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Forums :: Blog World :: Justin Lowe: Rockford Files – Tidbits, Whispers and Educated Thoughts
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Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Jun 7 @ 10:18 AM ET
Justin Lowe: Rockford Files – Tidbits, Whispers and Educated Thoughts The Rockford IceHogs season is finished and although it would have been nice if they were the ones playing game #4 tonight vs. the Toronto Marlies, all-in-all, it was a very successful season.

The Hawks were pleasantly surprised at how far the young guys came along and went on a nice run in the playoffs this year.

I was waiting for the season to conclude to speak to a couple people and get feedback on the season, the team and some individuals - here ya go!
riozzo
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Cornwallis Island
Joined: 06.17.2014

Jun 7 @ 10:29 AM ET
First!
z1990z
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: NW USA
Joined: 02.09.2012

Jun 7 @ 10:39 AM ET
Sounds like the next Hawks HC is in the fold. If Q cant right the ship...... Mr. Colliton come on up.
jhawk159
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Wheaton, IL
Joined: 10.13.2009

Jun 7 @ 10:49 AM ET
Does anyone think the Hawks will take a swing at getting Tavares?
riozzo
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Cornwallis Island
Joined: 06.17.2014

Jun 7 @ 10:54 AM ET
Does anyone think the Hawks will take a swing at getting Tavares?
- jhawk159

Coupled with a 19 exit, I hope so
ToewsdNKanefusd
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: We're not in the Burbs anymore!, IL
Joined: 05.14.2015

Jun 7 @ 11:00 AM ET
Coupled with a 19 exit, I hope so
- riozzo


Why not Both?
SoftServe
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Bensenville, IL
Joined: 01.19.2016

Jun 7 @ 11:05 AM ET
So insert Hossa and Jeremy Colliton into the coaching staff at some point once their contracts end?

Imo, if Forsberg isn't flipped for a D man, best case scenario is for him and Delia to split time in Rockford for a full year, with the Hawks signing a vet backup.

I think the Hawks should draft a Forward/Center with the 8th pick. Wahlstrom is obviously my first choice, but I don't he''ll be there at 8, so Jesperi Kotkaniemi is the pick!

I think the Hawks should go after defenseman via FA/trade in the mold of Calvin de Haan and Justin Faulk. Young and controllable. Fingers crossed they are able to bring in both guys...that would big huge!

Keith Faulk
Murph Haan
Seabrook Gus

(correct me if I don't have them on their correct sides)
Rota's Rooter
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 06.23.2017

Jun 7 @ 11:07 AM ET
Does anyone think the Hawks will take a swing at getting Tavares?
- jhawk159

Sure. Them and probably 20 other NHL teams are going to ask what it would take to get Tavares to sign with them. IMO a long shot at best for the Hawks.
riozzo
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Cornwallis Island
Joined: 06.17.2014

Jun 7 @ 11:11 AM ET
Why not Both?
- ToewsdNKanefusd

3 players 30M - CAP hell to follow
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Jun 7 @ 11:16 AM ET
JL's contact said: "there's a few that could step in as role players but don't expect any top-6 or top-4 defence from this group."

So absent any FA signings (let's just assume that for the moment), where does that leave this team for next season?

What proven top-6 / top-4 players are likely to perform as such for next year's Hawks team?

Toews - yes, with a bit of a comeback season - still a top-2 center, even if not still one of the top centers in the league.

Saad - yes, with a lot of a comeback season - which (IMO) should happen.

Kane - certainly - one of the top wingers in the league.

Schmaltz and AdB - maybe - potentially so - not really proven yet - hopefully, break-out seasons next season.

Keith - yes, like Toews - still a top-pairing defenseman, even if not still a Norris candidate.

The rest of the candidates are either apparently past their sell-by dates (Seabrook), or not yet ready for prime time (Jokiharju, Sikura(s), Mitchell, Johnson, Forsling, others). We can't expect immediate help from the draft at #8.

And some help could come from FA signings - but even though the cap constrictions will apparently be loosening, how many difference makers can they possible sign (even if Hossa's contract is moved)?

Not much depth - not much there to say this will be a Cup-contender in 2018-19. This is going to be a longer rebuilding process than many of us have hoped for.

Just IMO, of course.
Hank3Henshaw
Location: Chicago
Joined: 03.15.2013

Jun 7 @ 11:39 AM ET
Does anyone think the Hawks will take a swing at getting Tavares?
- jhawk159


This is a rumor that surfaced last week or the week before.

The way I read it...the Isles are trying to bring in a solid goalie as a means to entice JT to stay. I think what hurts the Islanders is the two firings they just did--apparently, JT was close with the head coach and the firing could have him looking elsewhere--despite them bringing in an elite goalie.

If the Hawks can move Toews, I think it'd be awesome to bring Tavares in (if he's down).
John Jaeckel
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: www.the-rink.com
Joined: 11.19.2006

Jun 7 @ 11:43 AM ET
The backup goalie in Chicago is like the backup QB in Chicago—a surefire hall of famer, until he plays a few games and everyone comes back to earth.

