• Welcome to the all new, redesigned Puckin Hostile

    The goons here at Puckin Hostile have completely redesigned the website, to better enhance your experience no matter what devices you surf with.

  • The Puckin Hostile Blackhawks Shoutcast

    Join the Hostile crew for this bi-weekly look at the NHL and Blackhawks hockey. Of course, it just wouldn't feel right without plenty of inappropriate jokes and references. Available on iTunes and Soundcloud.

  • Puckin Hostile - Blackhawks News Facebook Page

    If you're one of those Facebook users like the Puckin Hostile page. Click here to be taken over to our page.

  • Puckin Hostile Instagram

    Head over and follow the Puckin Hostile Instagram page. We post up all the latest photoshop creations for you to enjoy. Click here to be taken over to our page.

  • Follow the guys on Twitter

    Follow Gatekeeper (@PuckinHostile), Stankus (@Patrick_Stankus), Bryan (@AtomicFroster), Norton (@PDNorton3), and the Shoutcast account (HawksShoutcast) on Twitter.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Your Newest (Possible) Blackhawk, The Matador

Hopefully we'll be seeing a lot more of this

Late last night it was reported, and later confirmed, that the Blackhawks had traded the very conditional pick that Uncle Dale sent them for Kopecky to Buffalo, for the rights to unrestricted free agent defenseman Steve Montador. This really shouldn't be a huge surprise, as the Hawks were sniffing his door at the trade deadline last year, ahead of the Stromboli trade. If the Hawks can sign him in the next 24 hours, and they should, the trade was really Kopecky for Montador, which is certainly fair. This just about squashes all speculation that Stan will go out and get another puck moving defenseman for the powerplay, and seems to be happy with Stromboli and Three Times-a-Leddy as the quarterbacks for Quenneville's powerplay. I can't say I'M as comfortable with that, but so be it. When Stanimal gives you grapes, make wine; very strong wine.

Montador is 31, and was on the books for $1.5 million last year. He's listed at 6'0" and 211 lbs, which is slightly on the short side, but the guy is solid. He's been a solid 25 point guy, for his career, and reportedly has a big shot to go with some big hits. Judging by his fight videos he has excellent hair, too. His downfall reportedly is that he's not a great puck carrier, and will turn it over. Hopefully he'll leave that part up to either Stromboli or Leddy. I would assume that he will get around $2 million a year, which is more than fair. On a side note, EVERY fight video I've found of Montador, he's getting his ass handed to him. Might want to work on that, Stev-o.

This should also, thankfully, quiet the Brent Sopel talk, unless he's coming here to sit and watch from the press box for somewhere in the area of 40 games. This all suits me fine, because Montador is younger, faster, and just overall more talented.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What in the World of Dale Tallon?

"What do you think of those Florida threads, kid?

In what could be explained as a "curious move", Dale Tallon sent the Hawks a free conditional 7th round draft pick in either of the next two seasons for the rights to negotiate with Tomas Kopecky for three additional days, because as of 11 cst on the 1st, he is an unrestricted free agent.

In SOMEONE'S mind, he is some kind of hot property. Now, that may be in some alternate universe, and someone may want to explain to Tallon that Hossa is no longer still attached to Kopecky at the hip, because Good Ol Dale is throwing "solids" our way, left and right. Getting the band back together, right Dale?

The curious case of Tomas Kopecky started 2 years ago, and ended much like Troy Brouwer's story did, Friday. One can only speculate that when Hossa met with Tallon to negotiate his contract, he opened up with, "So, I have this annoying sidekick that is like a much more annoying kid brother, but comes cheap." and Tallon was sold. Kopecky never had a "place", other than fluffing Hossa's pillows and signing for his room service. He was shuffled up and down the lineup, but Quenneville finally cried uncle and paired him up with Hossa, just to shut him up. In the end he was relegated to the fourth line, and that pretty much cemented his fate here.

