Greetings fellow Hawks Fans! I apologize for the length of this blog in advance as it is directed mainly towards fans who may not know what's been going on with the cap situation. Feel free to read or not to read. And that wasn't a question.
I write to you this morning to express my shared excitement for one awesome hockey club out of the windy city. Not only should fans be excited about our recent success in the playoffs, but NHL.com has just ranked the Chicago Blackhawks as the number 1 team in NHL "on the rise."
Others fans might agree with me when I say that NHL.com might be a little outdated with their claim that the Blackhawks are "on the rise."
In fact, I would be as bold to claim that the Chicago Blackhawks have finished their ascension and have already made it to the top. Despite the fact that the Blackhawks entered the playoffs as the fourth seed in the western conference, their playoff run to the western conference finals is proof that they are indeed on of the elite teams in the league and can be showcased as more than just an elite contender.
And they're only going to get better...
Fellow fans, we have already seen how the team has improved in the period of just one month. This thanks to the addition of free-agent acquisitions All Star Marian Hossa, John Madden, and Tomas Kopecky to the roster and the resigning of Cam Barker, Kris Versteeg, Troy Brouwer and Dave Bolland.
Yes, I'm sure many will agree with me when I say how unfortunate it was to see Martin Havlat leave and sign with another team, but such is the way of the NHL Free Agency.
So on paper, the Blackhawks look good. No, not just good...or great, really......................
Ok, so they look outstanding. I mean let's be realistic here. Take the total goals at the end of the regular season this year: 264. Subtract the goals lost from the departures of Havlat and Pahlsson: 36. That equals 228 total. Then add the goals by the additions of Hossa, Madden, and Kopecky: that ends up being 281 total goals from the current roster's last seasons stats.
281 goals!! (disclaimer: poor math skills may result in varied statistics)
Sounds fantastic doesn't it? I know I'm just as excited as you are! (*excited babble*)
Wait, wait...there is that one little minor detail, isn't there?
Ahh yes.....we're working with a budget.....
Ok, most of us know that the Blackhawks are currently 4.6 mill in the red. Meaning that the current roster is going to have to change in some way. I'm aware that most of you already know this. So then the question everyone has been asking is...what's going to happen?
Well there has been plenty of speculation in regards to who could be leaving in exchange for who might be coming from where and on what airline blah blah yadda yadda, etc. The point is, we have to shed about 5 mill. Currently the Blackhawks have 15 forwards and 8 defensemen on their roster. So two of the forwards could go and one of the defensemen.
There are several trade combinations possible and it has already been rumored that Patrick Sharp is involved in one of them. If that turns out to be true, that would shed almost 4 mill at the price of 25-30 goals, depending on his season. Bump that season goal total down to 250-255. Then the Hawks would have to shed another 1.5 mill or so. So either another forward could go, or a defenseman. I doubt the Hawks would be willing to sacrifice any more offense, and I wouldn't want them to. So a defenseman it could be.
Looking at the defensive unit for the Hawks I would think they might move either Brent Sopel or Cam Barker. Now Sopel is a bit older and might be who fans would want to go if they had to choose, though Barker would clear up more than enough space to possibly get a forward with some goal scoring in return.
There have been rumors that Dustin Byfuglien could go, but I'm not sure that will happen.
So in the end, the Hawks will be fine with goal scoring, especially if they can get a cheaper forward with really any goal scoring ability in exchange for a defenseman and if they indeed choose to trade Sharp, though many fans will not be pleased with such a decision, including myself. On the other hand, looking at the options, who else would you be willing to trade?
To reiterate, many of you already know basically everything I have talked about, but I wanted to put in my two cents, which may not be worth anything since no one uses pennies anymore and no one cares that you have a penny from 1788 because it was just as worthless then. Sorry, but it's true. Pennies suck.
In conclusion, the Hawks are looking to have another outstanding season and in my opinion, should be favored to win the cup. Go Hawks!
Constructive criticism and thoughts appreciated.