Stan Mikita feeling good in spite of cancer battle [Brian Hedger, NHL.com]
Mikita meets his doctors in ten days to find out where he’s at with his Stage 1 oral cancer.
“I’m looking for very favorable comments from him (the doctor),” Mikita told Hedger. “The treatments went well. It wasn’t really bad for me. It’s been coming along real well.”
–More from Hedger’s Blackhawks’ notebook – Stuff on Marian Hossa’s math, Patrick Kane’s on-time wrist recovery and David Bolland loving Daniel Carcillo.
Video of Mikita speaking to media at Monday’s Blackhawks Alumni golf event at Medinah Country Club. [CSN Chicago] Comments from an antsy Bolland and Stan Bowman as well in that clip.
–Assistant general manager Marc Bergevin in an interview on a Toronto radio station Monday, talked about this summer’s roster shakeup, the addition of what Bergevin termed, “personality” to the team’s core roster.
“We felt we are skilled enough to get us into the playoffs. We just need the character to get us through the playoffs,” Bergevin explained.
“And that’s what we had when we did win. Then we lost guys like Ladd, Byfuglien, and Versteeg and Sopel. Guys who were warriors, that did the little things to make the other team accountable. They made the other team realize ‘this is going to be a battle tonight.’ That’s what it takes to win a Stanley Cup.
“You can’t win with twelve skilled forwards and six skilled defensemen, because there is dirty work that needs to be done and there are only certain players that are willing to do that.” he concluded.
—Bob Verdi caught up with new IceHogs bench boss Ted Dent to discuss the job interview, his plans and teaching young pros.
Dent knows his task, and it’s a bit complex.
“We want to continue a winning atmosphere in Rockford, of course,” he tells IceHogs.com. “But our primary responsibility is to teach and prepare these kids so they will be in the NHL within two or three years.”
Huh, seems I’m always told when a kid isn’t ready after a year, ‘he’s a bum’. I know I’ve read that somewhere.
–One of the Blackhawks newest hires is Jim McKellar, who joins the organization from the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights. McKellar was the Knights’ assistant general manager (under Dale and Mark Hunter) for the past ten years. McKellar joins the Blackhawks amateur scouting staff. He replaces the departed Tim Keon, who’d been in that position since 2006.
–Former Blackhawk Duane Sutter has been hired by the Oilers as a pro scout. [Edmonton Journal] Duane had worked for Calgary since 2003. He left the Flames this summer in shuffling done by new general manager Jay Feaster. More on Duane here [Edmonton Sun]
–The seven Blackhawks in Lugano this week will meet the Swiss media on Wednesday afternoon. It’s apparently the only day Hawks players will be made available. Perhaps we’ll get some insight then on how or why some of these players were chosen in particular. In case you missed it, the seven are Niklas Hjalmarsson, Viktor Stalberg, John Scott, Marcus Kruger, Dylan Olsen, Jeremy Morin and Jimmy Jam Hayes. Hayes’ inclusion here tells you all you need to know about where Kyle Beach stands with the organization right now. Blackhawks wrap up there on Sunday and head home.
Alexei Yashin arrives as Barry Smith’s guest today. Yashin will train with the Lugano and Blackhawks as well this week. The 37-year old is currently without a team in Russia. I guess you can never say ‘never’, but I don’t think one has any to do with the other. Yashin did play with Hossa two years in Ottawa (it would’ve been three if Yashin didn’t refuse to report in 99-00) but he hasn’t played NHL hockey in four years and he’ll be 38 a month into this season. Yashin played for Smith in St. Petersburg two years ago before Smith quit and took a job scouting for the Blackhawks. Barry Smith accepted Lugano’s head coaching position this summer.
—Edmonton Journal is reporting Fernando Pisani could take an NHL offer this week. Ex-Hawk blue liner (he also took shifts at wing to stay in the lineup) Jason Strudwick sounds like he’s prepared for retirement if he doesn’t get an offer soon.
—Full “Legends” lineup for EA Sports NHL 12 is out. Jeremy Roenick and Chris Chelios are two of the nine. Others are Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, Ray Bourque, Steve Yzerman, Borje Salming and Patrick Roy. The game officially hits stores September 13. Steven Stamkos graces the cover in North America. Jonas Hiller is the cover boy in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
EA Sports competitor 2K Sports will completely bench its NHL game this year after limiting 2K11 to the Wii. Last year 2K said it was taking “a year off” with its NHL product after a year of unflattering reviews and poor sales. Ironically 2K Sports basketball game does so well that EA Sports stopped producing its NBA Elite title, now promising a return next fall.
–Jesse Rogers says the Hawks have dropped the 3rd sweater for this season [ESPNChgo]. His info on Makarov is slightly misled. Obviously in the end he wanted to go home. Makarov wasn’t the only top prospect in Rockford last season who struggled with being told he wasn’t NHL ready. Makarov came around though and worked on his English. Vishnevskiy wasn’t the greatest influence either. Two years ago another recently departed first round pick was a considerable pouter after getting sent back to Rockford
–The team Justin Hodgman signed with in Finland is the Lahti Pelicans.
— Brent Sopel has a new teammate – former New Jersey Devil, Sergei Brylin. The 37-year old played the past three seasons in St. Petersburg since leaving the Devils. The stats say Brylin is hanging on borrowed time. In his last 255 games dating back to his final NHL season, Brylin has just 31 goals and 80 total points in 255 games. Perhaps SKA’s signing of Igor Makarov was the move that pushed Brylin out? Brylin won three Stanley Cups with the Devils, the only NHL team he skated for.
