Jul 062012

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio returned Thursday night with Al Cimaglia [@AlCimaglia on Twitter] joining in to help us break down the Blackhawks eventful, yet unproductive first week of free agency.

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Among the topics hit on this week’s program…..

-McDonough & Co. show insecurity over losing bids on Parise & Suter
-Why did they want Parise and Suter?
-The pursuit of Martin Brodeur
-Blackhawks bid to become the Miami Heat of the NHL
-What is the plan, Stan?
-How can the Hawks still improve the roster before camp?
-Odds they still can
-Potential trading partners and realistic targets
-The costs?
-What about the goaltending?
-Roberto Luongo
-Sheldon Brookbank
-The Penalty Kill
-Could RFA’s Sam Gagner, Evander Kane be on the move?
-Which Western Conference star would be a perfect 2nd line center
-The Blackhawks and Russians
-Martin St. Pierre signs with Rockford
-A review of the Blackhawks selections at the NHL Entry Draft
-Prospect camp next week
-The heat. The heat! And polyester.
-Meeting a man with a very unfortunate name
-Can I play with your poodle?
-And much, much more


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  7 Responses to “PuckChatter~Radio, e.111, Al Cimaglia joins us to talk Blackhawks, free agency and where they go from here”

  1. Hockey Prospectus ranks the Hawks’s minor league players at #6. They note the lack of defensive prospects, which I thought would land them in the middle of the league…which leads me to think its highly curious of trading a d to get another forward. Who moves up, Stantion…Lavin.

    Thoughts on the minor league D and where the impact is going to come from? Hawks need at least 2 guys to step up when that Brookbank contract is up.

    • Joe Lavin has a bigger upside than Ryan Stanton, in my view. He’s probably a half season away from taking Brookbank’s minutes as a 6/7 guy. But it would make more sense to allow Lavin another full year in Rockford. And if Hjalmarsson stays for one final season in a Hawks uniform, its highly likely that it’ll be Lavin who takes his spot in 2013-14. Stanton is a solid defensive dman. His upside offensively is limited though. And Lavin is exactly the type of defenseman the Blackhawks like, and the league is moving towards. He’s a natural leader and smart in his own end. Good skater who makes accurate, intelligent first passes moving out of his own end. Battles shift to shift. He was probably the single-most improved IceHog from the beginning of the season until the end.

      As far as being concerned with moving a dman, don’t forget Dylan Olsen is still a top prospect. I think he’ll start in Rockford this season and be ready for the NHL full-time by Christmas. I sense Adam Clendening needs a full year at least in Rockford to hone his game moving backwards.

      I think Stanton can give you some minutes in the NHL, but Olsen and Lavin will be NHLers for sure.

  2. Great analysis Chris. Are the hogs full now on the back end or do you think they will sign a veteran like fahey or oystrick ?

    • They will. Oystrick is an interesting name. I think Fahey would prefer the spot Nolan Baumgartner just gave up as the veteran blueliner on the Chicago Wolves. But if he doesn’t get that its possible he’d re-sign with Rockford. The Wolves are simply his first choice for obvious reasons; familiarity and proximity from his family in Glenview being the primary ones. The Blackhawks will definitely will look for a veteran to provide stability in Rockford (though it’ll probably have to come via AHL contract which could drag it out). Its an important role (veteran AHL defenseman). Things happen on the parent club’s roster and kids go up and down all year. Whether it was Fahey (Brian or Jim), Cullimore, Exelby or Richard Petiot – those types of guys can be the glue that keeps a backend unit together during a long season.

  3. By the way…

    I should make a bigger deal of this, but checking the BTR stats, this show was our second-most downloaded show in history.

    Also, TTMI/PuckChatter~Radio is now the 2nd most popular hockey show on Blog Talk Radio.

    Its pretty incredible, and humbling to have such a loyal base audience that has stuck with us. We don’t advertise, pimp or spam our show. We just do it. And even when we disappear for awhile our listeners don’t seem to forget about us.

    I just wanted to say Thanks to everyone who listens.

  4. Chris, keep up the good work. As you discuss the recent prospects camp and the sudden bowman infatuation with clendening. A bit of a reality check. I bumped into wjc USA coach dean blais here in Omaha a few months ago. He did not feel clenny as he calls himself on Twitter was very good in that tournament and was frustrated with how clenny was seemingly enthralled with talk of himself leaving b u. He said his sense of team was lacking. Blais did however praise Stephen johns and said he played very well and is a very good prospect.

    • Well, as Brad Gardner and I discussed on Saturday’s podcast, there is a pause for concern where Johns is concerned right now. We’ll have to wait to see how this plays out, but Johns chose not to come to prospect camp.

      As far as Clendening, that’s something to keep an eye on. I’ve never heard of him not being a team player or a problem in any way. Reading some of his press clippings out east, he seems to acknowledge there is work to be done on his game. I don’t think anyone is thinking he won’t need at least a full year in Rockford to work on his defensive game. The idea of him turning pro after his sophomore season was more of the Hawks wanting to get their hands directly involved his Clendening’s development. And the thought that he wasn’t going to get much better continuing to play college hockey.

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