Bowman, Hawks should be united in seeking center

Stan Bowman will attend his first NHL general managers meeting this week in Toronto as the Blackhawks’ GM. The groundwork for trades often is created at the meeting, but after the Hawks went 8-4-1 in October, it didn’t seem Bowman would be very interested in tweaking his roster.But after two road losses in November, during which the Hawks will play eight road games, things might be different. The Hawks have a potential problem that won’t be fixed by waiting for center Jonathan Toews and wingers Ben Eager and Marian Hossa to return from injuries.

Dave Bolland, the second-line center who helps the club in many ways, has a nagging back problem that is being closely watched. Last year, Bolland’s first full season in the NHL, it hardly was noticeable; he played in 81 regular-season games and all 17 playoff games.

Then something happened. Coach Joel Quenneville said there was ”no defining blow,” but Bolland’s back wasn’t right before training camp started. The club even kept him out of a golf outing a week before camp.

Bolland was off the ice for much of camp. On Oct. 8, he was held out of a game at Detroit, and Quenneville has given Bolland frequent days off from practice. He still had to miss the 4-3 shootout loss Friday at Colorado.,CST-SPT-ziehm08.article

13 Responses to Bowman, Hawks should be united in seeking center

  1. broc says:


    Brian Campbell (7 year cap hit $7.14 million)
    Patrick Sharp (4 year cap hit $3.9 million)
    choice of Byfuglien, Versteeg, Brouwer, Ladd


    Tomas Kaberle (2 year $4.25 million cap hit)
    Vesa Toskala ($4 million cap hit, UFA after this season)
    Matt Stajan ($1.75 mil cap hit, UFA after this season)

    To balance salaries a bit,
    * choice of Byfuglien, Versteeg, Brouwer, Ladd to Leafs
    * choice of Finger, Exelby, Stempniak, Mayers, Primeau to Hawks

    – Free of Campbell's long term 7+ mil salary, this opens up the door for Chicago to sign Kane and Toews long term. If Chicago thinks it's too big a loss giving Sharp, they can plug the hole this season by taking Stempniak, Primeau, Mayers, etc. maybe even Ponikarovsky.

    – Bigger yet, Burke gets his next Leafs captain in Patrick Sharp. Both Sharp and Campbell are Ontario boys, so this pleases Leafs Nation. Maybe Campbell is an assistant Cpt too eventually, who knows.

    – Burke adopts the long Campbell contract, and gives Kaberle's great contract, but adds significant depth to the struggling Leafs forward corps with Sharp and a guy like Byfuglien/Versteeg/Brouwer/Ladd…

    Makes sense to me anyway. Thoughts? 

  2. reinjosh says:

    no thank you
    Kaberle is a player we need to keep. Campbell doesnt really fill his loss fully and Kaberle brings leaf loyalty to the team, something that cannot be overlooked.
    Its not worth it at all
    We could get a player like Byfuglien, Versteeg, Ladd or Brouwer in the offseason in Armstong, Bourque or Artyukhin (or other but i dont really want to find more)
    and Sharp is not as easy replaced but if Bozak continues to develop he could take over the second line, Stajan the Third and Kadri the first with us heavily targeting Savard, Marleau or Kovy
    I am now completely against trade Kaberle unless we get a good young defenseman and a good young forward in return
    no big time salaries for players that dont deserve it being returned
    we need to preserve that cap space

  3. honestabe says:

    What exactly does chicago get from this trade?  Other than screwed.  Why would Chicago want TosKala?  If you're gonna make up fictional trades to get rid of Toskala, maybe find a team that actually needs a starting goaltender.  Chicago already has Huet who is a competent starter and their not gonna pay $4M for a backup. 
    I don't really think that Toronto has anything that chicago would want, who would help their team. 

    But it was good for a laugh

  4. DannyLeafs says:

    Chicago would take this deal in a heart beat. It's Toronto that is seriously losing out here.

    Chicago has 4 top pairing defensemen and they have the least valuable of them locked up to a monster contract that pays him much more than he is worth. Each of Keith, Seabrook and Barker are younger, and have much higher potential than Campbell, in fact both Keith and Seabrook are already far superior defensemen. Each year for the next three years, one of these three have to be signed at seasons end and can expect a decent pay raise. The fact of the matter is that one of Keith, Barker and Seabrook are going to become available simply because Chicago can't afford to keep them all. In all liklihood it will be Seabrook that gets moved, simply because it would save them the most cap space in the short run, and he has to be signed at the end of next season while Chicago gets to keep Barker at a reasonable cap hit for the next two seasons.

