Chat with Scott Powers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Thursday, Chicago Blackhawks beat reporter Scott Powers stops by to chat.
Powers, who joined ESPNChicago.com in 2009, covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning reporter who has been reporting on sports of all levels, from preps to pros throughout the Midwest since 1997.
Send your questions now and join Powers Thursday at 1:30 p.m. CT/2:30 p.m. ET!
Scott Powers (2:30 PM)
Hello all, hope everyone is having a good Thursday. I'm glad we'll finally have some games to discuss again after today. I plan to be here for 45 minutes or so today. Let's begin.
Who is going to play our second line center and why doesn't Coach Q like Pirri?Thanks
Scott Powers (2:31 PM)
Bob, Peter Regin is next in line to get that spot. He'll center Versteeg and Kane tonight. The Blackhawks are hopeful he's the answer there. As for Pirri, Quenneville has often cited his lack of defensive play. Pirri and Morin are making it tougher for the Blackhawks to keep them in the AHL with the way they're playing as of late.
Will Teravainen be on the Hawks roster at the end of the month?
Scott Powers (2:33 PM)
Rob, I think he'll join the Blackhawks this season, but it won't be until after his Liiga season is complete. I would think he comes over in April. The Blackhawks need him to play less than 10 games to allow his contract to slide a season. Whether he sees any meaningful time will depend on whether there's a need still there.
Joe L (Plainfield)
If your Stan do you trade Bicks to maybe clear some space for a 2nd line guy to play with Kaner on the 2nd line?
Scott Powers (2:35 PM)
Joe, I don't see how anyone would be willing to trade for Bickell now. He's getting $4 million a season and his contract lasts three more years. Bickell has looked fresher in practice this week, so let's see what he does after this break. I don't think he's going anywhere, though.
What is plan for Pierre-Marc Bouchard, any chance of seeing him brought up?
Scott Powers (2:36 PM)
Donnie, I think Bouchard has a chance to get a call-up later in the season. He gives them some more forward depth and maybe jump in the lineup if needed like Ben Smith did last year. He's played consistent in Rockford since joining the IceHogs earlier this month.
Henry a (deland fl)
Are the Hawks looking to sign Raanta long term?
Scott Powers (2:38 PM)
Henry, I don't know if it'll be long term, but I could see another contract there. With Crawford's long-term contract, Raanta wouldn't likely want to sign something long term as well because there's little opportunity to be a starter here. Raanta is a restricted free agent after this season, so I imagine the Blackhawks resign him to be the backup again at least for next season.
Don (GL Naval Base)
Any chance the Hawks upgrade the back-up goalie position this season?
Scott Powers (2:41 PM)
Don, I saw ESPN's Scott Burnside throw out Brodeur as a possibility for the Blackhawks at the trade deadline. The Blackhawks don't have much room to play with in the cap, and Bowman said recently he isn't looking to make any more moves, but you never know. I think Raanta's been solid, but there has been inconsistency there. He could really have benefited from more time in Rockford.
Who do you think will benefit most from the Olympics break?
Scott Powers (2:42 PM)
Anna, I think a number of players could really benefit. I think it's good for Crawford to be fresh again. Bickell certainly needed to get his mind right. Versteeg used the break to strengthen his knee, so that might be beneficial, too.
Tim (Wicker Park)
Scott, glad to have NFL hockey back. Do we think we have 2C figured out now? If Pirri isn't gonna work with the big club, is he potentially on the block for a bigger than average Bowman deadline move?
Scott Powers (2:44 PM)
Tim, the second-line center issue is yet to be determined. I guess we'll have a better idea in the coming weeks. As for Pirri, I believe there's been some discussion in trading him. I could see the Blackhawks getting some draft picks back for him. When I talked to him last week, he wasn't sure what would happen.
Hi Scott! Are the hawks interested in Jagr? Have to believe that Bickell and maybe a pick would be enough to land him from NJ as a rental. If not, is there anything bold you could see the Hawks doing or is Tervainen going to be looked at by the FO as a big last season addition?
Scott Powers (2:46 PM)
Matt, I don't see the Blackhawks acquiring Jagr and Bickell isn't going anywhere. If the offense begins to lack, I could see Morin getting another shot here soon. He's tearing it up in the AHL right now. Bowman has made late moves before, so anything is possible, but he just doesn't have much cap space to work with. He would likely have to send away someone on the active roster to get something significant back.
Are there any rumors of Pirri or Morin being called up? Is Pirri's time in a red sweater over with the Regin trade/Teuvo arrival?
Scott Powers (2:48 PM)
Dustin, no rumors on Pirri and Morin right now. There's just nowhere to play them, especially with 13 forwards on the roster. I do think the Regin trade impacted Pirri's future with the organization.
Scott do you see anyone else from Rockford coming up this season?
Scott Powers (2:49 PM)
Don, I don't see anyone coming up in the near future. The Blackhawks are pretty set with 13 forwards and seven defensemen.
Poppa Zombie (San Diego)
Is Kesler an option for the Hawks? He fits the teams needs like a glove, can skate, hit, play D, and score. Gritty as hell. You think he doesn't want back in the US and a shot at dynasty? Stockholm Syndrome?
Scott Powers (2:51 PM)
I don't see Kesler being an option. He's making $5 million for the next few years, and Teravainen is slotted to be that second-line center of the future.
Are we going to see Toews and Kane together again come playoff time like last year? Or is that Q's last resort to spark some guys?
Scott Powers (2:52 PM)
Mike, it's usually a last resort. If the offense is really struggling, he'll go there, but he won't break up Sharp-Toews-Hossa unless something really goes bad. That line has been solid for a while now.
