Post Draft Musings

The 2010 NHL Draft weekend came and went.  The Blackhawks went into the draft with the highest amount of draft picks with 11.  They finished the draft with 10 picks, trading one of their second round picks to the Maple Leafs for Jimmy Hayes, this year’s 1st round pick, Kevin Hayes, older brother.   Kris Versteeg is still a Blackhawk for some reason and Stan Bowman claims the Hawks don’t need to make any more moves to fit under next year’s cap. 

Whatever. 

As for the Hawks draft, it’s a little worrisome that Kevin Hayes played against lesser competition this season and the only time he played against elite competition was in a tournament in Slovokia.  Bowman claims Hayes had no problems playing against the best of the best so at this point, we don’t have a whole lot else to go on. 

He’s set to begin his freshman year at Boston College this fall.  He is also a dead ringer for Woody from “Toy Story”. 

The Hawks spread out the rest of their picks among various positions as opposed to last year when they drafted two defensemen and five centers.  They chose two goalies, two wingers, three centers and three defensemen.  None of the players are listed at shorter than 6’0″ so it’s clear size was important. 

Other news from the weekend was the Hawks reportedly sent qualifying offers to Ham Sandwich, Antti Niemi, and Andrew Ladd.  It remains to be seen why the Hawks are choosing to be cloak and dagger about this.  While most teams formally announce when they send out the offer sheets, news of this has been leaked from sources throughout the weekend. 

The three players have the right to accept or reject the Hawks offers.  However, so long as the offer sheets are sent out and received by the players, the Hawks retain their rights on July 1st; it doesn’t matter if they reject their offers.  That means any team that wants to negotiate with them is freely allowed to but the Hawks will have the ability to match the offer or refuse, thus receiving draft pick compensation. 

Considering how rare it is for restricted free agents to be poached by other teams, the Hawks are still in the driver’s seat.  

There are only about three teams in the hunt for a goalie upgrade and only one has the cap space to do it (Tampa Bay).  Yzerman was tutored under Ken Holland for years so there’s no way he’s going to tie up substantial cap space on a goalie.  Niemi will probably end up in a below market deal for a couple years and then bank on hitting the jackpot in free agency down the road.

Ham Sandwich isn’t going anywhere, either.  There seems to be debate how much he’s worth but a nice comp for him is Johnny Boychuk.  Boychuk is similar in age and statistics and just re-upped on a two year deal worth 3.75 million.  Sandwich should probably be in the ballpark around that. 

According to Darren Dreger, Ladd’s offer sheet is at $1.65 million.  No word on whether it was a one-year or two-year deal.  There were rumors of the Hawks shopping Ladd’s rights before the draft, but it didn’t make a whole lot of sense for the Hawks to deal his rights before qualifying him. 

Free agency is just a few days away.  These secrets should become clearer by the end of the week.

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17 Responses to Post Draft Musings

  1. Patrick says:

    So, I can’t tell, do you like this draft?

    Me? I think there are some keepers there – hope the brothers can push each other to play for the Hawks. And if I think I’m reading things correctly, didn’t Simpson play with Beach in Everett?

  2. Lee says:

    Yes they played on the same team

  3. John says:

    Beach was traded to Lethbridge halfway through the 2008-2009 season so they were briefly teammates.

    If I knew anything about these players other than the general information everyone knows, I could give a better answer. I’m not a huge fan of this many project picks (their words, not mine), specifically on a 1st round pick. Other than that, it’s hard to like or dislike something I know little about.

  4. Patrick says:

    I hear you – I know nothing about these kids other than what I read too. Did you follow the draft? Who would you have taken with that pick at that time?

    I had read a bit about Ludvig the Swede ahead of time and was happy with that pick, especially in round 2.

  5. John says:

    I only caught brief snippets of the draft. I would’ve probably gone with the Russian kid, Kusnetsov, that Washington nabbed.

  6. Dave Morris says:

    Gentlemen, StanBow & Co had a very clear plan going into this draft: re-fill the pipeline with players who fit the Blackhawk Blueprint.

    (or maybe that’s the Blackhawk Blackprint. BowPrint?)

