I understand the probability of all these players being booted off the Blackhawks roster are zero but I just want to give my take on players that I would like to see gone as soon as possible from the Blackhawks roster.
Daniel Carcillo – I swear the reason person like this guy is because he has a twitter account. Perhaps people see something different than what I am seeing on his play as a member of the Blackhawks. He does have skills and he can fight but is he intimidating? Not at all unless the opposition is worried of a cheap shot which of course we saw this year and he ended up with a season ending injury. I don’t care what his record is with Chicago when he is in the lineup, I really don’t.
Here is an example for you that really pissed me off during a game against the Calgary Flames. The Hawks’ were getting manhandled as they usually do in Alberta and Jarome Iginla was challenging Carcillo for a tilt. Carcillo promptly turned away and denied the scrap. Daniel was hurt, I believe, but if he’s in the line-up you do what you can to take out the player. Hell, just hug Iggy and fall to the ground. He’s gone for 5 minutes and you’ve done a great job. OR do what Daniel did and turnaround and go sit on the bench.
I also find it hilarious that Carcillo has all of these fans. Going back to 2009/2010 Daniel was one of the most hated players by the Blackhawks nation. He comes to our team and all of a sudden he is a fan favourite. I don’t think it is wrong but like I said I think it is hilarious. I wonder what would happen if Alexandre Burrows was a Hawk. Wait a minute, I know what would happen, create a twitter account, be funny, post some photos together with Duncan Keith, score some goals and you will be loved by most. Go ahead; deny it if you wish but it would happen just like that.
I personally have no problems with fans embracing their players but it is funny how things pan out.
Michael Frolik – This is going to be my favourite part of this entire blog. I’m going to pull out the ol’ I TOLD YOU SO. Soon after Frolik was acquired in a 5 player trade with the Florida Panthers I cringed slightly when the deal was made. However, like most of us, we were excited for the highly touted Alexander Salak and we also did not give up very much to get these two guys.
Let’s look back a bit onto Frolik’s inaugural season in Chicago and compare it to this year. Frolik scored three times in twenty eight games and showed me very little of this offensive capability he was supposed to have. To his credit, Frolik was nothing less of outstanding in the playoffs and earned himself a decent contract extension. This year he was unable to double his goal scoring output and he had 63 games to do so but was OK to very good during this year’s playoffs. Do we have another case of “he only gets amped up for the playoffs”?
After news broke out that he was resigned to an extension I went off a bit and people attacked me saying “he was a 20 goal scorer 2 years in a row”. I lifted my leg and urinated on that comment as that means nothing to me. A ton of it has to do with how he is used on his previous team and we all knew he wouldn’t get that opportunity in Chicago, didn’t we? I told you so….
Andrew Brunette – I can’t be too hard on Andy because he’s a veteran who has had some solid years and he actually did some good things for Chicago. Brunette is a classy guy, too. I did not like the signing when it was completed simply because of his speed and from being used to a fast skating style of the Hawks’ in the past it made me question Bowman’s sanity for a second. Good luck Andrew on your next team or retirement, you were a very good NHL player.
Jamal Mayers – I expect some argument here as Jamal was a steady player for us and was always a willing combatant when it came to sticking up for his teammates or trying to boost the Hawks’ energy level for the game. He was actually not too bad on the penalty kill either. With all these positive things being mentioned you’re probably wondering what I am smoking if I still want to remove Mayers from the roster. For me, it’s simple. We need the roster space. I know most are pencilling in Kruger as a second line center and some maybe even third. I see him as a perfect fit on the fourth line. I still don’t see Patrick Kane being the Blackhawks number 2 center no matter what Stan Bowman says. Remember when he was attempting to resign Niemi and said he was going nowhere? Hmmm.
Sean O’Donnell – Another guy on his last legs in the NHL. Tough as they come and in fantastic physical shape but the only problem are his skills have diminished as one would expect from a 40 year old D-man who has played a tough role his entire career. Yet another questionable signing by Bowman and I expect O’Donnell to retire this off-season.
Steve Montador – I think most of us were up in the air about this signing. We figured we were getting a solid defender who is tough as nails. Instead we got a guy who was constantly beat with speed to the outside and numerous bad giveaways in his own end. Of course Steve spent a lot of his time nursing a concussion but in my most humble opinion he was nothing to get excited about. The bright spot for Montador for me was him being on the powerplay and scoring goals. I guess that shows how pathetic the Blackhawks powerplay really was especially throwing a d-man up there that had 28 goals in his entire career prior to this year. Oh, fire Mike Kitchen.
