How do you want your change? A ten, two fives or a five and five singles?

Well, since the bloviating has slowed over the holiday weekend, I thought I'd throw something up to annoy or otherwise entice people into into commenting. Undoubtedly, the roster is going to look different next year and the only real question is what approach will SB take. Rather then go player by player and discuss the merits or drawbacks of particular players, this is more of time wasting, "You be the GM" exercise.

Though it's oversimplified a bit, I think the title fits the general scenario in front of SB this summer. Does he want to go for just one big player (cough-Suter-cough), two mid value players, or one mid value player and another fistful of retreads? Given the general tenor of comments this blog, the outlook is likely that no matter what he does, it's going to suck. I'm not quite that cynical, but I would agree this has to be a year where SB does something meaningful that represents genuine change from what the team has done the last two years.

From the top, we know what the deal is with coaching. If Q has any ability to critically admit faults to his approach last year, we might see some changes. That's likely wishful thinking on my part, but I don't think everything will pivot on Q. Roster wise, I try to give SB the benefit of the doubt and choose to believe he has tried to basically tread water while whittling down his cap hits and trying to move a few prospects forward. While that's not criminal to me, it's also not showing a serious commitment to winning a cup. Both teams that will play for the cup this year have taken some risks, just as Tallon did when he built the Hawks cup team. Whether SB trades a core, or some prized prospects or goes through free agnecy, it's time he took that risk.

Since it's been mentioned elsewhere that Suter is a possibility, I'll call that the ten dollar bill for change approach. Right off the bat, I would see it as a looking backward hope. We had an expensive puck moving D guy who everybody felt was kind of soft. Suter may not be that same guy, but he is also not its exact opposite. A signing like that will excite people, but it will also tie up a lot of cap space and will not add any depth where it is sorely needed. I won't say it would hurt the team, but I really don't think it will move the team forward.

Looking at the cap geek list of free agent D guys, there are some intriguing names. I'm not going to go through throwing specific names out there, but I believe there is likely a player or two there who can come in and bring something needed at at 2/3 of what Suter will cost if not cheaper. While the list of centers in free agency is not very exciting, there are one or two names for wingers that again could add some of what we feel this team needs, which is size and grit. The two fives approach is not the best solution as it will leave the team still in a spot of trying to get it done with inexperienced prospects. But of the three approaches, it's better then one ten or a five and a fistful of singles.

Speaking of that, I could see a lot of possibilities for the five and five singles approach. Burish and Fraser will be available and Fraser could be coming off a second cup. Given that bowman has more or less taken this approach the last two years and given that he has already resigned Carbomb and Mayers, there is a very real possibility this could happen. While I could see this approach improving the team, I don't see it making them cup ready.

All that said, my suggestion is that it's time to break a fifty and trade a core a player and take a risk. Though I like some of the names in free agency this year, or am at least intrigued by some, too many of them are either too old or are too cheap for a reason. What the Hawks have in abundance is skill and a ton of mismatched players that don't compliment that skill. LA took some gambles this year and it's paying off for them. Considering how many players are not on the market, making a trade seems like the best possibility to bring back crucially needed depth for concentrated top end skill. I'll hang up and listen to your answers


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  • Forget the five and five, or, the five and five ones approach. Chump change is what we appear to be getting from this broken down organization.

    With the latest (now official) signings of Oduya and Mayers that means the 'hawks have now got Emery, Carcillo, Mayers, and JO back in the fold. It wouldn't surprise me if the go out and get John Scott back too. Unless there's a bigger deal being pieced together the organization apparently these signings will justify the ticket increases and, of course, the 'hawks were oh so close this year. More of the same ol' same ol' I'm afraid.

    To answer the question Vegas, I'm in the "it's time to make change for the fifty" camp. What gives here, this can't be the grand plan, can it?

  • Well, I said here last year that the Hawks had just found Hammer's replacement in Oduya, and if they trade Hammer, I still think that. He's essentially the same guy with some puck moving skills, provided there isn't a strong forecheck. So, in other words, we are good for the regular season and screwed when the playoffs start. I want to see what other shoes drop, but I will say this on the other signings, I didn't really have major problems with the way those guys played. These guys don't make us dangerous, but neither are they the prime reason for post season failure.

    Speculation on this signing makes me think of a few things. One is that Suter coming here would now make little sense. Another thought is that I'm really hard pressed to see them keep both Hammer and Oduya. Perhaps Oduya flew a bit below the radar because of where he played and Hammer has better trade value? I don't know. It also makes me think that Bowman really doesn't believe the team was defensively weak last year, and THAT is a troubling thought. In the big picture, I believe this is another stepping stone to creating the all euro team the Bowmans seem to like. Maybe they are just waiting for Babcock to leave Detroit to make it complete?

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    It does seem that Hammer's days are numbered or maybe it will be Montador who goes. Clearly SB has the rose colored glasses on when it comes to estimating the worth of his signings. Maybe Oduya has more offensive upside than Hammer, but, is that what this team needs? I just don't get it. There's more to come for sure. These guys just aren't that stupid… I hope.

    You're right though, Carcillo and Mayers were not the reason the 'hawks lost. That reason stands behind the bench.

  • I am still mostly in the "it was coaching and not a lack of talent" mentality.

    Seeing the Oduya signing makes me feel the need to give Hjalmer the proper goodbye, which I find to be melancholy. I think a lot of his woes came from a lack of comfort and purpose on the team, which stemmed from coaching choices. He goes somewhere else, and he will most likely play better. Good for him and for the Hawks I suppose. But, I don't expect the coaching to look very similar a little over a year from now. So, will any changes made be good at this point and time?

    I have heard a bit of rumbling towards the trading of Bolland as the trade that stirs the pot, and I am shocked. If I were SB, I trade Kane well before Bolland, and losing one of the grittier players from the "core" would be a step in the wrong direction.

