Should Blackhawls lock up Leddy long term?


Should Blackhawls lock up Leddy long term?

Of course, the Blackhawks are focused on the present and trying to re-capture their Stanley Cup glory of 2010. But with one eye on the future, should the Hawks be quick to act on signing defenseman Nick Leddy to a long-term contract extension?

Tab Bamford at Yardbarker.com believes it would be wise to lock up the 21-year-old, puck-moving blue liner now.

First and foremost, Bamford points out that Leddy's 34 assists in 2011-12 were in the top-15 of NHL defenseman. He also points out that Leddy's numbers in his first full season -- in which he was 20 for most of it -- were as good or better than former Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith, who was 22 in his first season. Here's the comparison:


Leddy was actually far superior to Keith as a playmaker, their plusminus is nearly even and Leddy delivered more hits despite blocking far less shots.

In the article, Bamford realizes that critics will point out Leddy's turnover issues and poor positioning in front of his own goal at times.

However, he's got interesting reasons why the same issues weren't raised for Keith: less fans at the United Center during a far different era for the Hawks and less of an impact of social media with Facebook limited to colleges and Twitter not in existence. This meant less analysis on every goal of every game from a greater amount of fans.

Do you agree with Bamford? Should the Blackhawks lock up the young and talented Leddy?

Would Wendell Carter Jr. be picked higher if the NBA Draft was today?

Would Wendell Carter Jr. be picked higher if the NBA Draft was today?

According to Bleacher Report, Wendell Carter Jr. would be taken fourth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies if the NBA were to redraft this year’s class based off of Summer League performances.

It may sound like a crazy concept (and it is), but Carter Jr. averaged the second most points, 14.6, through five July games in Las Vegas. He also averaged 9.4 rebounds and shot 55 percent from the field while averaging 28.8 minutes in his glamorous first-stint with Chicago. Those numbers are even more striking if you consider Carter Jr.’s 42.9 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.

Carter Jr., the real seventh overall pick of this year’s NBA Draft, looked like the all-around player the Bulls were hoping to get this offseason. He made his blocking abilities as a center known from the moment he stepped on the court in Summer League.

In their re-draft, Bleacher Report had Chicago using the No. 7 pick on the New York Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson, who was actually taken 36th overall in last month’s Draft.

Robinson, a center, averaged 13 points and 24.8 minutes per game over five Summer League contests. He was the best rebounder on his team with an average of 10.2 in the five games that the Knicks played.

The 20-year-old took the second most shots on the Knicks and had the highest field goal percentage at 67 percent, but Robinson did not have any three-point attempts.  What made his recent production seem even more surprising was the fact that the 7'1'' big man did not play a single minute of college basketball.

But would Robinson fit in the Bulls’ system?

Chicago has taken on an offensie-first mentality, so Robinson would not be as great of a fit in the Bulls lineup as Carter Jr., but he would still be an impact player. He can be compared to the Bulls’ current center Robin Lopez, who averaged a similar amount of points per game (11.8 points in 26.4 minutes) last season as Robinson’s Summer League average (13 points in 24.8 minutes). And like Lopez, Robinson would be most effecive around the basket and in the pick-and-roll.

Robinson would also have to learn the defensive concepts that a veteran like Lopez has mastered over his 10-year career.

Next season, the Bulls will have an exciting scoring trio of Jabari Parker, Lauri Markkanen and Carter Jr. in the frontcourt. And the fact that Carter Jr. is getting so much love in the national spotlight is yet another reason for Bulls  fans to be excited about this upcoming season.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What else can the Blackhawks do this summer?


Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What else can the Blackhawks do this summer?

On the latest edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Charlie Roumeliotis is joined by Scott Powers of The Athletic to discuss Stan Bowman's comments following the Marian Hossa trade and debate whether they're finished making moves this summer.

They also provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks' top prospects and which players have caught their attention as development camp winds down.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: