Marty Reasoner, We Hardly Knew Ye

Marty Reasoner has now joined the immortal Kelly Kisio as one of the shortest tenured Blackhawks in team history.  As was predicted many times, Marty Reasoner was sent packing to Florida for career AHL’er Jeff Taffe.  Taffe was a 4th line center when he saw time in the NHL. 

So now the Hawks cleared off another $1.15 million off their books and seemed determined to gain enough room to offer a contract to Antti Niemi.  As it stands now – and assuming Cristobal Huet’s $5.65 cap hit is off the books – the Hawks have just under $5 million in cap space while still in need of two more forwards, a defenseman, and a goalie (substitute Toivonen instead of Crawford and the Hawks have about $5.2 in cap space.  So maybe that’s why Bowman pulled the trigger on the relatively harmless deal in Feburary.  Though that might be giving him too much credit). 

That’s all just to field a team of 18 skaters and 2 goalies.

If you fill in the bottom of the roster with guys making near or at the league minimum, it gives them about $2.55 million in cap space to sign Antti Niemi.  You’d think that be more than enough, but at the same time, you’re also looking at Jassen Cullimore as your 7th defensemen and Evan Brophey as your 13th forward.  Woof.

Here you can kill some time at work filling in your team here.    

–The reason I included Brophey is because the Hawks agreed to terms on a two-way contract with the 2005 3rd round pick.  Brophey took a paycut on his NHL salary going from $875,000 to $500,000 but actually got a bump in pay in his AHL salary going from $50,000 to $75,000. 

–Tim Sassone started fanning the flames of a possible Brian Campbell trade because Nick Leddy may be close to agreeing to terms on a professional contract.  I suppose we’ll have to wait and see, but that seems a little far-fetched. 

It wouldn’t be the rarest thing for a 1st round pick to bypass college after his freshmen year but I fail to see why Leddy is automatically locked into Campbell’s spot should he be moved.  You’d like to think the Hawks would be getting a little bit of salary relief in the process and could afford a more realistic option before heaping the pressure of being the Hawks 3rd defensemen on a 20 year-old with no professional experience.

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14 Responses to Marty Reasoner, We Hardly Knew Ye

  1. Marts says:

    I don’t see the Hawks dumping Campbell. Really? Is that even a credible rumour at this point? If, big IF, a team were to trade for Campbell I can’t see the Hawks getting back anything more than a prospect and a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Either that or taking back $4 or $5 miilion in unwanted contracts themselves. For example, maybe the Leafs would be interested in acquiring Campbell for Kaberle (around $4.5 I think). If an opportunity like that was available though, why not make that move early, buy out Kaberle’s final year and keep two of the Byfuglien, Versteeg, Ladd trio.

    I think Campbell’s here for the season.

  2. Lou says:

    I am loving how soft Cafuck and RedDing fans have already written us off. Too soft. Not enough talent. Next line of crap please. Vancouver still has Bobby Sue in net and Alice Burrows. Redwings are getting older and the cupboard ain’t so stocked like ours is.

    Yes, this will be a different team but the nucleus of this team is still intact. Toews is still Captain and Keith is a Norris winning D-man.

    And now some new guys, get their chance. A chance is an intangible thing to measure. Versteeg and Buff and Eager all got their chances once too.

    Bickell is not small. John Scott is a monster and he is not a sissy either (Lee claims he is a bad ass). Stallberg is a big kid. You can’t teach height. If I remember correctly Buff took long stretches off and played “soft” many times. Brouwer still around he’s pretty tough too. My point is this is not a team of pretty boy pacifists. this is still a very good and dangerous team.

    Will we repeat? Very hard to do in the NHL. Will we compete? Absofuckinglutely. And our kids will get experience.

    This is gonna be a fun year and we are going to enjoy watching the talent for years to come right before our very eyes

  3. Andre says:

    “I am loving how soft Cafuck and RedDing fans have already written us off. Too soft. Not enough talent.”

    I would guess it balances out the number of Hawks fans that think Chicago is a lock for the playoffs and favorites to repeat.