    A lot of what I am seeing, and thinking with regards to SB's perspective leaves me not anticipating any big moves.

    The coaching debacle is the big wild card from here on out. Q needs to change a lot about his approach to the game, and he might, but SB is hesitant as a result right now.

    To me, the biggest move might involve a goaltender. It is safe and can be huge in terms of wins in the regular season and playoffs, regardless of what Q does with his talent. This seems to be the type of path SB is currently walking on.

    Then, wait to see what the prospects do with some extended looks, and to see if Kane gets his act together, and if Hossa will be healthy. Too many questions right now to make a definitive move.

  • Reading all the trade rumor stuff around has been interesting. In few cases, people actually talk about specific needs the Hawks have. From most comments though, people seem pretty obsessed with a player for player kind of swap such as Kane for Nash, which I don't think really solves anything. That said, I think there is a major disconnect between what we the fans think should happen and what Bowman thinks should happen.

    Looking at what Tallon did and looking at what LA has done this year, I see Bowman as having this team on a different path. I don't think he is planning to bulk up, I don't think he is going to give up on Leddy in Campbell's spot and I don't believe at this time that Q is going to come up with a system that works like a can opener to PHX's human sandbags around the goal approach. Considering nobody really predicted the resigning of Oduya, I'm inclined to believe that none of us are going to accurately predict what things look like in October.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    Vegas, here's the the thing with Kane. What we do know is that he is a distraction to an organization which places a premium on marketing their star players. Kane's antics do not sit well with them.

    What we don't know is how all of his behavior affects the team. How well he fits in with the boys in the locker room. How much of a cancer he is there.

    Trading Kane for Nash, as you say, may not solve anything from the roster/talent standpoint, but it may solve locker room and marketing issues for both teams. It may also strengthen both clubs on the ice simply because a change is better than status quo in most instances.

    I'm not advocating Kane be dealt, nor do I think it would be the end of the Blackhawks if he was. He apparently sees himself as bigger than the team and that can't continue.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    I'm in complete agreement with the assessment of Kane's distractions. Likewise, I'm with you in neither advocating for nor opposing a trade involving him. What I do question, reading so many posts around the net, is how it really fits into a bigger picture. For disclaimer sake, I have my reservations about Nash and his compete level. That said, I keep thinking about what we always talk about, which is, what identity does the front office want this team to have. We have plenty of sarcasm about that of course, but once we drill down past that, what is it exactly that SB wants to accomplish?

    Is Kane just an immature idiot? Possibly. However, bigger messes then him have been pulled off the scrapheap and turned back into real hockey players. Personally, I'm not a big fan of a one core for another core type trade. But if Kane, or any other player besides Toews for that matter, could bring back two or three solid pieces that help balance this team, I'm all over that. Right now, I'm kind of inclined to believe SB is going to make this season's theme, "One last chance". For Q, for Kane, maybe for Crawford and so on. Probably no bold moves.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    "Right now, I'm kind of inclined to believe SB is going to make this season's theme, "One last chance". For Q, for Kane, maybe for Crawford and so on. Probably no bold moves."

    I'm with you there. If it is so, that Q is calling the personnel shots, then we know for sure not much will change and this is evidenced by the signings of "his" guys. I think HH may be on to something in that it may be a goalie they're really after.

    To my mind a shakeup is needed, and, in order to have some impact a core guy will have to be moved. Could be any of Kane, Sharp, Stalberg (not core), Hammer and maybe Bolland.

    This Suter buzz is just a bunch of phooey tome. It makes no sense at all. If they remake the D it will be with some size.

  • Trade Kane and prospect to Montreal for Subban and Price.
    Move Leddy and Montidor and Prospects to Columbus for Nash.

  • In reply to Syko:

    Maybe we should sweeten the deal to Columbus and throw in a bag of pucks to get them to throw in the second overall pick as well. That's totally fair.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    Do I sense a hint of sarcasm?

  • In reply to Syko:

    It was sarcasm. I don't mean to sound like a total dick about it, but I feel like those trades had a typical Chicago suggestion to them, namely give us your best for players we deem not worthy anymore. Montador, at this point, remains seriously concussed and may never play again. Leddy, who is still very young, is a player that a lot of people seem to think should be playing in the AHL or at best playing on the third pair with ten minutes a night. It's great to come away with the better end of a trade, but this one is hard to take seriously.

  • In reply to Syko:

    I do think that there is something in these trade suggestions. Do I think they will happen, unlikely, because like I said above, SB seems to be making a point with his moves, and the recent signing of Oduya adds weight to it.

    But, Kane for Nash is not completely out of the question. Both are stars and both administrations are unhappy with them. I believe that Nash would solve a decent amount of problems for the Hawks up front, maybe more than most would like to admit.

    Montador is most likely staying where he is, or not coming back from his injury. The rumor mill sounds bad.

    I also see teams having reason to have interest in Leddy, because they might already have the physical presence.

    It is not so much what a player brings to the game, but what the player brings to your team that is needed. The Hawks do not need Leddy right now, they need something else. Another team might need his skill set.

  • In reply to Hostile Hawk:

    I'm not saying Kane for Nash is out of the question, but just the fact that Nash's cap hit is 7.8 through 2019 is enough to make me say it's not worth it. If Kane is indeed a bad influence in the locker room, I'm okay with seeing him go. But after have just gotten rid of Campbell's contract, does it really make sense to send Kane's 6.3 hit away in return for Nash's 7.8? Sharp got a 2 mildo raise this year and now Oduya takes a "hometown discount" of 3.375. If you are going to trade Kane, I just think you have got to get back two players who can help the team and who have an equal or less cap hit combined.

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