Hawks Match Sharks Offer; Sandwich remains a Hawk

The Blackhawks have matched the 4-year, $14 million offer sheet that the Sharks offered to Ham Sandwich on Friday afternoon.  So he’s locked in as most have predicted.  The Niemi arbitration hearings are scheduled for July 29th.  The Hawks could be in wait and see mode until then with their other restricted free agents.  

Marty Reasoner’s odds to open the season with the Hawks have lowered significantly.  Please hold back all tears.

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22 Responses to Hawks Match Sharks Offer; Sandwich remains a Hawk

  1. Otter says:

    My only issue with this is… why now? Why not wait until Friday (or Thursday night) holding up the Sharks for an extra few days? The Magic are going to make the Bulls sweat with Redick… ‘Hawks should have done the same.

    That said… YAY! It was the right move and the only move imo.

  2. Lee says:

    Geez John, you made JJ’S Hockey Buzz with your scoop

  3. Dave Morris says:

    Lots of lettuce for the Ham Sandwich, and Doug Wilson now has to figure out how to get his team past the second round.

    Don’t know how Stan makes those numbers work, but he’s the Notre Dame grad, so In Stan We Trust.

  4. Patrick says:

    It’s the right move and there are two statements being made by the Hawks acting so quickly;

    1. Fuck you Sharks – while we’re over-paying a bit, your hopes are dashed and DW, you’re dead to us

    2. Mr Niemi – the max-green you seek is gone, as are most of the starting NHL goaltending jobs. Take what we give you for 1 or so years, be happy, and you can try again next year

  5. CT says:

    Let’s hope Stan didn’t hire Notre Dame grad Chris Zorich to keep track of the finances.

  6. ozzzie19 says:

    I think the Campbell rumors are a pipe dream and you’d have to be hitting the pipe to think the Hawks will let Sharp go.

    Getting rid of Kopecky and Reasoner, filling in the bottom 6 with warm bodies from our minors (Bickell, Skille, Dowell then whoever you want, Klink, Kruger, whoever), keeping Viz and signing McKee for $1M for your bottom pair, leaves you nearly exactly $3M for your two goaltenders. If Niemi wants to stay, now we have a target to talk to him about. And if Turco or Theodore want to join the cup champs, they know how much they can charge.

  7. John says:

    At some point, they have to seriously consider shopping Campbell hard as nearly all of their defensive prospects (Lalonde, Vishneivsky, and Leddy) play the same game as him. For me, the bigger reason why it’s a pipe dream is his limited no-trade clause which will knock out just about any team looking to get over the cap floor.

  8. ArlingtonRob says:

    If freeing up cap space is the goal, not sure why Reasoner and Kopecky are discussed. The cap hit for both is modest. Stan might be attempting what seems unlikely, and move Campbell. I can’t imagine who would be interested in that investment, but perhaps there have been talks…who knows at this point. Personally, I keep mentioning Bolland getting moved. His name is never mentioned by others though, so perhaps nothing will come of it. Bolland’s modest production and 3.4M cap hit would suggest he’s a possibility.

  9. John says:

    Reasoner and Kopecky are discussed because it’s an easy way to clear out 2.34 million without losing much production. Campbell’s limited no-trade is the hang-up. Even if the Hawks find a taker on it, Campbell still has to greenlight it. There are plenty of teams that need to get over the cap floor but I have a hard time imagining Campbell ok’ing a trade to Carolina or Long Island.

    We mentioned Bolland getting shopped in the San Jose series. At this point, the Hawks have to stay strong down the middle. So center is pretty much the last position they need to start gutting.

  10. Dominic says:

    Fist, love the Ham sandwich reference…just love it…cracks me up every time.

    Second, Niemi will sign for 2 to 2.5 this year with an escalator going forward, expect that in the next few days. If not, it will be Turco/Theodore for same amount.

    Third, Bolland or Sharp or any of them are not going anywhere. Worst case is we are young this year. Once Niemi deal is set, watch Mike Madano to be a 1 million possibility.

    Fourth, Campbell will be gone next year, sure his contract sucks, but he has been invaluable to Keith, Ham Sandwich and the few young guys that get a shot this year.
    .

  11. ozzzie19 says:

    John, I completely agree with you. By pipe dream, I meant that no one out there (who he’ll accept a trade to) will take him. I used to be a Campbell hater, but have come around on him and his value to the system we play. But he is overpaid by a couple million and as we’ve seen this offseason, having to overpay a guy by a couple million has huge ramification on the rest of the roster. Also, as you mentioned, many of our up and coming D-men are of a similar mold and you can only have 3 puck moving d-men on a team at a time and one of those slots is taken for the next 13 years :). Bottom line, if the Hawks could have traded Campbell, it probably already would have happened in order to mitigate some of the slashing they had to do earlier this offseason.

  12. cb says:

    I’m a big Hammer fan and I’m glad to see him back. I’m also overly anxious by nature and I’m curious to ask what outcome would have us regretting this decision in 12 months’ time. Obviously there are lots of bizarre scenarios that could wreak cap havoc, but the particular regret I have in mind is the inability to resign Seabrook. One assumes that if Seabrook plays as well this year as he did last year (his bad spells notwithstanding) that he’ll be exactly the kind of player a team would try to poach. So if Soup is still around next year it will be time to say goodbye to Ham Sandwich. If he’s healthy and if his numbers and potential look pretty much the same as they do right now we should even get something decent in return, no? An obvious salary dump with the accompanying drop in trade value, sure, but if we can get through next season with such a strong defensive unit and someone in goal not named Cristobal, then it’s worth it.

