Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Saad But True - Bowman Unloads

by Gatekeeper

So THAT happened...

Just as the day wound down, yesterday, the Blackhawks snuck in a quick minor little deal.

To Columbus
LW - Brandon Saad
C - Alex Broadhurst
D - Michael Paliotta

To Chicago
C - Marko Dano
C - Artem Anisimov
RW - Corey Tropp
LW - Jeremy Morin
2016 4th Rd Pick

Please note the sarcasm. It was reported that the contract talks between Brandon Saad and the Blackhawks had broken down, and his demands went from $4 million per year to $6.5 Million per year. This is ALL speculation, until he signs with Columbus, and I'm not buying it just yet.

As angry as I was when this deal was announced, I've had a night to sleep on it. I'm still not a fan, because Stan Bowman traded away one of the few young players that the team was actually able to develop, and probably the best young power forward in the league. If his hand was forced, then so be it. I hope, for Bowman's sake, that it was. Saad has been my favorite young player on this team for 3 years, and it hurts that he is gone. In fact, in the Bowman era, this is the biggest single loss they have encountered. Andrew Ladd is the second biggest loss, and all the rest fall in behind. Don't give me any of this Dustin Fluff-lien horse shit, because he has been a wild card, and was a bottom 6 forward or a bottom 3 defender. He is a role player for this team.

Brandon Saad is a very talented player, and I feel like he will do well. He has learned the ropes from 3 future Hall Of Fame players, and he has a good head on his shoulders. My best guess is that he will top out as a 35 goal/75 point guy.

The other questionable part of the trade going to Columbus was Michael Paliotta. This guy was Stan Bowman's hottest target this spring, when it was floated that he may pull a Kevin Hayes. They wined him, and dined him. They burned a year off his ELC to play one BAD game with the Hawks, and then they discard him. I thought he was one of the top defensive prospects. Apparently, they were as impressed as I was with his stellar NHL debut.

Onward and upward, as they say. More is sure to come out.

The Blackhawks acquired a guy that they have reportedly been eyeing for quite some time. He is 27 year old Russian center Artem Anisimov. Admittedly, I don't know a great deal about him, but he is a big body center than can fit in on the second line, allegedly. He came in with a $3.1 Million, and signed a 5 year $4.55 Million extension this morning. I hope you all like your Artem, becasue he's going to be here a while. Anisimov has 6 solid NHL seasons under his belt and averages about half a point a game. He was a 44% faceoff guy last season with the Jackets, as well. Feel free to judge for yourself:

I guess that is worth $4.55 Million.

The second, and maybe most intriguing piece of the deal was 20 year old Slovak Marko Da┼ło. He's an average sized center/wing that has speed and shiftiness, much like Kane, Teravainen and Panarin before him. He was a 2013 first round draft pick of the Jackets and had 21 points in 35 games. Nothing to scoff at. Here are his full stats:

Here is a WJC Dano Highlight Package:

Everyone seemed to be masturbating over this goal. Take it for what it is, one goal:

The third player in the deal is Corey Tropp, who is a 25 year old, nondescript, depth guy. He had 8 points in 61 games last season. Here is his line:

The last player might be the interesting piece. Bowman re-acquired Jeremy Morin, whom he basically gave away for nothing, in Tim Erixon. The same Jeremy Morin that Quenneville refused to play, and the same Jeremy Morin that was out for an extended time last season with an irregular heart rate. Makes no sense.

For anyone that want's to bash Saad as a player, let us watch him clown an all-star defenseman, once again:

Puckin Hostile
2015 Blackhawks
Free Agency Frenzy Ticker

by Gatekeeper

This a running ticker of the deals that the Blackhawks made for this year's free agency. Updates as needed.

The Deals

Viktor Tikhonov - 6'2" 185 lb - 27 year old Russian Wing/C - 1 year deal / $1.04 Million

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 33

In this Brandon Saad trade and number 33 "Jason Ellison" (and NOT #LemontNativeScottDarling) episode, the Hostile crew is joined again by Jim Kress Jr from (Who begged and pleaded to come on), and Sean Fitzgerald from

Gatekeeper, Pat, Derek, Jim and Sean, wait it out but eventually get to the Brandon Saad trade. We also cover the draft, pending free agency, the Parade and Cup rally, the "Jim and Derek Show", the heel tag team of the New NWO (Gate and Pat), and all the hi-jinx that has happened since the Blackhawks won the cup.

Check out the Puckin Hostile Stanley Cup Highlight video:

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
Portions of his profits go to the Ronald McDonald House Chicago.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 33 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:
Get the Shoutcast on Soundcloud here:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Just The Facts, Ma'am
Crawford by the Numbers

by Gatekeeper

Happy summer, Blackhawks fans. How happy are we that the Stanley Cup has come back to Chicago for the third time in 5 years, or 6 Seasons? Elated, I would hope. I know I am. There is a slight problem, however. Some people, lets call them meatballs because fans is not a correct term, are still not happy with their team's goalie. I'm not going to point out which team...

