Hawks really feeling the squeeze, draft steals, and more mail topics
Executive of the year, eh?
The dominoes are only beginning to tumble. On the plus side, the Blackhawks now have three of their top-four defensemen locked up for an extended period. (The fourth, Team Canada's
That scenario isn't all that far-fetched. As it stands, the Hawks have a little more than $100,000 to spend and only 15 players signed.
Expect Bowman to press Niemi hard to take a low-dollar, short-term deal for the good of the club. Don't expect Niemi to take it.
Even a reasonable award, say $3 million, might be too much for the Hawks to bear. That could lead to the team walking away (yeah, it's possible) and leaving the netminding to Crawford and an affordable veteran (
Sharp or Niemi. It's a lady or the tiger conundrum for Bowman. But hey, at least that 49-year Cup drought is over, eh?
That would be a dream come true for Hawks fans, but I don't think there's any truth to it. Easy to see where this starts -- Chicago needs to dump salary and the Isles need to add some dollars just to get to the cap floor -- but it doesn't add up. Campbell is clearly a useful player and he'd make a great short-term acquisition. But dealing for him would only create a long-term headache for New York.
Campbell counts for $7.143 million against the cap (second-most among defenders) and he'll do it for the next six years. That's okay for this season, but what about next summer when the Isles have to re-sign franchise building blocks
Pittsburgh could use his talent -- shoot, they could use
A couple of teams have considered Frolov as an option, including the Rangers, Kings and, reportedly, Devils if they're unable to convince
Word is that Frolov wants to stay in North America, and no doubt there are a few teams waiting him out. But unless he's willing to lower his sights, say, to $3 million on a short-term deal, he might be forced to consider the overseas option.
I dug into the notes from the 2006 Entry Draft and found a quote from one scout (still employed, for the record) who suggested that that
Today, it looks like the Thrashers might have dug deepest to land a player when they selected defender
It's still too early to call the steals of the 2007 draft, but the Stars look brilliant for calling
Over the next year or two, count on a few more names to emerge and make everyone who called
I actually do remember your call because, as far as rule change ideas go, this has seemed like a no-brainer to me. I just can't justify the logic that allows a team the right to break one rule as a reward for breaking another.
I believed for a while that the NCAA might actually put all those book smarts to good use by legislating the free dump-out of the game, but the no-change element carried the day when it came down to a vote last week. The stumbling block? Apparently college coaches feared that removing icing would lead to fatigue and injury. Not sure I buy the injury angle,though it sure makes for a nice sound byte, but isn't fatigue kind of the point? Fewer guys on the ice means more work. More work leads to exhaustion. Exhaustion leads to mistakes. Mistakes end up in the net...and that's the price paid for taking the penalty in the first place.
And let's face it: icing isn't just a ridiculous option...it's a boring play. A no-skill play. Removing it would lead to skill development. Sure, there'd still be the occasional chip out of the zone, but you'd also see a heavier reliance on breakout plays. Or the red light would highlight the shame of the penalized player. Either is fine by me.
To their credit, the NCAA didn't abandon the idea completely. They'll use it during preseason in each of the next two years and then evaluate the results. A bit conservative for my liking, but at least the concept will get some consideration, maybe even by the NHL once they get a look at it in action.
And if they won't get rid of icing, maybe they'll at least consider the removal of the trapezoid...