Well, even if we don't know the dollars, I'm sure most of Chicago knows by now that the Hawks have signed Nick Leddy to a two year deal. As of 9PM Pacific on 7/3, the numbers aren't out, so we don't know yet what this will do to the cap. As most regulars know, I am a big fan of Leddy and in part, this is because I was also a fan of Campbell. I've joked before that Leddy is the poor man's Campbell, and I firmly believe he will continue to develop into that player and probably for better and worse when some Jackass GM (cough Holmgren cough) signs him to a Campbell like contract that fans will bitch about endlessly.
When I worked as a desk broker at the Board of Trade, I was able to trade a little bit for myself. Every once in awhile, I would put on a some tiny trade and absolutely nail the market movement. You never forget those trades and likewise, considering that Leddy was obtained for Cam Barker, Stan Bowman is probably going to keep Leddy around for as long as possible to cheer himself up when he thinks about contracts like the ones for Montador and Brookbank. Ball busting aside, I am glad to see Leddy hang around for the next couple years which will likely confirm he is the next Brian Campbell or that he's a guy who will top out somewhere between 3rd and 6th D man.
Last season, when Leddy was pushed into a role that he wasn't ready for, I thought he took way too much grief for a decision that ultimately rested with Q or Bowman. Considering his age and his size in that season, I thought Leddy did phenomenally well. But, when the team doesn't win a cup, such things aren't typically considered. At first, I thought the lockout would actually be great for Leddy in that he could face a perfect mix of skill in the AHL that was between AHL and NHL players. If some of the chatter I heard about Leddy's time in the AHL is to be believed though, Leddy played in Rockford like he didn't want to get hit or possibly hurt and kind of bumped along until he was put into a role of mentoring Clendening. Once the lockout ended, there is little to Leddy's year not to like. He was put in a better role to succeed, his minutes were lower and he was given some different roles. Admittedly, he had some struggles in the playoffs this year and while I think this could be a really big jump forward kind of year for Leddy, he is still only 22 years old.
At this point, he isn't going to get taller but can add some girth. He is never, IMO, ever, going to be a player who plays with some jam and he is going to live and die on his ability to move the puck and jump in offensively. This is a double edged sword and one that is likely going to make some fans lose their minds. Ideally, I want to see him take that jump and eventually challenge for a second pair role like Campbell had that I believe is still missed. If he doesn't make that jump, I think it's a fair question to ask if he is just a little too much bells and whistles for a third pair, when you'd like to have a little snarl and shutdown capability. For one more season in his current role, I think this is a great decision and with one year left on Hammers contract I have to think that Bowman is looking at plugging Leddy back into that second pair role although I'm not really sure Oduya is the best D partner for him. Either way, before committing to Leddy for any longer period of time, I think they need to know he's going to succeed in something beyond a third pair role if he is going to command that kind of money. This seems like a pretty good move.
Filed under: Uncategorized