Stars 5, Blackhawks 0

Of all the things that happened in the Stars domination of the Blackhawks on Thursday night, the only time my blood pressure went through the roof was halfway through the third period when Ed Olcyzk went on a long-winded explanation about how the Hawks and their injuries are the main reason why they played with only 17 skaters tonight.  He went to discuss how the Hawks are up against the salary cap and with Brian Campbell and Dave Bolland on the shelf, the team just doesn’t have the room to play with 18 skaters.  

Nevermind that Jordan Hendry is out for six months and his $600,000 salary is still counting against their salary cap for no good reason at all.  Nevermind that teams like Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Boston, and Philadelphia have just as many injuries, are just as close to dry-humping the cap, and have no problem regularly dressing 18 skaters on a nightly basis.  Rather than ask tough questions about the Blackhawks brain trust, it’s much easier to chalk it up to that evil salary cap.

It’s becoming quite apparent to me that the Blackhawks, as an organization, don’t think too highly of their team’s Cup chances this year and would rather focus on making sure next year’s team doesn’t have any cap penalties to deal with.  How else can one explain why with the team (seemingly) in must-win mode every night, they’re going into games with absolutely no margin for error on their roster.  So when someone like Bryan Bickell comes down with the flu or whatever was ailing him tonight, Joel Quenneville is left with his dick in his hand along with a team of 17 skaters (16 if we take the great John Scott out of the equation.  Judging by the way the Hawks are so adverse to using LTIR, we can pretty much give up hope against his buyout this summer.  It’s amazing to me that people rip on Glen Sather to no end for signing Boogaard to that asinine contract, yet Stan Bowman gets a free pass for his two-year deal to an absolute waste of space.  Not only that, he signed him on the first day of free agency which means he targeted and specifically wanted John Scott.  In Stan We Trust!!!).  What makes it even worse is when it happens against a team fighting for their playoff lives with 18 skaters.    

Of course, there’s nothing the Hawks can do about it.  They’re the only team with cap problems and injuries so they just have to deal with it.  Right.

So please, don’t believe the crap the Hawks and their mouthpieces are serving us on a high definition platter.  It’s bad for your health.

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30 Responses to Stars 5, Blackhawks 0

  1. Dale Halas says:

    Jordon Hendry’s 600,000 counts against the cap regardless if he is on the roster, on IR or on LTIR. You don’t free cap space by putting a player on LTIR. That’s not how it works.

    Does anyone know what bonuses Stalberg or Frolik might reach? There are only two uses for the remaining (100k?) cap space the Hawks have. One is to pay for bonus money so it isn’t a penalty next year. The other is to call up a player for a game by game basis.

    So if the Hawks are “saving” their remaining cap space to pay for bonuses then they would potentially lose that space if they put Hendry on IR/LTIR and brought up a 24th player.

    They really don’t need the LTIR overage unless they called up a 1M player. The 100K remaining cap space should cover a 500K player. Especially if brought up as needed.

    So the Hawks have 20 skaters and 2 are known to be out. Putting Hendry on IR would cost around 2700 per day and around 6K extra in next summers cap. I don’t really understand why they didn’t call up at least Cullimore knowing Campbell is out. Still that would mean Scott was the emergency skater.

    BTW you don’t need to “buyout” a one year contract. If Scott doesn’t make the team you just waive him and loan him out somewhere. Buying a player out costs you cap space next year and the year after. Waiving him (like Huet) doesn’t cost you cap space except for the summer.

  2. Dale Halas says:

    Jahns pointed out you don’t even need to put Hendry on IR after the Trade deadline. Not that that matters.

    Unless it’s bonuses I don’t see any reason why Cullimore wasn’t called up. Or whoever they wanted. The cap is really difficult to figure out but last night made NO sense…

  3. Mick says:

    Pat and Eddie were somewhat charming last year when they had nothing but good news to report. This year: not so much. I find myself muting the broadcast at least once a game when Foley showers praise upon an undeserving member of the club; and it doesn’t really matter which he decides to blow either, unless it Toews, Coach Q, or maybe Havi. Apart from that, they might as well be reading from a script. I can’t wait for this season to end. I have better things to do with my time three to four times a week from 7:30-10:00 P.M.

