Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The Hawks have more than enough scoring to compensate even if Hossa is unable to make the season-opening trip to Finland. But after making all the right moves during the organization’s dizzying ascent from the bottom to the top of the Western Conference, the franchise has left itself open to scrutiny and criticism with decisions made since Hossa inked his record deal.
The failure to send out qualifying offers to restricted free agents before the deadline—resulting in the Hawks paying more than they would have otherwise to re-sign some of their own players—the subsequent ouster of popular general manager Dale Tallon and McDonough’s awkward explanation are reminiscent of the old Hawks.
Now this. If the Hawks knew about Hossa’s injury, isn’t it risky bordering on reckless to sign him to a $62.8 million deal without so much as a physical?
Recent news seems symptomatic of a sense of urgency bordering on desperation that has gripped the franchise since the season-ending loss in Detroit. It’s troubling. When organizations begin to cannibalize themselves, diners can become dinner and the feel-good vibe around a team evaporates.
via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Wings general manager Ken Holland said Marian Hossa did not injure his shoulder during the playoffs as indicated in a story in the Chicago Daily Herald. Holland said Hossa had a slightly torn rotator cuff when the Wings signed him on July 2, 2008, but it wasn’t anything significant.
“He was hurt before he got to us,’’ Holland said. “Our doctors looked at him and we had conversations about whether to have surgery. Our doctors recommended he should have something done at some point but it’s something he can play with.’‘
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,
A source close to the situation confirmed new Hawks winger Marian Hossa has a shoulder or rotator cuff injury.
The severity of the injury is not known, although it is possible Hossa might need surgery, which could put him out of the Hawks lineup until December.
The Hawks are monitoring Hossa while he rehabs the injury, believed to have been suffered during the playoffs.
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Barring a trade for a bruising veteran defenseman—and general manager Stan Bowman could pull one off—things should quiet down for the Blackhawks until training camp starts in September….
The Hawks are stronger up front after acquiring forward Marian Hossa.
They’re more experienced and better defensively after acquiring forwards John Madden and Tomas Kopecky.
Their goalie quandary is resolved with Cristobal Huet as the main man.
Though they lost four players in free agency, the Hawks were able to bring back the young core that did so well last season. The team and its fan base seem to have moved on after the somewhat unexpected change at general manager last week, and Martin Havlat’s verbal swipes at the front office were taken for what they were by his former teammates—the frustration of a spurned player. No big deal.
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The most interesting reaction during the opening night of the Blackhawks Convention came from the fans who overflowed the Hilton Chicago grand ballroom for the opening ceremonies Friday.
They greeted president John McDonough with a chorus of boos, a sure indication the club’s most loyal supporters didn’t like the firing of general manager Dale Tallon. McDonough figures to take some more heat today when he’s part of a question-and-answer session with the fans….
(Stan) Bowman received only lukewarm applause Friday, and coach Joel Quenneville and the players were reluctant to discuss the incident.
‘‘It’s a tough business we’re in,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘A lot of coaches have been let go in the last few years, and we’re seeing more managers changed. It’s a negative part of our business, but Dale will still be around, and this gives Stan an opportunity. He’s really looking forward to it. We’ll move on and look forward to getting better.’‘
The Blackhawks welcome Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
By asking a question of ousted Chicago Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon in today’s press conference I felt as if I was participating in more torture of a good man.
Probably every writer on the call, and presumably Tallon himself, believes he was unfairly relieved of duty on Tuesday when he was re-assigned to an advisor’s role. For the past 24 hours, the buzz around the league has been predominantly pro-Tallon.
Perhaps Tallon could have been a better communicator, and certainly he should have had his paperwork together on his restricted agents. But neither of those are offenses that should carry the penalty of dismissal, particularly in light of the fact that Tallon has pieced together the most exciting team that Blackhawks have had in many, many years.
added 6:39pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Tallon characterized his conversation with McDonough as “cordial” and noted: “He wanted to take the team in a different direction and I was fine with it. Though my position has changed, my goal has not – all I want to do is help win the Stanley Cup; and I can continue to do that for the next three years. That brings me up to 2012.
“The discussion was cordial, businesslike and we agreed this was best for the franchise.”
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,
It was a bizarre day on Madison Street, with Stan Bowman, son of Hawks’ pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain senior adviser Scotty Bowman, being elevated from assistant general manager to general manager. Tallon was dropped from GM to senior adviser.
And then there was Hawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz weighing in on what Stan Bowman brings to the job that Tallon couldn’t.
“He’s 36, Dale’s 58,” Wirtz said. “We always want younger people, so what he brings is a system in place to get better. It’s nothing that Dale was doing, but also Dale’s at the tail end of his business career. I’m at the tail end. I’m 56. I want my son and cousins to do better than I am. I have a son who’s 32. I hope they are constantly pushing me.
“We constantly want to bring younger people up in the organization. We don’t want a bunch of players that are 42 years of age on the ice. There’s a reason for that.”
Paging Dale Tallon: Your attorney is on line 2 talking excitedly about an age-discrimination suit.
added 10:14am, from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sentiment - bordering on outrage - best describes how many NHL people responded to the news of Dale Tallon’s dismissal as general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks.
However, anyone shocked by this move by team president John McDonough didn’t pay attention to the constant speculation of Tallon’s demise at varying points of the season.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In life, even in the mixed-up world of professional sport, the assumption is usually that good work will protect you. Provided you produce the necessary results, personality conflicts or internal politics or the fact that you were associated with a previous regime should not be held against you.
Presumably, that’s what Dale Tallon thought, too. Up until Tuesday when he was unceremoniously kicked upstairs, Tallon was the fourth-year general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the brightest and best teams – and stories – in the NHL last season.
added 1:13pm, from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
I’ll talk more specifically about trades in a blog Wednesday before the NHL schedule is released, but the Blackhawks are in deep trouble when it comes to the salary cap. They’re almost $3 million over now and next year they’re at $42-plus million on a cap that will surely come down from $56.8 million. And, they have to sign Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith next summer. What if Toews and Kane want Malkin-Crosby-like second contracts?
If they do, one (Kane) would likely have to be traded.
Stan Bowman, son of Hall-of-Fame Coach Scotty Bowman, talks about the path he has chosen in his hockey career.
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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