He has that annoying quality that will get under the Hawks skin, when they DO see him, and the Hawks were NOT going to pay $2 million a year to a guy that has no real definite place in the lineup. If this doesn't pan out for Dale, the ownership in Florida is going to catch on to this ruse he's throwing at them. I guess we'll see in the next three days, but it's starting to seem like a fire sale mutiny in South Florida.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Draft-A-Palooza - The Picks

Round Pick Pos/Name Team HT/WT
1 18 C Mark McNeill Prince Albert(WHL) 6'2"/201
1 26 LW/C Phillip Danault Victoriaville(QMJHL) 6'0"/170
2 36 D Adam Clendening Boston Univ.(H-East) 5'11"/190
2 43 LW Brandon Saad Saginaw(OHL) 6'1"/208
3 70 D Michael Paliotta U.S. NTDP U-18 6'3"/198
3 79 D Klas Dahlbeck Linkoping(SWE) 6'2"/194
4 109 RW Maxim Shalunov Chelyabinsk(RUS-JR.) 6'3"/185
5 139 C Andrew Shaw Owen Sound(OHL) 5'11"/180
6 169 D Sam Jardine Camrose(AJHL) 6'0"/185
7 199 C Alex Broadhurst Green Bay(USHL) 5'10"/153
7 211 G Johan Mattsson Södertälje(SWE) 6'3"/198

There is your 2011 Chicago Blackhawks draft class, fans. Excited? At this point, it is anyone's guess at who will pan out, and all we have is speculation, so lets get on with the dog-n-pony show.

Maybe the big strong #2 center the Blackhawks have been in need of? By many accounts, NHL ready.
NHL Central Scouting’s Blair MacDonald
“One thing I like about him is that he's a right-handed center, which is good to have. He's really composed and has a real pro-style game. He has a nice touch, can dish, and has nice, soft passes. His on-ice awareness is very good and he's paid attention to detail at both ends of the rink. He has good defensive-zone coverage as well as being offensive at the other end. All around I think he's got a real solid game I think his offensive game will improve the older he gets and the more confident he gets. I think he'll be a better offensive player than he's showing right now. He's good at both ends of the rink. He comes down low and helps out defensively.”

Port McNeil GM Bruno Campese

“He's one of those kids that has the ability to do so many different things, he's got so much upside to him. ... He's a powerful skater and has great hockey sense. He's got very good basic skills and he's got the ability to be a real tough person to play against. He's got the mental capabilities to understand the game as well . . . I really believe he has all the attributes. He's got certain gifts that other players just don't have. That really bodes well for playing in the NHL.”

"Character guy". Not really sure if he's an NHL Center, or Wing, but we'll find out in a few years. Has been a captain or Alternate on most teams he's played on.
Victoriaville head coach Yanick Jean
"The thing about Danault is he's a tremendous worker. He's dedicated to the game, but now he's taking more and more leadership and it's contagious. He has the admiration of every single one of his teammates just on how hard he works. He'll bring work ethic, dedication and leadership. His passion for the game is unique because he's the most passionate kid I've ever coached. He plays with pride; he's not the type of kid who thinks he's better than the next guy, but he challenges himself to be as good if not better."

A slightly smallish defenseman, with a striking resemblance to Lurch from the Addams Family. Looks like another puck mover for the future. Keith/Leddy/Campoli type.
NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee
“Clendening (jumps) out at you playing on the power play with his high level of finesse and skill. He is an excellent skater and hard to pin down when forechecked. He has a very good shot from the point. He is also very adequate in his own zone."

Looks very shifty. Kind of like a bigger Steve Sullivan, or Daniel Briere. Rumor has it that he's a wild card with potential great upside.
NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards
“Brandon has very good speed and agility and that makes him dangerous, he’s solid on his skates and fights through checks very well. He plays a solid two-way game and is very responsible defensively.”

Michael Paliotta - Defense

As far as the rest go, we should find out in the coming weeks.

Draft-A-Palooza - The Deals

You might say that the Blackhawks had an eventful weekend. Stan Bowman saddled up with his big boy britches, and made some headlines during this year's entry draft. Everyone was expecting SOMETHING to happen, and the Hawks brass didn't disappoint; or they DID disappoint, depending on your feelings for Brian Campbell and Troy Brouwer. First things first, though.

The Hawks ended up with ELEVEN, you read that right, ELEVEN picks in this 7 round draft. That's half the amount of players that the Hawks will be rostering on November 3. That being said, they had 2 first round picks, thanks to the trade of Troy Brouwer, and had the "pleasure" of holding the Mr. Irrelevant pick at 211, thanks to the Boston Bruins. Before really digging into the eleven new Blackhawks, lets look into the two FORMER Blackhawks

First of all, Troy Brouwer was traded to the Capitals, for their first round pick. People are going to be ALL over the place on this one, but this was a "no brainer". The Hawks weren't going to resign him for the money he was probably owed, and they got a young FIRST ROUND player for him. Yes, Quenneville probably misused him, but if he was lighting the world on fire, he might have found a solid spot SOMETIME during the year. By the end of the year, he was an afterthought, and doing duty with the cretins on the forth line. In essence, Bowman traded a 4th line, 7th round player, for a first round draft pick. And like I said MANY times before, YES he led the team in hits, but this was by default. Who else on this team was going to hit someone? Jack Skille?...oh wait. The Big Slow? Hardly. It's a replaceable stat, and not worth the cabbage. If Kyle Beach would grow half a brain in that empty head of his, he'd already have taken Brouwer's spot, but that's another subject, for another rant. A+ for Bowman, on this move.

