Kukla's Korner Hockey
As much fun as Blackhawks president John McDonough has had seeing his organization win three Stanley Cups in the past six years, there’s still a standard the team has yet to reach in his mind.
“I would probably characterize this as a good run,” McDonough said in an interview on 670 The Score on Friday morning. “I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say ‘dynasty.’ You look at the Detroit Red Wings, the fact that they’ve made the playoffs … 24 years in a row, that’s that consistent excellence that we’re striving for. It’s been a lot of fun (for us). Not one minute through all of these Stanley Cup playoffs — every game is decided by one goal, no lead is safe. We learned that in the Anaheim game where they scored three goals in 37 seconds. But at the end, it’s been very rewarding.”
Chicago’s success comes with a cost, as it must often part with top-notch talent in a league with a hard salary cap.
from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,
Turning to hockey, Keith sighed when asked about all the changes since he and his Hawks teammates hoisted the silver chalice. Keith occupied the locker next to Brandon Saad's in the dressing room the last three years. Fellow defenseman Johnny Oduya always sat across from Keith on team flights. Sharp, in Keith's words, "is along with Seabs (Brent Seabrook) one of my two best friends in hockey.'' All three players became former Hawks thanks to the salary cap, an NHL reality Keith understands more than he accepts.
"Anytime you play with someone for a long time you're going to develop chemistry, a bond and a friendship and I was really close with those three guys,'' Keith said. "Sharpie, I played with for 10 years. It's tough to say goodbye. They're all difficult. As hockey players, we've been through this before when we know it's part of the business. But at the same time, it sucks. There's no other way to put it.''
Lamenting the loss of old teammates in no way reflects Keith's excitement over his new ones. Like a sportscaster reporting the trade, Keith pointed out defenseman Trevor Daley scored 16 goals for the Stars last season. He called forward Ryan Garbutt, who came with Daley in the Sharp deal, "the hardest guy to play against when we played Dallas.''
"He really is a pain so we're happy to have him on our side now,'' Keith said. "Our goal is to win a Stanley Cup every year, and we're looking forward to bringing the new guys into the fold. Some of the new players we acquired are really going to help.''
more including Keith addressing some rumors regarding his personal life...
from Ben Leeson of the Sudbury Star,
This is Davidson's second Stanley Cup win with the organization. Davidson, 27, is a graduate of Lasalle Secondary. He volunteered with the OHL's Sudbury Wolves, is a graduate of Laurentian's SPAD program in 2010. He landed an internship with the Blackhawks' American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.
He started his current position as hockey operations coordinator back in June 2011. It's a job which allows Davidson to help the team manage the salary cap, deciding market value for players and helping to write NHL contracts to send out to the league office.
"I think I enjoy the idea of helping build the roster in a salary cap (era)," Davidson said. "It's a bit of a puzzle putting together the roster, one you gotta combine certain types of players, but also have to build in the financial aspect as you need to be compliant of the NHL salary cap. It's a balance of finding good players, but finding good players at a right cost. It's a puzzle always evolving, and you're projecting years from now on what and how players are doing or will be doing."
It's a job that can lead to difficult but necessary decisions.
"It's tough," Davidson said. "You see these guys that have become part of the team and sometimes you think they'll be part of the team for another eight years...we thought that with Brandon Saad, but with in a salary cap era it's tough because (he's) a player you can envision playing with Toews and Kane, but you have to move him and it's tough. You have to fill that role now. You have to separate emotion because you'd go crazy trying to overcome the emotional toll. You have to separate yourself from it, but at the end of the day it's a business and it's easier to handle if you take it that way."
from Mike Harrinton of the Buffalo News,
All the talk this week has been about prospects and there was plenty more Sunday. But the most interesting nugget from the GM was this one: Don’t sleep on the Sabres landing Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya.
Buffalo still needs another quality left-shot blueliner and there’s plenty of chatter it put in a big free-agent offer to Oduya on July 1. To this point, it seems like Oduya, 33, would prefer to stay with the Blackhawks. But even after Friday’s big trade of Patrick Sharp to Dallas, the Hawks are still jammed by the salary cap.
At some point, you would think Oduya would tell the Hawks, who already unloaded Brandon Saad to Columbus, to make a firm decision about keeping him or he’s moving on. Chicago, however, seems intent on taking care of forward Marcus Kruger’s deal first. Outside Chicago, Oduya’s most likely landing place is Buffalo or perhaps Boston.
Oduya’s last deal with Chicago was for three years and $10.125 million, so he’s going to expect a raise to at least $4 million a season, and maybe closer to $5 million. Murray isn’t big on free agency and is very picky about the ones he goes after. For him to flat-out say Sunday he had not moved on from Oduya was significant.
Oduya played three years with Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian in Atlanta and Winnipeg. Think there’s been some conversation there about what’s going on in Buffalo? Uh-huh.
read on for more on the Sabres...
from Scott Powers of ESPN,
Johnny Oduya returning to the Chicago Blackhawks is less likely after Trevor Daley was acquired by the Blackhawks from the Dallas Stars on Friday, but neither side is completely shutting the door just yet.
Oduya’s agent Don Meehan wrote in an email Saturday that they were “considering a number of options”.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman also wasn’t definitive either way during a Friday conference call.
