Patrick Sharp will have an MRI today, and the Blackhawks will know more about the extent of his injury at that time. As stated in this space yesterday, it’s likely the player recalled from Rockford will be chosen after Sharp’s fate is learned. If Sharp is put onto Long Term Injured Reserve, the ‘Hawks will be allowed to exceed the salary cap by the amount of Sharp’s contract; if Sharp is not put on LTIR, the ‘Hawks won’t have any such luxury. It’s likely the ‘Hawks will call upon Jack Skille in the first instance and Pascal Pelletier in the second. We should find out today. Stay tuned.
But, before you jump on the ‘Recall Jack Skille’ wagon, remember his inability to play efficiently within his own zone and that Troy Brouwer was a major upgrade when the two swapped places in October. Yes, Skille can move and contribute offensively, but unless he’s made progress “along the wall” – to use a Denis Savard phrase – in his own zone, perhaps Pelletier is the safe call, no matter the salary situation.
Any move may obligate Joel Quenneville to juggle the lines again, unless he’s comfortable with Toews playing between Brouwer and Skille/Pelletier. That would leave Versteeg in between Kane and the recently exercised Byfuglien, and Bolland with Havlat and Ladd. At this point, I don’t see Q altering the Bolland line again, and there doesn’t appear to be a fool-proof way to reorganize the other six forwards.
Goaltender Nik Khabibulin could be ready to accompany the ‘Hawks this week, according to the Daily Herald. Antti Niemi would obviously head back to Rockford, and the ‘Hawks would be one really, really ugly man down. Yuck.
So, stay close to the Feather for reaction today regarding any possible roster moves described above.
The Toronto Sun lists the Blackhawks as one of five teams interested in Jay Boumeester, the Florida Panters’ defenseman who will likely be dealt by next month’s trade deadline.
The same article provides even more commentary on the Blackhawks-Havlat contract situation. According to the report, both sides seem eager to finalize an extension before the deadline.
One of these reports has to be erroneous, at least as it concerns the ‘Hawks. But, let us all remember – including us at the Feather – that the ‘Hawks are about $12 million below the cap for next year. It’s, of course, the next season that the cap problems will develop with Kane, Toews and Keith all scheduled for hefty raises. Perhaps that extends the current roster’s window by one year, allowing Tallon to sign Havlat and perhaps move someone to create space following next season.
‘Tis my Christmas wish.
Fun With Photos
Which is the NHL All Star, and which is the professional survivor?
And, has anyone heard the one about Patrick Sharp and his encino man brother, ‘Hawk prospect Joe Lavin?