Blackhawks News

A Little Older, A Little Wiser, & A Little Tougher.

By Frank Rekas

Stan Bowman accomplished three important things over the past two days with his trade for Steve Montador earlier in the week, and the signings of five veteran players on Friday.  The makeup of the team is different than the past two seasons, but as far as last year goes, the team now has ah edge that was sorely missed.  Jamal Mayers will give the Hawks a forward that will provide toughness and and a physicality that was sorely missing last season.  He’s not going to score a lot of goals, but he’s going to create space, make people think twice and kill some penalties.  At the paltry amount of $550,000 thousand, we can’t go wrong on this one.  In addition Jamal has played for Coach Q before and is pretty happy to be reunited with him again.

Sean O’Donnell an elder statesman for sure at 39, can still play solid defence.  In the mold of Brent Sopel, here’s your stay at home shot blocker.  While just as slow as Brent, he’s a big body, 6′-3″ and 234 lbs, he’ll keep the crease clear for Crow, and make it difficult for people to park in front of the net.  This move if combined with Campoli hopefully being signed should mean that John Scott will see more time in the press box than on the ice.  He’ll also be a good mentor for Leddy and his development.

Andrew Brunette a player that was rumored to come here has landed as the third player in the trio of “old” guys.  Brunette who’s 37 is a consistent scorer who will get you about 20ish goals per year, is durable and has a nose for the net.  Also a player that’s willing to work the corners and create havoc.  What he lacks in speed, which was never something he was known for he makes up in hockey sense.  That’s something that you can’t teach, and he’ll bring a quality attitude to the team.  His durability is something that attracted him to the Hawks, and while he’s not flashy, he gets the job done.  You can pencil him in for 45-50 points.

The player that will be responsible to be the “answer” for anyone taking runs at Kane and Toews is now Daniel Carcillo. Sometimes known as car bomb for his reckless style, Carcillo will be that fourth line guy with Mayers that will give energy, grit and a physical presence that has been lacking.  If he controls his temper and stays within himself (god I hate that phrase), he’ll be a very welcomed addition.  Hopefully all hard feelings are gone from the Cup finals last season, but I’m sure the Hawks are loose enough to accept him.  Finally Brett McLean who is 32 was signed at what is most likely a depth move.  I don’t see him as anything else, but at least he’s a guy that can fill in for an injury and not embarass you.

Not a bad day when you take a look at what we picked up and what we paid.  Yes the team got older, but maybe you can say matured a bit.  They got slower too, but with the hockey sense these guys have, that should offset the speed issue.  I love the energy, physicality and grit that we now have.  Every team needs role players, and last year was like sticking a square peg in a round hole with some.  There’s not much more that can be done nor need to be done at this point besides trying to sign Frolik, Campoli and Stalberg.  The Hawks still have flexibility for down the road too.  To me the roster looks pretty good at this point, and I’m excited about the beginning of the season.

Thanks for reading.