Forsberg's GAA and save%, while not spectacular, were actually better than some #1's in the league—and playing behind a sub-standard defense. Too early likely to write him off (he also had a handful of stellar games against good teams, facing 40+ shots) and too early to anoint Delia.

But people need things to talk about in the offseason.
ObeseOprah
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 01.17.2014

Jun 7 @ 11:53 AM ET
We're not getting Tavares, so everyone can chill out. There's 30 other teams speculating over how great of a fit Tavares will be... all have more cap room and less albatross contracts than the Hawks.

I'd be pretty glad to pick up a John Moore, Riley Nash, Michael Grabner, Nick Holden. The free agent pool isn't deep this year after Tavares, Carlson.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Jun 7 @ 12:01 PM ET
The backup goalie in Chicago is like the backup QB in Chicago—a surefire hall of famer, until he plays a few games and everyone comes back to earth.

Forsberg's GAA and save%, while not spectacular, were actually better than some #1's in the league—and playing behind a sub-standard defense. Too early likely to write him off (he also had a handful of stellar games against good teams, facing 40+ shots) and too early to anoint Delia.

But people need things to talk about in the offseason.

- John Jaeckel



While it's fun to speculate I would expect Forsberg to get another shot at the back-up role, assuming Crawford is healthy enough to start.

Due to Crawford's injury Forsberg was but in a position he wasn't ready for. I would guess the plan was to have Forsberg serve as back-up for a couple years while gradually increasing his workload. Instead he was forced to start more games than he was ready for.

If Crawford sustains a similar injury this season I would expect the Hawks to trade for a goalie (i.e. a veteran with an expiring contract) but keep Forsberg as the back-up.
67hawks
Joined: 08.30.2012

Jun 7 @ 12:10 PM ET
So insert Hossa and Jeremy Colliton into the coaching staff at some point once their contracts end?

Imo, if Forsberg isn't flipped for a D man, best case scenario is for him and Delia to split time in Rockford for a full year, with the Hawks signing a vet backup.

I think the Hawks should draft a Forward/Center with the 8th pick. Wahlstrom is obviously my first choice, but I don't he''ll be there at 8, so Jesperi Kotkaniemi is the pick!

I think the Hawks should go after defenseman via FA/trade in the mold of Calvin de Haan and Justin Faulk. Young and controllable. Fingers crossed they are able to bring in both guys...that would big huge!


Keith Faulk
Murph Haan
Seabrook Gus

(correct me if I don't have them on their correct sides)

- SoftServe


I think Forsberg would have to be exposed on waivers to do that.
Hank3Henshaw
Location: Chicago
Joined: 03.15.2013

Jun 7 @ 12:29 PM ET
The backup goalie in Chicago is like the backup QB in Chicago—a surefire hall of famer, until he plays a few games and everyone comes back to earth.

Forsberg's GAA and save%, while not spectacular, were actually better than some #1's in the league—and playing behind a sub-standard defense. Too early likely to write him off (he also had a handful of stellar games against good teams, facing 40+ shots) and too early to anoint Delia.

But people need things to talk about in the offseason.

- John Jaeckel


Glad to see you, JJ!
AEL_Fox
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: CA
Joined: 06.18.2016

Jun 7 @ 12:39 PM ET
While it's fun to speculate I would expect Forsberg to get another shot at the back-up role, assuming Crawford is healthy enough to start.

Due to Crawford's injury Forsberg was but in a position he wasn't ready for. I would guess the plan was to have Forsberg serve as back-up for a couple years while gradually increasing his workload. Instead he was forced to start more games than he was ready for.

If Crawford sustains a similar injury this season I would expect the Hawks to trade for a goalie (i.e. a veteran with an expiring contract) but keep Forsberg as the back-up.

- DarthKane

Perfect summary of Forsberg's situation last year and moving ahead. Agree with that last point that whether or not Crawford is healthy enough to start, Forsberg is the likely backup. Either Crawford or veteran UFA stop-gap like Ward, Halak, Bernier, Khudobin, Hutchinson, Hutton, or Johnson (with Crawford on IR/LTIR) is the starter.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Jun 7 @ 12:43 PM ET
Luke Johnson has been added to the Blue Team in the Chicago Pro Hockey League.

I really hope this kid has a strong camp in the fall and makes the team. He made some real solid progress this season in Rockford. If the doesn't make the team to start the season I'd expect him to him one of the first call-ups.
AEL_Fox
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: CA
Joined: 06.18.2016

Jun 7 @ 12:44 PM ET
So insert Hossa and Jeremy Colliton into the coaching staff at some point once their contracts end?

Imo, if Forsberg isn't flipped for a D man, best case scenario is for him and Delia to split time in Rockford for a full year, with the Hawks signing a vet backup.

I think the Hawks should draft a Forward/Center with the 8th pick. Wahlstrom is obviously my first choice, but I don't he''ll be there at 8, so Jesperi Kotkaniemi is the pick!

I think the Hawks should go after defenseman via FA/trade in the mold of Calvin de Haan and Justin Faulk. Young and controllable. Fingers crossed they are able to bring in both guys...that would big huge!

