Long Weekend Recap Thoughts
A few things happened over the weekend that is worth noting. There was the Hossa "I'm not going to play hockey anymore" news, 4 announced signings by the Blackhawks and a couple of road losses from the IceHogs.
Let's start with the Rockford IceHogs; even though they had a long layoff, they played well for most of the game. It was the 3rd period where they started to really fade and fell 4-2 to Texas in game #1. Dahlstrom and DiDimenico were the goal scorers and Delia was less than his amazing self (4 goals on 24 shots)and gave up a couple soft ones that I'm sure he'd love to have back.
So they marched on to game #2 on Sunday and the result was the same, unfortunately. A 3-2 loss in OT with the game winner coming on the power play from Curtis Mackenzie. Gustav Forsling was in the box for tripping, a call that some might call "questionable".
Hayden and Didimenico were your goal-getters in this one. Delia played better, however his counterpart Mike McKenna continued his dominance as well during these playoffs. The ‘Hogs are going to have to solve him 5-on-5 if they want to get back into this series.
They take the ice in Rockford tonight, Thursday and Friday.
Now, on to the Marian Hossa news. This was actually reported earlier last week by JJ on the-rink before it was surfaced by Scott Powers and the mainstream media.
The news is not something of a surprise. I think we all knew it was only a matter of time that Hossa un-officially shut it down. The fact that he's not retiring with the league is to save the Hawks their recapture penalty, so he will sit in Slovakia with his family for 3 years until his contract is fulfilled with the Hawks.
This seems strange, but it's a loophole that the NHL can't do anything about.
This news, along with the notion that ‘Big Hoss' will join the team in some capacity in a few years signals to me that he's discussed with Stan the possibility of the Hawks trading his contact. Hossa will be an all-time great for this organization and he's one of (if not the best) all-around player I've ever seen in my 30+ years of watching hockey.
It's a softer blow to the fan base (and of course as a PR story) if he's dealt to, let's say the Hurricanes to create cap space as everyone knows that "he'll be back one day".
I haven't heard any specifics if they have a deal in place but my gut says that it's more 70-30 in favour of him being acquired by a team looking to hit the cap floor.
Stan Bowman and the Chicago Blackhawks have announced the signings of 4 players: defenseman Lucas Carlsson (20-years old, $792k for 3-years), forward Dominik Kahun (22, $925k for 2-years), defenseman Darren Raddysh (23, 730k for 2 years) and goalie Kevin Lankinen (23, 925k for 2-years). (source: capfriendly)
We knew about Kahun; he is likely Rockford bound but let's see what he has in camp this year.
Carlsson has nice potential to make an impact on the backend in the next couple of years. He will have a lot of competition though. The Hawks have 459 defencemen signed for next year.
Speaking of dmen, Raddysh had a solid first season in the AHL and is an RHD. Makes sense they locked him in.
The Finnish goalie makes sense from what I was hearing. Had a couple contacts tell me they were looking for a creative and/or sneaky goalie signing over the summer. Question is, will Lankinen be Lars Johansson or Antti Niemi... or somewhere in between. Sounds like he will head be in the AHL or ECHL depending on how the goaltending situation plays out this offseason.
Finally, also announced was that the Blackhawks will carry an overage $1,232,500 amount in bonuses for the 2018-19 season. The Hawks are finally in decent shape (even better if Hossa is moved) in regard to the cap so this isn't too detrimental to their summer plans.
Hope you all check in and cheer on those ‘Hoggers tonight.
See ya out there!