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: Blackhawks blog
Jesse Rogers (1:03 PM)
Hi all, welcome to our weekly Hawks chat. Im at the united center as the Hawks just finished their morning practice...Ill have preview blog up in a bit so you can get a feel for the lineup, etc. One week to go in camp before the reg season begins..tons to talk about..fire away!
How long does the Kane at center experiment last?
Jesse Rogers (1:04 PM)
Take your pick: shift, period, game, week, month, or season? I pick C: game. Just dont see it happening come next friday
Jesse, I've really liked what i've seen from Stalberg so far in comparison to last year. It seems like he's really done alot to improve his game in the down time, even so much that I'll say if can continue with consistency, he might have a top 6 forward spot. He has great speed, added size, and now he looks like a threat to bury it in the back of the net. Your thoughts on him so far?
Jesse Rogers (1:06 PM)
I would agree with a lot of that but really his game is the same, hes just learning more, the more he plays...Hes fine but real test will be in reg season for consistency,etc...You'd like to think he's turned the corner but still have to wait and see
Stephen Plichta Jr (Kenosha, WI)
Thanks for you excellent year round coverage of the Hawks! Do you thinks the Hawks would have kept Campoli at $1.75 million for one year?
Jesse Rogers (1:08 PM)
I guess not cause they didnt really offer him that I'M hearing but havent heard the Hawks side of things...he made 1.4 last year so I cant imagine in this day and age of raises, etc. for doing little, they wouldnt offer him at least that much...so little confused on that end...maybe he wanted a bunch of years and they said no..full story hasnt been told and not sure it will be...his agent (and him) have been very quiet on the sunject
Do you think that it could benefit the Hawks to split up Kane and Toews? They play so well together, but perhaps splitting them up and having Hossa-Kane-Brunette makes Hossa all the more dangerous.
Jesse Rogers (1:10 PM)
I dont think there is any doubt theyve been trying to find the right centerman for hossa since he got here...this is just another try for it based on the fact that Kane is a world class set up man...there is little doubt thats what this is about...I still think Bolland can be good with hossa but looks like they are committed to Bolland with Frolik and Bickell right off the bat...It could benefit them as much as hurt them...but I like them together...
Steve (St. Louis)
How much (if any) danger is Kruger in of losing his job to Pirri?
Jesse Rogers (1:11 PM)
I dont think he'll lose it to Pirri...they both might start in rockford though. Still think kruger is the better prospect but Pirri is def showing something...ways to go for both
With Kruger not having such a great camp, any change in your opinion of who the opening night centers are?
Jesse Rogers (1:12 PM)
Yes, definitely...for that reason and the fact that it looks like they are committed to bolland on the 3rd line..so if sharp plays its him, toews, bolland, and maybe kruger on 4th or just mayers or MAYBE surprise with Pirri...Ben Smith is playing center tonight so you never know...still a work in progress but with the Bolly thing its obvious Kruger isnt the 2nd line center so has to be Sharp (or Kane I suppose but doubt)
What is Sharpie's status looking like for opening night in Dallas?
Jesse Rogers (1:13 PM)
I think its good . Hes skated 4 days in a row and Q didnt completely rule him out for a preseason game so next fri seems feasible
Jesse! Please forward to Coach Q and tell me my nightmare does not come true that Kaner is playing Center opening night @ DAL and he goes behind the net in his own zone to retrieve the puck and gets buried by one of the dirtiest players in the league, Steve Ott, and is out for the season with concussion-like syndromes. Chances he starts the season with Toews on RW?
Jesse Rogers (1:14 PM)
95% or more in my opinion..think this thing dies quickly
Dustin Morgan (Ramstein Air Base, Germany)
Hey Jesse,One of the key stats that is often overlooked and is critical to success is winning in the face off circle. Jonathan Toews seems to be the only hawk who can really dominate in this department. When the hawks won the cup key John Madden was used in many situations to win those key face offs. Do you think the hawks have a solution to take care of this problem?