    Hawks management appear to have accomplished their goals, as you will have noted in my article:
    http://hockeyindependent.com/blog/david-morris/18693/

    With the Prospect Camp coming up in a few weeks (July 9-12), the new kids will have a chance to show if they belong.

    As for Versteeg, why would the team have traded him unless they had a suitable offer? The Hawks have invested several years in developing him, and he only figures to get better.

    Besides, having a 10% bumper over the cap through October 1, the interim budget ceiling is almost 65 million bucks. More than enough to work with.

    Finally, my thanks to our esteemed FF regulars, Patrick and Lee Rosenberg, for the shout-out.

    Here Come The Hawks.

  7. Patrick says:

    John – I was thinking the same thing with Kusnetsov, particularly if he was going to be there at 30, but I think that this particular crop of Russians was full of head-cases, so who knows? It’ll be interesting to see how this draft pans out in 3-5 years.

    Dave – do the kids in college have to pay their own way to get to prospect camp? Can they even participate per NCAA rules? Would be fun to see.

    With Hamm, Ladd and Niemi, it would be good to get them on three year deals so they don’t have to be renewed at the same time as Sharp (assuming the tagging rules still apply, etc). Gotta think long-term cap management.

    Okay, who thinks that Stan is just posturing and that Versteeg is as good as gone once free agency starts?

  8. Patrick says:

    Had to watch this again:

    http://www.secondcityhockey.com/2010/5/23/1480000/4-to-go-stanley-cup-final-pre

    God, I love this team. Every player, and always will, and if some of them have to go, wherever they end up…

  9. Brian Davies says:

    Patrick – I don’t think Stan is posturing. We’re definitely not out of the woods yet, but we’re close. My prediction: he’ll get Ladd, Hjalmarsson and Niemi signed first, and he’ll get the Huet situation figured out. If we get a lucky break or two in there, then we can stand pat.

  10. Fork says:

    I wouldn’t get my Jimmy Hayes boner on just yet – if Brian Burke is willing to move a 6’5 behemoth like JHayes for a second rounder, he must be on the soft side.

    also, I’m guessing Ladd, Niemi and Hjammer all get signed for a cap hit of under $6MM – while Toronto overpaid for Gustavsson, the fact remains that supply far outweighs demand in the goalie market this summer.

  11. Lou says:

    On XM this morning Nabbys Camp thinks he can get in the $6 Million range. Anybody who is thinking at signing him ought to watch his playoff performances and really that OT goal by Buff that he never even saw.

    Then, if you are still serious about paying that. We can give you huet at 5.5. Same spotty goaltending 500K cheaper…

    I think Fork is right on this years goalie market.

  12. Lee says:

    Patrick: The Prospect Camp is at Johnny’s Ice House and I am pretty sure it is open to the public. I have never been there but I think this time would be fun. Maybe good place for a FF reuinion???

  13. Patrick says:

    Lee – would love to go, but will be tough for me to make it out from Boulder, CO. Would love to do a FF game this season though.

    One more thing, as Al C said over at the Hockey Independent (and I’m paraphrasing here), if the Hawks can manage the cap to sign Ladd, Niemi, Hjammer and keep Versteeg, and have the draft they just did, they should bronze him right now and just make him GM of the year. If they can keep everyone, they’ll be favorites for next year’s Cup.

  14. Lee says:

    He has a plan and a way to do it and I wish I could figure out how he will accomplish it

  15. Big Tony says:

    A good magician never reveals his tricks and I don’t expect Stan to blab about what he wants to accomplish and how he plans to do so.

  16. Mark Giangreco Roman Wrestler says:

    Stan can either say, “we don’t HAVE to do anything else regarding trades”, or he can say, “well, we have to make another trade to get under the cap”

    Which one gives you more leverage in a trade?

  17. Dave Morris says:

    Versteeg’s a Leaf, and StanBow got some pretty darn good prospects in return…from ESPN/TSN:

    “Leafs announce deal with Hawks. Toronto gets Versteeg and rights to Sweatt for Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis. ”
    via UberTwitter

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