Sami Lepisto – This guy took a lot of heat as he was not good to start the year and then he was a healthy scratch in numerous games. He only played in 26 games this season and he did play a handful of solid games back there. But come on, he is obviously not liked by Joel Quenneville (whom I don’t always agree with) but whatever. Sami, in my opinion, would be a good 2-way contract guy we could use as a fill in from time to time but it is much easier just to let him walk. The only positive things I heard on Lepisto is that he was good looking and also that people on Twitter started a hashtag called #FreeLepisto . I guess that shows how sad our overall defence was this season when people are begging for Sami to play.
Brendan Morrison – I despised this trade. I don’t care if everyone proceeded to tell me that Brian Connelly was never going to make the Blackhawks roster. BMO was good 6 years ago and in my opinion had little chance to show he could help Chicago this season. I think his play showed exactly what I thought it would be plus he was a healthy scratch for most of the time he was here. I would have preferred a third round draft pick in 2099 for Connelly and brought up Pirri.
Rostislav Olesz – He wasn’t given a good look this year only playing in 6 games but apparently that was enough for the Blackhawks to send him to Rockford. He did well in the AHL season so I say keep him there and he can light up the AHL. Olesz was the price the Hawks’ had to pay to unload the contract of Brian Campbell (which I know many of you hated). If Bowman does the right thing in the near future, well, I’m sure most of you will see it was actually a smart move as much as it hurts not having Soupy playing for Chicago.
Ray Emery – First off, kudos to Ray for coming back from major hip surgery to earn himself a backup position with Chicago and a contract extension for another year moving into 2012/2013. Now, I will kick dirt on Bowman’s shiny white dress shoes for doing that extension. Corey Crawford just finished his first year as a starting goaltender in Chicago and he had a tough time staying consistently good.
I truly believe part of that problem is because there is no threat whatsoever from the backup goaltender. Competition for that #1 spot is a good thing for goaltenders and I know that from experience (not at the NHL level of course but you get my drift). As much as I am impressed with Emery’s recovery and his resurgence in Chicago, I believe if they signed or tried to sign/trade for a better goaltender it would help Crawford excel in goal. Look at St. Louis for example with Halak and Elliott. Elliott was one of the worst goaltenders in the NHL and Halak was not terrific last year for the Blues. Elliott catches fire and now they have arguably the best tandem in the league with both fighting for that #1 position.
What goalie could we get? Oh I don’t know, Scott Clemmensen must be pissed off about being a backup his whole career and might turn it up a notch to try to take over a number one spot. Just throwing a name out there…
Johnny Oduya – I won’t try to hide my opinion after Oduya’s short regular season with Chicago but he impressed me just like he did for a lot of you out there. However, was there a worse D-man for Chicago in the playoffs this year? I don’t think so. I spoke to a close friend in Winnipeg and she assures me that his giveaways were a common occurrence on a daily basis playing for the Jets. I will take my friends word on that and what I saw in the playoffs from Johnny-O and stand firm in saying. Get outta here. We can spend that money elsewhere.
Bryan Bickell – The guy was a sick beast during the final stretch and in the playoffs he played remarkably well. Where was he all season though? Notice he joined Twitter after he turned it up a notch? He would have been run into the ground if he was on Twitter prior to his run of good play and he was the goat for most of the season for Blackhawks fans. This reminds me of Troy Brouwer too much; Troy only brought it on some days and was never consistent. Bickell never brought it all until the end of the year and partially in the playoffs. I guess I’m not one that is worried about the “great” Bolland, Bickell, Frolik or Shaw line. Was it really that great? I don’t think so.
Honorable mention goes to Niklas Hjalmarsson.
I hope you enjoyed my take on the 12 guys I would like to see removed from the Blackhawks prior to next year. Who would we want to replace all or some of these guys with? That is an entire new discussion and I can’t wait for the off-season. It’s a make or break year for Stan Bowman, he had his freebie year after the dismantling of salaries and he’s had another year to see what he has to work with in seeing youngsters Shaw, Leddy, Olsen, Kruger, Hayes and Bollig and how Crawford would handle the starters role. His time is now to bring this team up to a more competitive level and become elite once again.
Kudos to Zimbio.com for the photos.
Thanks for reading,