OK, well maybe I am going to point out this thankless group of meatballs. It shouldn't surprise me, or anyone for that matter, that Chicago sports fans completely overlook a player's success for fairy tales and conspiracy theories. I want to keep this strictly to a stats/salary driven piece, because everyone knows I'm a Crawford apologist.

First of all, Corey Crawford is the 7th highest goalie cap hit in the NHL. Five of the top seven have never won a cup. Two of these players have two Stanley Cups, Corey Crawford and Jonathan Quick. Quick's cap hit is $200,000 less than Crawford, but he makes $500,000 more in real dollars.

Second of all, Corey Crawford is the 9th highest goalie salary in the NHL. Six of the top nine have never won a cup. Again, two of these players have two Stanley Cups, Crawford and Quick.

Below, is a list compiled of all Stanley Cup winning goalies since 2007-08. Playoff stats, and regular season Save Percentage are listed, as well as some advanced stats. The advanced stats are as follows:

  • Quality Starts (QS): When the goalie achieves at least the mean save percentage (for the season) in a game.

  • Quality Start Percentage (QS%): simply the number of Quality Starts / Games Started. This gives you a sense of how often the goalie has a Quality Start. A good rule of thumb for this stat is that anything less than 50% is bad, anything over 60% is among the league leaders, and the league average for an NHL regular is about 53.4%

  • Really Bad Starts (RBS): Awarded whenever a goalie has a save percentage in a game less than 85%

  • GA Pct (GA%): Goals allowed % relative to league goals allowed. Lower is better, 100 is exactly average, 0 means you have saved 100% of shots faced. Min. 4 shots faced per team game needed to qualify.

  • Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA): Goals this goalie prevented given his save percentage and shots faced vs. the league average save percentage on the same number of shots. Min. 4 shots faced per team game needed to qualify.

  • I did not create these, I am simply passing on the information. This is a list that has been mixed up for the sport of it. Feel free to tell me which two are the terrible over paid Corey Crawford, by looking at these stats:

    If you don't like Corey Crawford, that is your right, but there is no statistical evidence to damn him, or his salary, for that matter. Saying he is overpaid is false based on his accomplishments, and saying he has not earned his status is also false, based on the stats.

    If you compare him to Antti Niemi on 2010, the comparison falls short, statistically, as well. Of the three recent Blackhawks Stanley Cup wins, Niemi played the worst. In fact, you could make the argument that he was statistically the worst goalie in the last eight seasons to win a Stanley Cup, along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Black and white folks. Below are the initials and the year filled in:

    Sunday, June 28, 2015

    Da Tradez Have Come
    Get Dat Goaler Out Of Da Town

    by Gatekeeper

    Shortly after the draft wrapped up yesterday afternoon the Blackhawks finally announced a trade. Unfortunately for the fanbase, it was nowhere near the one they were expecting.

    Not exactly the thrilling move that we all expected, but a bit of a surprising development. I thought the Blackhawks would hang onto Raanta in case of an injury to Crawford or Darling. He has a year left on his contract, at a low cap hit. Raanta's waiver status had expired and he would have to pass through waivers, if he was called up. This could have been a big reason for the move.

    The Blackhawks now have no goalies signed, beyond Crawford and Darling. Mac Carruth is a restricted free agent, and will probably be qualified. Swedish netminder Anders Nilsson, acquired in the Nick Leddy trade, is in the KHL but it has been reported that he is uninterested in playing any further in the AHL. The Blackhawks also have the rights to Russian Goalie Ivan Nalimov, but he has a year remaining on his KHL deal. Ohio State Goalie, and 2012 7th round draft pick Matt Tomkins doesn't seem to figure in the mix, and is still unsigned.

    This means the Blackhawks will have to make a move, or two, to sign a goaltender. Previously, the Blackhawks signed low risk and "under-the-radar" players like Raants, Antti Niemi, Carter Hutton, Michael Leighton, Scott Darling, and Ray Emery. All of which have worked out in some capacity.

    In the deal, the Blackhawks acquired forward Ryan Haggerty. Haggerty is a 22 year old, 6'0" 200 lb, righthanded, Right Wing. He was signed as a college free agent in 2014, and played last season with the Rangers AHL affiliate, Hartford. These are his career stats:

    Not bad for a first year player in the AHL. Could be some depth in Rockford to take the place of the players moving up to the Blackhawks. Honestly, he sounds a lot like Kyle Baun to me.

    Here is a college highlight reel of some of his goals. Enjoy: