HOCKEE NIGHT

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OFF SEASON RUMINATIONS: Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer

Archie Andrews, from a more innocent time

Archie Andrews, from a more innocent time

Stuff is starting to happen in Blackhawk-land. Prospect Camp is winding down, the Blackhawks Convention is this weekend, and Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews had their presser to announce their new contracts.

Let’s get to this…

PROSPECT CAMP

Not much to see here. Every writer had the same quotes and stories from Teuvo Teravainen and Stephen Johns. As Fels noted over at The Committed Indian yesterday, and I presume you all read, there really are’t any jobs up for grabs at the NHL or AHL levels, at least not Stan Bowman does whatever it is he’s going to do to get the Hawks under the salary cap. Since I mentioned it…

TRADE WATCH

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen or heard the rumors of the Hawks getting less handsome while either Florida or Montreal get more so. Sure, Patrick Sharp seems like the logical choice to move. He’s coming off a great season, so he could actually bring something decent in return. Plus, he gives the Hawks all the cap relief they need. Not to mention, they currently have 4 left wings (Sharp, Brandon Saad, Bryan Bickell and Jeremy Morin) and only three slots, assuming QStache wants his requesite Flintstone in the 4LW spot. Hello, MANSHITTER.

So maybe they shop Bick too? I would think Stan’s listening, but Bickell has found his game the past couple years, crashing the net and picking up loose change. Nobody else on the Hawks currently does that. Of course, this time next year Mark McNeill might fill that role, but they still have to play this season first.

Sure, it would be swell to jettison Kris Versteeg and Michal Roszival. Those are two guys who won’t decide whether or not the Hawks are Cup contenders or not. Roszival has more value to a team looking for a right-handed defenseman with some offensive ability, and Detroit GM Donald Holland looks like the horny guy at closing time trying to land exactly that. The lights have come on, there’s nothing else to drink, and suddenly Mike Green doesn’t seem like a bad idea. So there’s a market for him. There’s also Johnny Oduya, who is a better version of Roszival. He also has a great deal of value to the Hawks, so Stan would have to see something really nice come back.

Versteeg is a tougher sell. We all saw how brutal he looked as the season wore on, particularly in the playoffs. And if we swaw it, every scout on every team swaw it as well.

Of course, we’re not hearing Stan’s phone calls. Every team in the NHL knows the Hawks are over a barrel, and nobody’s going to go out of their way to make Stan’s life any easier. So when the trade finally happens, don’t suddenly be stunned if the Hawks get less than you expect. They painted themselves into this corner.

CONVENTION TIME! HURRAY!

This weekend marks yet another lovefest, and another three-day stroking of Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough’s egos, which are one and the same. As always, the Hawks will try to keep the “happy talk only” policy in place. But you know all the players I listed up there in the trade segment? They will all be there. And you have to believe they’er getting pretty damn tired of thinking about where they are playing next season. Not to mention, the team is over cap now, and it going to have cap issues next summer as well. Plus, you have to believe at some point somebody will ask about Frank Pellico playing “The Sttripper” every damn night. One of these years, all the best efforts of the Hawks’ front office won’t be able to keep a lid on the discontent that exists.

Let’s see how it plays out.

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