Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ladies and Gents, Versteeg has left the building

It’s the eve of July 1st and it’s déjà vu all over again. Kris Versteeg and the rights to Chicagoan Bill Sweatt were traded to lowly Toronto for Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis. Anyone who knows anything about hockey, and not just what they watched from their bandwagon seats, expected something like this. Versteeg is a 3rd line winger that was overpaid. As I’ve said before, If you think we can’t replace him, then you’re just a moron. The Hawks have plenty of young talent in the minors, and there are certainly some cheaper 40-50 point wingers out there that love to turn over the puck in the neutral zone and rap badly. In fact, I will go on record and say he will not have a better season next year, because he cannot hide behind 2 full lines of stellar talent and be forgotten about. As with the Atlanta trade, I want to emphasize something. This trade was NOT to get solid NHL talent in return. Bowman did NOT need to load up on more inflated salaries. They acquired two PROSPECTS and a good sized role player that might be able to put 15-20 goals in the net, with a few guys around him. So, all you little kiddies can just climb back off the ledge. If we're going to be left with one sightly immature player on the roster going into training camp, give me Patrick Kane 100 out of 100 times. I am, though, kind of sad to see Elburn native and Colorado College speedster Billy Sweatt gone. It's always good to see a hometown guy make it with the big club, a la Eddie O. I guess our hopes now hinge on Danny Richmond. So much for that pipe dream. The big picture shows that the Hawks will be just fine.

I also want to address the Colin Fraser trade. This one is a real wash, and, I believe, Edmonton's request, rather than the Hawks. Fraser didn’t even play more than 3 playoff games in either of the last two years. He was a marginal player. Obviously, he wasn’t that important. This gives him a chance to possibly move up to a third line position with Edmonton, rather than wasting away as a forth line/press box player. Good luck Fraz, you’re a good kid.

You’ll probably see Hjalmarsson, Ladd and Niemi back, unless some dumb team wants to grossly over pay for one of them. If they can comfortably sleep at night with that, then more power to them. Huet needs to take a long walk of a short pier. If I never see that guy again, it’ll be too soon. Rot in Rockford, you fragile, french, goofy grinning, sieve. Once all that is taken care of the Hawks will have cleared up somewhere around $13 to $15 million, and that was a tall order for Stan to do without breaking up the core. I'm very comfortable with the job he has done thus far, now lets sneak in a sleeper free agent.

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