With current trades and free agent signings, the Chicago Blackhawks have definitely been fairly lively thus far this offseason. Contemplating final summer season the massive acquisitions had been Cam Ward, Chris Kunitz, and Brandon Manning, it’s reassuring to see basic supervisor Stan Bowman make some daring and savvy strikes for the 2019-20 season. On paper, the Hawks appear like a a lot better workforce than they had been in April. It’s an thrilling time to be a Blackhawks’ fan!
And an ideal time for a roundtable. As we speak Meghan Dillon, Greg Boysen, and Gail Kauchak talk about the affect and implications of a number of the current additions to the Blackhawks’ roster. Right here we go!
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The Blackhawks shocked everybody by re-acquiring ahead Andrew Shaw the Sunday evening earlier than free company began. Shaw started his NHL profession with the Blackhawks within the 2011-12 season. He was with the workforce for each the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup championships earlier than being traded for wage cap functions in the summertime of 2016.
Shaw spent the final three seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and now returns to Chicago with three years left on a contract that carries a $three.9 million cap hit. The Hawks have re-signed quite a few former gamers prior to now with combined outcomes. Now right here we go once more. Do you’re feeling the addition of Shaw is nice or dangerous for the workforce?
Andrew Shaw Addition: Good or Dangerous?
Meghan Dillon – Good
I believe Shaw is a superb addition to the roster. I used to be very skeptical of John Hayden being traded again in June, as he was the one participant with a bodily recreation. Shaw embodies a bodily recreation. It made him not solely profitable with the Blackhawks however helped him and Chicago win two championships.
Andrew Shaw brings a extra bodily fashion of play again to the Chicago Blackhawks. (Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports activities)
Shaw simply got here off a really robust season and is posing much less of a danger than buying another gamers. Getting Shaw solely required gifting away just a few draft picks, whereas getting Brandon Saad in the end price Artemi Panarin. The degrees of danger aren’t even comparable.
Greg Boysen – Dangerous
For those who’ve adopted me on Twitter for a while, you already know I’m not a lot of a fan of Shaw. Sure, he performs with an edge and has scored some very huge targets, however general, I believe he’s only a man. For each objective he scored you additionally needed to take care of horrible offensive zone penalties or basic meat-headed performs.
When he received huge cash from Montreal, I used to be glad that it wasn’t the Blackhawks paying almost $four million a season for his providers. Three years later, the Blackhawks might be taking part in him almost $four million for the following three seasons. Nevertheless, that cap hit doesn’t appear as dangerous because it did again in 2016 when you think about a number of the cash shelled out to bottom-six guys on July 1 (see Brandon Tanev).
Shaw is coming off a career-best season with 47 factors in simply 63 video games. If he can produce wherever close to that .75 points-per-game common (P/GP) this upcoming season, then will probably be a stable transfer. The Blackhawks received little or no manufacturing outdoors of their top-six forwards final season, so if he can keep within the lineup, he might be a welcome addition.
That’s the largest concern. Shaw has a ton of mileage on account of his fashion of play. He missed 64 video games throughout his three years with the Canadiens after lacking simply eight within the earlier 4 seasons mixed with the Blackhawks.
Kauchak – Good
My first response to this signing was “cease with the re-dos”! However as soon as I assumed extra about it, I started to love the concept of Shaw returning to the fold. Some would argue the Hawks removed Shaw as a result of he was too costly. And he was – on the time. Now, the Blackhawks have extra cap cash to burn. And Shaw is already half-way by his six-year, $three.9 million annual contract, so the time period is shorter as effectively.
On the ice, I really feel Shaw might be an awesome addition to the workforce. He’s clearly already acquainted with quite a lot of the gamers. He can play up and down the lineup. Shaw is infamous for attending to the soiled areas, for instance, that net-front presence the Hawks have been missing in recent times. In spite of everything, that is the child who as soon as scored a “objective” off his head in addition to a triple-overtime objective off his shin pads.