    The same can be said of Chicago's forwards. They currently have 5 wingers on their roster that will be at a cap hit of 3 million or over (Hossa, Kane, Versteeg, Byfuglien, and Sharp) so one of these players will fall out of the top six and is also likely to be moved. Obviously it won't be Hossa or Kane, so its a decision for the other three. To me I think they could be intersted in moving sharp simply because it saves the most cap space, and they would likely get the biggest return for him.

    Chicago has mismanaged their payroll and it is currently keeping a team that could be a dynasty from being as dominant as they can be right now. There is no way in the world that a team would take on Campbell's ridiculous salary and bail Chicago out of the mess they are in. I could see taking on Huet's salary, but that wouldn't fix all of Chicago's problems and it only makes sense if you can swing a deal that gets you at least two of their good players in return.

    Chicago is a team that is going to be a force unless management makes another incredibly stupid move. They are best off realizing the mess they are in, and waiting until the off season and moving the players they decide to move and getting as many draft picks and prospects as they can. Over the next two years they will still be a strong team and when Huet's contract is up, they will have the cap space needed to sign a solid goalie, and the picks and prospects needed to trade for one in the event one isn't available.

    If Toronto did make a deal with Chicago I believe these are more likely and reasonable scenarios:

    (During Season)

    To TOR:

    To CHI:
    F- Ponikarovsky
    4th Rd draft pick or mediocre prospect

    This alleviates some of Chicago's cap pressure, while leaving their team just as strong as it was before hand and giving them a little more depth in the organization. It would be reasonable if Toronto gave up as much as a 2nd round pick, or a 4th and mediocre prospect, but the idea is to cash in on Kaberle's current production to get a bit of a better deal. I think Kaberle would be great to hold onto, but I think Burke has other ideas, as it seems to be the only logical reason he wasn't made captain of the team.

    (during the offseason)

    To Tor:

    To Chicago:
    2nd round draft pick

    Again, this alleviates cap space while leaving Chicago just as strong on D and adds organizational depth. There could be another late pick thrown in, and the level of the prospect very much depends on how well Kaberle plays for the duration of the season.

  5. honestabe says:

    I don't doubt chicago would be willing to part with Campbell if only because of his contract.  ouch….  But keep in mind they are not that deep at D.
    I seriously doubt they would be willing to part with Sharp.  Especially with Boland going down for a long time.  He's their top goal scorer and second on the team in points, and a fairly reasonable contract at $3.9M.  Seriously, if YOU were to trade away Patrick Sharp, I'm pretty sure you would want something pretty good in return.  Poni doesn't fall into that category.
    There is NO WAY, NO HOW, they will trade Seabrook!!!!.    That is unless the offer comming back is SOOOOO good they can't say no.  And to be perfectly honest the leafs don't really have anything that would fall into the category.  Kaberle?  not even straight up would Chicago make that deal.   For Schenn?  Nope, doesn't make sense from either perspective. 
    Now,lets talk about what they would want in return from the leafs.    Again, I repeat, why would they want toskala and his salary when they already have Huet?  As a backup?  no way, not for his salary….
    The only thing the leafs have that chicago might want is Kaberle, but they are not going to shake up the team to get him.  Definately, no way, no chance, not in a million years would they offer seabrook and sharp.  Maybe they would offer Campbell and a draft pick for kaberle, but Burke wouldn't take that one because Cambell doesn't really fit with the leafs plans.

  6. dumbassdoorman says:

    Ok first and foremost the take Toskala because they have to take salary back this season, he is UFA at the end. Second teams needing to rid themselves of bad contracts pay to do so, ie. NJ sending a 1ST with Malakov to SJ for future considerations. Next don't play this Kabele is nowhere worth Seabrook card. Kabby is an ALL STAR period! When did Seabrook make the all star list? Oh wait NEVER. Lastly and again teams HAVE to over paying to get rid of these types of contracts. So I would say at the exspence of not losing his job Bowman will be forced to make a bad deal with somebody, or he is going to lose a good RFA for nothing!

  7. broc says:

    Chicago gets rid of the worst contract in the NHL, that's what they get. Who else is going to trade for a 7 year 7.14 mil dollar cap hit? Good luck with that.

    You have fun watching the Hawks have trouble keeping their team together the next 2 yeasr because no one wants to take Campbell's huge and long cap hit.

    You're ignorant if you can't see that Chicago taking Toskala back is for salary cap purposes. You think someone's going to just take Campbells salary, free and clear? That's what's good for a laugh. You don't just trade talent for talent, you have to trade contracts too. If Chicago DOES manage to trade Campbell to someone else, you can bet Chicago will be taking salary back. At least Toskala is UFA after this season, so that's why it wasn't bad. And call me crazy, but not many Hawks fans have considered Huet the stable goaltender you're trying to make him sound like. They would've kept Khabibulin if they could, but surpirse! Another contract in Huet they basically have to keep.

