The Blackhawks missed out on both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, two players I dreamed about landing but knew all along they wouldn’t be moving to Chicago. Stan Bowman made offers to both players, which is all you can ask. I am not surprised about the Wild signing both players. Parise is from the Twin Cities and his dad was a top player for the North Stars. Suter is from nearby Madison, WI so this is a bit of a homecoming for him too. I am happy that the rabid hockey fans of Minnesota have something to be very excited about. Their team made a huge investment that may do more harm than good down the line, but it is hard not to be excited about it in the present. There will plenty of players on the Wild that will become available once these two contracts handcuff their flexibility. Suter and Parise going to Minnesota does help the Hawks. Nashville lost a premier defenseman that makes their team a lot less tough than it was last year. Detroit has turned out to be the biggest loser of the offseason so far. They have the most money to spend and they couldn’t land either of the top prizes when a lot of people thought they would get both. I fully expect them to now go after Alex Semin.
So now what for the Hawks? There is isn’t much left as far a free agents, so Bowman may have to start looking at the trade markets. One interesting name that no one is talking about is Viktor Stalberg. He is coming off the best season of his career and seems to be reaching his potential. He is an absolute steal at $850K this year. Do the Hawks offer Stalberg a contract extension now or do they dangle him on the market and see what they can get for him? I think Bowman should extend Stalberg but he should at least see what his value is on the trading block. The Hawks need a change, two consecutive first round eliminations are not acceptable. Bowman will need to get creative, but a shakeup is in order. Does he throw his hat in the ring in the Bobby Ryan derby? I think he should at least try and make that move depending on what Anaheim’s demands are for the young goal scorer. I still would love to see him pull off a deal for Winnipeg’s Evander Kane. It will interesting to see what the Hawks front office comes up with. I don’t think they will stand pat. Making offers to both Suter and Parise proves they are looking to make major changes.