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mvr last won the day on August 21

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  1. Franson Signed

    I believe this team is better than last year's despite the loss of Hjalmarsson and Hossa. Clearly, Hayden and Schmaltz have made big strides this offseason, creating a depth at forward which is perhaps the best we have seen in some time. There still is money to spend to upgrade the left side defence. The right side with Franson and Rutta rotating on the third pairing is already very strong and deep. So long as Quenneville sticks to the plan and dresses four legitimate lines (ie with no Tootoo or the like), I see real potential here for overwhelming most teams with a strong secondary scoring push. Kane needs to be fresh for the playoffs. My prediction - the team finishes second in the conference (to the Oilers) and then meets them in the third round. We will see how it goes from there.
  2. Franson Signed

    The right side on this team's defence might now be the best it ever has been, even with a declining Seabrook. I like the size and physicality both Franson and Rutta bring to that third spot. Murphy is certainly good enough as a second pairing guy. Pokka remains a viable option if there is a run of injuries. The left side still needs some work beyond Keith. I am not convinced Kempny is a top-four guy (though he should be able to handle 10 minutes adequately enough). The key will be Forsling. If he progresses as he could, this defence could be much better than we all thought it would be. A trade for a top four left side defender is likely at some point.
  3. Franson Signed

    His advanced stats have been very good throughout his career. I see a large player with an awkward skating style who appears to be slower than he is. You notice his flaws, and when he makes a mistake it tends to be glaring because he stands out. Those who believe in the value of advance stats should be promoting a guy like Franson. He scores some, plays physical, and is defensively responsible. He has exceptional reach, and he is unafraid. For a million, what the hell. This is a good depth signing.
  4. The Blackhawks acquire forward Andreas Martinsen

    Just when we think the team has finally moved on from this madness, Bowman adds what is essentially Mashinter version 2, without the NHL fighting pedigree (and perhaps with even less talent). I don't get it. Has this approach ever worked? We know Quenneville has Martinsen now on speed dial with Tootoo injured and unable to play. If a heavyweight is so important for this coach, why not do what Pittsburgh did this off season and get one who can actually contribute? There are useful big forwards available, but this team must be willing to spend to get them. Again, the general manager takes the cheapest option he can find. You get what you pay for.
  5. '17/18 hawks outlook

    With Hayden and Debrincat proving they belong with the big club, this now might be the strongest and deepest forward lineup (1 through 13) this team has started a season with since 2010. I especially like the quality of the bottom six, even without Hossa. All four lines should be able to produce at both ends. There is no five minute/game forward on the fourth line. Even more important to my mind is the depth of quality reinforcements available in Rockford (which should be even more impressive if Jurco clears waivers today). Bowman still needs to upgrade the left side of the defence, but he has until February to get that done. I am more optimistic about this team's potential than I have been in some time.
  6. Hossa done?

    Bob: We have both been on the boards here for a long time, and over the years, I have enjoyed our back and forth immensely. You tend to be the voice of sober second thought when some of us react rashly to disappointment. We don't always agree, but we do respect each other. I will apologize for calling you a homer. Labelling someone is not fair or helpful. Clearly, you find my position on this issue upsetting and perhaps disloyal. This is what is disappointing. I would not feel compelled to continue here if you in particular were not (either deliberately or unintentionally) misrepresenting by arguments by extension and omission. I feel you have been using an unfair argument strategy to dismiss my concerns and paint me in an unfair light. There is no conspiracy here. There is no character assassination going on. No one is challenging the diagnosis. I am a long time Hawk fan. I love the team and the players (including Hossa). I have some issues with both the coach and the manager but I do not think either should be replaced. I believe the initial contract was an attempt at cap circumvention. Sure, certain other teams did the same thing as well, but the Hawks benefited for years more than any other organization. Most teams did not attempt to circumvent the cap. An entire season was lost fighting at least partially about this issue. Hossa still has four years left on his contract. He is not likely to play again and could very well be ready to retire. I believe the team needs to make amends. This is it.
  7. Hossa done?