Keith Faulk
Murph Haan
Seabrook Gus

(correct me if I don't have them on their correct sides)

- SoftServe

Like your line of thinking. If the Hawks do acquire Faulk and de Haan, that would be at least $9MM for both:

Keith - Faulk
de Haan - Murphy
Gustafsson/Oesterle - Seabrook

If investing in $9MM is too rich for Bowman's blood, then consider either Faulk or de Haan and find a more affordable D-man for that 2nd acquisition like Hickey, Moore, Holden, Connauton, or Pateryn for example.
AEL_Fox
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: CA
Joined: 06.18.2016

Jun 7 @ 12:46 PM ET
Luke Johnson has been added to the Blue Team in the Chicago Pro Hockey League.

I really hope this kid has a strong camp in the fall and makes the team. He made some real solid progress this season in Rockford. If the doesn't make the team to start the season I'd expect him to him one of the first call-ups.

- DarthKane

Sparks is playing in this league, too. I could see him getting a PTO this fall.
z1990z
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: NW USA
Joined: 02.09.2012

Jun 7 @ 12:50 PM ET
Like your line of thinking. If the Hawks do acquire Faulk and de Haan, that would be at least $9MM for both:

Keith - Faulk
de Haan - Murphy
Gustafsson/Oesterle - Seabrook

If investing in $9MM is too rich for Bowman's blood, then consider either Faulk or de Haan and find a more affordable D-man for that 2nd acquisition like Hickey, Moore, Holden, Connauton, or Pateryn for example.

- AEL_Fox[/quote


The blue line needs help and they need to spend come FA. Wont matter who is in goal if we cant fix that and cut down on the 40 shots a game circus.
tvetter
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Burkesville, KY
Joined: 12.16.2015

Jun 7 @ 1:02 PM ET
JL's contact said: "there's a few that could step in as role players but don't expect any top-6 or top-4 defence from this group."

So absent any FA signings (let's just assume that for the moment), where does that leave this team for next season?

What proven top-6 / top-4 players are likely to perform as such for next year's Hawks team?

Toews - yes, with a bit of a comeback season - still a top-2 center, even if not still one of the top centers in the league.


Saad - yes, with a lot of a comeback season - which (IMO) should happen.

Kane - certainly - one of the top wingers in the league.

Schmaltz and AdB - maybe - potentially so - not really proven yet - hopefully, break-out seasons next season.

Keith - yes, like Toews - still a top-pairing defenseman, even if not still a Norris candidate.

The rest of the candidates are either apparently past their sell-by dates (Seabrook), or not yet ready for prime time (Jokiharju, Sikura(s), Mitchell, Johnson, Forsling, others). We can't expect immediate help from the draft at #8.

And some help could come from FA signings - but even though the cap constrictions will apparently be loosening, how many difference makers can they possible sign (even if Hossa's contract is moved)?

Not much depth - not much there to say this will be a Cup-contender in 2018-19. This is going to be a longer rebuilding process than many of us have hoped for.

Just IMO, of course.

- StLBravesFan


I would add Murphy to the top 4 list. I think he could be a solid #4, especially if paired with the right FA pick up. Basically, we have one true top-pairing dman, one potential second pairing dman, and 427 third pair/AHL dmen.
Return of the Roar
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Solidly grounded in reality, IL
Joined: 07.27.2009

Jun 7 @ 1:16 PM ET
JL's contact said: "there's a few that could step in as role players but don't expect any top-6 or top-4 defence from this group."

Hmmm....I remember someone else saying this.

Which means it is a whole lot of the same to start next season.

Perhaps SB uses some of what little cap he has to find some Jim Hendry-type acquisitions on expiring contracts to maybe plug a few holes.

I will say this though - if I were an NHL goalie looking for a job, CHI would be one of the last places I'd choose to sign with, since the team will look a lot like last year, the traffic in the D zone will look a lot like it did last year - 35+ SOG against and 8-12 A+ chances every night.

Like I said - gonna be a while before this team sniffs the post-season again.
Scott1977
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Yorkville, IL
Joined: 08.30.2012

Jun 7 @ 1:17 PM ET
Hawks need both dehann and faulk if they are going anywhere and trying to compete for the playoffs again . hossa's contract is key this offseason if bowman can move it great big win if not won't be the end of theworld. If the contract is nit moved then dehann is probably not getting signed more like holden hickey and low level free agents. Just my opinion but i get the feeling that the hawks are going to make a big splash whether thats with a trade or signing don't know
Personally I would draft veleno or the finn wahlstrom would be great also but consider hawks have no top 6 centers in their system thats the route i go.
walleyeb1
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 09.25.2014

Jun 7 @ 1:18 PM ET
Like your line of thinking. If the Hawks do acquire Faulk and de Haan, that would be at least $9MM for both:

Keith - Faulk
de Haan - Murphy
Gustafsson/Oesterle - Seabrook

If investing in $9MM is too rich for Bowman's blood, then consider either Faulk or de Haan and find a more affordable D-man for that 2nd acquisition like Hickey, Moore, Holden, Connauton, or Pateryn for example.

- AEL_Fox


Curious what do you think it takes in trade to get Faulk and what kind of contact would de Haan be looking for?
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