Between the Circles
Posted by TimS on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 17:30
As I wrote earlier in the week, the Hawks retiring jersey No. 3 for Pierre Pilote and Keith Magnuson was long overdue.
The question now is, who's next? I know a lot of you have been talking this back and forth the last few days, and Comcast ran a poll during Wednesday's telecast with the winner being Chris Chelios.
Should the Hawks retire Cheli's No. 7? That's a tough one. First of all, did Chelios play here long enough? Maybe he did, but my answer would be no to retiring his jersey. Chelios was a great Hawk from1990 until 1999, but he asked to be traded because the Hawks were falling on hard times and wouldn't give him a new contract.
Posted by TimS on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 13:38
The Blackhawks named Denis Savard the team's fourth ambassador on Thursday as he will join fellow legends Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito in representing the organization at events at the United Center and throughout the area.
Savard was fired as coach last month after four games and returned to the UC for the first time publicly on Wednesday for the retirement of No. 3 for Pierre Pilote and Keith Magnuson.
"It is important to our fans and organization that Denis remains a part of our family," president John McDonough said.
Savard drew the loudest ovation on Wednesday night when introduced to the crowd.
Posted by TimS on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 02:48
With all due respect to Pierre Pilote and the late Keith Magnuson and his family, there was a special moment for me at Wednesday's jersey retirement ceremony at the United Center.
Seeing Denis Savard walk out to center ice to participate in the festivities with fellow Hawks legends Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito was both unexpected and heartwarming, especially when the crowd of more than 22,000 greeted No. 18 with the evening's loudest and longest ovation.
Watching present Hawks such as Jonathan Toews, Brian Campbell, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp skate up to their former coach at the conclusion of the ceremony for a handskate and a hug was terrific to see.
Posted by TimS on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 16:00
This is good news. Bob Murray, who never got a fair shake as Hawks general manager, is getting another chance. Murray was named Anaheim's new GM Wednesday after Brian Burke stepped down.
Burke was going to leave Anaheim anyway after the season so the only surprising thing about this move was it happened now. Burke last week refused to sign a contract extension, thus paving the way for what happened Wednesday.
Burke, who has made it clear he wanted to return to the East Coast for family reasons, is almost certain to become the new president and GM in Toronto.
Posted by TimS on Tue, 11/11/2008 - 22:45
Retiring jersey No. 3 in honor of Pierre Pilote and the late Keith Magnuson is something the Hawks should have done a long time ago.
Give credit to Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough for realizing this and making happen the ceremony that will take place before Wednesday's game against Boston.
Pilote was a Hall of Fame defenseman and the backbone of those great early 1960s Hawks teams that were more than just Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita.
Pilote won three straight Norris Trophies from 1963-65 and was a puck-rushing defenseman and great passer in an era when those guys didn't exist on the blue line.
Posted by TimS on Sat, 11/08/2008 - 16:00
No more off days, please. This is starting to feel like the NFL.
The Hawks finally play again Sunday night against Calgary at the United Center and Coach Q said Cristobal Huet would start in goal.
Makes sense considering Huet's last game was Nov. 1 at Columbus. Huet's numbers really aren't much different than Nikolai Khabibulin's - at least the most important one, which is save percentage. Khabibulin's is .919 and Huet's .910.
If the Hawks are still thinking of moving Khabibulin, and they are, it's probably wise to keep Huet in somewhat of a playing routine since he will eventually carry the load.
This will be Huet's sixth start compared to seven for Khabibulin.
Posted by TimS on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 00:49
Comcast reported Wednesday night that the Hawks have contacted free agent Brendan Shanahan. Several Internet reports have claimed the same thing.
Shanahan will be 40 years old in January, but he still has some goals left in him. Where Shanahan could really help the Hawks is in the dressing room, where that big veteran leader voice is missing. The Hawks have plenty of young leaders, but there's no doubt a guy like Toews misses having people such as Marty Lapointe and Kevyn Adams around.
Of course, to sign Shanahan cap space would need to be cleared somehow, likely in the form of moving out Khabibulin in some manner.
Shanahan would prefer to play in the East, such as in Philadelphia, but St. Louis is another possibility.
Posted by TimS on Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:58
It could get interesting now.
New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello announced Tuesday morning that all-star goalie Martin Brodeur will undergo elbow surgery later this week and be sidelined four months.
Would the Devils want Nikolai Khabibulin? It's possible.
Kevin Weekes is New Jersey's backup, but can he take the Devils to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference? Many probably would say no.
Khabibulin isn't the only goaltender available, however. Edmonton has been trying to move Dwayne Roloson, and he comes considerably cheaper than Khabibulin.
As well as Khabibulin has played, you better believe the Hawks are looking to move him and use that $6.75 million salary cap hit to pursue a top-six forward.
Posted by TimS on Mon, 11/03/2008 - 12:32
What would the New Jersey Devils do if tests show the left elbow injury suffered by goalie Marty Brodeur is serious enough that he misses significant time?
Would the Devils stick with backup Kevin Weekes, or would GM Lou Lamoriello consider Nikolai Khabibulin in order to try and stay a contender in the Eastern Conference?
It's something to keep an eye on, although the Devils have only $1.7 million of cap space.
The Islanders have lost goalie Rick DiPietro for at least four weeks following knee surgery, but the Isles are a lost cause and probably don't need Khabibulin, though they do have more than $8 million of cap space.
As well as Khabibulin has played, the Hawks still would jump at the chance to be out from under his $6.75 million cap hit in order to pursue an experienced center.
Posted by TimS on Fri, 10/31/2008 - 12:07
The Blackhawks play their 10th game of the season Friday night against Dallas. That's enough games to make some evaluations.
The Hawks need another top-six forward, preferably a center, and possibly another defenseman. Dale knows this, but he's right up to the salary cap and has no money to make anything happen without disrupting the roster.
Sending Nikolai Khabibulin ($6.75 million cap hit) or Cam Barker ($2.7 million hit) to the minors would open up cap space, but Nik has been the best goalie so far and Barker is an upgrade over Jordan Hendry, so he has to stay for now with little other options until either Wisniewski comes back or Hjalmarsson is ready to return from Rockford.
Wiz hasn't even started practicing yet.