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Chicago Blackhawks Should Start Marty Turco Every Game Till NHL Trade Deadline.....

Rock Mamola

Producer/Host on WSCR 670AM The Score.


There comes a time in every sport where a team need to define how they are going to approach the remainder of the regular season.  The choice is very simple.  You are either a "buyer" or a "seller" when it comes to deciding the path your franchise will take nearing the trading deadline.  That is the decision Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman must make before the NHL's Feb. 28th trade deadline. 


The decision is actually easier than you may think. 


At 28-22-6 sitting three points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, it seems more unlikely as the days go by that the defending Stanley Cup Champions will not have an opportunity to defend their title.  With 26 games left on the schedule, the next six games will tell the tale of where Stan Bowman believes his team is headed.  With one deal already done and over shipping first round pick Jack Skille to Florida, the Blackhawks have made a statement they are willing to negotiate over standing pat.  Even though some other Blackhawks may be better options to be moved, the Blackhawks should start veteran goaltender Marty Turco every game till the trade deadline to see if they can find a possible "buyer".


Now before you start defending the Blackhawks and their chances to get into the postseason, consider this.  Of the 26 games left on the schedule, the next six before the NHL trade deadline should feature Turco therefore.  It could be a win/win for both the Blackhawks on the "w" column and maybe in the trade market as well.   


Last season the main concern for many Blackhawks fans was could Antti Niemi be trusted headed into the playoffs, or do you go into the postseason with the more veteran Cristobal Huet in net.  Nearing the trade deadline last season fans were not comfortable with either.  Remember the names that were rumored for the Blackhawks as far as getting an experienced goaltender for the playoffs.  Tomas Vokoun comes to mind.  The Blackhawks one year later have the same commodity that they were in search for last winter, only this time they are not buying.   


The Blackhawks should start Marty Turco the next six games and here is why.  The first thing you would be doing is showcasing Turco for a prospective "buyer".  The next six games are against teams (excluding Pittsburgh) are against teams that are near the same situation as the Blackhawks are currently in.  These are teams that either have a current playoff spot by 2-3 points or are out of a playoff spot by 5-8 points.  To say that the immediate upcoming schedule is against the cream of the crop of the NHL would be false.  In turn, by starting Turco against teams he has a better chance to flourish against, you could in turn demand a little more than a later round draft pick for the 35 year old veteran. 



On top of starting him the next six games, the Hawks would be putting him up against teams that so far this season he has faired well against.  A combined 2.50 GAA and a save percentage of .917 against the six teams (MIN/COLM/PIT/STL/NASH/PHX) he would be facing is much better than his season averages of 3.08 GAA and .897 save percentage.  If the Blackhawks do indeed start Turco the rest of the way until the trade deadline, they could find a taker for the services of the veteran goaltender and could also benefit with much needed wins they need to get into the playoffs.  While I believe the Hawks simply have little to no chance of making the postseason, Stan Bowman should be as aggressive as he can in order to add to the future of the franchise.  There is no reason for a veteran goaltender to not be shopped simply because you still hold hope for playoffs when the odds are stacked against you. 


Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks should at least try to get something for giving up on a Stanley Cup winning goaltender in Antti Niemi by shopping Turco against teams he has had better success against this season.  As disappointing a season as Turco has had for the Blackhawks, there is no reason why you should not at least entertain the idea of showcasing Turco to see if you can find a taker.  A team like the Washington Capitals for instance could use a little veteran presence on their roster filled with two 22 year old net minders.   



If Corey Crawford is the future for the Chicago Blackhawks, then Marty Turco is filling a roster spot on a sinking ship in 2010-2011.  In fact, he has already been replaced by the original deal Bowman completed the other day for Alexander Salak.  There is no reason why the Blackhawks should not play Turco every game over the next six because they simply have nothing left to lose.  In a season filled with injuries, disappointment, and plenty of change, the Chicago Blackhawks not making the postseason may seem like a failure of momentous proportions.  The best thing the front office can do is attempt to get whatever you can for your lost season of cutting costs.  While Turco may not be a big cost for the Blackhawks, what he could possibly bring back in return could make it all worth while. 

You never know unless you try.




John "Rock" Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and Host of The Rock Report on WSCR 670AM The Score. 


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FireStingDoug said:

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You are kidding right ? How can you possbly say the Hawks are done with them just being 3 points out of the playoffs?
If they get the #8 seed they will play Vancouver and the Hawks have shown even this year that they still have Luongo and the Canucks' number.
Turco is actually the main reason why the Hawks have blown points , he lets in too many easy goals

Rock Mamola said:

user-pic looks like Crawford is starting tonight anyway....

They play/look/feel like a team that's done. It's ok with me if they miss the playoffs....but I think you should explore ALL options....including Turco. What can it hurt?

Thanx for reading....


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