Chat with Jesse Rogers
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Jesse Rogers (1:01 PM)
Hey all. Back for our weekly chat. Im at the united center. The Hawks just go done with practice. Craig Anderson of the Avs and of Chicagoland is scheduled to join me later this hour when he gets off the ice so fire away for him as well. Lets get to it!
John S (Chicago, Illinois)
Jesse, I noticed on Monday night that Q moved Ebbett from winger on the 4th line to center on the second line between Kane and Versteeg. Do you expect Ebbett to stay there? If so, that's an awfully small line, isn't it?
Jesse Rogers (1:03 PM)
Great question. Steeg is not the answer at center long term. Neither is Ebbett. He didnt last more than 20 minutes the other night. Q seems reluctant to put Sharp there but I think he'll end up being the guy to replace Bolland. Q even mentioned Hossa might see some time there so I think they are still figuring out what to do but my opinion is it will be Sharp soon enough.
How big of an impact will Marian Hossa be when he returns to the lineup? Does that put us back as the favorites in the West to win the Cup?
Jesse Rogers (1:05 PM)
Huge and maybe. Have to overcome the loss of Bolland which I think they can. JOhn Madden becomes even more important as the best shut down center (along with Toews of course).Hossa is good at everything so it'll be big wherever and whenever he plays. The Hawks will certainly be right there as we all think.
Josh Martin (Freeport, IL)
Jesse if the NHL had any sense this game tonight would be on national TV. With it being Bobby Hull heritage night on top of being Veterans day this could very well be the loudest anthem of the year until the playoffs roll around. What would pay better tribute to all the men and women who have served this great country then the anthem tonight?
Jesse Rogers (1:06 PM)
Let's not get started on the NHL. How bout Hall Of Fame ceremonies being buried the other night. Should have been on Versus with no games scheduled. The KIngs were playing here and couldnt even have thier people go see Robitaille get in. A lot of silly things in the NHL.
Patrick (Chicago, IL)
Jesse - Do you think the Hawks will sign an enforcer/grinder to replace Bolland? Who do you see as a center on a line with Hossa when he returns?
Jesse Rogers (1:09 PM)
Who can you sign? Anybody good is on a team already. I dont know whats up with Forsberg but he's high maintenance. You could always trade for one but I just dont see it. They have depth at forward. Now it will be tested. Ive been thinking about the Hossa center question since Bolland was declared out. If its not Hossa himself there (I doubt it) I think it has to be Toews. You need one dominant line and that dwould be it, especially if Sharp moves to center.
Fraser has been a beast lately, looking to throw down with anyone he makes eye contact with. Is this his new role on the team to be the "bruiser" of now that Eager is back he'll settle down a little bit out there?
Jesse Rogers (1:10 PM)
No. I asked about his fight the other night. Said he just felt like it. I think he'll just bang like a 4th liner should and if he has to get nasty he will. Dont think its a huge conscious effort.
With Bolland, Hossa and Burish out for the better part of the season, what is the implications on the Salary Cap? I spent some time reading the CBA this morning and it would seem that LTIR does not really create cap room but rather increase a teams upper limit during the time the player is out. Any idea of these long term injuries have given the Hawks breathing room under the cap?
Jesse Rogers (1:12 PM)
The short answer is it gives them some relief while they are out but if they are replaced by a high priced guy it will cause problems when they return. Im pretty sure thats why Brodeur wasnt replaced by a big name last year when he went down early.
How big of an impact is this Bolland surgery on potential trades between now and the trading deadline? I think the Hawks need to add a rugged defenseman, but since Bolland is missing the majority of the season trading Versteeg doesn't seem like a good idea.
Jesse Rogers (1:14 PM)
I think you are right. Whatever chips they had to use up front for a defenseman or even goalie probably arent available now. A rugged defenseman would have been high on the list..Now, not so sure.
Ryan (Barrie, Ontario)
has here been anymore talk of hossa's return early of are we still looking at around the 25th?
Jesse Rogers (1:15 PM)
Talked to him today. Light contact just starting. Still around Thanksgiving.
John S (Chicago, Illinois)
Jesse, what is the big debate about putting Bolland on long term injured reserve? I understand that his salary won't count against the cap. If that's the case, why not put him on the list and save $$$?
Jesse Rogers (1:16 PM)
You dont save anything. They will put him on long term IF they sign someone to replace him. Until that happens it doesn't matter either way. You only need the "relief" if you actually bring someone in.
Tyler Arnason was let go yesterday, does he have any short term value for the Hawks?
Jesse Rogers (1:16 PM)
Digger (San Diego)
Do the Hawks really thin they can win the conference and the Cup with Huet in goal?
