The Blackhawks needs are many. The organization has deteriorated due to poor player evaluation at every level, and the newest messiah, GM Smith has a large cupboard to refill. There is a need for a developmental goaltender who actually can really end up as a major leaguer over time. The goalie position has only a few candidates, none whom have displayed the solid skills needed to be a regular NHL goaltender. At least one goalie will be picked possibly in the first three picks.
This team needs a speedy scorer. This team needs a #1 centre. This team needs faster big forwards who will sacrifice themselves along the boards, make it back on defense. This team needs transition defenseman and hard rock defensemen capable of making excellent passes out of their zone and also
being quick out of their own end, if they are not quarterback types. This team needs team guys that won’t quit.
The seats in Chicago have seen less fans as the team swan dived a second year Read more»
With SIX picks in the first 4 rounds there is ample opportunity to fortify
the team at all positions.
Unfortunately, the draftable players no longer are hidden by an Iron Curtain
or left unscouted, so the gems the Wings unearthed in the days where Euros
and Russians were an afterthought are past.
This draft may have a large second tier of talent, picks #5-12. The Hawks
will possibly be picking twice there. The ample number of six picks in four
rounds will allow them to get several chances at rebuilding.
Unfortunately Dale Tallon ( the guy who sold Bob Murray on Michal Sykora as
the main piece of the Ed Belfour trade) is the guy they sent to Europe.
You trust his judgement? I don’t.
So GM Smith is working on whatever he has put together in a short time, with
friendly assessments from non-Hawk staff, and the “expert” opinions of the
I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to trade picks # 10 & 11 to an
expansion team for the chance to pick goalie DiPietro. Expansion teams want
quantity, and still would get quality with this draft’s even playing field.
That is of course if DiPietro lasts until pick #3.
Martin Samuelsson is getting an unwarranted rap from The Hockey News draft
issue and other places. He is very quick and crafty for a big man and fills
a need with the Hawks initially as a third line player who has major upside Read more»
The Hawks have confirmed that they have elected not to sign three 1998
draftees who are on my Hawk depth chart. Unlike other teams whose signees
and re-enters were reported on Thursday, the news trickled slowly out of
1901 West Madison.
They are Jonathan Pelletier (26 ), Sean Griffin(31),and Alexandre Couture (3
4 ). The numbers in parenthesis after their names indicate where I had them
slotted on the Hawk depth chart, all in the long shot area.
They will be reentering the draft since their agents wanted salaries and
signing bonuses quite higher than the organization wanted to pay.
More and more teams will be rejecting ridiculous negotiations when the player
seems a long way from being an NHL level talent.
I don’t think it is as much a negotiation tactic as it is fiscal
responsibility by the owners. The Mike Van Ryn ruling will determine once and
for all if drafting college players(along with drafting Europeans) will give
NHL teams an added time span in which the team holds the players rights, even
if they eventually play Major Junior for a year. Presently taking a European
player or college player gives you more time for them to develop and secures
them as team property as opposed to a junior player who you must sign with
the big league club after their final year of play in Canadien junior.
Van Ryn started out as a collegian and then dropped back into the OHL with Read more»
What does the team in need of help at each position do when they draft at #10
and #11 ? Where the Hawks go at these picks seems a minuscule problem in comparison to
the others this soiled Original Six club has to overcome.
When an NHL club doesn’t have an AHL developmental team, or a head coach, or
a true scouting staff at either the amateur or professional level except for
your new General Manager, or a playoff berth for four years, the draft seems
like a drop into a bucket.
Nonetheless it is a place to start to look for talent to turnaround a 39 year
tailspin away from Lord Stanley’s Cup. I speak here as possibly the biggest
wannabe GM who has been around all of those years. So much of my speculating
will involve what neo GM Mike Smith may do, but mostly what pozer GM Wiz
would do. I have not been silent through the other drafts, letting the
entire Blackhawk family, the radio audiences, and every fan in an earshot
from my seat know exactly who I wanted in each draft.. In 1986, I wanted Adam
Graves. They took Everett Sanipass. In ‘94, I wanted Wanye Primeau. They
took Ethan Moreau. In 97’s second round, I wanted Kristian Huselius; they
took Jeremy Reich. In ‘97, we did agree on Dan Cleary, but I think we all see
he is still far from an NHL top two line player. In 1990, we also agreed on Karl Dykhuis
over Keith Tkachuk, but what do we know, eh?
The Blackhawks have decided to take the Vancouver #1 in this year’s 2000
draft instead of waiting for the 2001 draft. The Hawk reasoning in this
decision was not an easy one. If the they chose to accept the 2001 Vancouver
pick, they would have had three #1’s in the stronger 2001 draft.. Would that
have been enough to wrest away Jason Spezza from the the worst expansion team
picking in 2001? Doubtful. They are clearly thinking
that Vancouver will be much improved with an entire season of Felix Potvin in
net and the Sedin twins arrival. It is ironic that the original pick the
Hawks traded away would have brought Henrik Sedin to Chicago, but they
instead took this #1 and bolstered their weak defense with Brian McCabe.
McCabe hasn’t been Superman on the backline. His deceptive plus/minus depict
s him in a negative light, but he clearly is one of the better guys of a
horribly weak bunch of defensemen.
Henrik on the other hand, represents a position the Hawks have suddenly
called a very important need; first line centre.
I still feel this was a stop gap trade when and happened and down the
line the hawks will forever wish they hadn’t made it.
Which takes us back to the the 2000 draft. These two #s currently #7 and
# 9 overall, prior to the lottery that if won by those picks would bring them
down four slottings.At his press conference announcing the hawkdecisionn Smith Read more»