Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks 5 Thoughts: Change Is Good!

By Gail Kauchak
Feb 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd (16) warms up prior to the first period against the Washington Capitals at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd (16) warms up prior to the first period against the Washington Capitals at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Tomas Fleischmann (12) warms up prior to the first period against the Washington Capitals at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Tomas Fleischmann (12) warms up prior to the first period against the Washington Capitals at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

2.  The Other New Guys.  Ladd might have been the biggest acquisition, but Bowman was busy adding some depth players as well.  Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise both came over from the Montreal Canadiens.  Fleischmann plays left wing, while Weise is a right winger.  Additionally, they played together in Montreal.

Weise is still having visa issues, so he’s expected to join the team sometime later this week.  He’s a gritty, in-your-face player, somewhat comparable to Shaw.  No one knows yet where he will slot into the lineup.  But it has been joked about on Twitter that it could be incredibly annoying to other teams if Shaw and Weise ended up on the same line together.

Fleischmann, like Ladd, was available right away, and he suited up for the game yesterday against the Caps.  He was slotted in on the third line, with Teuvo Teravainen at center, and Andrew Desjardins on the left side.  Remarkably, this line didn’t appear to need any adjustment time.  They gelled right away, and looked like they had been playing together for a long time.  Fleischmann himself (man it’s going to be hard to get that name right) finished the night with 13:17 minutes of ice time, 2:15 minutes on the penalty kill, one shot on goal, one missed shot, one hit, one blocked shot, and a faceoff win.  It is rumored that Bowman was also looking for someone to play alongside Teravainen.  Is Fleischmann that guy?

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff also came over from the LA Kings.  He did not play last night, and I’m not really sure why.  At 33 years old, I don’t know if he is the answer as the fourth defenseman, but he’s got to be better than Rob Scuderi, right?  And considering how lost Michal Rozsival has looked lately, Ehrhoff should be worth a look. Oh, and he’s a veteran that’s never won a Cup before.  Hmm, the Hawks seem to have been down this road before…

3.  The one’s that got away.  The above additions come at a price, and the Chicago Blackhawks had say goodbye to a few players that have become familiar faces.  In my mind, Phillip Danault is the biggest loss.  He went to Montreal as part of the deal that brought Fleischmann and Weise to the Hawks.

Danault was brought up from the Rockford IceHogs when Marcus Kruger went out with his wrist injury.  He was told to model his play around that of Kruger, and he did just that.  He even brought a little bit more of an offensive upside than Kruger did.  In his 30 games with the Hawks, he tallied 1 goals and 4 assists.  Kruger has only had 1 assist in 33 games played.

Imagine being Jiri Sekac.  He was given a look on the top line for a few shifts in the tilt against the Nashville Predators last Thursday.  While there, he earned himself the primary assist on Brent Seabrook’s lone Hawk’s goal.  A few days later, he was put on waivers and then picked up by the Arizona Coyotes.  Sorry, buddy, no playoffs for you.

Rob Scuderi was traded to the LA Kings.  But no loss there.  And Viktor Svedberg was re-assigned to the Rockford IceHogs.  He could probably use a little more seasoning in the AHL.  And even though he was playing in the minor leagues, Marko Dano was lost to the Winnipeg Jets.  He is a prospect that should have a great career in the NHL, but he was the price the Hawks had to pay to get Ladd in the fold.

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