Chat with Jesse Rogers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Wednesday. Chicago Blackhawks reporter Jesse Rogers stops by to chat.
Rogers covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Wednesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
More Jesse Rogers: Blog
Jesse Rogers (1:02 PM)
Hi all. Welcome to our weekly Hawks chat. Training camp is just 10 days away. PLayers are returning to town and getting ready as am I! Hope you are ready for another wild ride. Fire away with questions.
Dan (The Office)
How good is Crawford and will he be able to fill in for Turco when he needs a rest? With our defense willit matter?
Jesse Rogers (1:05 PM)
First of all, yes, it matters. People are making our D out to be the best of all time. Its good, dont get me wrong. One of the best in the league but they can have their moments too. Diehards will remember there WERE times when Keith and Seabrook struggled last year. Hey, the D couldnt save Huet could they? lol. Anyway, I like Craw, I know Stephan Waite, the goalie coach, is really prepping him to be ready for the NHL..this is his time...he'll get a good amount of games and shouldnt feel a TON of pressure since hes behind a veteran and does play for a good team defenseive group but he still needs to perform obviously
Aaron (St. Charles)
Jesse, have the Hawks announced when they will have a pre-game celebration/banner raising ceremony? I assume it would be the home opener on Oct. 9 against Detroit?
Jesse Rogers (1:06 PM)
I havent seen a press release but if they dont do it opening night against with their arch rivals watching, there might be a mutiny at the UC. Im sure thats when they will.
Ryan (Barrie, Canada)
do you think maybe a guy like Skille might be suited for the top line with Toews and kane? Could you See Viktor Stalberg playing in between Sharp and Hossa? i watched him alot in Toronto last year he is extremely fast and can put the puck in the net, i like versteeg but if stalberg plays to his potential i think we could come out big winners in that trade!
Jesse Rogers (1:09 PM)
Definitely not right away with Skille...it takes time to learn to play with those guys...brouwer and buff didnt excel their first go around. You have to move your feet and get that puck moving too. They used to yell at Buff alot. In any case I like Brouwer there..but things can change, they always do. I absolutely see a scenario where Stalberg moves up the ladder. I mean that 2nd line is there for the taking cause Kopecky is no mainstay but to start I think Stalberg has to earn his way up from 3rd line...could happen by end of camp
Tim (Traverse City)
With the addition of Turco in net what changes will the Hawks make defensively? Will they be more attacking on the offensive side now that they have a veteran goaltender?
Jesse Rogers (1:11 PM)
This is what will be fun and maybe even shocking to casual fans...if the chemistry is there by the end of camp, you could see one of the faster transition teams in many years...IF turco is stopping pucks, it gives him more confidence to jump out of the crease and grab that puck and move it to a D-man quick who can move it to a forward even quicker..its not about being more attacking but just being quicker up the ice..maybe thats the same thing but if its jelling, the transition game will be something to watch. I predict 10 assists for Turco though thats being very bold!
Hack (the Loop)
Jesse, What do you know about Mike Kitchen and what he brings to the staff? Will he be able to help improve the Hawks (regular season) subpar powerplay?
Jesse Rogers (1:14 PM)
I know a little about him. Detail oriented guy and good chemistry with Q Im told. I dont know a coach in the league that for sure, 100% makes a difference on the power play. Some years they're up, some they are down. It has to be better at home and I dont think that's an X's or O's thing. Thats a mental thing so its up to Kitchen AND Q to force the issue there...
bob (burr ridge)
will the hawks pursue any free agents who they can get on the cheap, or is this the roster that u will see, lot of good players remain unsigned??
Jesse Rogers (1:15 PM)
Preetu sure this is it. They have 21 players on one-way contracts I believe so probably dont want to bring more than that in...plus want to leave a spot or two open for a rookie or come out of nowhere guy.
What youngsters do you see making the team out of training camp? Also, which one are you most excited to see?
Jesse Rogers (1:19 PM)
Its going to be hard on defense to crack the top 7 but with three making 500-600k I suppose its possible. Nick Leddy will start in the minors as will all the other young D in my opinion. Even at forward there isnt a ton of room for surprise unless a veteran is sent down or packing in a trade. Dowell, Bickell, Skille, and Stalberg are your best bets to make the team. Maybe beach if the numbers work. Certainly interested in his play at the NHL level. If he can be a force in pre-seaosn games, who knows..he has a good combo of size, skill and nastiness. Some would say craziness. Looking forward to seeing him for the better part of 3 weeks
What about putting a bigger guy like Bickell or Beach up there with Kane and Toews? Look how much of a shift there was after Byfuglien was put up there with them.
