Tag Archives: Doug Wilson

Blackhawks re-acquire Michal Handzus, send Brandon Bollig back to Rockford; More roster notes

MichaelHandzus_Flow

By Chris Block

Chicago Blackhawks on Monday acquired center Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a fourth round selection in the upcoming 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

In 28 games this season with the Sharks, Handzus posted 1 goal and 1 assist.  He was a minus-9 while playing mostly third and fourth line minutes for the Sharks.

The pick the Blackhawks sent San Jose had originally belonged to the Sharks.  At the 2012 Draft, the Hawks and Sharks swapped 4th round picks, so the Sharks could move up and the Hawks could pick up an additional 7th round selection.  That later pick, obtained from San Jose, originally belonged to Tampa Bay which the Sharks obtained in a trade involving center Dominic Moore.  Chicago used the additional 2012 7th round pick (191st overall) to select goaltender Brandon Whitney of the Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL), the same team Phillip Danault played for at the time.

Handzus turned 36 last month.  This will be his second stint with the Blackhawks organization.  He is now the second-oldest Blackhawk behind Jamal Mayers, who is 38.

Michal Handzus previously spent the 2006-07 season with the Blackhawks, appearing in only 8 games in October of 2006 before knee surgery ended his season.  Read more »

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Bryan Bickell and other things, like Hugh Jessiman

While the team hasn’t officially acknowledged this, the Blackhawks have re-signed left-side power-winger Bryan Bickell to a three-year, one-way NHL contract.

According to a report by Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times, Bickell will earn salary dollars of $500,000, 525,000 and 600,000 over the next three seasons respectively, while his “cap hit” (the average payout of the contract which comes down to total dollar value divided by length) will be $541,666 for each season.

Bickell, 24, who was a favorite of head coach Joel Quenneville in his limited opportunity with the club this past season and playoff, will become an un-restricted free agent at the end of the contract, summer of 2013.

It’s interesting Bickell’s agent would pin his client down to such a low figure for the next three years when Bickell has a big chance to play an integral role with the Hawks going forward.  The deal is a steal for Stan Bowman.  At worst, he has an affordable third and fourth line guy, salary-wise, being as cheap as they come.  Enthusiastically, we could come to know Bickell as one of the bigger “bargains” in the National Hockey League two and three years from now.

I find it hard to believe Bickell couldn’t have negotiated a better deal.  Two-years on a one-way for the same money he agreed to could have landed him in a position to enroll in the arbitration process in 2012, one year short of his UFA year (as it sits now in the current CBA, for players with expiring contracts who are 27 or older).  As it looks now, Bickell could stand to earn a million or considerably more after the next two seasons should he see good minutes and continue to progress.  While Bickell hasn’t shown near the same scoring touch, he’s not all that far behind Troy Brouwer in terms of iimpact he can make with this club.  Specifically with the departure of Dustin Byfuglien, Quenneville needs all the size he can get, and thus Bickell will see a lot of important minutes if he can carry his level of performance over from the past spring.  This is after all the same Bryan Bickell who fit in nicely in spots on a line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.  That said, this deal could wind up more regrettable for Bickell should the new CBA push the UFA age back, or forward, a year or more when the new bargaining agreement is drawn (hopefully) prior to the 2012-13 season.

This is the kind of contract a young Canadian kid thinks is great when he first signs it.  Then he changes agents two years later when he realizes he wasted a chance to make a lot more money at a young age.

Great deal for Stan Bowman.  For Bickell, we’ll wait and see.

Evan Brophey, Blackhawks 3rd round pick (67th overall) in the 2005 Draft, re-signed a 1-year deal on Thursday.  This also hasn’t been acknowledged by the Hawks.  There is a method to these things that go over the heads in hockey operations. Read more »

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TTMI~Radio sings the Versteegian Rhapsody

TheThirdManIn~Radio “Versteegian Rhapsody”
Wednesday July 14, 2010 ~ e.44  Right-Click to Download Here

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TTMI~Radio returns with our first post-Stanley Cup thoughts with Dieter Kurtenbach of the Examiner.com and HereComeTheHawks.net.

We’ll return in a day or two with our 1st Anniversary show which my usual side-kick Superstar and I will be recording hopefully tomorrow.  Our first show first official show on Blog Talk aired live the day of Dale Tallon’s firing, July 15, 2009.

