Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Vince Maranto on 07/25/11 at 08:24 PM ET
Meet Vince Maranto, our Chicago Blackhawks blogger.
Vince is near my age and if he is not attending a Blackhawks game, he is watching it live or using a dvr to catch-up on what he missed.
I am sure he has witnessed both the good and the bad the Blackhawks have had to offer.
Enjoy his writings and word of warning Detroit fans, don’t heckle him.
I spent one summer helping a buddy of mine get his landscaping service started. When it came to the trimming and cutting of trees and shrubbery, he had a very simple approach, “It doesn’t have to look better, it just has to look different”,. As the off season moves for the Blackhawks seem to be about over, I am wondering if Stan Bowman has taken the same approach.
As for the trimming, dumping the $7 million contract of Brian Campbell wasn’t really much of a surprise. (The only REAL surprise was that he had a taker. Dale Tallon, who gave him the ridiculous contract in the first place, Two wrongs making a right??). I assumed freeing up this money was a move to be able to extend the contract (1 year left) of Patrick Sharp. Although this hasn’t been done as of this writing yet, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Letting Troy Brouwer go, who led the team in hits, came as a surprise to me. He wasn’t really much of a “Cap” factor, and the big knock on the Hawks last season was their lack of a physical presence. Tomas Kopecky being let go wasn’t much of a surprise. He was virtually non existent at the end of the season and playoffs, rarely even dressing for games. Defense man Jordan Henry (out towards the end of the season with knee surgery) appears to be moving on also. Late season acquisition Chris Campoli, who I thought came in and immediately fit in, will not return. His style of defense, pinching in offensively, reminded me of Campbell. A less expensive version, for 2012, I wrongly assumed. Marty Turco and his 1 year &1.8 million dollar deal are gone, no shock there. The replacement for Cup winner Anti Niemi rarely played after the emergence of Corey Crawford. More on Corey in a moment.
Now let’s look at resignings. I could not believe that Viktor Stalberg was resigned. Although he possess great speed, his late season and playoff blunders, combined with his lack of offense, made him a sure goner Obviously,.Corey Crawford being handed the number one Goalie spot was a no brainer, earning him a new deal and shoring up the net minder for several seasons.. Michale Frolik, former first round pick, was a good signing, after performing well since coming to the team.
And now for the new guys. The signing of Dan Carcillo still intrigues me. My first thought was, well at least it wasn’t Pronger. We’ll se if the fans react to the addition of Carcillo, the same way the Bulls fans of the late ‘90’s did when Dennis Rodman was added.(He’s OK, as long as he’s on YOUR team).I am also reminded of a quote White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen once said about A.J. Pierzynski, “When he’s on the other team you hate him. When he’s on your team, you hate him a little less.” I do not know a lot about the rest of the players signed, They’re ages (late 30’s) will hopefully add a veteran presence. Also, several of them have played for Coach Q in the past, knowing what the coach expects.
Heading into this season, the Hawks are definitely a little different. Better? Only time will tell..
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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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org