Jesse Rogers (1:16 PM)
No, I dont think they have a solution...Ive asked Q about it and all he says is "we've got guys that need to step up and do that." easier said then done...this idea of all these guys "that can play center" reminds of old saying in football..if you have 2 qb's you think that can play, you dont have one....same here..q said they counted up to 10 that can play center..if you need to count them, then you dont have 4. they know that no matter what they say publicly..
Andrew S (Chicago)
JR Im excited for tonight. Finally getting to see the Blackhawks play for the first time this preseason. Im gonna be watching Saad, all the main guys of course and our D but what else should I be on the lookout for in tonights game?
Jesse Rogers (1:17 PM)
Kane at center..jump to Hossa's step?? sharpness for Crawford
With Kruger's poor play thus far and Saad's impressive play, will Saad end up taking what we thought was Kruger's roster spot?
Jesse Rogers (1:18 PM)
Its possible and maybe thats why they're trying out diff centers..Still think Saad is a longshot..maybe he gets a few games before going back to juniors..but mentally for an 18 year old to handle the grind, I dont see it...
Hey Jesse,Haven't heard much about or from Brunette so far in camp. What's your take so far and where do you see him fitting?
Jesse Rogers (1:19 PM)
I think he's been fine...he'll be whats advertised..good hands, good smarts, nothing fancy
EB (San Francisco, CA)
Jesse ? While it?s not hockey related, I watched the ESPN Documentary ?Catching Hell? last night. It was tough reliving one of the most crushing sporting events I have ever witnessed live. In case you didn?t see it, they interviewed some media types who happened to be Cub fans. One ESPN writer, Wayne Drehs, made an impression on me and his assignment to find Bartman and how he struggled with being a fan vs. his journalistic responsibilities. Since you are a fan of the team you cover, how difficult is it to remain objective while still hoping your team can pull out a victory? I think a lot of people would like to do what you do, because you?re paid to cover sports, but I doubt they understand the other side of that coin. How hard is it to do?
Jesse Rogers (1:22 PM)
Its harder to cover the players and remain objective not so much rooting for the team. I mean at the end Byfuglien could have turned 5 pucks over in one shift and I would have made an excuse for him...but anyway, as for the winning, to be honest and Im sure you can understand it, its more important for me for my job...they stay relevant, plus its fun covering a winner..so many things to talk about...so its less about being a fan...though I do like them winning for you guys...people that pay their salaries and read my stuff, etc. but it can be tough getting close to players, no doubt. though who am I kidding, Id still rip BUff!
Jesse, I asked you last week and you said no, but given how well Stalberg has been playing do we see him start on the top line? And for that matter, if Saad makes the team does the Saad/Toews/Stalberg line stick?
Jesse Rogers (1:24 PM)
No way does that trio start the reg season together. No way. This is NHL not the AHL...you dont "experiment" with one of the top centes in the game just to see if you can get more out of a prospect or bring along stalberg...no chance. itll be kane and toews and I wish sharp but prob brunette or someone
Mike (State College)
Is this Patrick Kane playing center move really just a not so subtle message to Bowman to bring in another center? Is there anyone Bowman is or should be looking at?
Jesse Rogers (1:25 PM)
No, Bowman doesnt need messages..he knows they are short there....its an experiment, just like putting frolik there last yr some or even ben smith tonight...jsut to see if something clicks..they know they are short, its why they have 3 mil to play with...but they wont use until decent centers become avail later in season
do you have any gut feeling on where the Hawks are with who will back up Crawford? I just am not sold on Emery so far. Why am I wrong?
Jesse Rogers (1:27 PM)
Its funny over the summer I thought it was going to be Salak's job to lose, then as camp started I thought it was Emery and now Im back on Salak...Emery needs a really sharp game on friday in my opinion otherwise its Salak...but if he is sharp, he might still get it..bottom line: they "wanted" emery to win it in my opinion but that doesnt mean he will
Bryan (Columbus, Ohio)
If you can remember how they were at camp last year, how do the returning guys look - speed, intensity, drive, this year compared to last?