On our next show we’ll discuss Bob Probert’s career and unfortuate passing.  Also, more on the most recent Blackhawks’ prospect camp, Kyle Beach and more on how the Hawks will comply with this year’s salary cap.

On the docket for today’s show:

– Personal reactions to the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory
– Debauchery and let-downs
– Liars, Deceivers or just full of it?
– Stan Bowman walking around with foot in mouth
– Niklas Hjalmarsson offer sheet
– Hjalmarsson’s “worth”
– Doug Wilson’s objective – ulterior motives?
– Annual summer tradition of Hawks wiping egg off their faces
– The Bowman myth
– Another BIG trade forthcoming
– Stan Bowman: Denis Savard of general managing?
– Dustin Byfuglien goes to Atlanta
– What did the Hawks really lose?
– What happens now with Antti Niemi?
– How Marty Reasoner fits
– Dieter Kurtenbach HATES the Kris Versteeg to Toronto deal
– Surprise young prospect Dieter has pencilled in on Hawks 3rd line
– Blackhawks would be better off signing Bon Scott
– Dismissing prospect rankings and “performance” charts
– Dylan Olsen
– Lalonde’s big chance
– What would’ve led to Hawks walking away from Hjalmarsson offer sheet
– Johnny’s Ice House
– Dave Bolland: A $3.375M third-line center
– Where Marcus Kruger stands
– Kent Simpson feels shame

All this and so much more on this edition of TheThirdManIn~Radio.  Enjoy.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Doug Wilson, Sharks Swoop in on Hjalmarsson

Today, one of the Chicago Blackhawks all-time great defenseman, and current San Jose Sharks general manager, Doug Wilson offered restricted free agent blue liner Niklas Hjalmarsson a 4-year, $14 million dollar offer sheet.  The Blackhawks defenseman signed and accepted.

What happens now is the Blackhawks have a week to match this offer of 4 years at an average cap hit of $3.5M a season.

This is a no-brainer for Stan Bowman and his superiors.  The Hawks must match.  Should they not, the return is a San Jose 1st round draft pick as well as a third.

The trouble with that is this situation is completely different than the one the Boston Bruins benefited from last fall when they dealt Phil Kessel (who Bruins teammates felt was addition by subtraction) to the Maple Leafs and found themselves with the #2 overall pick and Tyler Seguin on 2010 Draft Day.

With Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle it’s highly unlikely the Sharks next 1st rounder winds up in the Draft Lottery.  Any return on the Sharks next draft pick would likely be 2 to 3 years away from competing in the NHL.

A cap hit of $3.5M a year is a hard pill to swallow and could possibly result in a sign (match San Jose’s offer sheet) and trade or the end of Antti Niemi.  Another option would be putting Dave Bolland or Patrick Sharp on the trade market.  The Hawks were hoping to lock Hjalmarsson down at around $2M a season, or no more than $2.5.

One thing to consider when figuring the Hawks off season spending option is their ability to spend and carry up to 10% over the salary cap ($5.94M over the $59.4M upper limit).

While most everyone anticipates the Blackhawks will hide Cristobal Huet’s $5.6M cap hit (two more seasons) in Rockford this fall should they not find a willing taker in a European league, they cannot assign that contract to their AHL affiliate until October.  So, if Rockford winds up as Huet’s only option, this could prevent the Hawks from signer a key player before the first week of October.

There are limited options currently should Hjalmarsson wind up in San Jose.  Kim Johnsson (UFA) would be a good fit at a greatly reduced rate (more like $2M for a year or two), but his impending retirement won’t allow this.

Losing Hjalmarsson is probably not an option if you’re standing in Stan Bowman’s shoes.  The organization clearly made their long-term commitment to Duncan Keith this past off season.  Brian Campbell’s entering the third year of an 8-year $57M contract and he’s going to be tough to move at any point, but certainly before year five or six of that deal.  With Shawn Lalonde and Nick Leddy in the pipeline, Campbell’s successor is already on board.

This offer sheet may have the biggest implication on Brent Seabrook’s future.  Dylan Olsen, on display at this weekend’s prospect camp, is a good bet to takeover for Seabrook in 2011-12 if Seabrook’s financial demands are too much for the Blackhawks to bear in the end.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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