As a long time Toronto Maple Leaf supporter and Chicago Blackhawk season ticket holder since 2006 here in Chicago, I am very disappointed to see the Hawks making such rash (irrational) decisions with their current roster today. And with the Maple Leafs in such dire need to find at least 2 solid 1-4 defenseman (if they want to compete in the East next year and the next few seasons to come), it pains me to see such a solid top 4 D-man like Hjalmarsson slip through the fingers of Lou Lamoreillo and Brendan Shanahan this morning.
Toronto's as well as the rest of the NHL front offices had to be aware of Chicago's sentiment toward its roster after being embarrassed by Nashville in the first round. GM Stan Bowman, pissed off after his team was amazingly swept easily by the Preds publicly promised change, but even I didn't except all this craziness this morning. In my opinion, the Hawks have really shot themselves in the foot and must be crazy to think they can still win a Cup with an aging, performance declining core, although they are still special players, but let's be realistic.
On to the Maple Leafs, who reportedly are seriously interested in Travis Hamonic from the Islanders; a soon to be 27 year old who is a minus 26 over the last two seasons in Brooklyn. And reports even say the Leafs might be willing to deal either Connor Brown or Kasperi Kapanen in order to acquire Harmonic, who in my opinion is clearly not a top 2 or even a top 4 pairing. Perhaps a fringe #4 guy but more suitably a 5-6 guy on a solid club. If that is true, then we've really witnessed an equal huge mistake between Chicago and Toronto.
Hjalmarsson, at age 30, amongst the declining Hawks D corps, still has more left in him for sure. Hjalmarsson would have stabilized the young inexperienced Leafs blue line for the next two seasons at least, and perhaps be open to an extension IF Toronto continued to impress so quickly. For me, I would have dealt either Brown or Kapanen for Hjalmarsson, and if Chicago wanted a young defenseman in return, I would have been fine including either Travis Dermott or Jeremy Bracco in the deal as well and hopefully pick the right one to keep in between those two options.
I would really hate to lose either of those four young Maple Leafs in any deal with Hamonic, who has missed a boatload of games over his career and whose plus/minus took a real ugly turn last season. Yikes! Bad move. Let's just hope this doesn't get worse. But a very big miss for the Leafs and the Hawks today concerning the availability of Niklas Hjalmarsson. Both teams screwed up and allowed a totally insignificant NHL club like Arizona (who should be playing in Seattle to allow for some relevance to the league!) to get involved.
Chicago just helped make the Western Conference all the more wide open for the taking...The LA Kings better be ready to take advantage or they will see their heads roll like this next season.
Trading Hjalmarsson actually doesn't make much sense to begin with with an aging Duncan Keith, an immovable Seabrook who is just a shell of his former self with a terrible contract, and really nobody else besides Michal Kempny, possibly brining back Campbell for one more year (who shares my same dentist lol in western springs), and Lord knows who else. Hawks defense is definitely their achilles heel and they just damaged it further.
And of course, if Chicago were to acquire a duo package of Brown/Kapanen and Bracco/Dermott, I would need to see a 2nd or 3rd round pick in return to even out the pot a bit.
Will be at the Draft tonight...Should be a hell of an experience!
Bracco isn't a defenseman...
Chicago got back a d with nhl experience. you would have to move a young d that they can plug in now. excluding the obvious zaitsev/gardiner/reilly's... who does the leafs have that fits that? kap/brown that current young nhl d would be roughly the equivilent cost.
Kind of agree actually! I think toronto could of offered a better package? Not named brown or bracco! But kappy Neilson jvr 2 2nd rounders? Not sure!but I know that their not going to blow their nut on a true number 2 in which the cost would be significantly higher! hence more pain!lollipop
Shat I ment to say unless it's a true number 2 they would (blow their nut!)lol and above names in some form of package!..do not post drunk kids!!!!
My mistake, I had really thought Jeremy Bracco was a defenseman! Not sure why I missed that. Anyway, the point being, Toronto did have a better offer (although were they even in the conversation or not with Chicago concerning Hjalmarsson), or did the Hawks simply just jump the gun on Hammer and deal him without looking at any other better alternatives or better packages. If Chicago wanted a NHL defender with some experience, I send them Zaitsev, but too late, the team already locked him up for 6 years after a very ho hum first season in the NHL likely scaring the Hawks off.
wow! Zaitsev had a great year. I would not trade Zaitsev for Hjalmarsson straight up. I would not trade Brown for Hijjy and a CHI 1st rounder. Brown is a part of this young core. He is young, he can score, he can play on the PP and he kills penalties like a champ. He can play on your 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th line and he digs for pucks like a maniac.It would've been nice to have Hijjy especially considering that Arizona didn't actually give up a real NHL d. It would've been nice to have Hamonic but we would've had to trade a 1st and 2 2nd's. I'll take the prospect Lingren(sp?) for the next decade over Hamonic for 3 seasons any day of the week. Leafs did great here.
Hjalmarsson had a partial NTC. He submitted a list of 10 teams to which he would accept a trade, and maybe Toronto wasn't on the list. Also, Stan Bowman was particularly interested in Connor Murphy from the time they spent together when Stan was working with USA hockey and was planning to draft Dauphin if he had fallen to their next pick. Or, maybe that's all just spin...
Bowman isn't as good as people were giving him credit for. That Hawks team still bleeds Tallon. The good parts anyway.
jksd kdkughu tug tug tug
Wow, I am sure glad the Leafs did not trade Brown or Kapanen; Dermott for Hjalmarsson!!!!!
Still the Leafs need some real defensemen. Still don't see anyone who fits that description with the exception of Dermott and flashes from Zaitsev when he doesn't completely lose his man in front of the net and goes for a little la la land skate around the net.
Finally in his 6th year Morgan Rielly has emerged as a top 4 defenseman. Travis Dermott is also I think a top 4 defender as well. Both Jake Gardiner and Ron Gainsay are UFA at seasons end and probably won't be back in a Leaf uniform next season. With Patrick Marleau's contract also off the books after next season I would like to see a guy like Brent Seabrook in a Leafs uniform. I also think Garrett Sparks needs to be moved and given a fair chance at becoming an NHL goalie either backup or starter somewhere else. It is obvious that Babcock doesn't have much faith in the 26 year old backup, and having him on the roster is a waste of space and talent which could be used to deliver a valuable piece. My trade proposal would be this:To Chicago: Garrett Sparks, Jake Gardiner and one of either Trevor Moore/Dmytro Timashev/maybe Jeremy Bracco...if Chicago doesn't like Gardiner then the offer may include a Marlie defender such as Timothy Liljigren, Calle Rosen or Andreas Borgman.To Toronto: Brent Seabrook, Cam Ward, Rockford Ice hog?