Jesse Rogers (1:28 PM)
It can be hard to tell such things...Hossa had a great camp last yr so in retrospect, maybe the other guys were sluggish...everyone seems about the same...but again, tough tell when little to compare it to
Keith (Waupaca, WI)
Is Saad really 6' 2", 200+ lbs? He hasn't looked that big to me and at 18 those physical stats seem inflated.
Jesse Rogers (1:30 PM)
Techinically he's listed at 6'1 but all I can tell you is he looks like he has an NHL body which is crazy at that age but he doesnt look out of place physically if thats what you are asking
EB (San Francisco, CA)
Jesse, I hate to speculate on wacky trade ideas, but do you think the hawks kick the tires on a Sam Gagner for their 2nd line C role? I read a lot of internet chatter about the Oil looking to move youth for experience. I think that would pay long term dividends to shore up the top 2 lines for years to come. Thoughts?
Jesse Rogers (1:31 PM)
I think there could be something to it in the sense that they are scouring the league from the get go here so anyone available is fair game.. but I cant tell you if that specific thing is happening..havent heard anything like that at the moment
Jim B (Calumet City)
Morin, in - out or what?? Prognosis??
Jesse Rogers (1:32 PM)
He's the Same..waiting for contact..no chance he makes the team with no games or anything under his belt since Jan
oly (lombard, il)
Excellent work as always Jesse! Do you think Kane is tough enough or even big enough to do the dirty work in the corners and behind the net that a centerman has to be able to do?
Jesse Rogers (1:33 PM)
No, nor has the desire...nor should they even ask...in my opinion
Jesse, John Scott alluded to his improved hands and feet. Do you agree? Or is it the same Scott as last year?
Jesse Rogers (1:33 PM)
I can see it a little...his positioning is sound...but you know what youre getting there
Kruger/Saad/Pirri... who is most likely to make the team?
Jesse Rogers (1:34 PM)
Hmm...Still think Kruger...then saad then pirri
How have Montador Odonnell and Lepisto looked so far? We need better play from our defense this year.
Jesse Rogers (1:35 PM)
I would say just ok...Im on record as being very unsure of montador, lepisto has been near beat in a couple of game...o'donnell is solid enough but wont get a ton out of him...Im not sold on those newcomers just yet
Ryan (in accounting class)
________ will lead the hawks in goals this year.
Jesse Rogers (1:36 PM)
Hmmm...I'll go Toews
Jesse, if there is no intention of saad/toews/stalberg playing together why have them consistently play together now? Why not try other combinations? Isn't the whole point to develop chemistry?
Jesse Rogers (1:37 PM)
I know that seems obvious but coaches think the vets can get that with just a game or so under thier belts..this is about evaluating saad and stalberg with a guy like toews...gives them the best chance to see what they are all about...I think you'll see more normal combos come sunday...
Help me understand something about Montador? Everyone agrees Bowman paid him too much, but Bowman thinks he's worth every penny. My question is this, even if Bowman is right, wouldn't you think his "value" was low enough to get him for less? It seems better negotiating would have gotten a better deal on the Hawks end of things...
Jesse Rogers (1:40 PM)
I agree with you but someone might argue he was about to become a UFA and they seem to get paid when they reach that status...one western conference team told me they had him at max 2 mil on their "board" if he was on the open market..they also traded for him a day before UFA began so I still think if you do that you are backing yourself into a corner...kopy got paid that way, ehroff i believe got paid that way, so i think thats a bad move...doesnt mean the hawks are wrong but their scouting has him rated higher than most
Kevin (San Diego)
What kind of value could beach bring via trade? It's obvious he doesn't seem to be in their plans long-term and with all the talent they have in the minors
Jesse Rogers (1:41 PM)
Not much now..may as well send him toronto for something..Rick Dudley chose him and I think would take him back...
