Blackhawk Free Agent FAQ

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.

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7 Responses to Blackhawk Free Agent FAQ

  1. Lou says:

    As I think about this and the comments that John has been making on the previous post. We are in a good position to enjoy another awesome season. I think the roster is not finalized yet and a trade or two is possible. And we may lose an RFA but that leads to picks which only helps us build. So if Steeg goes, and we get a a 1st and 3rd or some combo, we are only getting stronger. To have big names you have to have lower cost talent coming up.

    As for trades, Buff or Ladd or Sharp or Skille are all tradeable. We are in a good position now an in the future.

    We may have lost Sami but Madden on a 1 yr deal is now slouch. He is a defensive stud. Won Selke and runner up 4 or 5 times. Him Ladd and Kopecky can make a hell of a checking line. And the thought of the Triple B line (Brouwer, Burish and Beach) gives me visions of the Hanson brother. Or even Eager or Aliu on that line. It is a line that will hit everyone and provide some incredible energy. That line will be fun to watch

    I think you should start the daily countdown to the regular season!!!!!

  2. Tom says:

    As a self-proclaimed Huet hater (and I am), I worry that Huet sticking around will not do well for myself or my fellow breathern. While Huet’s goals against was only slightly higher the Bulin’s, I worry how he’ll hold up for the full length of the season.

    It’s probably a good thing we got Hossa, because we’ll need the extra goals. Now, this is in no way saying that we should’ve re-signed Bulin for way more than we could afford (or should’ve spent on him), but still, I worry about our future with Huet.

    I’ll second Lou’s thoughts, begin the countdown.

  3. Lou says:

    So who will be the big physical defensmen we will add?

    It probably won’t be via free agency so who do we think will be traded?

    IMO our trad pool is Buff, Steeg, Sharp, Brouwer, Barker, Eager, Beach. We can say Huet and we can say Soup but lets be real.

    Also there is some rumor on Hockeybuzz of a three way deal with SJ and Tor any scoop?

    Is Fraser a UFA now?

  4. Josh says:

    I don’t think Sharp would be on the trading block, or at least he shouldn’t be. He’s a top six forward and unless we got a cheaper replacement with his skill set along with a defensive d-man it would be a waste. Barkers probably going to re-sign, as will Brouwer and Eager, so that leaves Buff and Versteeg as the most likely candidates for departure. I’m all for Buff taking his 3 million dollar cap hit to greener pastures, and unless Versteeg is willing to re-up for less he’s going to be headed elsewhere.

  5. Lou says:

    I’d love to keep Sharp and don’t think he is gonna be traded but John pointed out a few weeks back that he is a marketable commodity. But it will take a killer offer to get him.

    I think Buff and Steeg are the most likely. But this is the new Hawks and who would have thunk we would have gon after Hossa…

  6. Tom says:

    Do we not think Buff will show up during the regular season like he did in the playoffs?

    Yeah, he wasn’t the best during the season, but maybe this is his catapult into making him something of a force on skates? Hey, one can hope anyway.

    Will the Hawks go out after an enforcer?

  7. Lou says:

    Not if he isn’t a defenceman via a trade. Se the previous two posts for some good dialogue on that topic

    And check out TSN on the tenders issue of the hawks. I would think that this might effect other teams as well. I would think if they were on file with the league they have to be recognized.

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