You, are in my system, don't you, don't you, don't you know that

Apologies to the late Robert Palmer for appropriating that lyric. Anyway, I got to reading this little bit from SB on the Hawks NHL site and thought it might be worth a look, especially before discussing Q. http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=568769&navid=DL|CHI|home

I thought it was interesting considering how much time we all spent last year discussing whether or not the Hawks actually have a system. At one point, I think we agreed that we saw the beginnings of what we could call a system, but by the time the playoffs came around, it seemed like the system had become "put my best guys on the ice as much as possible and hope we win". One of my bigger questions coming out of this past season was this, "Does Stan actually have an organizational vision that will includes how prospects are managed and will the Hawks play a system game that is evident at both the AHL and NHL level?"

I don't yet know if this actually answers that question, but I think it's a good start. Looking at the Brouwer trade and the Kopecky trade, I get the feeling that Bowman to some degree wanted to clean house as much as save some money on the cap. It's possible I guess that Q simply couldn't use them, or didn't see eye to eye with them or whatever, but I think most of us had the feeling they did not make the best of their size and skill set. Stalberg wasn't traded, but I think he was kind of put on notice that he had not yet made himself invaluable to the team.

Whatever the system was last year, I think it's going to change. I don't know that Q is the long term answer, but I'm honestly not convinced that he's not. If the Hawks are now going to really focus on certain skills and start instilling that from day one, I think that's a great thing. It may be a slightly longer term idea that takes another season before it pays off on first pass I like it a lot.

Anyone hit the camp?

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  • Vegas, we know they have a system. But what is it? How can I formulate or even postulate a response if I don't know what that system is? SB sheds no light on that.

    Seriously though, I like the way they play the game, when they play the game. It's the game within the game that drives me to distraction, if you catch my drift.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    The game within the game sounds a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma. Hmmm, that does sound like Q.

    I guess what I most liked when I heard this is that it gave me the impression that SB is openly establishing what he expects of kids and anyone else that wants to come here, seemingly not unlike another WC team we know. The Hawks need to be better on the dot, they need to have guys who can skate for the puck moving scheme, etc. I'm sure Tallon had a vision too when he assembled the guys that he did, although I'm not entirely certain of that with Hossa. Still, I liked hearing something that encompassed the AHL too.

  • I agree with 4feather. When I read that article, my inner voice is yelling, "you have to have a system before commenting on how to train players to play that system, and then, tell me what you think that system is."

    I do however think that the Hawks are trying to create a system of play that revolves around puck possession and quick transitions. Plain and simple, I think everything starts there. They do this with quick defensemen and now the addition of guys who are grinders and hard to play against (along with Bolland). Add in players like Hossa, Kane, Toews, Sharp and even Frolik (?) who like control of the puck and play quarterback and you have yourselves a team that will have the puck more than any opponent out there. A team that can make the big hits when necessary, but might not have to so much.

    So, what I hear from SB after thinking about it more is that the Hawks will work on drills that cater to this style of play. Breakout drills, cycling drills, and transition drills and then see who excels.

    I also hear that SB is taking a larger role in what the system of choice is and how it will be administered. Q then becomes more of a symbol rather than the decision maker, kind of like the President. I like this, because I have lingering doubts in Q's ability to make good choices, but he seems to be a serious guy who can control his players to a certain extent (example: Eager).

    Lastly, I still have a feeling that Mcneill might start this season off in a Hawk's jersey.
    I plan on going down to Johnny's either Friday or Saturday , more likely Saturday.

  • Guys, you're both right. It's all good and hopefully having the "system" in place will translate to drafting players that fit within the mold of that system With some good coaching in the AHL—and I just read that the IceHogs current head coach is being hired to assist Babcock in Detroit—that "system" will accelerate the young talent's route to pro hockey rather than having them languish in the AHL like so many of them do.

  • After watching Mcneill skate I have some doubts. He is fast in a straight away and has a fantastic shot, but he is taken off of the puck quite easily and especially for a guy that size. He has a weird stride which makes me doubt his comfort on the ice, but other great players have had less than textbook skating styles.

    Honestly, Saad seems to be the special player out there. He looks really comfortable and takes chances. Also fast, he adds an ability to cut and change directions really well, almost Hossa like at times with the puck. Not the softest hands in the world, but wins puck battles and has a really good sense of the ice.

    I am excited to see them play in game scrimmages tomorrow. If I make it out there, I will have a post reflecting on my thoughts, plus Seabrooks eval is coming up.

  • In reply to Hostile Hawk:

    Most likely I'll get to see Mcneill play on Oct 8th when the Raiders play the Winterhawks in Portland.

    The Arbitration dates for Stalberg and Campoli have been set. July 20th for VS and August 3rd for CC.

    BW

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