    “Redwings are getting older.”

    Ah yes, that ‘old’ favorite…

    “the cupboard ain’t so stocked like ours is.”

    Some saying about chickens, hatching and counting…but I can’t remember…

    Unless something truly unexpected happens, the Hawks are looking at fielding 8 rookies/min-wagers just to get the roster up to 20, with no injury cover whatsoever. So yeah, fielding 40% AAAA players and untested rookies with no injury safety net tends to get you “written off”. Having said that, THE CORE ™, is probably good enough to get to the playoffs, unless somebody important gets hurt, but injuries are rare in this sport, so they’re gonna be fine.

  4. Francis Roberts says:

    Nice article, John, as usual.

    I think that the puck is really in Niemi’s end of the pond at this point. Stan has made it reasonably clear that he is close to his limit on cap clearing trades (absent a low probability Campbell trade). So Niemi has to know that there is, max, somewhere between $2-2.5 mil for him. Allowing the negotiation to go to arbitration could be very risky for him: if the number is too high then the Hawks either walk away or do a sign and trade. If the Hawks walk away then Niemi faces a FA market for goalies that is on the soft side, to put it mildly. If they do and a sign and trade then there is every reason to expect the Hawks to send him to the least harmful place (read: a second tier Eastern Conference team). Playing goalie for a bad team can do terrible things to your stat line (and future earnings potential). At this point in his career the best option for Niemi is to pad his resume with his high quality “home” club for the next 1-2 years, and then go for the big bucks. A win-win for everyone (even his agent, if he is thinking about his client’s long term $ productivity).

    That said, it would be painful for the Hawks to start at square one again if Niemi leaves. Without the big guy in goal, next season could potentially turn into more of a rebuilding year. Oh well. Either way, a number of the young folk will get valuable playing experience next season.

  5. Lee says:

    Thank God Andre came around, now finally we have someone we can make shit out of on this blog.

  6. Lou says:

    I am like many others are already tired of being written off by fans from those teams in particular as dead and the only one one’s who have cap issues blah fucking blah.

    But, Andre, quote exactly what I said in it’s entirety.

    “Yes, this will be a different team but the nucleus of this team is still intact. Toews is still Captain and Keith is a Norris winning D-man.

    And now some new guys, get their chance. A chance is an intangible thing to measure. Versteeg and Buff and Eager all got their chances once too.

    Will we repeat? Very hard to do in the NHL. Will we compete? Absofuckinglutely. And our kids will get experience.

    This is gonna be a fun year and we are going to enjoy watching the talent for years to come right before our very eyes.”

    FACT: Detroit is getting old still dangerous but getting old and not as much coming up right now. Cliche or not Lidstrom is nearing 40 and Holsmtrom is right behind him. They guys they have coming up are no more or less talented thant ours. I think our cupboard is more stocked and got even better if you watched anything on the recent trades.

    FACT: Vancouver has to beat the man to be the man. When Roberta, Alice the hairpuller and the Twins can prove they can beat the Hawks they can say something. So the Hawks fans have the title and can talk like they do.

    We will indeed have a new team. Just like a few years ago some of our young guys will get the chance and some will produce. The,y are playing with some very good talent and will gain experience. Just a few years back. like two, many of our names were not household names. Young guys looking for a chance. Sound familiar? Any knowledgeable hockey fan would know that. Bickell remind you of Brouwer? Dowell of Fraser…. Maybe I am just plain missing something. But i Like the upside of these kids.

    Repeating is difficult and competing is expected or you won’t be a Hawk. Is a repeat possible? Always is. It is probable not likely in the NHL. But a team can get hot. It is the toughest championship of all. But I don’t want to hear nor will I buy first to worst. Not going to happen. And if you think that you are a fool.

    And yes the young talent could fail. But if you look at the recent track record of selecting talent – a lot of our key guys are home grown. We will see. But I’ll place my money on us.

    And if you are one of their fans please stay consistent. Those who are Committed to the Indian will let you know if you are not

  7. Marts says:

    Hawks will be fine. Relative to most teams we’re still a puck-possession juggernaut. That fact isn’t going to change because of a few guys leaving.