Jesse Rogers (1:22 PM)
Again, I could see it happenieng at some point but not right away. Brouwer has a tendency to have some ups and downs with his game but he DESERVES first shot at it. BUff HAD to wake up...it was the playoffs and kane and toews would not let him slack...but again, for the pre-season we'll see some interesting combos, just not sure if they stick come Oct. Bickell already had time there so he'll get some time as well..hey, kane and toews may not last the season together. you know how these things work. when things go stale they change it up
Al (Lincoln Park)
Jesse, You obviously know how many times Q changed up the lines last year... Do you think he does as much shuffling this year?
Jesse Rogers (1:24 PM)
The easy answer would be no because there is a less talented and experienced depth but Im not so sure it will be much different. He still has so many options...sharp at center or wing...kopecky 2nd or 4th line...bolland 2nd or 3rd line...kane and toews together or toews and hossa together..I think we'll see a lot of shuffling again..and there arethe inevitable injuries
Nick (Carol Stream)
After the first 4 defensemen - Keith, Seabrook, Hammer, & Soupy - you has the best shot at making the team as the 5th
Jesse Rogers (1:29 PM)
Well, Hendry, Scott, and Boynton are all signed and ready to go so I think its ine of them. Hendry fits the profile the best and he can skate but his decision making has to get better and I think it will. John Scott will be a 7th guy that might be a swing man in my opinion. Some time on D, some on the bench, some even at forward...Boynton and hendry could be that 3rd pair.UNLESS someone like Lalonde jumps up and takes a spot...could happen but I still think their D are too young to break camp with big team. hardest position to learn and takes longest time. I say give hendry and boynton a chance and then adjust accordingly
Assuming that he doesn't stay for more than a year, do you think Turco can provide enough insight, as well as the coaching to prepare Crawford for a starting job? Or do you think he'll need more time or become a perennial backup
Jesse Rogers (1:31 PM)
Turco seems like a cool enough guy and pretty secure that I dont see him being bad for Craw, only good. Cant tell you for sure about Craw's ceiling. Its so hard to judge. Niemi won the Cup and there are wildly extreme opinions on him...so its wait and see on craw though there is a lot to like
Hack (the Loop)
With the losses of Versteeg and Madden, how do you see the pk forward pairings shaking out? I'm thinking:Bolland-PisaniToews-HossaSharp-BrouwerDo you see any surprise Pk'ers emerging?
Jesse Rogers (1:33 PM)
Very specific question. I like it. You're probabaly on the money interms of the names. Real hard to determine pairings at this point but toews/hossa is so dangerous, hard to pass that up. And if Brouwer struggles than Dowell could be a guy that steps in..They still have plenty that can do it...I wonder if Kane goes to Q and asks for more time there...I could see it happening.
Do you think turco will get most of the game load? Or will Corey Crawford/ the foreign goalie get significant time...Much like the Hawks did last year basically splitting Huet and Niemi
Jesse Rogers (1:36 PM)
I think if you asked Turco (which I did) he would say 50-60 games..I think it will be less. The hawks play a lot of back to backs (BTW turco is thrilled to be out of the pacific division where central time zoned dallas resides) so I think craw gets at least 25 if hes playing well..maybe even 30. I could be wrong. Turco is a pretty good politician and will talk Q into playing some of those back to backs if he's playing well. Maybe it just comes doesn to that. How they are both playing
Do you think the Blackhawks organization recognized that Niemi had done so much for them in the playoffs, and arguably won a few games by himself (see 43 save performances against SJ) and therefore didn't want to short change him by forcing him to sign for only 2.75? I realize he ended up getting less than that, but by not even trading him, it seemed like they released him so as not to restrict what he deserves to make.
Jesse Rogers (1:37 PM)
Here we go...I simply think he was not a priority or obviously ever part of the core they put together or talk about...so knowing that, unless it worked for them perfectly with the salary he was gone. the 2.75 is a moot point cause they could not afford it without losing another major player...again the hammer offer changed everything for nimei
Ben (Bears fan in AZ)
Do u think the Bears can make the playoffs this year.
Jesse Rogers (1:38 PM)
Maybe. Cause I think Minn is going to slip but man they stunk in pre-season
You don't think Makarov has a chance?
Jesse Rogers (1:40 PM)
No, I do. He just has to beat out a "young mainstay". Thats what I call Bickell, Dowell, and Skille...guys that have had a cup of coffee but not a REAL shot yet. I think they get first crack but absolutely he has a chance...just didnt mention him before cause cant mention everyone!
