damage. If Hawks fans can survive the virtual swap of Roenick for Zhamnov, they can survive this.

Dave Morris said:

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@Freep> maybe you read about alleged interest in Sopel from Ottawa. Things are getting desperate here in Canada's Capital as the Sens sink slowly in the East. And you know how blogs can be.

pilote3 said:

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Great post FF,remember the Creighton thing along with Joe Murphy,and Pat Poulin.They wait till the player is almost untradable!Mike who do you really believe will go to make cap room.It seems Kopecky has filled Buffs spot in front of the net so his 3.5 can go who else Mike?

Mike Kiley said:

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Cast your eyes on Sopel's $2,333,333 cap hit for this season and next and Barker's $3,083,333 cap hit this season and next. Any takers?

Dave Morris said:

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Doctor Kiley, there is a SENSitive ice hockey club in my home town that would be thrilled to welcome Mssrs Barker and Sopel to help a blueline crew softer than three ply Charmin. And their owner doesn't mind overpaying. Just ask Alex Kovalev.

FearlessFreep said:

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Dave, I caught the Sens-Leafs game tonight on Center Ice. That was quite the entertaining tilt, especially the first period. Is there really interest up there for Sopes or are you yanking my chain? I'm sure the Sens would view that tandem as an upgrade. Fisher had a nice game though, and Leclair was a stud in net tonight.

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