–A Czech news outlet reported David Koci turned down a 2-way deal to stay with the Avalanche organization. I could be wrong on the name but I believe Adrian Dater reported that as well some time back. You’ve got to believe this is the end of the line for Koci as far as the NHL goes. The Praha native was smart to turn down the 2-way contract though. Koci should be able to get a contract in Europe for more than what he’d make in the minors here.
–News of Ethan Moreau passing his mandatory post-trade physical was somewhat of a headline yesterday in LA and Edmonton in lieu of the ongoing Colin Fraser ankle fracture saga. Last season in Columbus, Moreau was limited due to a broken right hand and rib injury. Moreau signed a one-year $600,000 contract according to the team’s web site.
—Kent Simpson has a new goalie coach in Everett this year [Daily Townsman]
–13-year veteran Dave Scatchard announced his retirement on Twitter Monday. He explained his doctors advised him it wouldn’t be wise to continue his career due to the effects of multiple concussions.
–One-time Blackhawk Bryan Berard will be part of the upcoming season of CBC’s Battle of the Blades. The show’s 3rd season debuts September 18th in Canada. Berard is retired now and lives in Manhattan.
–2000 Blackhawks 3rd round draft pick Igor Radulov turns 29 today. Radulov managed 9 goals in 43 games over two seasons in Chicago. He scored 2 in 29 games (3 pts) in the KHL last year. He’ll play for Salavat Yulaev Ufa this season.
–Chicago’s failed bid for the 2016 Olympics cost the city an estimated $48M [ESPN]
–There’s a major point some are missing on the Chris Campoli negotiations. The general consensus seems to be Campoli, or his agent, screwed themselves by over-estimating his worth in talks with the Hawks.
I should probably not do these write ups at 4 in the morning but I thought I had it clear Bowman made the right decision in choosing Montador over Campoli if that is what this came down to. And it’s no doubt that’s the case because Bowman’s not about to slot his third pair in at a combined five to five and half million.
Our podcast listeners know I was never a big fan of Campoli’s work. As I pointed out Sunday morning, he’s a nice depth guy, nothing more. And I beat the drum for Montador from last November on. He got signed here for a half million too much (on the cap), but this is what happens in free agency. Excluding Montador, if I were Stan and Campoli’s agent were asking for $3M per on 2-3 year team, I’d tell him where to go too. But that’s really just part of this issue.
The trouble with the presumption that Campoli is greedy, or his agent is an ‘idiot,’ is if he really was asking for money in the neighborhood of $3M per, exactly how dumb are Campoli or his agent when an arbiter awarded him $2.5M?
Let’s do this. Say Bowman really did like Campoli as much as he said he did. But let’s just say, taking a wild guess, Bowman saw Campoli’s value as $1.5M.
If Stan truly believes this; that $1.5M is a true and accurate assessment of Campoli, and the Hawks really wanted to retain him even after acquiring Montador, why not just go to arbitration and argue it then? If Bowman’s right and he really wants Campoli, what does he have to lose?
If Campoli’s asking price is truly so ridiculous, arbitration should be an open and shut Bowman victory. If Bowman can present a case, as is his judgment, that Campoli is a $1.5M per year d-man, then just take that to an arbiter and win the damn case.
That’s the problem with this general consensus though. Stan knew what he was asking Campoli to sign for was well below what Campoli could get, or what the market would bear. The Hawks wanted Campoli to sign for something below (who knows how far, but lower) than his actual market value. By forgoing the hearing, it proves they had no intention of discussing fair market with Campoli.
For what its worth, the trouble Campoli seems to be having now is in the variances of offers he’s receiving. As noted the other day, team’s have tighter budgets today than they did seven weeks ago. Campoli won’t get $2.5 just as Antti Niemi had to settle for less than $2.75 in San Jose last summer. If you’re not a top three defenseman, multi-year offers are not out there.
I had a conversation with an agency rep Monday. With no knowledge of the negotiations, he argued that considering the process in place for RFA’s, Stan did right by Campoli as well as can be expected of a GM. That’s fair if you assume Montador was a surprise. Stan still had every right to hang onto Campoli’s rights and proceed as he saw fit. After all, he could have made Campoli wait for his originally arbitration hearing, August 3. True, as we’ve seen though, by July 21st the damage was done.
Even if its hindsight, I think most recognize by now Bowman pretty much knew the day he signed Montador that Campoli was a goner. If Stan has a self-imposed ‘cap’ on his blue line, he’s already over-paying Montador, so he can’t shell out another $2.5 – 2.75M to another defenseman, no matter who he is. And if Campoli was seeking multiple years, with Leddy and Olsen in the immediate pipeline, he was writing his own ticket out anyhow. Bowman could try arbitration, hope Campoli discounts his market value or peddle the rights. At that point Campoli is fool’s treasure though. The time to trade him was around the draft, not after he gets his qualifying offer, guaranteeing an arbitration filing.
If you go on message boards, Campoli is supposedly the idiot, or greedy bastard for wanting too much money. That’s completely missing the obvious. Bowman wanted Campoli to sign for less than market. You know, because being a Blackhawk is more valuable than money. Why should a player accept that? He’s basically told ‘take a lot less than what you’re worth’ (which an arbiter says is $2.5M) ‘or you get nothing.’ So, because he’s still under the Hawks watch and the process is what it is, Campoli and his agent trench their heels for what they assume will be tough arbitration case. Weeks go by. The Hawks stop short. Campoli is now in no man’s land. Basically the Hawks make the statement that if you’re not willing to do business their way, they won’t do business.
–Podcast returns next week.