Rob (My Cube)
Jesse...these all must be new guys, you've answered almost all of these questions in last weeks chat....regardless...do you see the hawks leaving Bolland on the 3rd line center? He put up some crazy numbers in minors/jr's so it would be a waste (in my opinion) to give up on his offensive potential already. Do you think Sharp remains 2nd line center or bring Bolly up between Sharp and Hossa?
Jesse Rogers (1:42 PM)
I asked Q this at prospects camp and he said bolland starts at 3rd line center..sharp at 2nd line center...Im guessing Bolland was SO good at shutting down other top lines that unless its a luxury they cant afford, Q wants him to do that some more..IF Sharp isnt the right set up man for Hossa long term or there is an injury to a top 6, then Bolland might move back up. And he can still do some damage from that 3rd line as we saw in playoffs so right now I can of like it that way as well but again, 3 low scoring games in a row, and the whole lineup could look different..
Jesse Rogers (1:43 PM)
should say "kind of like it"
Tom N (Chicago)
Completely random question, with Kane on the cover of NHL 10 and Toews on the cover of NHL 11, who will the hawks have on the cover next year? Coach Q has to be my vote or just the stache
Jesse Rogers (1:44 PM)
Do you think Hossa could net 40 if he stays healthy? I think he could considering he had like 25 in around 60 games last year with Bolland as his main center, who is more suited for 3rd line at the moment.
Jesse Rogers (1:44 PM)
Yes I absolutely do. Between 5 on 5, pp, and PK he can get to 40...
Ann (W Chicago)
What role do you see Beach playing on the Hawks, or is he destined to play if Rockford this season?
Jesse Rogers (1:45 PM)
As Ive been stating, he has a chance but my guess is he open in rockford..they do need some size with losses of buff, ladd, eager, etc. and some toughness which he provides...I dont think hes destined for anything..I think camp tells a lot about him as do the pre-season games...its 50/50 in my mind
How do you see our top PK defenceman rounding out. Obviously you have DK and Seabs and then Hammer. Who falls next in the depth chart? Campbell made some strides last year in his own end. Or maybe Boynton takes that 4th spot. You thoughts?
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
Yeah, both Boynton and hendry and scott will see time on PK, you cant have your stars out there all the time...and you dont want them blocking shots..so the bottom guys will get time..all depends on who is in the lineup..one or more will have to step up...but one of those guys will replace sopel..dont think it will be campbell but ive been wrong before
Have they released a list of what all prospects and non-roster invitees will be attending training camp?
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
They have not..should be announced shortly..I will write a blog on it when they do
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Best & the Worst NHL Arena That you have Been to?
Jesse Rogers (1:48 PM)
Think I did answer his one last week...best was vancouver, anaheim, and L.a....worst was edmonton
Jesse Rogers (1:49 PM)
Steve (LaGrange Park)
Any lingering worries with health to start the season? Hossa and his shoulder, Bolland and his back?...everyone reporting in at 100% to start?
Jesse Rogers (1:50 PM)
Asked Bowman that a week ago...looks like Pisani is the only one..has a back issue..BUT that doesnt mean Hossa's shoulder is 100%...have no idea about bolland but those questions will be asked day 1...stan only mentioned pisani..toews told us on the radio that if there was a game 7 he may have had a problem..hurt his knee but pretty sure fine by now
How much say do the Hawks have in terms of who they think should be playing/playing together in Rockford? I ask because how well Lalonde and Leddy played together at the earlier camp. Would think the Hawks may want them to stick together to develop chemistry. But perhaps the Rockford coaches see that too.
Jesse Rogers (1:51 PM)
Yeah, they all talk as one...there is constant monitoring going on..
Jesse, I'm curious when you get to start interviewing the guys about the upcoming season. Are the players made available to the media before training camp? And of the "new" guys is there anyone you think may become your quote go-to guy?
Jesse Rogers (1:54 PM)
They are really not made available officially..they do work out on their own and if we catch up with them then I might use something BUT thats what camp is for really...no pressing need to do it now though last year at this time I went to lunch with madden just cause of who he was, etc. Already did that with turco so prob just wait till camp....HMMM, go to guy...I might fly down to dallas for that...but Beach could be one and definitely 100% on turco..will be quoting the goalies a lot more this season!
Why didn't Niemi get more on the market? He obviously thought he was worth more.