    Anyway, should be fun watching the Hawks sign Toews, Kane, and then have little room for their remaining free agents like Keith, and have to trade them away.

  8. honestabe says:

    No doubt its a dog of a contract, but if you want to talk about the worst contracts in the league.  Lets not forget to talk about Gomez, Drury, and of course Finger. Ah hahahahaha   That one just kills me….

  9. DannyLeafs says:

    Chicago is going to end up giving up better players than they take in any deal they make. They can't move any of their bad contracts, so their good contracts are the ones they will have to move. As of right now they have 43 million committed to salaries for next season, and they need to sign Kane, Toews and Keith, as well as 2 defensemen a back up goalie, and pretty much two full lines of forwards. Since Chicago has to make moves to alleviate salary, and every GM in the league knows it, no one is going to be knocking down their door to give fair value for any of these players. Chicago is under pressure to make some deals, so a deal where they get to recoup some prospects or picks, and keep their team at relatively the same strength is likely the type of deal they are going to make.

    Also, I didn't say they were deep on defense. They don't have a ton of NHL Caliber defensemen, but they do have 4 guys that will be getting paid top pairing salaries in the next few years, and not all of them will be with Chicago. Chicago's problem is they tried to jump the gun a little with their organization and signed veteran players to long contracts when they just should have let the team improve naturally.

    Finally, this deal doesn't make Chicago much weaker in the meantime. The fact is when Hossa joins the team, he pretty much fills exactly the role that Sharp does. He is a goal scoring two way winger and Sharp is likely to move down the depth chart on the team because of it. Also, Ponikarovsky, beleive it or not, their production this year is likely to be fairly similar. I am not saying Ponikarovsky is as good as Sharp, but if Sharp is playing a smaller role, the difference won't be as noticable. And as far as Kaberle and Seabrook go, I believe that right now, Kaberle is still a better defensmen, and his experience and poise make him a good asset to get in return, especially for a team that wants to win right now. Finally, by adding some good prospects and clearing cap space, Chicago gets pretty much as much as they can hope for in this deal. This deal can easily get done by giving up Barker instead of Seabrook, but honestly I believe Chicago plans revolve more around keeping Barker, as he doesn't have to be signed until after Huet's contact expires. As you can see the timing is what makes it difficult for Chicago to get fair value for their players. I am not saying they aren't giving up more than they are gaining in terms of player to player comparison, but given the cir*****stances, they aren't doing so badly.

  10. DannyLeafs says:

    While Finger's contract may kill you, I can guarantee you that Chicago would trade Campbell and a late draft pick for Finger in a heartbeat.

  11. DannyLeafs says:

    Thinking purely from Chicago's perspective, the best course of action for them is to make a trade that can both alleviate some cap space for them in the coming years, while making their team stronger right now in order to have a real chance at winning the cup. Personally, I think a good scenario for this would be to deal with the Islanders.

    To NYI:
    F-Kris Versteeg
    F-Troy Brouwer

    To CHI:
    F-Doug Weight
    G-Martin Biron
    2nd RD draft pick

    Chicago gets a solid veteran centre to fill in while Bolland recovers from injury, and when he does return, Weight can play the wing to offset the offense lost in giving up Versteeg. Biron is brought in to solidify the goaltending situation, and the draft pick allows them to restock the prospect pool. They have the added benefit of saving about 4.1 million in cap space for next season, while this doesn't mean they will be able to keep all the players they would like, it does allow them a little more flexability, and they can wait until the offseason and use the players to make a legitimate cup run.

    The Islanders basically only give up a second round draft pick and acquire a young top six forward, and a young gritty checking line winger. The Islanders are no where near as bad as most people expected they would be so trading a 2nd round draft picks (likely that is about what they would have gotten for Biron in a deal with another team) for players that can play now, can really speed up the rebuilding process.

  12. broc says:

    Also, Fingers contract isn't going to mean Toronto has to get rid of players. He's overpaid no doubt, but his length is only 2 years after this season, and the cap hit is manageable.

    After they sign Toews, Kane… and still have Hossa and Campbell on contract… the Hawks are going to have to start trading guys they'd prefer to keep. Keeping Campbell means not keeping a few other guys.

  13. DannyLeafs says:

    Not to mention that Campbell's contract contains a NMC so his salary is on the books of any NHL team he plays for. Finger's contract doesn't meaning that if it ever came down to absolutely needing the cap space he can be waived and buried in the minors freeing up cap space.

Leave a Reply