  4. John says:

    I’m aware of how buyouts work. Scott would only end up costing them in the neighborhood of $175,000 for two years should he be bought out (or whatever 2/3 of the lump sum of the money owed is). The only thing I disagree with is players on one year contracts not being bought out. It happens quite a bit. Especially when we’re talking about players with zero value.

    As for LTIR coverage, as you said, they could put Hendry on it and open space for a million. That would seemingly give them enough to have call up two minimum wage players, a forward and a defenseman to give them the insurance they should have on their roster. Why they haven’t, well that’s just a mystery for the ages….

  5. dominator says:

    Yeah, Rangers are likely to buy out Drury this off season in the last year of his contract. When the cap hit is so far detached from the value it makes sense sometimes.
    This definitely didn’t look like the team I watched on Monday, not sure what it is about the Stars this year but they tend to look like crap against them, disappointing.

  6. Dale Halas says:

    Yea the buyout would be 2/3 of the contract in actual dollars. The cap hit is the original contract though split over two years, so 250K/yr. If you are only saving 150K in real money you might as well just store the contract in the minors and save the 250K in cap space for two years.

    In any event, I don’t really understand Q’s view on Scott. They could have waived him at the trade deadline and brought somebody else up. The fact they didn’t leads me to think Q has a higher opinion of him (even now) then just about anybody in the media and blog world…

  7. Sloughshark says:

    Could the reason that they haven’t called up Cullimore/Exelby be that these players would have to clear waivers and some other team who requires D depth would pick them up? Once playoffs start and Rockford is done playing, the Hawks could call them up without going through the waiver system and they would be able help in the playoff run (assuming the hawks make them). I don’t know if this is the case but I’m trying to figure out why we would go into these important games short handed.

  8. HawksinDC says:

    Hendry counts against the cap, even if they put him on LTIR. If they put him on LTIR, that just opens a roster spot, doesn’t affect cap and money issues.

  9. John says:

    The problem with just storing Scott’s contract in the minors for next season is 1) he still counts as one of their 50 contracts 2) he’ll take up a veteran spot in Rockford and 3) he’s taking away ice from somebody else who may need it more.

    HawksinDC–LTIR allows teams to call up players with cap hits that fit under the injured player’s cap hit. I’d suggest checking out Vancouver, Pittsburgh, or Boston’s current roster and try to explain how they’re currently fitting under the cap without LTIR opening up the room necessary for them. We’re all well aware that Hendry’s cap hit and the rookie bonuses will be added up at the end of the season and tacked on as a penalty should they be over. However, the difference of a few thousand dollars for next year’s cap seems foolish as the team battles for a playoff spot this year.

  10. John says:

    Sloughshark–The problem with teams claiming players on the waiver wire should they be called up is any player that gets claimed at this point can’t play for that team until next season. So the only reason a team would claim Cullimore or Exelby is to block him from coming to the Hawks. Maybe that would happen, maybe not, either way, that’s not really a valid excuse for the Hawks to use because they need an extra body.

  11. Dale Halas says:

    @Sloughshark – It’s my understanding that Exelby never passed through waivers since he was signed after the season started. Cullimore passed through waivers and can be called up and down for 10 NHL games before he has to deal with waivers so it isn’t a waiver issue.

    @John – I hear you but Scott wouldn’t have to go to Rockford, he could go to Europe if the Hawks wanted.

    Also, I’m not sure the 50 contracts limit is going to be as big a deal next year. I don’t see the Hawks signing as many 500K guys next year. They have a little more cap space to play with.

    As for the LTIR on other teams, well those teams have zero cap space remaining. It all comes down to what the Hawks are saving their ~100K cap space for.

