The Final Countdown: Hawks get 0 points in Southern California

After two listless games against Los Angeles and Anaheim following a piss-poor third period against Dallas, the Hawks are in desperate need of one, if not two defensemen that can handle the burden of a 2nd defensive pairing.  Good thing for them the trade deadline is tomorrow and teams are going to be quite aggressive to move some pieces around.

If this latest slide has shown us anything, it’s that having a third of your defensive corps being under the legal drinking age and having them log big minutes is not a recipe for long-term success.  I would love to know if any team in the modern era has won a Stanley Cup with two defensemen as green as Dylan Olsen and Nick Leddy.  Perhaps someone out there knows the answer.  Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anybody.  (And yes, I know Leddy has played a significant amount of games at the NHL level, but as the old adage says, you can’t really judge a defensemen until after 200 professional games so he still has some time to go.)

However, if the Hawks are in it for this year (and we have no reason to doubt they aren’t), then something has to give.  If they are quietly ‘rebuilding’ on the fly, then they’d be better off to just keep throwing Olsen and Leddy out there while holding on to whatever the demands are for a rental defensemen.

While I’m at it, I guess the newest thing to do is blame Stan Bowman for all that plagues the Hawks these days.  Last year as most probably recall, I had no problem taking the blow torch to him.  This year, I find it hard to blame a guy for putting a team together that was first in the conference 50 games into the season.

I would have gone head over heels if he signed Joel Ward, Max Talbot, and Ville Leino last summer.  But $12 million for four years is a lot for a guy putting up Bryan Bickell numbers, five years is three too many for Talbot, and Leino is signed through the next millenia and he blows.

So instead, Bowman stowed away the cap space and flexibility to manuever around the trade deadline, something he’s never really had the option of doing.  It wasn’t the worst idea a Hawks general manager has ever had.  And it certainly didn’t look that bad a few weeks ago.

Of course, if he does nothing with the cap space, then he’s going to catch quite the shrapnel of criticism.  If he makes a trade and the guy isn’t instantly the spawn of Bobby Orr and Denis Potvin, he’ll likely catch just as much criticism.  He’s basically put himself in the situation where anything less than a triple and the cat-calls will only become louder.  It hasn’t helped that his team has gone completely in the toilet at the absolute worst time.  Not to mention, his team has lost in regulation to three consectutive teams who could have turned into motivated sellers with a loss.

Either way, at 2:30 Monday afternoon we’ll have a much better idea of how to gauge our expectations for the rest of the season.

–Quick side note, Second City Hockey is having a live chat up through the deadline.  I should be in and out of there throughout the day so feel free to check it out.

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5 Responses to The Final Countdown: Hawks get 0 points in Southern California

  1. ArlingtonRob says:

    I believe the Hawks are done for the year and should be prudent sellers. Not sure who would interest other teams, but few current roster players should be considered untouchable.

    SB’s job gets tougher by the day. My how the mighty have fallen…

  2. Otter says:

    I’m really fed up with this team, and it’s the team on the ice… I have few issues with the front office.

    Simply put, the Hawks have taken a major step back in the last five or six weeks. They don’t look anything like a playoff team and considering that this team, on paper, is better than last year’s team; I haven’t the faintest clue as to what is going on. A lazy guess is that there is some major clubhouse issues to go along with a weakened blue line and piss poor goaltending. But the fact that the Hawks have stop scoring goals and the power play is a total joke and unacceptable, leads me to believe that something else with the players/coaching staff is amiss.

    Trading Kane, right now, is flat out stupid. This summer, maybe we can hypothetically think about it. But right now, stupid.

    And does anyone think the Hawks can win the Cup this year? I guess, somewhere inside of me I figure there’s a chance considering up until about Jan. 10th, they were right there. But seeing that over the last 20 games this team has become a shitty version of the Blue Jackets, it’s hard for me to believe that they’re a goalie/blue liner/’gritty’ forward way. So why even make a move? That’s where I’m at with five hours until the deadline.

  3. rich says:

    “If he makes a trade and the guy isn’t a spawn of Bobby Orr of Denis Potvin he’ll likely catch much criticism.” Nothing like a little pressure, eh?

    I liked Ward also – didn’t realize he was that mediocre this year.

    Are the Islanders sellig anybody – and no thanks, I think, on Nabokov. Okposo? Do they have any d-,men?

  4. Francis Roberts says:

    I think Otter has got this spot on. There is simply no magic trade out there that turns the Hawk’s season around. That can only be done by the gang of 20-22 on the roster. Every team out there has meaningful holes in their lineups. Do you think St. Louis has a perfect roster? Nashville? Anaheim? I think John makes a great point about having two very young defensemen out there. But…. I thought the NBC guys made a telling comment yesterday in describing the Hawk’s powerplay. They talked about the lack of basic puck pursuit on the part of the Hawks. This team should be playing with a level of desperation. But they are not. Most likely, the only way this changes is with a major makeover in the offseason.

  5. Patrick says:

    Talk of trading Kane is absolutely insane – he is a generational talent and you don’t trade those. Folks with say that even Gretzky was traded – we all know how well he did for the Kings (a curved stick and an amazing goalie (on the other team) from the Cup), but how well did that work out for Edmonton?

    My beef is with Q – he hasn’t adapted his roster to “their” style of play (forcing “his” is his downfall) and he kept running Scott out there, even with better alternatives available. Fluffy may be a good guy, but he ain’t option #1, or even #6. My thinking is that Q is gone if the Hawks don’t make the Conference Finals (at least). God bless Q for winning a Cup with the Hawks, but sometimes coaches have a shelf life, and he’s reached his, especially for his special teams choices (IE – Kitchen).

    The sun will rise again for the Hawks, and they will get better over time, not worse – that is unless they trade Kane…

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