One last look at what the Blackhawks might do

By Bill Placzek
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
in a row, and the ownership can’t sell the liquor from their distributorship if there is no one attending the games during the season and the playoffs. The only thing the season ticket holder letter can include is the hiring of another coach. There has to be some other reason for buying season tickets again. Acquiring known veteran players or some significant overall movement in terms of trades needs to happen. Even the drafted players cannot be a ho-hum bunch. They have to also signify the start of a new era. Free agent signings, trades, and a well publicized draft are a crucial first step, followed by an October turnaround into an exciting winning team. A lot to do in a little time.

The expansion draft does provide the new clubs with a way to stockpile 2nd
round picks in next years draft. They find an unrestricted free agent who
they are pretty sure is going to resign with their established club and
select him. If he chooses any team besides the new expansion club they get
an extra pick in compensation for “losing” him. Don’t be surprised if this
happens more than once on Friday, June 23rd.

If they keep the first two picks that they will not
take two defensemen, because they have needs at all positions. Smirnov, Samuelsson, Jonsson, and Orpik are
players they may possibly select.

Here are guys that should be there for the Hawks at the slots below.
Since additional picks will be added to accommodate the unrestricted free
agent losses I have mentioned above I will “back” my pick up about ten slots
starting with the fourth rounders so that my picks are not reaches or long

Round Pick From For

1st 10th Own
Martin Samuelsson 6'2" Lh RW MoDo

1st 11th Vancouver 1999 first round pick
Brent Kahn 6'4" 197 Goalie Calgary

2nd 40+ Own
Alexander Lioubimov 6'3" 196 Lh Def Lada Togliatti

4th 100+ Own
Igor Radulov 5'11" 178 Lh LW Torpedo Yaroslav

4th 112+ Anaheim Marty McInnis
Alexander Barkunov 6'1" 190 Rh Def Torpedo Yaroslav

4th* 116+ LA Kings Steve Passmore (maybe a 2001 pick)
Brandon Snee 6'1" Lh Goalie Union College

6th 160+ Own
Denis Desinov 6'0 Lh Def HCMoscow

7th 190+ Own
Colin Shields 6'0 Rh RW Cleveland (NAHL)

7th 206+ Washington 1999 ninth round pick
Simon-Lagace Daigle 6'2" 192 Rh RW Chicoutimi

8th 236+ Own
Fabian Sutter 6'0" 176 Lh Centre Bern, Swit.

9th 266+ Own
Illppo Suutariinen 5'9" Lh LW Espoo

*either the 2000 or 2001 draft, a decision has not been made at this time.