As if the Brouwer move didn't wake up the Blackhawk nation, it was announced (after I'd gone to bed for the night) that the albatross that is Brian Campbell's contract had been shipped to familiar territory, Florida. Hello, there Dale Tallon! I specifically remember a very good looking chrome domed loudmouth mentioning South Florida and their plethora of cap room as a destination for Mr. Soupie, but who likes to boast? Of course, I was pointed at like a fool. I guess I CAN be right from time to time. Anyway, with the trade of one pink elephant, came a smaller pink elephant in return. Rosti-Rusty-Rostislav Olesz is now your newest Blackhawk. Roll out the red carpet at the UC! No matter how you dice that name up, if people insist on calling him Rosti, I will continue to post this picture:
Nevertheless, this young man is making WAY too much money, based on his skillset, and is due this utter THEFT until the end of the 2013/14 season. It's bad enough that it makes Brent Sopel and Kris Versteeg's contracts seem very palatable. This guy hasn't scored more than 20 goals or 30 points since 2001-2 in the Czech Under 20 League. Whatever the case, they can make this kid go away much easier than the extra $3 million that Campbell was towing around. We threw Tallon a solid, for throwing us a BIGGER solid. Enough about Rusty, and more about the departure of Brian Campbell.

Where do we begin? I don't think anyone, including me, thought Bowman could actually pull this off. From this day forward I shall refer to Campbell not as Phantom 51, but as Catch 22, because that's what this is a case of. He is fast, talented, and makes the Hawks a better team when he's out there, but he was about $3 million on the bad side of a brutal contract. It could be argued that $7.1 million a year isn't quite as bad as it was a few years ago, and you'd be right. But the fact of the matter is that he was making at LEAST $2 million a year more than the Hawks needed to be paying for him. He certainly didn't squash all critics, while he was here, but he lowered them down to a dull roar. Purely from a talent standpoint, I want Brian Campbell wearing 51 in my colors. He moved the puck and he excels on the powerplay, which is exactly what he was advertised, 3 years ago. When he was out of the lineup, the Hawks looked questionable, at best. In fact, the playoff turnaround last year can be attributed to Campbell's return to the lineup, because they were struggling mightily before he came back, and they were pretty much dominant until Captain Serious was raising the cup over his head.

I get it though, in fact, I said it needed to be done. An extra $7.1 million can bring in quite a few talented players. What does this leave for the defense? I'm sure StanBo has his plan, but for the first time in quite a while, like me after a night at the Mexican place, the Hawks have a little turmoil in their back end. Nick Leddy is not even a SHADE of Cammpbell, yet. Campoli needs to be resigned and is, again, not Campbell. Deuce showed that the pressure of being "the man" on the back end was a little too much. Lucky Number Sleven and Hammer are what they are, and none of what they are is Brian Campbell. None of the names like Olsen, Connelly, Lalonde, Stanton or Danis-Pepin are anything resembling Mr 51. There are a few free agents, but none of them bring what he did. Someone is going to need to step up, or the talent level is going to need to be leveled off. Some unrestricted free agents that can move the puck are Joni Pitkanen, Ian White, and Christian Ehrhoff, but that's still a drop off in the talent category, and I don't want to even ENTERTAIN the little bitch that is Kevin Bieksa. The other option is going against the "guy code" and poaching a RFA, and there are some out there. The problem is that most teams aren't letting any of these guys go, even if it means grossly overpaying. Look at what the Hawks were forced to do with Hjalmarsson, and he's no Shea Weber, Drew Doughty, or Keith Yandle, so it's not even worth entertaining that thought. Friday, at 11cst/12est, the free agent period opens up, and it'll personally be like Christmas if StanBo whips his junk out on the table, and goes all in. The only name I'm throwing out there is Eric Cole, and you heard it here 2 weeks ago. Happy hunting, Blackhawks Brass, because we need something to cheer about.

