As Antti Niemi turned aside all shooters to take an overtime victory over Dallas, dominoes began to fall. Those dominoes included the trade of Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen to those same Stars. So what's next? Quite possibly the removal of long time Stars netminder Marty Turco or last years Vezina winner Tim Thomas, and the Blackhawks may be the ones listening. The fact is, historically Cup winning teams needed a solid, dependable net presence to succed, the Hawks currently do not have that.
In a cap world however how can the Hawks even contemplate a move?
On Turco....Essentially a similar situation to that of former cup winner JS Giguere in Anahiem. Turco just looks like he needs a change, last night he seemed unfocused at times, yet flashed some brilliance in the shootout. He's a UFA at seasons end so acquiring him may be a safe gamble depending on what is given up.
On Thomas....This would vault the Hawks into the upper echelon of elite teams and may be that spark they could use against a possible playoff matchup with strong offences in Vancouver and San Jose. The catch 22 with this scenario is his massive contract and years left at that level. While the money may not be an issue, as reports suggest the Hawks may bury Cristobal Huet in the minors, like the first scenario with Turco, the asking price would be the only stumbling block.
Whatever the Hawks decide to do this decision could be the one that either brings the cup back to Chicago or make for yet another unhappy off season at the madhouse on Madison.