Jul 262012

By Chris Block

Recap to follow…

PuckChatter~Radio, e.113, That’s a Negative, Ghost Rider

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  11 Responses to “PuckChatter~Radio: That’s a Negative, Ghost Rider”

  1. Chris some of these contracts are insane, such as semin, suter, parise, and the weber offer sheet. I can’t fault Stan for not breaking the bank on this particular free agent class. However if the hawks played Phoenix in a 7 game series this week, phoenix would likely still win in 6. Kane is not a center. He is a winger. The lack of hustle back on defense is not only intolerable but should eliminate him from that position. Secondly neither oduya, leddy or hjalmarsson is a number 3 defenseman in the NHL. Heck hjalmarssons minutes under quennville like a number five. Trading Campbell hurt this team tremendously. Bowmans inability to land a 2nd line center and true number 3 defenseman make this off season a complete failure. We did not need a home run just two solid trades to plug the holes I mentioned above.

    • Except Stan, as he publicly insisted, tried to break the bank on Zach Parise, but Parise didn’t want to come to Chicago and didn’t consider the Blackhawks as a finalist in his decision.

      I agree on Kane and the defense. A few fours and fives but no take charge guy for the second pair as it sits right now.

      There is still plenty of time to add/subtract and improve. Keep in mind that there will be a period following the resolution of the new CBA, whenever that will be, when there is very likely to be a high volume of movement by many GMs scrambling to get below the upper limit or up to the lower limit. So, its reasonable to expect at least a handful of players we’re not thinking about now will suddenly be on the market come the fall. And those executives will be in a rush to make moves. It may indeed be keen of Stan to wait the CBA negotiations out for better deals or options a couple months from now.

      Trading Campbell and then not doing anything with the regained cap space has hurt the team tremendously. But that has more to do with Bowman’s unwillingness to part with any of his prospects. It’ll be a few years before we know how smart of a plan that is. In the meantime, he wasn’t aggressive at the trade deadline and no doubt that cost the Blackhawks an additional round or two at least in a wide-open Western Conference.

  2. Great analysis, thanks Chris. I was surprised to see terry broadhurst mentioned on the black hawks site as having stood out in prospects camp. Last summer here in omaha, the mavericks had the ice at a local rink and let me jump in and play It was 5 on 5 with two on each bench. Broadhurst clearly had tremendous hands but I did not think he was NHL material. But if he is standing out at a camp with dozens of college prospects maybe he will make it. The thing is the hawks have so many smallish forwards where is there ever going to be room for guys like him, pirri, leblanc ?..

    • I was a little surprised as well. Simply based on Brad Gardner’s analysis of prospect camp. Since I wasn’t there, its impossible for me to have an opinion on it. I will say, though, that since Terry will be a ‘new’ face in Rockford this year (assuming he has a good enough camp. If there is a lockout he’ll start in Toledo for sure.) its not surprising to read a positive spin leading into his rookie season. Any time you read something on the official site you have to take it for what its worth. You’re never going to see critical analysis of any player there. Its a different animal there.

      Taking the potential for a lockout out of the equation, Terry’s place on the IceHogs’ roster this fall will also depend on how much Byron Froese amd David Gilbert improve. I like Froese in a bottom six role but he has to show he can also pitch in offensively too. In the little we saw from Broadhurst late in Rockford, he showed confidence with the puck. He was just entirely overmatched physically. Gilbert did nothing to impress Ted Dent in his rookie season. Anytime Dent had to shorten his bench (and Gilbert was in the lineup) it was Gilbert who had his ice time shred.

  3. Chris, thanks for the reply. As we head toward camp how would you rank the ice hogs defensemen one through six. Also, how do they chart ice time in the ahl ? is that done internally ?

    • Olsen, Lavin, Stanton, Lalonde, Youds, Clendening, Dahlbeck.

      Since we haven’t seen Clendening as a pro yet and Dahlbeck yet in North America, I have a hard time putting those two over any of the returning IceHogs. I give Lalonde a slight edge over Youds. For all of Lalonde’s faults I have always seen him as a three-year project. Potential wise, there still some hope left given that line of thinking. Youds compensated for a lot of mistakes with his hustle last season. He was very fortunate that his mistakes didn’t wind up costing the IceHogs more often. He’s squirrly (at 5-9 he does cover a fair amount of ice). Not smooth or polished and I wouldn’t rule out him winding up in Toledo at any point this season. Lavin is more well-rounded than Stanton. And he fits the prototype defenseman the Blackhawks covet. Still, Stanton could wind up the IceHogs captain (with Lavin an assistant) and I look for him to have a great season. Just right now he’s a borderline 6/7 in the NHL. A year from now that could change.

