Rockford Depth and What The Vrbata Trade Means

In case you missed this signing, the Blackhawks agreed to terms with Danny Bois.  In 2001, Bois was the 97th overall selection by the Colorado Avalanche.  He’s played in exactly one National Hockey League and in that game, he played 4 minutes and racked up 7 penalty minutes. 

Move along, not much to see here.  Bois will likely spend the entire 2009-2010 season trying to murder people in the AHL.  Unless of course, the Hawks want someone to decapitate in Niklas Kronwall in Detroit’s home opener.

–There was an interesting trade made today.  The Tampa Bay Lightning sent Radim Vrbata back to Phoenix for Todd Fedoruk and David Hale.   Vrbata, if you recall, was signed by Tampa last summer to a 3-year, $9 million deal.  Then after playing 18 games, he was told he might be better off playing the rest of the year in the Czech Republic league. 

Now, you may be asking what does this have to do with the price of popcorn at the United Center. 

There have been many people wringing their hands dry over the contracts handed to Kris Versteeg, Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Cam Barker, etc., all of whom have contracts nearly identical to the immortal Radim Vrbata.  “Why would any GM make a trade for contracts like that” is something you may have heard, or even read.    

If Tampa Bay could unload Vrbata (and his $3 million cap hit) after he was told to go back to the homeland, then I’m pretty sure the Hawks could find suitors for any of the previously mentioned.  Granted, the return Tampa received was less than stellar, but salary dumps are still en vogue in the NHL and the Hawks figure to be participating in at least one of them within the next 11 months.

You have been warned.

Update– Tim Sassone is reporting from a source that newly acquired Marian Hossa is nursing a shoulder or rotator cuff injury.  Sassone goes on to speculate surgery would put Hossa out until December.  For the record, the source never said anything about surgery, only that the Hawks are monitoring the injury; it was Sassone taking it to the worst case scenario.    

We’ll see how this one plays out.

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12 Responses to Rockford Depth and What The Vrbata Trade Means

  1. Lou says:

    Wow, this could get really fun.

    If Hossa were indeed hurt and out, then who gets in trouble this time? the equipment guy, Pawel the massuse, or one of the ice girls. Would we have to dust Pulford off out of his office in the basement of the distellery and have him drive the zamboni and wash the gear.

    And if Vrbata can get dumped, surely guys with talent could get moved too.

  2. Jason says:

    If this article is accurate, and the Hawks knew about Hossa’s shoulder then this might be what really cost Tallon his job.

    There seems to be alot of interest in Pat Sharp in the trade market. Which is good, but it’s a double edged sword.

  3. John says:

    Really? The Hawks replaced their GM because Hossa had an injury that everyone in the league likely knew about. An injury that probably isn’t nearly as bad as it’s being made out to be. I find that hard to believe.

    No, if anything, the Hawks front office is paying for embarrassing Tallon the way they did. Tallon is very well-respected around the league. What are the odds this source would have opened to Sassone had everything not gone down the way it did?

    My guess is this is just another strike in what’s shaping up to be a very ugly civil war within the Hawks front office.

  4. Leonidas says:

    Anyone else feel like the organizational culture of the Hawks kind of morphed, or at least was truly revealed, over the past couple months? What had been a remarkable, organic story of genuine change and interest in winning and connecting with fans has started to appear more like the high gear marketing machine I would assume most Hawks fans espouse.

    I don’t make any claim to the intensity of Hossa’s shoulder problems, or even their potential impact upon the upcoming season. But I do feel like once the team made the post season the organization permanently shed its blue-colar attitude and engaged the in the deception we see organizations use during the playoffs.

    How much of all of this was coldy calculated, and for what expressed purpose? Sure Tallon made many blunders during his tenure, but was it really expedient that he should be booted before his contract ran out? It just all seems to strange. I guess in the end if they come out of the gate flying next year I won’t care, it’s just odd watching such a public relations 180 unfold so quickly. I would’ve expected this after a handful of playoff runs and established dominance.

  5. John says:

    You can pinpoint all this stuff starting when Scotty Bowman was appointed as consultant. I’m not saying it was a bad hire, just that that’s when things started to change and loud whispers of Tallon’s ousting were first heard. I think this has been the organizational culture all along, it’s just been the first off-season we’ve experienced with them so that’s why it’s a shock to the system.