Tony Lombard [via mobile]
With the open roster spot are the Hawks going to recall someone or do you think they are setting up for a trade? Why waive Kostka if you are going to do nothing?
Scott Powers (2:56 PM)
Tony, I don't foresee anyone coming up right now. If some of the players look tired in the coming week, maybe they add a forward to the roster. As for Kostka, I think there were a few reasons for him being put on waivers. I think they wanted to start getting Rozsival and Brookbank more consistent playing time. They also may have thought Kostka would slip through waivers. Someone told me the other day there was a chance they wanted Kostka to get picked up, so it opens up a spot in the organization for when they have to sign college players in April. I think they can only have 50 players under contract.
Raj (Durham, NC)
Hey Scott, hope you enjoyed the Olympic break, though I loved your updates on the Hawks in the Olympics. What are we gonna see with regards to lines tonight? Do Saad and Regin stick with Kane on that second line? I really think they need to get Kane some help, more than an avg center and a rising star (but above average at the moment) wing.
Scott Powers (2:57 PM)
Raz, the lines today were Sharp-Toews-Hossa, Versteeg-Regin-Kane, Bickell-Shaw-Saad, Bollig-Kruger-Smith.
Do you David Legwand is an option as a 2nd line center? He has an expiring contract.
Scott Powers (2:59 PM)
Mike, I've heard Legwand mentioned too, but I still think the move for Regin was their attempt for a second-line center. I don't see why they trade for him if they're looking to do something else as well.
Stephen (Orlando) [via mobile]
What are ur feelings towards the game on Saturday? I can't wait to us go against the pens.
Scott Powers (3:00 PM)
Stephen, it should be fun to watch. I just hope the weather isn't too drastic and really affects the play.
Why wouldn't the Hawks do anything with any of the four pending unrestricted free agents in Michal Handzus, Brandon Bollig, Peter Regin and Sheldon Brookbank come trade deadline?
Scott Powers (3:02 PM)
April, I don't there would be many takers for those players unless the other team is also getting draft picks or prospects. Regin was just traded for, so he won't go anywhere. The other three players are role players.
And what about a Tim Thomas trade to Chicago?
Scott Powers (3:04 PM)
Joe, the Blackhawks would have to get rid of some salary to fit him under the cap. Personally, I think they're comfortable with Raanta being the backup down the stretch.
Greg (Oak Forest)
The word "hangover" has been used sooooo many times this season. Are there just a lack of writers qualified to do in-depth analysis here in Chicago? No offense, but it just seems like the same tired story lines have been recycled by every publication in this town.
Scott Powers (3:06 PM)
Greg, I haven't seen much talk about hangover as of late. It seemed like a justifiable story line early in the season with having such a short offseason. I've tried to get more into some analysis and advanced statistics this season. I can't speak for other publications.
With Regin playing on 2nd line does that leave Handzus as not playing? Do you know starting lines for tonight?
Scott Powers (3:09 PM)
Rick, I think Handzus will be the odd man out for a bit. They'll want to give Regin some time there and see what he gives them. Bollig and Smith would be the other possible scratches if Quenneville wants to play Handzus. Of course, Bickell could also be scratched if his play isn't up to par.
What is the rule of carrying a healthy scratch? Does the roster expand later in the year?
Scott Powers (3:11 PM)
Bob, you can healthy scratch players as long as you're meeting roster requirements and under the cap. The roster does expand after the trade deadline.
Henry A (Deland fl)
Are the hawks liking how Labarbera is playing in Rockford?
Scott Powers (3:12 PM)
Henry, I was just going over the numbers today. LaBarbera has been solid as of late. He's won his last seven games and hasn't allowed more than two goals in his last four.
Chris B. (Crawfordsville, IN)
There is constant chatter about the Hawks needing a second line center and I am not sold that Regin is the answer. So, will the Hawks make a move at the deadline to finally get an actual second line center to help out Kaner and whoever else ends up on the other wing?
Scott Powers (3:13 PM)
Chris, I think the move for Regin was their attempt at a second-line center. Teravainen could also be an option later in the year. I'd be surprised if Bowman makes a big splash in the coming days.
What can Peter Regin give us? His stats do not look too good. Is he good at face-offs at least?
Scott Powers (3:16 PM)
Bob, they like that Regin has some offensive skills, especially distributing the puck, and is defensively reliable. He obviously gives them some more speed there than Handzus. He's around 50 percent on faceoffs.
Dave (Philadelphia, PA)
If Bowman looks to move Pirri and/or Morin, does he do so before the trade deadline or after the season? Does that decision move the draft pick quality the Hawks would get in exchange up or down a round?
Scott Powers (3:18 PM)
Dave, I would think he'd want to move him during the season. They become restricted free agents after the season, so the Blackhawks would have to sign them again to deal them.
I really liked Mills' style of play when he was up, any chance we see him sometime in future?
Scott Powers (3:20 PM)
Steve, I know Mills was hurt in Rockford, too. I believe he's only been back for a bit now. I don't think he'll get another chance this season. The move earlier in the season seemed to be when they were searching for someone reliable on the PK.
All of this talk about a second line center not performing is getting tiresome. First, the Hawks haven't had a true 2C in years past, but won two Cups. Two, Regin has some offensive skill and hasn't had an opportunity to prove himself here. Tell the fans to relax!
Scott Powers (3:21 PM)
Mike, I hear you. What you say is true, but I also get why people are fed up with the Blackhawks not figuring out that second-line center for so long now.
Scott Powers (3:22 PM)
Thanks for all the questions again today. As always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with anything else. Have a great weekend.