However Shaw may even convey these intangibles that would assist get this workforce over the hump. He’s feisty, aggressive, and brings tons of vitality. To not point out a penchant for driving his teammates crazyin the locker room. However in a great way, proper Jonathan Toews?
Transferring on to protection, the Blackhawks not too long ago acquired veteran defensemen Olli Maatta from the Pittsburgh Penguins and Calvin de Haan from the Carolina Hurricanes. Whereas it’s a optimistic signal Bowman is addressing the Blackhawks’ weak blueline, these two trades have additionally created fairly the logjam on protection. Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Erik Gustafsson, Connor Murphy, Carl Dahlstrom, Slater Koekkoek, Henri Jokiharju, and now Maatta and de Haan are all presently underneath contract for subsequent season. That’s 9 defensemen for under seven slots.
The younger Jokiharju break up time between the Blackhawks and their AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs final season, regardless of being top-of-the-line blueliners for Chicago. Many are fearful he may as soon as once more be on the surface trying in to begin the 2019-20 season. Which begs the query. The place do you assume Jokiharju ought to and/or will match into the plan this upcoming season?
Protection & Henri Jokiharju’s Match
Meghan Dillon – Play Him!
Each defenseman might be preventing for a spot at coaching camp. Head coach Jeremy Colliton must be strategic about who he places on the opening evening roster, in addition to testing out each attainable pairing to seek out the very best consequence. That being mentioned, overlooking Jokiharju could be an enormous mistake. I believe he has confirmed himself to be a powerful defenseman and wishes one other shot to show himself on the NHL stage. His age additionally performs a powerful issue, as he’s prone to stay on the workforce the longest.
Greg Boysen – Play Him!
Jokiharju needs to be on the opening evening NHL roster. Whether or not or not he really might be is a complete different challenge. The Blackhawks didn’t do the very best job in dealing with his state of affairs final season, however the time in Rockford did do him some good.
Henri Jokiharju may very well be the odd man out on the defensive corps for the Chicago Blackhawks. (Dayna Fjord/Portland Winterhawks)
There are presently 9 defensemen on the roster, however that would change earlier than coaching camp begins. With the brand new additions, I don’t assume there’s any method Koekkoek and Dahlstrom begin the season in Chicago if all people is wholesome.
That is the proper time to commerce a man like Gustafsson. He’s coming off a profession season and I’ve my doubts he’ll ever come near sniffing these offensive numbers once more. His commerce worth is at an all-time excessive and that’s precisely when you must promote.
Positive, Gustafsson was accountable for lots of targets, particularly on the ability play, however he couldn’t stop the puck from going into his personal internet. Even with the 60 factors, he nonetheless completed the season as a minus-six and barely broke even at Corsi For share (CF%) regardless of beginning over 60 % of his shifts within the offensive zone.
Commerce Gustafsson and experience the Jokiharju prepare from day one!
Kauchak – Play Him!
needs to be within the Blackhawks’ lineup for the 2019-20 season. Interval. He’s confirmed
he’s certainly one of their greatest defensemen and I believe he’ll reinforce that in coaching
As is stands proper now Keith, Gustafsson, Maatta, de Haan, Koekkoek, and Dahlstrom are all left-handed photographs. Seabrook, Murphy, and Jokiharju are right-handed photographs. So there’s robotically a spot for Jokiharju, proper? Properly, not so quick. Gustafsson performed on the fitting aspect in the direction of the tip of the season alongside Keith. Murphy hung out on his off-side as effectively.
Except certainly one of them will get traded? The issue is Gustafsson was the one quarterback of the ability play final season, and he additionally scored the third most targets of all defensemen within the league. Murphy was arguably the Blackhawks greatest shutdown defenseman. It may very well be powerful to switch what each of them convey to the desk. And everyone knows Keith and Seabrook aren’t going wherever.