    A more general comment on the hand-wringing taking place here and elsewhere: apart from the bonus-induced cap reduction, the Hawks are dealing with the same cap situation as everyone else. I’m not happy about shedding so many solid players, but it’s BAD contracts that affect teams’ relative competitiveness, not the simple fact of the salary cap. Some question marks remain – and Dale Tallon will never live down the dollar amount of the Campbell contract (BTW as things stand, he’ll have the highest cap hit for a D man in the league after Chara’s contract is up next year) – but by and large our core players are signed to reasonable (and in some cases very favorable) deals. If we have a solid core signed to good contracts, there’s nothing much to regret.

    On a more emotional level…the salary cap really sucks.

  13. Lou says:

    I think the Soup trade will be explored in more earnest as the year progresses and we see how the other D-men develop. Last year, we really weren’t in a position to do that. Soup’s return in the Hossa game vs Nashville actually showed how valuable he was to the system. I think over time others will develop in that role and he will become more marketable to a team needing a solid d-man like that. So, more to come and he likely won’t finish out that contract.

    I also think Seabs wil be around the 4.5 to 5 range on a 5 to 6 year deal. He will not make more than Keith but at the same point my gut tells me Dunc wouldn’t care one bit.

  14. Otter says:

    Who is going to take on Campbell’s salary? That’s what I can’t get around… I’m a fan of the guy and think he’s much more important to the Hawks than most everyone (other than the Feather) gives him credit. So while I’m not crazy about trading him in the first place, I’ve also got to wonder who’s going to take that salary right now in the NHL. Of course, maybe that long rumored Campbell for Soriano deal might actually happen… that would help both teams right?

  15. Lou says:

    Supposedly Bickell is close to signing a multi-year deal and Boynton has been offered a contract buy is contemplating retirement.

  16. Francis Roberts says:

    The only way I see Campbell gettting traded is if it is part of a larger, blockbuster trade sending him and (god forbid) someone like Bolland or Sharp to a team having a ton of cap space like the Islanders for one of their beter D men like Streit with other bodies thrown in. The trade is really for the Sharp/Bolland component, but taking Campbell is part of the price of the deal. Low probablility of that happening especially since Soup would have to ok the list of teams he could go to, and it’s unlikely to include many high cap space teams. Everyone should just accept Soup as a number four D man who unfortunately gets paid like a Norris Trophy D man. He is not going anywhere soon.

    The other interesting issue is how Niemi is becoming the odd man out of this Cap game of musical chairs. By waiting he is facing the increasing certainty that there is just not enough money to sign him to a contract for anything near what he wants.

    Question: I may have missed this in previous posts but can the Hawks accept the arbitrator’s ruling and then, if it is an unacceptable number, do a sign a trade with Niemi, thus guaranteeing that he is sent to a relatively less harmful second tier Eastern Conference team instead of his being a free agent?

    Final thought: assuming the cap goes up another $2 mil. next year, the Hawks should have around $6 mil to play with (assuming no performance bonuses!) to sign Seabrook, Brouwer, a goalie, et al to nice increases. Painfull, but not as bad is this summer!

  17. Wade says:

    I know this is a dumb question … but I specialize in dumb questions.

    But, just for the sake of argument, why couldn’t the Hawks simply demote Campbell to Rockford and eat his salary (but not suffer the cap hit), the same way they are planning to do with Huet?

    Granted, they would get no compensation for a former Norris Trophy finalist, and the organization would be essentially eating about $13 million, but it would free up MORE than enough cap space.

    Dire though this suggestion may be, the Hawks do have some decent defensive depth, and this would be a lot better, IMHO, than losing Sharp, Bolland, or Niemi.

    OK, commence your criticism and ridicule now …

  18. Lou says:

    They probably can Wade but Soup actually contributes to the success of the team. His return against Nashville was a big spark in that series and arguably the playoffs.

  19. Tom says:

    @Wade,

    Going on what Lou said, Soup was a factor in the playoffs. He helped build the momentum for the Hawks.

    Looking at his regular season – it showed that he was an offensive starter when he was healthy and playing well (granted, no one played well for that reckless stretch known as the Olympic @#$! show).

    Him getting sent down to Rockford to avoid the cap hit, I think, would actually hurt the Hawks more than it’d help them.

    In Soup we trust.

  20. Otter says:

    Soup is a really good player and I love having him on the Hawks. He’s just over paid by about $2 million bucks… which isn’t his fault. His contract isn’t ideal, but he’s still really really important to the Blackhawks success.

    I don’t want the Hawks to deal Soup, and his contract is about 3% of the reason the Hawks are in this mess.

  21. Patrick says:

    Good article…

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/blogs/timwharnsby/2010/07/stan-bowman-has-red-hot-summer.html

    Finally – some RESPEK! And yes, that’s misspelled on purpose…

  22. Hoog says:

    I’m glad others saw what Soup gave us in the playoffs. I too got annoyed with him during the reg season, but saw the spark he provided, and what we missed, during the playoffs.

    Sending him down to the minors would be the wrong message to send. Sure you want to save that cap space, but what message does that send to the rest of the league? Sure, we’ll sign you to a nice contract, but once it becomes uncomfortable for us, we’ll drop you to Rockford. Free agents will take note of that, and probably avoid signing with the Hawks. I’m sure StanBow is doing everything he can to avoid doing that with Huet.

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