Jesse Rogers (1:56 PM)
Im not sure he thought he was worth that much more...Timing is huge on these things as well..by the time arb happens and the hawks walk away, teams have spent their money and most certainly have their goalies in place...in a perfect world, with no cap issues...i think niemi would have gotten a 3 yr deal from the hawks at like 2.3-2.5 or something escalated form 2.3 and up
Do you see the Hawks leading the league is shots against again this year? I believe this could allow Turco to have a very good season, considering his GAA last year when facing much more.
Jesse Rogers (1:58 PM)
Its tricky..sometimes less shots isnt that big of a help to a goaltende...my guess is his save pct will stay the same or even get a little worse but his GAA and wins will increase...pretty much was the case for niemi and huet...difference is huet was never used to this style of play...dallas, at their best, didnt give up a lot of shots, liek the hawks. big misconception iss its easy to play goalie when seeing less shots. its harder but it does lead to more wins!
Is it a foregone conclusion that Seabrook will be re-signed?
Jesse Rogers (2:00 PM)
No, but i think they have shown a committment to their core defensive guys in particular...we dont know what he's asking..so i would say its likely but at some point someone of major importance might have to go (or should i say someone else). I do think it comes down to what he wants cause that could be a huge range
Duncan Keith: Great or the greatest defenseman in Hawks history when he's done? Can he run off consecutive Norrises with Green, Doughty, & co? (Pilotte won 3). More importantly, will our opponents more consistently avoid the matchups that were Q's success all season in 09-10?
Jesse Rogers (2:01 PM)
Im doubtful on the string of Norris trophies..doughty will be coming strong...Not sure he'll be the best of all-time but in the team photo..hes advanced SO far in a few short years. amazing
Jesse Rogers (2:02 PM)
As for matchups..you can only avoid them for so long..its not like Campbell and Hammer are chopped liver so wil still be tough on opponents
Dave T (LGPk)
Who do you see replacing Burish as the funny guy on the team? Will the Hawks continue down that path of fun team with videos, pranks, etc.
Jesse Rogers (2:03 PM)
Ya know, it will never be the same..too many characters to replace...sharp still has that side to him...seabrook too...it will be a different dynamic for sure though
Since so many others seem to be making you try your hand at soothsaying, let's try another: with 6 players making it to the 20-goal mark last season, how many would you guess making it to that benchmark this year?
Jesse Rogers (2:04 PM)
Ill say 6 again..with Bolland or Stalberg joining Brouwer, Toews, kane, Hossa, and sharp
Looking ahead, do you see Lalonde and Leddy coming up next season if they excel in Rockford? They played very well together at prospects camp.
Jesse Rogers (2:06 PM)
I could see a cup of coffee here but I think one full yr in the minors might be the way to go..then they are really ready for 2011-2012 when they could have a couple spots open...hendry, seabrook, boynton on last yrs of deals...if they were ready now maybe they dont bring like boynton back..or maybe they beat him out..but right now i see the 7 we've talked baout making it
Pat (Spring Ave)
How does the Ice Crew look this year. Any surprises at those tryouts?
Jesse Rogers (2:07 PM)
Havent seen them. I need something to look forward to for pre-season games
Hack (the Loop)
I know that you believe that Wilson's offer sheet to Hammer eventually ended up hurting Niemi, but between Niemi and Zito, who do you assign more blame for signing an offer with san jose that he probably could've signed here? From what you know of Niemi, does he seem like the less assertive type that would put more trust in an agent to put him in the right spot?
Jesse Rogers (2:11 PM)
Ok, last question and hopefully last answer on the nimei deal...IF YOU ASK BOWMAN I THINK HE WOULD AGREE THAT NIEMI DIDNT HAVE A CHANCE TO SIGN HERE FOR THAT MONEY BECAUSE ONCE HAMMER GOT THE OFFER, IT DREID UP. BOWMAN HAS ADMITTED THE HAMMER OFFER HURT NIEMI.He and no one (including hammer's camp) expected it. Im sure niemi is the type to listen to his agent, yes. I dont think they dod anything wrong..the hawks CHOSE hammer over niemi, the hawks CHOSE not to move sharp, the hawks COULD NOT move campbell, the hawks CHOSE not to move more money for niemi...in this day and age, I dont see how an agent could go to his client who just won the cup and say, ok they have 1.5 for you...the D-man in front of yo just got a 3 million dollar raise..but you're going to get 700k...they did the right thing
Jesse Rogers (2:13 PM)
And on that note, thats it for today...thanks for all the great questions. Next week, same time. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if i didnt get to one of yours. Follow me on twitter @espnchihawks. Ill be at every training cmap practice keeping you updated. Have a good one folks