    That being said, it still doesn’t excuse them for the blunders they’ve made thus far.

  6. Lou says:

    Unfortunately, this is prevalent in business period. Employees are transitioned out with little or no logical understanding coupled with poor communication. Planned or un planned, Bowman or UnBowman, the key will be the one ice product along with the how the big three are handled.

    If they win fans will forget Tallon as GM as quickly as Savard was forgotten as Coach. I think they will win so that issue will be not as big. What I want to see is a logical approach to getting Toews signed first and then working that to the other two.

    Toews is the face of the franchise along with Seabrook and Kane, Keith. Role players like Burish are the fan favorites that we all like and identify with. IMO Kane is a potential superstar but he is a wildcard for the future. Not sure if he will always be the face of the franchise guy. I think he is truly gifted but also has the highest short term value so might be the most likely to test th market.

    Rocky needs to really watch how this is handled b/c he has the most to lose. He has to decide does he want to start on the journey to a dynasty or stand by certain people. There will be tough decisions ahead.

  7. John says:

    Technically, RFA’s can’t test the market. You’ve noticed that not one RFA has received an offer sheet this summer. Granted, none are as talented as Kane, Keith, or Toews, but nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget the Hawks are still holding the upper hand assuming they mail the offers out on time. That’s the whole point of RFA’s.

  8. Lou says:

    I have seen a lot of other bloggers now getting on the Hawks front office for not saying anything about Hossa. First we get on them for having mixed messages about the Tallon situation. Now, we get on them for being quiet. Can’t have both.

    I think these guys have a leak in their office. I think certain reporters are terd stirrers b/c that’s what sells papers. Leaks in leadership teams kill business. So maybe the best way to find out the leak is to be absolutely quiet.

    Maybe these guys also figure that anything they say or do now is gonna be overanalyzed, psychoanalyzed until paralysis takes place. So they figure, it is smarter to analyze the silence than dissect the words. It sure makes things more entertaining when you are in the know

  9. John says:

    Not sure who you’re talkin about, but quite frankly you can get on them because both times if they were straight forward and honest, then none of this backlash would be happening.

  10. Lou says:

    I saw some commentary on the other sites that was chirping about the silence.

    I think the silence is a direct by-product of exactly what you said a lack of straight forward consistent ifo has created this. So the only way out is to say as little as possible until the dust settles.

    I also think the McD’s timing on Tallon was completed calculated and to use the convention as the way to end his discussion of it.

    How many days until 10/10? I need to start my training regime

  11. Patrick says:

    On the RFA front, I think that the Sedin Sisters are probably the closest comparable to next year’s Towes and Kane signings. My guess is that both Towes and Kane will sign for 4-5 year deals at $5-$6MM per, banking that the economy will improve and then they’ll ge the Hossa-like deals. Would it be a risk on their part to go short? Yes, but there’s a bigger reward if they do it as two deals rather than one.

    Other than that, Keith and Seabrook are the other true “core” players in my mind (Bolland is already signed) and Keith will be accomodated in the $4.5 to $5MM range on a mid-year deal and Seabrook will do the same the year after. Does it suck that Campbell will make more? Yea, but his contract was a byproduct of a different time. Can’t fault him for signing it.

    Right now, the Hawks are a place that players want to be – unless the front office gets really poisonous and some really popular players get shipped out and blamed for silly stuff, they’ll stay that way. Winning makes a lot of questionable things look good.

    One last thing – Hossa was a good signing, regardless of the injury (which isn’t career threatening) – he isn’t a pitcher after all…

  12. josh says:

    I honestly don’t understand why anyone would see this anouncement as being sneaky or underhanded. There’s essentially no reason for people to be upset at the timing of this, and I’ll tell you why. The Hawks were embroiled in several libelous situations this off-season (i.e. Havlat resigning, front office nonsense), so what purpose would the Blackhawks coming out and saying “We are obviously in some sort of front office turmoil, one of our best players of last year is publicly criticizing us via 150 word messages, and the entire league is scrutinizing our every move. Oh, and our marquee acquisition this summer, the guy that may make or break our core’s future due to his record setting contract, is injured and might miss two months of the season.” actually serve? None, except add fuel to the flames of smug reporters and rival teams bloggers’ criticisms.

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