      AHL does track time on ice stats. For some reason its in the AHL bylaws to keep those from the public. In fact, the league hires off-ice officials to track those stats. But teams are supposed to only be allowed to view their own teams TOI stats, not the opposition. (I think in the past one of the reasons for not publicizing TOI is not every building had enough staff to track those stats and there was some skepticism of the accuracy of the totals from arena to arena. Anyhow, after the game a report is supposed to be delivered to each coach for their own team only. I know most teams video coaching assistants track advanced stats like hits, block shots, turnovers, etc. Those stats are not tracked by the league.

  4. Thanks Chris. Good column on Kyle beach on the ice hogs site. I found a few things encouraging. First beach seems to have really matured in terms of his answers and expectations for himself. Second, bowman seems to realize that big power forward types take time to develop. Third lavin and smith are smart Boston area players with lots of college education under their belts. If he is around them that can only be positive as opposed to hanging with someone like aliu a few years ago. I say the hawks should keep cultivating him like the wings do with some of their prospects. Your thoughts on beach?

    • All the turnaround on Beach in terms of perception, and renewed enthusiasm by some, is from his maturing attitude off the ice and new found dedication in the weight room. You hope that translates well to his game on the ice. But you just don’t know. Its not really fair to judge the three weeks at the end of the IceHogs season because Beach was just returning from major shoulder surgery and would have needed a few weeks to get up to game speed anyhow.

      In the end, until Kyle alters his mindset on the ice the odds are he’ll never even come close to realizing any of his potential. I’ve talked to Kyle a lot now. He’s so dedicated to being a disrupting force on the ice. But his idea of that is mostly yapping and stirring things behind the play.

      Until he focuses on making an impact in the play, as opposed to behind it he’ll just be another guy.

      I believe the potential for him to be a goal scorer is still there. Potential and state of development are different things that are often intermingled and confused. Some guys take longer to figure everything out. Kyle is a complex kid who wants to be a multi-layered character and player on the ice. His skating has always needed work. Attention to detail in many areas and discipline in his backchecking as well. But more than anything with him its simply coming to a realization that the opposition will hate him more if he’s scoring goals against them and knocking guys down along the walls, in the corners and on his way to the net leading to scoring chances and goals for the IceHogs or Blackhawks.

      He can still become a factor, an impact player. My guess is when he does it’ll eventually be for another organization in the NHL. But there have been some encouraging signs in these past ten months that shouldn’t be dismissed.

  5. Chris thanks for the reality check. There are a million guys out there who can yap but not play much too bad. I saw Phillippe paradis posted a picture of himself on Twitter in a boat holding a bottle of wine. Nothing wrong with that but I noticed guys like morin and jimmy Hayes are constantly on Twitter really posting stupid juvenile stuff. Maybe because I’m in my mid 40s that I find a lot of posts juvenile, but I just wonder about of these guys and where their commitment level is to making it to the NHL. It seems the guys that tweet a lot are really mental midgets or marginal prospects/players. My point is you don’t see guys like toews or sea brook or keith. The really top end guys generally have too much class for that nonsense while the wannabees all seem to talk a good game.

  6. Chris. I thought jackel did a pretty good job with the top 10 prospect rankings. He was off on a few things. First clendening did not have a strong wjc. He had a good year at b u. Secondly his skating is not swift. Also, Joe lavin is clearly ahead of lalonde. The lack of updated information on johns also was obvious. Other than that it was a pretty good review. You have seen a lot of these guys in person. Your thoughts on his top 10?

    • I hadn’t seen it until just now that you mention it. I really despise rankings in general. Unless the basis of which rankings are projecting are clearly defined I consider them ranging from pretty useless to nothing more than momentary entertainment. Once you get past the top 3-4 guys its mostly just mental masturbation anyhow.

      Having said that, I’ve been getting more and more requests to do my own prospect rankings. Enough so that I am probably going to do one before the training camps get underway. Its really a shame the CBA uncertainty shelved the prospect tournaments this fall. I weight those a lot more heavily than I do the summer camp performances.

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