    Vancouver has 100% zero chance of winning a cup. Trust me, everyone in Canada outside of Vancouver knows this. Most people here in Calgary don’t even consider Van City a part of Canada. They should go join a ball hockey league or something. As long as 7uongo is between the pipes they’re in trouble. Also, everyone over ‘there’ seems to think Hamhuis was some great signing. I seem to remember the Hawks forwards getting a bit of a reprieve when he took the ice in place of Suter and Webber in the 1st round. The Canucks have amassed quite the collection of 3rd and 4th defensemen. Joke squad, never won a damn thing. I guess they’re looking forward to the Markus Nasland jersey retirement ceremony this year. I know, made me laugh too… When your team is shit, I guess you are stuck making shit sandwiches though…

    A team like Detroit is always dangerous. A lot of skill and experience there but lets not forget that Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Bolland etc. are going to get better. Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Frantzen etc. are on the downward trend.

    LA scares me a bit, but they haven’t really added anything other than some experience (which is valuable). They’ll take some knocks in the Pacific that could either set them back or toughen them up IMO.

  8. Andre says:

    Lou,

    Take a deep breath, man, I’m just looking to banter.

    “But, Andre, quote exactly what I said in it’s entirety. ”

    If I had an issue with everything you wrote, I would have.

    “Cliche or not Lidstrom is nearing 40 and Holsmtrom is right behind him.”

    Lidstrom has an off-year where injuries limit his production, and at 40 he’d still be any teams’ #1 or #2 defenseman, including the Hawks. Holmstrom @ 37 has his third best season, potting 25 goals, go figure.

    “But I don’t want to hear nor will I buy first to worst. Not going to happen. And if you think that you are a fool. ”

    Did you read what I said last time? I’m banking on the Hawks making playoffs.

    Marts,

    I’m not going to deny that many of the Hawk’s CORE ™ players are already really good, and should only continue to improve, but there’s a stage between ‘improving’ and ‘downward trend’ that’s known as ‘prime’. The oldest of the three Wings you pointed to is 32. Take a look at top 10 in league scoring, then look at the ages, there’s a lot of players near, at, or over 30. I’m not saying Franzen, Dats or Z are going to post career numbers, but given Detroit’s track record with veteran production (see earlier), I’m guessing they’ll be fine if everyone healthy.

  9. Leigh says:

    I don’t see Leddy signing a pro contract this summer. Another year to two at Minnesota would do him some good. Agreed, seems a little far-fetched.

  10. John says:

    What’s forgotten in the Leddy hoopla is he still has junior eligibility. Even if the Hawks sign him to a pro contract, he could end up playing somewhere in Ontario this coming season rather than Chicago or Rockford.

  11. Lou says:

    Playing at Minnesota at that level is not a bad thing either. That is one of the better programs out there

  12. The Coach says:

    Marts – “100% zero chance”?

    What if they give 110%? Giving 100% means giving everything ya got. Giving 110% means giving 10% more than is humanly possible.
    If Vancouver is going to win win as a team, they need 100% of their guys to give 110% 100% of the time. If only 50% of their guys give 110% and 50% of their guys ive 100%, I guarantee you 100% they’d only win 50% of their games.

  13. Marts says:

    @ Coach

    Uhhh… I think you may have me on a mathematical technicality. At any rate, I would suggest that I am 100% certain the Canucks have no chance of winning the cup.

  14. Sara says:

    @ Lou – I’m sorry…. you must not follow much college hockey in recent years. Did you just say Minnesota was one of the better college hockey programs out there? Historically, yes… in the last 5 years, not so much. Minnesota is a train wreck – I’d read up. Haven’t made the NCAA playoffs in 2 years, haven’t finished in the top 3 of their league in 3, rumors of coaching staff being fired following another disastrous season, list goes on. Fascinating stuff. As a Blackhawks fan and not a Minnesota Gophers fan, I’d get Leddy the heck out of there.

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