Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Tim Sassone at the Daily Herald:
According to the blog and comments posted on stories at our Web site, these are the 10 hottest issues on the minds of Hawks fans:
1. Dustin Byfuglien: There are a lot of fans unhappy with the big guy and want to see him packaged in a deal.
There are two problems: One, Byfuglien has two years and $6 million left on a contract general manager Dale Tallon never should have offered last summer. Two, he is a wide body on a team that is somewhat small and needs all the size it can get for the playoffs.
read on for the rest of Chicago’s wish list
from Tim Sassone of Between the Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,
There’s a reason why we haven’t been hearing the Hawks mentioned in trade rumors with the March 4 deadline fast approaching.
It’s because GM Dale Tallon and his staff still aren’t sure they want to mess with the special chemistry in the dressing room, and can you blame them?
The Hawks might be good enough as is to get out of the Western Conference, and anyone that thinks I’ve been drinking too much Canadian beer isn’t paying attention to what’s happening….
If the Hawks need anything, it’s an experienced center who can win faceoffs. Will they go after one? Probably, but it will be on Tallon’s terms.
from Steve Silver of the Las Vegas Sun,
Monday morning at the Orleans Arena was business as usual as the Las Vegas Wranglers and Bakersfield Condors prepared for tonight’s game – until the Chicago Blackhawks strolled in to practice.
Yes, those Chicago Blackhawks, one of the NHL’s “Original Six” franchises and the current fourth-place team in the Western Conference with a 27-13-8 record….
After dropping the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Saturday night, the Blackhawks headed to the Bellagio for their hockey retreat.
The team watched the Super Bowl together on Sunday then practiced at the Orleans Arena Monday prior to boarding a flight to Edmonton for a showdown with the Oilers on Tuesday night.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Maybe, just maybe, Martin Havlat is playing himself back into the Blackhawks’ future.
Havlat, who was the Hawks’ best forward heading into the all-star break, will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and all along it was believed there was no interest on the part of the organization in bringing him back.
The Hawks now are at least considering trying to re-sign Havlat when the time comes, but not at the $6 million he presently earns.
“It would have to be at the right price,” a Hawks official said. “But, yeah, why not consider it?”
conitnued and more Blackhawks talk…
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Like it or not, the 17-day trip is here.
After practicing today in Bensenville, the Blackhawks take off on their longest road trip in eight seasons and the second-longest in the 82-year history of the franchise.
The stretch of eight consecutive road games begins Wednesday in Anaheim, and the Hawks won’t return to the United Center until Feb. 14.
Make sure to catch “Ice and Ivy” All Access: 2009 Winter Classic tonight on the NHL Network. followed by replays from both NBC & CBC of the Winter Classic. The shows will be broadcast in the US and Canada and the progamming begins at 9:00pm ET.
from Tom Fornelli of NBC Chicago,
Nikolai Khabibulin has also played well while minding the net this season, but he’s in the last year of his contract, and the team actually tried to move him before the season. The fact he’s in the final year of his contract will make him more appealing to teams looking for somebody to help them make a playoff push—not to mention the fact he’s already won a Stanley Cup in Tampa—and that means the Hawks can get something they need in return. Whether that would be another scorer or a center—preferably someone whose both—or another enforcer to help protect Patrick Kane, we’d have to wait and see.
Losing Khabibulin wouldn’t be that big of a blow to the team either, as Corey Crawford has played very well for the Hawks AHL affiliate Rockford Icehogs this season, and would be more than capable as a backup.
The point is that while moving Khabibulin would be somewhat risky, with a young team losing a player with a lot of playoff experience, the Hawks really have nothing to lose.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
“It doesn’t matter how we feel out there,” Toews said. “There are going to be tough times during the schedule with little things nagging at you like injuries, fatigue or whatever it is.
“We need to figure out those little excuses don’t matter and we all need to step up and play better in those moments and learn how to play through adversity.
“We know what kind of team we are and showed it in December. We want to keep going down that path and keep getting better. Obviously the way we’ve played the last two games is a setback.”
The Hawks still are fourth in the Western Conference, but it’s a team in a downward trend, particularly offensively.
Quenneville questioned the Hawks’ work ethic in the last little while.
“The mind-set is we have to think of checking,” Quenneville said. “A lot of things are going to be resolved by checking and simple plays and getting opportunities off it.
“I think we’re probably sick and tired of people telling us how good we are instead of how hard we work, and that’s going to get us out of it.”
more on last night’s loss to the Blues…
via Chris Kuc of Icing,
Martin Havlat made one Blackhawks fan very happy during Monday night’s Blackhawks game.
You see, if a Hawks player scores at the 10:00 mark of the second period, an Illinois Lottery promotion awards one lucky fan $1 million.
The winner met Havlat outside the Hawks locker room following the game and looked a bit stunned (go figure) as he thanked the Hawks winger.
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
Just when you think maybe Havlat could be moved, he wins a game like in St. Louis on the kind of play few forwards can make.
If the Hawks do move Havlat, they MUST get a top-six forward in return.
As for Khabibulin, this two-goalie system is the strength of the team and offers great security for the playoffs. Granted, Huet is playing well, but what if he were to get hurt after Khabibulin was traded? Then everything is shot.
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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