May Erik Gustafsson probably be on the buying and selling block for the Chicago Blackhawks? (Photograph by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Photos)
one thing has to present. I assume it’s a very good downside to have. I simply don’t need
to see Jokiharju buried due to veteran and contract standing. Might the very best
The Blackhawks made a giant splash by signing Shaw Sunday evening, however they arguably made their largest splash on the finish of the day Monday. The workforce inked former New York Islanders’ goaltender Robin Lehner to a one-year contract price $5 million. However wait; the workforce already has a primary goaltender in Corey Crawford, who by the way is signed for an additional 12 months with a $6 million cap hit. This makes for fairly the goalie tandem and an costly one at that. Ought to the Blackhawks have added Lehner?
Robin Lehner Signing: Sure or No?
Meghan Dillon – Sure
Lehner was an costly participant to signal, however it’s crucial to have a powerful backup goaltender. Cam Ward is prone to retire, and he was the proper instance of a powerful backup goaltender. After Crawford received damage once more, Ward picked up the items and helped the workforce enhance.
The Blackhawks have had examples of weaker backup goaltenders like Anton Forsberg, however I believe Lehner is prone to fall into the identical class as Ward. As wonderful as Crawford is, he’s liable to damage, and it’s vital to have somebody dependable in internet if one thing occurs to him.
Greg Boysen – Sure
I’m a giant fan of bringing in Lehner. Spending $11 million on goaltending shouldn’t be perfect, however that tells me administration believes it is a playoff workforce they usually don’t need one other season derailed if Crawford goes down once more.
Former Islander Robin Lehner. (Photograph by Bruce Bennett/Getty Photos)
Even when Crawford is totally wholesome this season, the times the place he might be trusted for over 55 begins a season are over. Having Lehner there to take a very good portion of the workload shouldn’t be the worst concept on the earth. Boston Bruins’ Tuukka Rask credited his phenomenal postseason play to the truth that he received loads of relaxation through the common season.
Whereas there are numerous causes to be optimistic about Collin Delia’s future, he isn’t fairly able to be an on a regular basis NHL goaltender. He nonetheless must develop and taking part in in Rockford will assist that this season.
In a best-case situation, Crawford and Lehner are top-of-the-line goaltending tandems we’ve seen in a very long time. The Blackhawks get again to the postseason whereas Delia makes strides with the IceHogs. The worst-case situation is Crawford misses one other enormous chunk of the season on account of damage and you’ve got a Vezina Trophy finalist there to do the heavy lifting. That may be a enormous improve from Ward and Delia through the 2018-19 season.
Kauchak – Sure
I like this
signing. Sure, it’s a bit unconventional. However it additionally signifies the Blackhawks
aren’t messing round. They’re doing all the things they will to get again to the
Crawford is a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender. When he’s on the prime of his recreation, he’s top-of-the-line. However recently, his sturdiness has been questioned. Accidents, particularly concussion points, have taken their toll. Whereas the Blackhawks help their primary netminder, additionally they wish to be reasonable about the place he stands.
Therefore the addition of Lehner. This new goaltender is an insurance coverage coverage of kinds.
After chatting with a supply, Robin Lehner is an insurance coverage coverage ought to Crawford go down. The workforce does not wish to miss a beat ought to 50 get damage once more.— Jay Zawaski (@JayZawaski670) July 1, 2019With each Crawford and Lehner, the Blackhawks can have an elite goaltender in internet each single evening. They’ll handle Crawford’s ice time and take some strain off him. I might count on the goalies to separate time equally in internet, which doesn’t usually occur on NHL groups. Search for them to every begin round 40 video games, barring damage. And if there’s an damage, the opposite can take over, no downside. It’s a win-win.
And for these which might be complaining concerning the cash, the Florida Panthers simply signed Sergei Bobrovsky to $10 million over the following seven years. The Blackhawks’ $11 million state of affairs might be resolved subsequent season.
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Thanks for tuning in to our newest Blackhawks roundtable! Issues are trying up for this workforce, and it’s solely a matter of time earlier than coaching camp and the preseason begins. Then we can have extra solutions about how these current adjustments will have an effect on the Blackhawks.
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