Q: The Hawks signed a 30-year old to a 12-year deal? Do they really think he can produce when he’s 42?
A: Well, not exactly. In signing a deal that will pay him less than $1 million during each of the last four years of the term, Marian Hossa essentially gave the league his eight-year notice yesterday; as in, ‘I won’t be coming to work in September of 2017, so you can begin to find my replacement.’
Sure, $1 million per season is, to us, a lot of money, but, as they say, everything’s relative. Which do you think Hossa would prefer to do in 2017? Play for relative peanuts in the States, or set out to stud in his native Slovakia?
Hossa essentially got something slightly better than what was offered by Pittsburgh last off season (about $49 million over seven years) but spread out over 12 years for the Hawks convenience.
Q: What does this mean for next off season with the “big three” up for new paper?
A: Well, Tallon says, “nothing,” so we’ll have to take him at his word for now. In his favor are the en vogue long-term, cap-friendly deals many stars are signing in lieu of antiquated deals with years at $8 million to $10 million per.
Q: So, Havlat’s gone?
A: Martin Havlat was gone as soon as Hossa put pen to paper on that massive deal, as it left no room at the Blackhawks Inn for JHC with Hossa in the fold. And, he’s not happy about it.
While few were bigger Havlat fans than I was, I can admit two things: a) his injury history made him a gamble at any price for a team that plans to seriously compete each season for the foreseeable future and b) Hossa’s a slightly better player, who may just be a better fit with his goal scoring prowess.
Q: This is a lot of money spent. Surely, they’ll trade Huet and/or Campbell now.
A: No. Neither Huet nor Campbell is going anywhere. As we’ve said, each is here for the foreseeable future, and that’s not a bad thing.
Kris Versteeg, on the other hand, just registered on-line to receive frequent flier points through United – good thing, too, because he’ll likely be the first to feel the pinch. Look for someone to sign him to a reasonable offer sheet the Hawks won’t match.
After that, with about $9 million to $11 million left to sign RFAs and fill out the roster, everyone else should stay put for now.
Q: Who will Hossa play with?
A: Who cares? But, the possibility of playing such a gifted scorer with a pure passer like Patrick Kane for 18 minutes a night is likely to create sparks – probably 50 of them, to be exact.
You are now free to debate which pair Hossa and Kane most resemble: Gretzky and Kurri or Savard and Larmer.
Q: Kopecky and Madden? What gives?
A: With a top-six of Hossa, Toews, Kane, Sharp, Byfuglien and Bolland, Madden and Kopecky should slide nicely into the third line with Andrew Ladd. Madden’s not what he once was, but he’s a prototypical third line center who was willing to sign a one-year deal. Kopecky’s a big, dumb animal who may be able to contribute offensively.
I’d be a happy camper to see Burish, Eager and Brouwer start the year as the fourth line with Eager and Brouwer capable of playing a larger role if necessary.
Q: And, Walker’s gone?
A: Yes, he’ll be playing top-four minutes in Tampa Bay next season. In the interests of sparing a dead horse, I wish him well.
Also, Khabibulin’s an Oil drop, and Pahlsson will be able to show the Chicago hockey retarded how good he is at least six times a year with the Blue Jackets.