It seems that the hawks have a great farm system - With Toews & Kane both in the middle of 5 year deals, do you predict Hawks could trade Kane @ some point in the next few years and backfill w/ players from Rockford
Jesse Rogers (1:42 PM)
Anything is possible but I doubt it...Lets see if any of these farm guys are point per game guys in the NHL and then trade kane..but again, weird things happen...
Chris (Cube City)
What is the deal with Kruger? Bad Camp? Probably starting in Rockford?
Jesse Rogers (1:43 PM)
Just "quiet". His game isnt flashy so to judge him on points would be a mistake...he does little things..takes the right angle, doesnt turn the puck over, knows where to go with and without it but at some point it has to translate more than what it has....I still think he has a job to lose here but maybe he's slowly losing it..
With the signing of a couple free agents on "D" that are a bit older and the letting go of Campbell do the Blackhawks think they are going to have enough speed on the blue line to take care of the more high skilled, high speed players?
Jesse Rogers (1:45 PM)
No I dont think they have enough..but as sharp and others have said...hopefully they make up for it in other areas like grit since now they have more of that...but def something to watch on back end...thats why Leddy is being given a huge chance here. Hes a guy that can do that in theory
Gary (Phx, Az)
Do you think the NBA lockout will have any affect on the NHL, positive or negative? And more specifically what does not having the Bulls at the UC do to the Hawks?
Jesse Rogers (1:46 PM)
Def helps the Hawks that they dont have to change the ice every other day...thats about it
Greg (Oak Forest)
Is it October 7th yet? I think the Hawks have the talent to be very competitive this year, but their overall defense (including backchecking forwards) still seems kinda lacking to me. Also lack of depth at center and the PK look like they haven't been resolved. Are we just nitpicking or are these legitimate concerns going against a stacked Western Conference again?
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
I think they are legit concers but if core stays healthy and they get just a little help from role players they should be more than fine...remember, other teams have problems too and dont have the talent that the hawks top players possess
We never talk about Bickell. On the rare occasions he throws his weight around, he looks like a guy who could become a very good power forward. Too often he plays soft. Which Bickell will we get this season?
Jesse Rogers (1:49 PM)
I think thats why hes starting with Bolland..they want to see if he can pick up where he left off in the playoffs cause he was pretty good but he's on thin ice so to speak...playing time will dimish quickly if he doesnt play the right way...i know he's seeing the team mental doc to help take his game to the next level
Christopher (Mesa, AZ)
Out of all the FA's the Hawks signed, which one has impressed you so far as better than you thought?
Jesse Rogers (1:49 PM)
I guess Mayers...very solid..wasnt sure but he can skate, etc. Still a little something left n the tank
Jack (Coral Gables)
Since last week's chat, has Olesz' stock went up or down? Do you think he will be on opening night roster?
Jesse Rogers (1:50 PM)
Probably gone down just a little...yes, starting to think he will be but wouldnt be shocked if they sent him thru waivers next week just to see
Jac (Cubeville, Chicago)
Will Carcillo get playing time every night (except for the ones he's suspended, of course)? I want to see the man I hated on Philly on my team messing people up on a nightly basis
Jesse Rogers (1:51 PM)
I dont think so...missed 3 straight days due to illness..im not sure about this signing..dont like the couple of penalties so far and hasnt done much else in camp
Jesse, I wanna ask about the 5 on 3 powerplay. While it's rare, Q likes to use his timeout and considers it a turning point, yet the hawks rarely cashed in and end up wasting their timeout. Do you see this being addressed?
Jesse Rogers (1:52 PM)
Yeah but no more or less than last yr. they wont work on it until next week..I remember thats what they did a year ago and I remember Hossa was on the point...but in reg season he never was and they struggled..in other words it doesnt seem like they address it very seriously or wait until they struggle..we'll see next week i guess
It seems the Hawks have some cap money to spend, and I presume they'll use it as it gets closer to the playoffs to fill needs (any of the following: 2nd line centre, backup goalie, a top 4 d). It's a good plan, but what happens if they get off to a bad start; are they patient and wait for it to turn around or do they make a move (trade or a remaining free agent)?
