It’s Monday, so time to answer your questions.
With all these rumors about the Hawks going after goalies like [Tim] Thomas and [Dan] Ellis, who could you see them trying to get? Thomas scares me as his confidense is shot (or just saving his stuff for the Olympics). I don't think the Predators' goalies can handle the pressure of Chi town. If they do or are looking what would the possibility of getting [Marty] Turco from Dallas. Maybe a good teacher for [Antti] Niemi. Unfortunately, with their ownership situation, I can see them taking on [Cristobal] Huet's salary. What are your thoughts? How much would it cost if we buy him out or if he clears waivers? Keep up the good work see ya on Twitter.
KC Gulbro, Geneva
I don’t think they are going to pull the trigger on a goalie. But if they do, Turco makes a lot of sense. He is the best puckhandling goaltender in the league, and that fits perfect for the Hawks' puck possession game. Heck, if he played a whole season with this team, he might break the assist record for goalies. I’m fairly sure any trade for a goaltender would have to send Niemi back to the other team, not Huet, so keep that in mind. I certainly am not advocating a trade for a goalie, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Thanks for your excellent work. If Stan Bowman decides to add a defenseman at the trade deadline, which ones do you think would be available and which ones would be the best fit for the Blackhawks?
Dave Morris, Ottawa, Ontario
That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it? I still can't believe Scott Niedermayer won’t be available. Five to seven points out of the eighth spot is enough to give up, in my opinion, but I’m sure it may not feel that way for Anaheim. It may not sound like a lot but when you’re the 12th seed, I believe that it’s time to start looking to next season. And they can always re-sign him. So if he’s available, I would go after him big time. Otherwise you are looking at depth guys. The New York Islanders' Andy Sutton is a name I kind of like, but I haven’t heard good reports on him. I think either Carolina guy that’s left, [Joe] Corvo or Aaron Ward, could help. There’s a few for you. If the Hawks could get [James] Wisniewski back from the Ducks, we know the chemistry would work. I’m surprised he might be available.
Curious if you have any insight into Chris Versteeg's struggles of late. He seems very unsure of what to do when he's got the puck. Is it because he's been playing on the "checking" line with [John] Madden? The constant trade rumors? I'm just not seeing the offensive skills he displayed last year.
Dave, Crystal Lake
He has been streaky this season, no doubt. Started out OK, then had a dip, then had a great stretch after missing a couple games with the flu, and now a dip again. Don’t think it’s the whole checking line thing. He had his best 10-game segment playing on that line with Madden and [Dustin] Byfuglien. And I can’t tell you how the trade rumors are affecting him. I just don’t know. Plus, those rumors are coming from fans and media. No one from the team has said anything bad about him on or off the record, to me, at least. I think this is how he his. Sometimes his fancy play will lead to turnovers and sometimes it will be a highlight reel move.
Tommy P, Wheaton
Most people believe they are better together than apart. I agree. They know each other so well, it makes their individual games better when they are both on the ice. I think Keith, especially, thrives off playing with Seabrook, whose game wouldn’t change much with someone else back there with him. It’s a major reason the Canadian Olympic team picked them. In fact, team officials said taking them together was a key aspect in choosing the whole defense. There might be a couple that are better individually, but as a pair, Keith and Seabrook are right there with the best. They have had some negative moments lately, but it doesn’t take away from what they’ve done. As they go, so will the Hawks down the stretch.
People were freaking out after the Hawks lost three in a row. I wasn't worried ... were you?
Johnny2toews, South Side Chicago
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No, because it’s hard to go through a whole season without losing three in a row. And if it was going to happen, somewhere around that road trip made sense. It did change my thinking on this Olympic break a bit. Whereas a lot of people were saying it could hurt their momentum, I think now, the rest will get them re-energized. I know it will for other teams as well, but as much as the Hawks have the puck and like to skate, maybe they need it more. That’s the only thing about the losing skid that got me thinking. And remember, shootouts can go either way so to me, that’s not the same as a regulation or five-minute overtime loss. So was it really three in a row? Kind of.