Blackhawks

Blackhawks mailbag: Trade assets and free agent speculation

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks mailbag: Trade assets and free agent speculation

Every Friday this offseason, Charlie Roumeliotis will look to answer your Blackhawks and hockey-related questions. Be sure to chime in using the hashtag #HawksMailbag on Twitter for a chance to have your question answered in the next edition.

Are there any pending free agents in particular that the Blackhawks have their eyes on? Obviously people will say Panarin, but that's pretty unrealistic. I was just wondering if there are any realistic options that the 'Hawks seem to have their sights set on.

It's been reported that the Blackhawks have been doing their due diligence center Kevin Hayes, giving us a good indicator of which kind of players they're targeting — the middle tier, not the upper. 

Hayes was a first-round draft pick in 2012 by the Blackhawks but did not sign a contract with the team. He went to free agency and inked an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers.

Where he would fit in is the interesting question, especially if the Blackhawks draft a center at No. 3 overall. There are only four spots available, so it would require moving things around.

To what degree do you think the Hawks' third overall selection will influence who we target in free agency? i.e. If we draft Turcotte, we won't pursue someone like Kevin Hayes.

We touched on this in last week’s mailbag, but should clarify or expand a little bit: Who the Blackhawks select at No. 3 will not and should not directly affect who they target in free agency. But there could be some ripple effects. 

The example used was that if the Blackhawks draft one of the top available centers, they will be adding that player to a group that already includes Artem Anisimov, David Kampf, Dylan Strome and Jonathan Toews. And if Hayes is a potential target, as mentioned above, then there needs to be some maneuvering — i.e. a trade or a center moves to wing. 

It’s a good problem to have when you have an overload at the center position, but it's still somewhat of a problem because you can't keep everyone happy. 

If the Blackhawks don't make the playoffs next year and end up in the same draft spot this year (12th), do you think Stan Bowman will trade the pick for immediate help?

https://twitter.com/Vis23089/status/1133797644231499785

If the Blackhawks don't make the playoffs next year, a strong argument could be made that Bowman may not be the one making that pick. The organization can't go three straight years without making the playoffs and five years without winning a playoff round. Progress needs to be made next season in the form of a postseason berth.

But to your actual question: The reality is, it’s easier said than done to trade a first-round pick for an immediate impact-type player. It just doesn’t happen frequently if you look at the history. The Blackhawks would only explore that option if they feel they’re filling a hole both in the short term and long term. They’re committed to their vision of building a contender for years to come, not just the next one or two.

Who do you think is the biggest trade asset this summer?

Duncan Keith and Brandon Saad are probably the two players that could fetch the biggest return, but Keith has a full no-movement clause and isn't going anywhere unless he wants out. And the only way Saad is moved is if the Blackhawks are filling other holes on their NHL roster by doing so. Draft picks and prospects won't cut it at this stage of the "reload," and a team that would be interested in Saad's services likely won't be interested in subtracting from their roster either because it means they're looking to make a playoff run.

The one player that is worth monitoring this summer is Artem Anisimov. He has two years left on his contract that carries a cap hit of $4.55 million. He’s still a useful player, but maybe not at the price anymore.

There are two things that could make him expendable: 

1) Anisimov's no-trade clause will be lifted on July 1, giving the Blackhawks full control on where he could potentially be moved to.

2) More importantly: the Blackhawks owe Anisimov a $2 million signing bonus on July 1. After they pay that, his actual salary owed over the next two years is only $5 million total. That could be a relatively attractive piece for a smaller market team looking to add some center depth but not pay the full price for one.

Do you think the Hawks will have the depth/consistency next season to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference?

Hi Jeremy Colliton's burner,

We will obviously have a better idea by July 2 after we see what the Blackhawks do at the NHL Draft and how Day 1 of free agency unfolds, but they will have every opportunity to fill out their depth this summer, particularly up front.

The consistency part is unknown. It doesn’t matter how the roster looks on paper. Next season will be about execution. Fortunately for the Blackhawks, they will be going into training camp knowing exactly what to expect from Colliton and will have several weeks of practice to hit the ground running come October.

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Former Blackhawk Daniel Carcillo has a question for Netflix's ‘Tiger King’ star

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USA Today

Former Blackhawk Daniel Carcillo has a question for Netflix's ‘Tiger King’ star

Retired Blackhawks’ winger Daniel Carcillo has apparently spent his quarantine the same way the rest of us have, binging Netflix's iconic docuseries "Tiger King." One of the principal subjects of the series is Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist and nemesis of Joe Exotic, also known as Tiger King.

While Carole’s life mission to rescue large cats is admirable, the documentary doesn't paint her as innocently as she’d like. Episode Three, titled "The Secret," discusses the disappearance of Carole’s second husband, Don, in the 90s, leaving many viewers to believe that Carole murdered her husband and fed his body (which has never been found) to her tigers. 

Carole actively rebukes these accusations, but it hasn’t stopped people from speculating. Including Daniel Carcillo, who Tweeted at Carole’s rescue organization to ask where Don’s body is. 

I mean... we all want to know. 

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2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 4 win over Canucks

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AP

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 4 win over Canucks

In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the 2010 Stanley Cup team, NBC Sports Chicago is re-airing each of the Blackhawks' 16 postseason wins from the run that ended a 49-year championship drought. You can join the conversation using #HawksRewind on social media.

After regaining home-ice advantage with a 5-2 win in Game 3, the Blackhawks rolled past the Canucks 7-4 in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals. Here are three things we noticed in the win:

1. A power play explosion

The Blackhawks' job going into Vancouver was to win at least one of the two games to take back home-ice advantage. They did that in Game 3. But Game 4 was the icing on the cake.

The final score was 7-4, but the reality is, the Blackhawks were outplayed in this game at even strength, where they generated only 27 shot attempts and 13 scoring chances while the Canucks had 55 shot attempts and 27 scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick.

It was special teams that made the difference. In their first nine postseason games, the Blackhawks went 7-for-37 on the power play for a success rate of 18.9. In Game 4 against Vancouver, they exploded for four goals on eight opportunities. 

2. A career night for Jonathan Toews

Fresh off a three-point effort in Game 3, Toews followed that up by recording a career-high five points, highlighted by his first career postseason hat trick. All three goals were scored on the power play, the third of which turned out to be the game winner. It was his fifth multi-point outing of the playoffs in his ninth game.

The Blackhawks' stars willed their team to a victory in Game 4, and they followed the lead of their captain.

3. Don't forget about Patrick Sharp

While Toews dominated the scoresheet, there's another Blackhawk who also had a big night: No. 10 in white. Sharp scored a power-play goal, had three assists and won five of six faceoffs in the win that helped him secure the No. 2 star of the game.

Here's a fun fact to wrap up: Sharp recorded at least one point in seven of his first 10 games of this postseason, and 15 of 22 total. He had 13 points (five goals, eight assists) through his first 10 games following a four-point effort in Game 4.

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