    If the skin diagnosis was cut and dried, then why hasn't the league just ended the uncertainty and moved on? Surely, this would have been the most expedient course of action here. Chicago is a big-market team generating huge television ratings. The league is not in the business of deliberately handicapping its core organizations and angering an influential owner. Hossa is a well-respected player with medical backing from his doctors. Bettman easily could pass the buck here, sweep the controversy under the rug and be done with it. Nobody really could blame him here. The diagnosis puts a nice bow on the package. I still believe he likely will follow that route eventually. He really has no other choice without opening up a real can of worms (and potential legal challenges) which benefits nobody. He knows this. But still he is waiting. In fact, Bill Daly went out of his way to tell the national press that the league is still reviewing the situation. This tells me there remains a level of grey here most don't want to see. To put the situation into perspective, Hossa will be the fourth oldest player in the league this year on the first day of the season. If Jagr does not find work, there will be no player on any roster this year as old as Hossa would be in four years.
  8. Hossa done?

    I also strongly suspect Hossa has the skin condition. I do not think the player or the doctors are lying. I am not slamming the reputation of the player or the doctors by any means. Like you, however, I also believe it conceivable that he might have been preparing to leave the game regardless. This skin condition provides the justification and a way for the team to avoid the cap penalty. There is nothing left for Hossa to accomplish at this point. The money is not there. He has his cups and his Hall of Fame credentials. He still has his health.He loves the game, sure, but he is also might want to leave on a high note while he can before his skills deteriorate. Many players choose to retire before the end of their contracts. Does he want to stick with the extreme dietary and exercise program he must follow to remain at the top of his game? Does he still enjoy the extended (and physically exhausting) road trips? Does he still enjoy socializing with the team? Many of the players now are more than a decade younger than he is. I certainly would have a hard time relating. I would prefer to be at home in Europe with my young family and my friends and relatives nearby. The timing of this skin condition announcement unfortunately has made many around the league suspicious. We all know that perception does become reality. This is why Bettman and co. continue to dance around the issue without making an announcement. Even if the league grants the LTIR to start the year, they might revisit the situation in a few months or next off-season. This could go on for four years. Is it fair to Hossa? Will he have to return to Chicago every few months so he can be available for a check up with the league doctors? I think the team should step in and offer the league a way out.
  9. Hossa done?

    Bob: You're assuming that he wants to play. Why would he? Players do decide to retire when they have had enough. Hossa is not young. He has a family and a life outside of hockey. If he doesn't want to play anymore, I am not going to judge him. The only fans who were "absolutely shocked with the announcement this summer" were those bleeding red, white and black. Everyone else was waiting to see what the team would come up with (back, shoulder, concussions etc). The "skin condition" was a surprise because we did not know he had it.
  10. Hossa done?

    I love my job too. Would I do it for peanuts? No way. Family comes first. Hossa has my respect for how he has handled the situation. He is a loyal soldier (and team mate) until the end. It is sad that his integrity is being challenged. But this was inevitable given the contract.
  11. Hossa done?

    After taxes, Hossa's take home for this year is likely $650-700 K or less even with some fancy accounting. If he continues to play, the cost of renting a second flat in Chicago (at $10 K a month) brings the number down to somewhere around $600 K. Then there is the travel costs back and forth to Europe with the family. What about the second car rental? Clothes? Insurance? Incidentals...? Salary cap escrow? His agent's cut? If he'd clear $500 K, I would be shocked. His stock dividends should pay ten times that by this point..... By agreeing to go on LTIR, Hossa collects the salary regardless without paying some of the expenses. "Professional" athletes work for pay. This is what they do for a living. A half-million would motivate some older players to keep going (especially those in financial difficulty), but not many considering the health risks every year. Leaving Hossa's skin condition out of the equation, there are so many other risks involved. Just think about all the research on head injuries, for example. Like all athletes who survive unscathed, Hossa would be lucky to walk away from the game on his terms. This is not an issue of loyalty at this point. Hossa has won three cups and done everything asked of him. He is only "quitting" on the Hawks if you believe the team expected the player to play throughout the term of the contract. I never did. I always assumed 2017 was Hossa's intended retirement year. Fans from other teams think the same way. That is why they are angry. I believe Hossa certainly has honoured the spirit of his contract with the Hawks. He owes the team nothing. Is he doing them a favour now? This is what people are wondering. It is a fair question. As I mentioned above, I believe he has the skin condition, but i also don't think it matters much. I say the team negotiates a reasonable settlement with the league and be done with it. The present penalty is not realisitic.
  12. You Be The Gm