Jesse Rogers (1:17 PM)
I can't tell you what they REALLY think but there is an assumption around here he could obviously be the weak link. I think they best I can say is, they are hopeful in a "crossing your fingers sort of way" he plays more consistent.
Jesse Rogers (1:18 PM)
I mean I dont know for sure what they really think not that I refuse to tell you!
How much longer are Hawks fans going to have to watch Andrew Ebbett for? I don't see what management's reason for keeping him up here is. Why not try some of the prospects like Bickell or Dowell, at least both have some size and play a physical game, while Ebbett doesn't really provide much of anything.
Jesse Rogers (1:21 PM)
He was a cheap answer that did provide some offense last year but that may been just a fluke. Rememebr they were trying to replace a second line center which needs some playmaking skill and those guys dont have it. I think the experiement is slowly coming to an end. A little reprieve with Bolly out but by the time Hossa returns, he's done.
How long will it take Hossa to get back to full game speed? Can he be as dominant as he was last year and a few years ago?
Jesse Rogers (1:22 PM)
Since it was a shoulder injury I would think his conditiong is going to be pretty good. We'll see about his shot but I wouldn't think too long. Hes a top player. No one knows how dominant he will be but I expect pretty darn good if not great
Do you see the looming November road trip as a good litmus test of where the Blackhawks are? On the road against Calgary and Vancouver without Bolland or Hossa (yet) I think will provide a good assessment of how the Blackhawks can deal with key injuries and whether someone on the 4th line can step up.
Jesse Rogers (1:24 PM)
We always say that. "This trip or homestand is huge." I dont buy it especially this year. They arent going to wim every game and proabbly wont lose every game. Its a bit of a survivial thing playing without those guys but name me a team that doesnt have an injury or two. It provides an assesment but not the tell all. Dont love some of those matchups so .500 would be ok with me. Not great but good enough.
David (West Lafayette, IN)
I remember hearing a while back the Hawks were trying to change Huets style of going down so early. How has he progressed from last season to now?
Jesse Rogers (1:26 PM)
Its not as dramatic a change as it sounds. I watch him work on his side to side movement and going down and then getting back up quicker almost everyday. Its coming but he still has some issues. Hate those 5 hole goals. I think some of that is from him being caught in between.
Do you really see anyone taking a chance with forsberg? KHL perhaps? ive heard he is close to making a decision either way...
Jesse Rogers (1:28 PM)
Oh sure I see someone taking a chance depending on finances and in a perfect world maybe the hawks would. it makes some sense if he doesnt come with baggage. stan is at the gm meetings in toronto. that question comes soon. I know dale like him but that proabbly doesnt mean much now!
Toews looked healthy the other night...so what do you project the lines being if sharp moves to center?
Jesse Rogers (1:32 PM)
without hossa..kane,toews, maybe buff or brouwer....sharp, steeg, buff or brouwer..etc. maybe steeg on the top line...with hossa...kane, toews, hossa...steeg, sharp, etc.could go differnt ways with ladd, buff, and brouwer...just depends...and i usually asume right or worng that wingers are interchangeable, meaning left or right wing...at least the good onessimply a bunch of possibilities.
scott (Goshen, IN)
The game in which toews and eager came back it seemed as if Eager was just flying all over the ice. He seemed much faster than i remember him being I know he has had a layoff and is a pretty good skater but is that something that we may come to expect now from him?
Jesse Rogers (1:34 PM)
I just think you are remembering him wrong. He had the speed last year. He was a first round choice so he's more skilled than most think casue of hs size
Which of the big three next season contract concerns give enough of a hometown discount so everyone can stay togehter, Kane, Toews, or Keith, or is it just fact that we can't keep them all.
Jesse Rogers (1:35 PM)
We can keep them with creative math if others are moved. It's hard to say which ones gives them the hometown discount...too much comes into play from keith being older to toews and kane having the same agent so toews being the captain. Not sure.
What are odds that Campbell is traded by January 1?
Jesse Rogers (1:37 PM)
I'll say slim but not impossible. I simply cant imagine a scout that watches him play would go back and say we have to have that contract. Maybe for someone else's bad one but I dont see it. He just doesn't want to "engage" and that word means a lot of different things.
Steve (Lake Forest)
If Huet isn't the answer is Niemi or Crawford? Would there be a option to pick up or trade for a goalie that might be a better fit?
Jesse Rogers (1:38 PM)
Niemei gets first chance if Huet doesnt work out. There are some unpleasant options out there. I dont think they will address until much closer to the trade deadline.
John S (Chicago, Illinois)
Come April when the Hawks return to the playoffs, who is their goalie? Huet, Niemi, or someone else?
Jesse Rogers (1:40 PM)
Impossible for me to answer in a definitive way. Im thinking more and more it wont Huet and would be Niemi, unless a deal that invloves Huet comes along but not likely. They will give Huey every chance to turn it around. Hes been better since the opening few games though slow progress.