Jesse Rogers (1:53 PM)
Everything is fluid. if its a bad start, sure they could make a move..nothing to say they wont..i dont see a "bad start" happening though
How many seasons starting this year does Bowman get before he is on the hot seat?
Jesse Rogers (1:55 PM)
I think hes on the clock now...they admit the decisions they made this year were their decision and not forced by cap problems so we'll see...I really think they like their farm so a little time will tell if it pays off but he is def on the clock
Jesse, with the defensive concerns do you see Keith and Seabrook being split up? Whenever that happens it seems like it works, until you re-unite them and see what you were really missing.
Jesse Rogers (1:56 PM)
Good question..I think they would like not to split them up and I do see them together to start the season with the option that at any time in game or between games it could happen
Pete (Crystal River)
If you had to rank every NHL coach from 1 (best) to 30 (worst), what number would Q be?
Jesse Rogers (1:57 PM)
Hmmm...tough to sit and think but I would say near top 10 but not top 5...
With Frolik here for a full season this year do you see him getting to his 20 goals a season as he did in Florida?
Jesse Rogers (1:58 PM)
Yes near 20 but I dont see the 30 people are talking about...he seems to be the guy everyone is high on..maybe Im missing something but I think hes good just not great...22 goals is my guess which is good but not great!
Jesse, I'm starting to think Carcillo doesn't fit here. Never saw the skill in him that some have talked about, and I worry that he simply cannot control the bad penalties. If that's the case will we see classic Q make him ride the bench, and if so how would a guy like Carcillo take that?
Jesse Rogers (1:58 PM)
He'll have to take it..just like he did in Philly..cant bitch on a team like this..wont work..Toews etc will come down on him
So, Jesse - Which forwards will be cut before opening night?
Jesse Rogers (2:00 PM)
Saad, either kruger or smith I guess...think that would be enough...might yet to be determined...these last 3 games and final week will tell alot...remember, rosters dont have to be set until oct. 5..we're entering crunch time though
noticed Kruger wasn't in the line up tonight....does that have any indication on him losing his roster spot or just a coincidence?
Jesse Rogers (2:02 PM)
Tough to say but if hes not in there fri there is def meaning...he played last game and alot of these guys did not...could mean they know what they have in him or hes falling behind...like I said, tough to read...I mean Saad is playing in all 5 but no one can call him a lock..have to see rest of weekend to know
Jesse, what did you think of Jimmy Hayes, he looks like a monster at 6'5" and had that nice goal on Sunday, chance in the future?
Jesse Rogers (2:03 PM)
I like him. Liked him prospects camp and liked him here...little ways to go but he could be here at some point in next yr or so
Jesse, i think its time you get off the Krueger band wagon. I saw very little from him last year and even less so far this preseason. Id put Saad ahead of him for sure, Krueger is just lucky the Hawks are short on centers right now. Please inform me on what you think he does well. I will not accept positioning, I can be well positioned on the ice just by watching hockey on a daily basis.
Jesse Rogers (2:05 PM)
Dont discount the little things...coaches dont. You are right about the center position. I dont deny that...as for saad, its not like their age or experience are that much diff so if saad is ahead it isnt a crazy notion...still like something about his game but admit it might not be ready after seeing this camp..I can tell you the hawks were expecting him to make the team..that might be diff now
Craig (St. Charles)
Did Sharp have a chance to pull any good practical jokes on the new guys yet or has his appendix sidelined him in that area as well?
Jesse Rogers (2:05 PM)
Jesse Rogers (2:07 PM)
Thats going to do it for this week..thanks for the great questions...check out my blog for lineup info and of course postgame tonight..should be a new piece up soon..kane talks about taking faceoffs. Oy. follow me on twitter @espnchihawks...next week, our final preseason chat! if you want to email me firstname.lastname@example.org..thanks again. We're getting close!