    Duchene could be gone by the end of the month. Colorado holds the trigger gun on the timing of any trade, not Chicago. If they want to make a move now, they will. I remain strongly of the opinion that Bowman should maintain a dialogue here with the Avalanche until the player is moved out. Quality centres rarely become available, especially speedy two-way types with reasonable contracts who can win face-offs. Duchene is a worthy trade target because he checks so many boxes. Do does Landeskog, the big power winger, who would also be a good addition. Neither will come cheap. I like Schmaltz very much and would not offer him in a package under any circumstances. This is addition by subtraction. Debrincat, however, is another matter. He is a small scoring winger, and the team already has several. I would offer Debrincat, Forsling and Hossa in a package. If Colorado prefers a first rounder instead of Debrincat, I would do that as well.
  13. Hossa done?

    This is my last post about the subject because I feel I am repeating myself and continue to be pushed to defend arguments I never made (or thought). Nobody has accused anyone of faking anything. No one is accusing anyone of lying. I am defending those who think the Hawks (and Hossa and his agent) abused the spirit of the cap a decade ago - perhaps more than any other team other than New Jersey. They did circumvent the cap by extending the tail of Hossa's long term contract well into a typical player's retirement years. The Hawks should have known that Hossa would not likely play out his entire contract (for one reason or another). Everyone else did. Now it is happening. That is the entire argument. Given this context, it does not matter why he is not playing now. Players reach a certain age and then they can no longer play. The overwhelming majority are out of the game well before the age of 36. If you leave a banana on the counter for more than a week, it will turn brown. We all knew the league intended to punish the Hawks if Hossa did not play out his entire contract. We all knew the Hawks would attempt to use the medical LTIR to avoid this complication. Now it appears the Hawks might get away without any repercussions at all. People outside the organization are complaining now as is their right. I believe their arguments have merit. Nobody other than Hawk fans feels this Hossa investigation is without merit.
  14. Hossa done?

    The league failed in advance to anticipate how agents/teams would exploit the rules. Bettman could have clamped down immediately and not allowed these contracts, but he likely feared another work stoppage. Only a few of the big market teams had the resources and owner-backing to take advantage. Some chose not to based on principal (ie the Toronto Maple Leafs). If you believe in a salary cap (and I do because it levels the competitive playing field), then you see the Hossa contract for what it is.
  15. Hossa done?

    Bob - I think you're missing the point. I am not challenging whether or not the player is fit to play now. In fact, I am quite certain doctors could find any number of justifications why he should not be playing. He is almost 40. He has a history of concussions and back issues (and probably many other concerns). The skin issue I am sure exists. No player at 40 is "fit" to play if he does not believe he can. Clearly many critics around the league knew the team would be able to wiggle out of the last four years of the contract on medical grounds. It was not hard to predict it would happen. This is why the terms of the original contract was so unfair. It was cheating then, and to pretend it wasn't is homerism. To argue that other teams did the same thing is irrelevant. Other teams also were cheating (against the spirit of the salary cap) as well. But let's also remember that most teams did not cheat. Let's also recognize that the Hossa contract was clearly one of the most blatant (if not the absolute worst offender). After the second lockout (caused largely because of these kinds of contract abuses), the team had an opportunity to buy Hossa out with no cap penalty and chose not to likely because they knew they had this out. I believe the Hawks have been in the wrong on this issue, and should acknowledge it, and move on.