“Not going to rule anything out or rule it in,” Bowman said. “It’s still sort of a fluid situation, and there are a lot of factors at play. We’re getting closer to a point where we can say, ‘This is our team,’ but we’re not there yet.
"There has been some discussions on different things, but can’t characterize it other than that, which is discussions. Like this trade, until it’s done, it’s not done, and that’s why we’re here talking we’re able to come to an agreement and finalize it. It’s one of those things we’ve talked about and haven’t finalized. That’s about the best I can give you at this point.”...
The Blackhawks have about $900,000 in cap space for next season as of now. They are still expected to re-sign restricted free agent Marcus Kruger to a long-term extension and likely trade another player or two from their current roster to become cap compliant.
from John Dietz of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Bowman said that trading away such a big salary such as Sharp's can often net just draft picks, but he did everything possible to make sure the Hawks got NHL-ready players in return.
"There's been countless phone calls over the last three weeks trying to find the right deal, and this one finally made sense," Bowman said.
Daley, who is 31 years old and set career highs in goals (16), assists (22) and points (38) in 68 games last season, is set to make $3.3 million in 2015-16. He's been a regular for the Stars for the past 10 seasons.
"Certainly in today's game, having somebody on the back end who can score at that rate is a nice weapon to have," Bowman said. "We've always marveled at Trevor's ability to skate. He's a very active player, he's involved in the play. I think he's going to be a great fit for the style of hockey that we play here."
Daley's arrival very well may signal the end of Johnny Oduya's tenure with the Hawks. The Hawks could now start the season with Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Daley, Trevor van Riemsdyk and David Rundblad as their blue-liners.
Asked if he thought the Hawks could still retain Oduya -- an unrestricted free agent -- Bowman said it's still "a fluid situation. We're getting closer to a point where we can say this is officially our team, but we're not there yet."
“Honestly, I think a lot of people are doubting us now, because we're going to lose some key players but we keep finding ways to rebound. Whether it's this year or down the road, we have that culture and we have that identity, that belief in our room. There's no doubt and we're not done yet.”
-Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks. More from and on Toews from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
It is interesting sometimes how some players, if they don’t catch the initial wave from their own era, get lost in the shuffle when it comes to their Hockey Hall of Fame induction chances. One such player is Doug Wilson, 15th all-time in scoring among defensemen but still overlooked year after year at induction time. Between 1977-78 and 1992-93, the Ottawa native put up 827 points (237-590) in 1,024 career regular-season games with mostly the Chicago Blackhawks before ending his career with the San Jose Sharks, where he eventually became the club’s longtime general manager as well. Wilson had a cannon of a shot, was a great two-way defender, won a Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman and played in eight NHL All-Star games. But somehow his call from the Hockey Hall of Fame never came ... not yet anyway.
The Case For
Wilson’s 827 points rank him ahead of the likes of Red Kelly, Borje Salming, Rob Blake, Mark Howe and Scott Niedermayer, all deserved Hockey Hall of Fame inductees.
from John Dietz of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
If fans want to place blame anywhere, it should be with Saad, who said he allowed his agent to handle all contract negotiations with the Hawks.
Had he been willing to accept a deal in the $5 million range, he'd probably still be a Blackhawk. He'd hear that earsplitting national anthem 41 times a year, be playing in front of a packed house every night and on a team that figures to compete for the Stanley Cup year after year after year.
Instead, he wanted an extra $1 million a year. And that's his right. So now he's playing in Columbus.
Then there's Andrew Desjardins, who signed a two-year deal with the Hawks on Friday for less than he could have made elsewhere. He stayed for the chance to win and because he loves the city and the players in that locker room.
And he played here for less than four months.
"Obviously the desire for players is to win. That's why they play," Bowman said two days after the Hawks eliminated the Lightning in the NHL Final.
"So there's always that point -- what is enough for them and that's something I can't answer. That's always an individual thing.
"But we know that all of our guys that are here, that have been here for a long time, they all sacrificed. And they all took less money than they could have, because they wanted to be part of something special.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
... after I read Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Rosenbloom’s piece entitled, “It’s my theory on the Blackhawks trading Brandon Saad, and I’m sticking to it.”
I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman consigned the young, talented, money-hunting winger to one of the NHL’s maximum security prisons.
Rosenbloom’s subject is the blockbuster trade consummated on Tuesday, when the Blackhawks swapped Saad — a 22-year-old burgeoning star — and two prospects to the Blue Jackets for Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round draft pick.
Again, I could be wrong, but Bowman not only changed on the fly when Saad’s side reportedly demanded $6 million a year, but he also seemed to send a message to other players who want to take a hard stance in negotiations. You can collect your jackpot in hockey’s hinterlands.
Such moves aren’t new in the NHL — all sports, actually. Teams have tried to punish players this way for years.
It’s why Buffalo, Winnipeg and Edmonton have existed in the NHL. It’s why Oakland and Jacksonville exist in the NFL. It’s why Sacramento and Philadelphia exist in the NBA. It’s why Cleveland exists, period....
... I was unaware that Chicagoans could be so arrogant.
Rosenbloom is punching down — which can be done, if one so chooses — from the City of Broad Shoulders. I love Columbus, where I have been content to raise a family. So, punch me. It has nothing to do with anything.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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