In all this commotion there was a draft. Yes, really. In the order of cleanliness, I will followup with another blog just to spotlight the picks...Onward

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Vacation is Over

With the close of the 2010-11 season last week, the business end (and I don't mean the bunghole) of the NHL swings into action. As Hawks fans, we all took some time to decompress after last year's magical mystery tour. The highs and lows made for a very emotional year, and we all needed some time to recharge and refresh, just as the players do. That is why it's so hard to repeat as champs, because not only do you have the physical grind of a season, but you have the emotional drain. Nevertheless, It's time for me, and the million other reporters and bloggers, to get back to BLACKHAWKS business.

For this year's draft, the Hawks pick 18th (round 1), 36th (round 2 via the Ladd trade), 43rd (round 2 via trade), 48th (round 2), 70th (round 3 via trade), 79th (round 3), 109th (round 4), 139th (round 5), 169th (round 6), 199th (round 7), and Mr. Irrelevant at the 211th pick (round 7 via trade). That's a grand total of 11 pick, and even though one of their second round picks will go to the Sens to complete the Stromboli trade, 10 picks isn't too shabby. Especially when you factor in that they have 3 picks in, possibly, the first 43 choices. At this point we really won't know what kind of lightning or static electricity they've captured in their bottle. To give you an idea of the past picks at 18, these are the last few, going back to 2000:

Austin Watson, Louis Leblanc, Chet Pickard, Ian Cole, Chris Stewart, Ryan Parent, Kyle Chipchura, Eric Fehr, Denis Grebeshkov, Jens Karlsson, and Brooks Orpik.

Not really the list of All Stars you'd hope for, and the last time the Hawks chose 18th overall, they ended up with the legendary Bruce Cassidy in 1983. Let's just say that if someone is going to break out from this draft, on the the Blackhawks, it won't be for a few years, and it will probably be unexpected.

With the current state of the team, you might even see them trade out of the first round, so don't be surprised, unless you were all hoping for the next Jens Karlsson.

-I was corrected earlier by Cam (thanks for pointing out the error), as the salary cap COULD go up to as much as $62.2 million, for the next season. At this point it's all speculation, but the Hawks have the 4th highest payroll in the NHL, as the roster stands.

-With 16 rostered NHL players, they would have $7.9 Million to spend on the 7 possible remaining spots. To break it down a little more, that's 8 Forwards (Ben Smith and Marcus Kruger included), 6 Defensemen (John Scott included, although I hesitate even labeling him as an NHL player, much less a defenseman), and 2 goalies. That is ROUGHLY $1.128 million per open roster slot. Not the conundrum they were in last year, but still slightly tight. Also, keep in mind that this does NOT include Frolik, Kopecky, Brouwer, Stalberg, Dowell, Pisani, Johnson, Campoli, Hendry, or any of the Rockford crew.

-The TYPICAL roster will have 23 players, which would consist of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goalies, and could have as many as 3 floating/open healthy slots. Slow down to let your brain catch up to the rest of this, because it'll get more complicated.

Exhale...you're doing great

-We're going to ASSUME that Marcus Kruger ends up in Rockford, Ben Smith plays with the big boys, and John Scott will continue to hold his "floating" status.

-This adjusts the matrix to 5 open forward slots 1 defensive slot, and few open slots. Raise the Cap Space to $8.8 million

-Assume Frolik and Campoli are re-signed at an average of $1.5 million a piece, which is a slight raise for both. Down to 4 forwards and $5.8 million remaining.

-Assume Jeremy Morin, $866K cap hit, is an NHLer for 2011, which leaves $5 Million for 3 forwards.

-Assume they humor us with Ryan Johnson or someone in the same general price bracket, as our 4th line center/penalty killing and faceoff guru, for a generous $600k. $4.4 Million for 2 forwards, with 2 roster spots to play with.

on to our next subject...

Before we dip into this pond, we need to establish what positions the Hawks are set at. The would have three solid centers, seven solid wings, six defensemen and a John Scott in a pear tree. The Hawks needs would seem to be a second or maybe a forth line center, and a wing or two. Where do they go with this, because there are are no affordable 2nd line centers. Try to force Dave Bolland into that slot and look for a solid 3rd line center, or continue force the proverbial square peg (Patrick Sharp) into the round hole and stock up on wings?

The name at wing I really like on the market is Eric Cole of the Hurricanes. He has a little of that grit and grind to him, that made Andrew Ladd such an effective player here. For forth line center I will still always love John Madden over Ryan Johnson, and anything can happen. Who knows what direction they are going in, but this will be interesting to watch. More to follow as I hear it...

Shoutcast Player


Facebook Page

Blog Archive