What can you really say about Tomas Kopecky’s season that someone else hasn’t already said?
On the NHL’s powerhouse franchise, Kopecky was the straw that stirred no one’s drink. He played in 79 games and set a career high in goals, assists, and points with a stellar 6/13/19 stat line. This was just his second full season with Detroit after he struggled to recover from a broken collarbone he suffered against the Hawks in 2006.
He saw time in every type of situation with the Red Wings; playing even-strength, on the power play, and on the penalty kill.
In the playoffs, he played in only 8 games racking up one assist. Of course, a big reason he only played a minimal amount of games was because Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin decided to play the bongos with his forehead in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
While some may say Kopecky brings Stanley Cup experience, he actually played in zero playoff games during the Wings Cup Run of 2007-2008.
So for all this, the Hawks decided to award him with a contract paying him $1.2 million annually for the next two years.
Tomas Kopecky’s 2009-10 will be a success if…
He gives the Hawks minutes in every type of situation. If Kopecky was good enough to play on all three units with last year’s Wings, he should be good enough for the Hawks. Being a solid penalty killer would be a good place to start. If he could also find the kindness in his heart to occasionally chip in on the power play, that would be even better. Having a fourth liner contribute like that would make this machine well-oiled. Just look what Ben Eager was able to do to last year’s team.
Tomas Kopecky’s 2009-10 will be a disappointment if…
He’s nothing more than an expensive hood ornament. It was only minutes after the Hawks announced the signing of Marian Hossa that his fellow countryman agreed to come aboard too. After the immediate hysteria that followed, no one really had enough time to digest the Kopecky signing because they were too drunk celebrating the Hossa deal. Well, it’s $1.2 million dollars for a guy who may or may not be a Slovokian Troy Brouwer. Keep in mind, being Troy Brouwer would actually be a good thing.
With his hulking 6’3″ frame, Kopecky will give the Hawks some girth. He can also play the pivot or skate on a wing. That is some pretty nice flexibility to have for a fourth line player.
It also shouldn’t go unnoticed that Kopecky will probably help Marian Hossa feel more comfortable in his new surroundings.
I suppose if I paid more attention to Kopecky’s game over the past couple years, I would have nicer things to say about him, because his stats aren’t exactly jumping off the page. For now though, I am more worried about how we’ll have to listen about how the Hawks newest free agent signing is a total bust-out.
That, my internet friends, makes me a little itchy.