Is it me or is Sharp just a step slower this year, seems to just be a bit off, is he playing with some kind of injury?
Jesse Rogers (1:41 PM)
It's you. In fact I think his top speed is the same but his burst is even better. Which game was it..colorado or phoenix where he showed that burst and put a good backhander on net..he's ok.
Doug (Out There)
Hey how an idea of swapping bad contracts with the Rangers, like moving Brian Campbell for a package like Michal Rozsival, rugged forward Aaron Voros, and a prospect? Rozsival's cap number is only $5 million, his annual salaries decline from $6 million this season to $4mil in 2010 and $3mil in 2011, and he is much better penalty killing than Campbell is. Voros can play center temporarily on the 4th line, and the Hawks can probably net a prospect that is pretty decent....what do you think?
Jesse Rogers (1:43 PM)
Not a bad idea except Campbell's numbers dont decrease so Im not sure the Rangers want him. Hes not a commodity at this point. A spin o rama here and there doesnt make up for the "soft" play.
with bolland down and them moving versteeg or sharp to center do you think this could be a break for a guy like skille of aliu?
Jesse Rogers (1:44 PM)
No. They want an experienced, skilled centerman. If ebbett had shown more life the break would be for him but doesn't look that way.
Please tell the Hawks are trying to sign one of the big three before the season ends. Do you trade Sharp, Versteeg or Barker to free up money?
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
They are talking. I have to believe, if I know John McDonough, there will be a big announcement for Toews, especially, before the year is out. Maybe for all three. I guess I would trade Barker, then Versteeg, then Sharp in that order though I get the feeling I rank Sharp higher than the Hawks might. I just dont think those kind of snipers grow on trees..he is in a "finishing" slump right now but has proven to be that guy in the past..
Come on Ebbett scored on a header the other night, that has to be worth something, right?
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
Yeah, and before that he scored himself into the boards on his best scoring chance sicne he got here. I could have scored with the header
I thought Skille played very well when he was up here. Better than the other short term solutions. But I understand it as a contract/pay scale issue that keeps him down. At what point are we sacrificing quality play/victories for salary cap issues.
Jesse Rogers (1:50 PM)
Its the reality.The story that doesnt get talked about enough cause the hawks have a good team and everyone likes these players is how they were signed. Let me go off on a rant...
Jesse Rogers (1:51 PM)
If there is one reason why Dale Tallon should have been moved out its because of this...short term impression turned into long term (and good money contracts.)..sopel, buff, steeg, etc.
Jesse Rogers (1:53 PM)
I mean there was no need to sign bolly to 5 years at over 3 mil plus. good player but in 100 games had like 23 goals or something...plus HE HAD A BACK BACK LAST SEASON AND IN THE OFFSEASON..like him but its why they are handcuffed
Jesse Rogers (1:53 PM)
plus the RFA mess didnt help...however much it did or did not hurt..it didnt help
Jesse Rogers (1:54 PM)
Its why the players loved tallon...sopel has a decent couple months..heres 3 years..bolly LOOKS like hes developing..heres 5 years...a 19 goal season got buff 15 mil
Jesse Rogers (1:55 PM)
not all these guys were going to get offer sheets. maybe one..ok im done
Do you think Crawford will get up here for any great length of time?
Jesse Rogers (1:55 PM)
Only if there is an injury
Mark (Schaumburg, IL)
In your opinion, what do you feel is wrong with the power play? I think sometimes they try to be too fancy, and don't put the puck on the net enough. Is Torchetti in charge of the power play, and if so, when is going to be held accountable for a very underwhelming attack?
Jesse Rogers (1:57 PM)
It getting there but I didint like Q's personnel out there...sharp started on the point..not good..hes a back door sniper type. buff in front of the net..did not embrace it..not all Q's fault. even bolly on the point I didnt like. Kopecky and brouwer and even toews down low has a better look....but toy answer you question, they were being lazy AND they dont have a quarterback..another indictment of campbell
The Hawks are not "under the radar" anymore, isn't every game huge?
Jesse Rogers (1:58 PM)
Who knows. I think the grind of the schedule takes over and players look at that more than the opponent. They come fast and furious but we know they dont play them all like they playoffs
When Hossa comes back, it seems like one of our wingers will have to move and center the 2nd line. Sharp and Kopecky seem like candidates, but do you think someone like Troy Brouwer could make that move with some coaching?
Jesse Rogers (1:59 PM)
No. Not enough skill. And you need someone you can rely on right away in your own zone. I think it has to be sharp
Jesse Rogers (2:01 PM)
Thats it for this week. If I didnt get to your questions I apologize. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on twitter @espnchihawks Thanks all. I love talking hawks with you and enjoy the game tonight.