Tuesday, July 21, 2009
You know, Tallon put in a helluva lot of work only to get fired. The team that probably received the most coverage this entire offseason, these Blackhawks are gunning for next year, they have to be, right? I mean, I don't need to tell you they're going to have cap issues, hell, they're going to be epic. But if they reach the Cup, it's all gravy. There's a reason Hossa signed the career deal.
But in all seriousness, how can you not say that Tallon did a fine job assembling this team from laughingstock to serious contender? He got Patrick Sharp for, oh what was it, Matt Ellison (had to look it up) and Havlat for Preissing and Josh Hennessy. He gets the draft right, lands the stud defensemen, lands the game changing forwards, picks up the grit in Eager and Burish, and takes the shaft from the Blackhawks organization.
As for those cap issues, next season Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Andrew Ladd, and Duncan Keith all become restricted free agents. Needless to say Kane and Toews are getting huge bumps over their $875K and $850K contracts, respectively, from this season (granted their cap hits are around $3 million due to the hefty bonuses they receive for being awesome). While Ladd and Keith, although they both make well over $1.5 million, will be getting hefty bumps too.
So where does that leave freshly appointed GM Stan Bowman? Well, besides shafted...in a position of little power to make moves. The logical move? Brian Campbell. Will it happen? Absolutely not. Not until salary sharing becomes a reality (will it come up in the upcoming CBA, we can only hope). His $7+ million salary for the next gajillion years is a behemoth that no GM will take on with the uncertainty coming in future seasons.
So who's the trade bait? Well, 3 guys: Patrick Sharp, Brent Seabrook, and Dustin Byflugien. Each makes over $3 million, each are expendable to an extent. I'd say there's a small chance of Dave Bolland and Kris Versteeg moving, but I can't see why the 'Hawks would do that. But I've seen crazier deals made.
It'll be interesting to see what Bowman will take in exchange for some of his bloated salary. He's in no position for haggling, the other 29 GMs know what kind of trouble he'll be in next year, so he'll have to take picks and prospects right?
But hey, like I said, next season, between Kane, Toews, Hossa, and company, looks like the Hawks have a great chance at being Western Conference Champs, but that's it. You know, cause they have Hossa. [Insert played out joke here].