    You know its these kinds of questions I wish the media would ask. It makes no sense what the Hawks are doing but I still think it is because I don’t understand all the aspects of the rules…

  12. Francis Roberts says:

    I agree with all the comments about having 17 skaters, but, Geez, what a terrible game from a team that is fighting for its playoff life. I still believe this team can be a factor in the playoffs (assuming they get there). But one thing is becoming very clear as the team thinks about re-tooling this summer: they need to become a tougher, more physical team. Dallas literally kicked their ass last night from a physical standpoint. The Hawks lost a number of good players from last year, but the guy who gets my vote for the most missed is Andrew Ladd. A big, tough guy with skill. the Hawks don’t really have any forwards who play this way. Brouwer and Bickell have the size but don’t consistently play a big guy type of game. Almost all of the new forwards are more finesse types of players (Stalberg is at least trying). Last night Steve Ott took at least a five stride run into Keith after his own stupid charge. Not one Hawk took after Ott. That was a telling moment.

  13. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    What a complete train wreck! I couldn’t turn it off. Let’s start at the top. Stan Bowman fielding a team a man short unacceptable. Campbell eats up an insane amount of cap; the fact that they didn’t have a player to step in is unbelievable. Breakaways and odd man rushes all game long. The roster is so flawed its sick and really unacceptable. Stan is right good core HOWEVER, the defense pairing were garbage. Camphol and Scott uurrgghh. This team has 1 legit Center and another center that was picked up off the scrap heap (Johnson) and Bolland’s hurt. I am sorry Stan Bowman needs to have players capable of stepping in when players are hurt. Lalonde or someone else should have been called up an AHL center should have been called up. How are you supposed to win with a roster like yesterdays unreal? Thanks allot Stan!!!

  14. Mary says:

    Spot on.

  15. Otter says:

    Two things:
    1) 17 or 18 skaters… didn’t matter last night. Hawks were flat out horrible. Worst game of the year imo. I guess they weren’t totally useless on the offensive side in the first 30 or so, but they weren’t very good either. They looked like a bunch of guys who didn’t want to play hockey yesterday, all 17 of them.

    2) Hawks are lucky Keith didn’t hurt Benn on that hit. That was dirty, stupid and let’s all be thankful Keith isn’t going to get three games or something because he knocked Benn out for a few weeks.

  16. titan says:

    Saving against the Cap by not using LTIR does make SOME sense, when you are BEFORE THE TRADE DEADLINE – and/or if you’re planning late season moves (i.e. call ups) involving relatively expensive young players from the farm club AND the injured player is expected back before the end of the season.

    All of that is because you can’t use the LTIR bump until you’re burnt through all your Cap headroom.

    But if it’s after the trade deadline, and Joe Broken Leg isn’t going to be back this year – then I give up! I have no idea why you don’t burn the remaining Cap headroom and dip into the LTIR bump space.

    Anyone out there who can explain this “strategy” to me in a way that makes it appear to be even arguably a wise move – I owe you

  17. Marts says:

    I’d give my left nut for one shift against Steve Ott. That prick needs a horrible beating inflicted upon himself.

  18. Fork says:

    This is what we’ve been reduced to…clamoring for Jassen Cullimore.

  19. Lee says:

    What is ridiculous is all the talk about John Scott from last nights game. He wasnt anywhere close to the worst player on the Hawks. They just are, even with Scott in the linbeup, the softerst team in the league and if they make the playoffs they’ll be out quickly. The big 5 all played like shit last night. Stan and Scotty could be the worst thing to hit Chicago since Dusty Baker left.

  20. alpo says:

    @Lee, Vinny Del Negro would like to have a word with you.

  21. Marts says:

    Lets not freak out here. We’re effectively down to 7 teams competing for 5 spots (LA, PHX, DAL, ANA, CHI, NSH, CAL). I’m taking Minny out of the mix as they’re 6 back. You could agrue for San Jose in that large blob as well with only Detroit and Vancouver clearly safe. Calgary has a 3 gamer through Cali coming up and a bad showing there removes them from contention particularly because of their fewer remaining games. The odds of one pacific team being eliminated is very high because of their intra-divisional games remaining and the liklihood that they will saw one another off. I’d say the Hawks are looking like a playoff lock (pending some disastrous 3-8 finish). Once you’re in, and we’ve seen this in more recent playoff seasons, match-ups may be the single largest thing in determining who wins and loses. I wouldn’t take much comfort in finishing 4th and drawing Dallas in the 5 slot. Look at last year, toughest series was easily Smashville. Get in, make some noise – there’s a lot to play for (and I’m not trying to downplay the roster butchery that has been going on all season – every time I think I have a grasp of how the cap/LTI/bonus’ work Stanley does something that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me).

  22. John says:

    Any game John Scott is dressed, he is the worst player on the Hawks. But that wasn’t really my point of the post. I just went off on a small rant, thus the parentheses.

  23. herfinmickey says:

    It’s easy to be the hockey version of the “Monday morning quarterback” (unless you’re over 45 years old you probably don’t know that expression, but it;s easy to figure out). I often question Stan Bowman’s roster moves and Quennville’s decisions during games but I accept that I am always operating with limited information. I was horrified with the pairing of Cullimore and Boynton earlier in the year and couldn’t get the benefits of using Kopetky at center. Those were likely the “lesser of evils” type of decisions. However the Hawks worked through all that and with the exception of last night and Florida have been playing quite well. Frolik and Campoli have been great pick ups for not only this season but the future. Let’s not be so grim. Let’s give Stan some slack.

  24. alpo says:

    Stan Bowman has had slack the moment he was hired as GM. Any misfortune the Hawks have experienced has been attributed as a symptom of Dale Tallon’s mismanagement. All season we were force fed the fact that Stan was under dire cap constraints. Fine, whatevs, everyone understood the situation. But a free pass shouldn’t be given for signing garbage players. I began to lose a little trust in him when Garnet Exelby was signed to join the Blackhawks organization/affiliate. He sucks.

  25. Cam says:

    “Frolik and Campoli have been great pick ups for not only this season but the future.”

    Frolik has Jack Skille-itis. He can’t finish. He’s actually managing to lower his shooting percentage since the trade from 5% to 3.6%.

  26. Dale Halas says:

    Been Spelunking the CBA and wanted to clarify some points. I was wrong on loaning players after the Trade deadline. You can’t loan players waived after the deadline. It still seems like you can waive them, but I have no idea where they go. Still looking into that part.

    Anyway, I have an answer on why the Hawks didn’t “bring an extra player” along on the road with them in case of an emergency. You can’t do it that way. You have 4 recalls total that you are allowed after the trade deadline.

    Other then that you have to have an emergency which is NOT having 20 players on the playing (day) roster and be able to prove it before you can recall an emergency player. So Bickell had to be out BEFORE the recall and NOT in anticipation of it.

    And the 4 recall limit is why Leddy stopped the Rockford IPass thing to save money. He would have had to be on the Rockford roster at the trade deadline. Then he could have only been called up 4 more times.

    And the up to 4 recalled players are considered on the Active roster in the preseason. And I still don’t get why that matters since everybody on a one way counts against it and everybody on a two way counts 1/82 of their SPC for every NHL game they played. So I’m still trying to figure out why that matters…

  27. John says:

    Since they recalled Ben Smith last night/this morning, I guess that wasn’t the reason either. I honestly believe it’s simply the actions of an inexperienced general manager that we’re seeing. I don’t think any of us are missing some hidden reason buried somewhere in the legalese of the CBA.

  28. Dale Halas says:

    Hey John, aren’t you more concerned what the Smith callup says about Bolland? In the lesser of two evils, the Hawks seem to prefer Scott as a winger. If this was only a short term move, wouldn’t you think the Hawks would bring back a defensemen?

    This move seems to indicate that another skater is going to be needed for awhile.

  29. John says:

    Yeah, I guess we’ll have to wait and see regarding Bolland. I think the move was more about having insurance on the roster should any last minute surprises pop up like it did on Thursday.

    For whatever reason, JQ doesn’t think there’s a problem with a d-man incapable of playing more than 10 mins and running Duncan Keith ragged.

  30. Cam says:

    Bolland’s not improving. Quite likely he’s done for the year. And now Sharp’s hurt.

    Good thing we have last year’s memories.

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