And I'm bored. Sooo whatta we got? Well, at the party of free agency, the Hawks noodled with some big names who ultimately went home with other partners. It happens. Then, in an effort to make his home team jealous and to ensure he got a cut of what Parise left behind, Broduer apparently flirted openly with the Hawks before kissing and making up with the Devils. Mission accomplished Marty. Now, after several strike outs, the Hawks are apparently trying to convince themselves that Doan is the type of guy they wanted all along and that he will most help the team. As a guy who has been both the pathetic loser and horrified onlooker of some other tool endlessly striking out while looking for a hookup, I am suggesting to SB that it's time to leave the party before doing something he regrets. At the least, I think it's time to stop begging and focus on the plan that is luckily, in my opinion, becoming the path of least resistance. That path is sitting back and waiting to make a trade.
While I appreciate the skill of the players the Hawks were pursuing, I did not believe that any one of them was a game changer for the Hawks. This team is stocked with enormous top end talent. It's like bringing sand to the beach or hiring more guys to work on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. While it may have helped here and there, the problems with integrating even more talent into Q's nebulous system of using only 12 players on any given night would have filled columns here for weeks. Since that particular problem likely wasn't solved, I kinda wonder what SB was trying to do and who was pushing for each particular player. In Minnesota, Parise and Suter will be the pieces that team is built around. Arguably, that situation already exists on the Hawks with the core. However, SB has yet to really bring in complementary players and Q has yet to come up with a system that puts them in positions to succeed. So what's next? I've said this in various ways before, but the sum of this team is not better then it's parts. One solution would be to fire Q and bring in a new coach. I like parts of that solution, but it doesn't address what I think is the bigger problem which is that THIS year is the year that SB needs to do something to re-balance this team.
Much has been said about Stan holding on to his "prized picks" and admittedly, he's made some nice ones so far. Still, with a growing pile of players with projected "big upside", it's not like the Hawks are drafting to fill third and fourth line roles. Which is where they seem to have some enormous need for solid and reliable players. Arguably, I would say they need that kind of balance up top as well and a second line center would be nice. But, if SB really wants to move forward this year and even set up the team for beyond what is probably Q's last year, I say the time is now to break loose with some talent to get better depth in return. While Stan has been chided for being tight fisted with his picks, I feel a need to chide meat heads who believe we can package Bickell, Stalberg and Montador and get back Plekanec and Suban in return. What I think needs to happen but that will be protested with outrage is to trade what seems like higher value in return for the kind of low line solid players who will truly give Q the ability to run four lines like he was able to in the cup run. While, I'm chiding meat heads, just a reminder, Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith, Seabrook, Oduya and Montador all have some form of no move contracts. That doesn't make them untouchable for trades, it just makes it tougher.
Right now, I think the Hawks have made themselves look a bit desperate in a summer when there are several teams who should rightly be showing more desperation then the Hawks are. The Wild have become a playoff team, the Kings will basically re ice the same team that won the cup, but looking around the Western Conference, I see several teams who will not be better next season and one or two teams (cough, Preds, cough Wings) who have some real work to do. Considering Stan has stood pat and/or been rejected, I think it's time to step back and focus on what he has in house. I'm not hoping for another wasted season while prospects develop, but for now, I think it's time to let the season start and let other teams start to assess what they need, especially teams that have some legitimate, established players who will come in know their role. This isn't rocket science, but til now, SB has tried to get this done in free agency. And failed. It would be nice to see a trade before the season starts, but for now it doesn't seem like teams are putting much out there...if blog rumors are to be believed anyway. Right now, everything is Too Damn High!
Filed under: Uncategorized