I am a Blackhawks fan. I've taken my beatings. Now the team is starting to rise up from the ashes of the Bill Wirtz era and into the Rocky era. There is hope or was hope. While everyone keeps clapping their hands around me, I'm skeptical. It's like being John Hurt in "1984". There's a giant "Wait a minute!" feeling that is slowly consuming me.
Everyone keeps saying "Huet! Campbell! Brilliant!". Oh really? $12 mil worth of mediocre goaltending is Brilliant? Since when? I also didn't know paying a 37 year old defenseman $7.1 Mil was genius either. So maybe I have alot to learn OR (and I'm leaning towards this one) it's same old same old in Chicago. Overpaying players. And that is NOT genius.
One of the things that I was looking forward to this year was that we could get good players to come to Chicago without overpaying them. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one. So how do we celebrate our new status as a "Place to be"? We overpay to get players to come to Chicago. Brilliance (note thick sarcasm)!
Regardless of the fact that we will lose $16.75 mil in salary after this season with Havlat, Khabibulin, and Lang's contracts all coming to an end. We have set an unrealistic pricetag to meet here. In my biased opinion Duncan Kieth will outshine our "big signing" of Brian Campbell. Meaning that when contract time comes (after the 09-10 season) Duncan's contract is gonna have to be huge like $1.2 Bil a year for 3 millenia or something ridiculous.
Now on to my gripe about Huet. I am not opposed to new blood between the pipes nor am I oposed to Huet in particular. I'm also not opposed to giving Khabibulin the boot, throwing him under the bus, pushing him into traffic, or generally verbally abusing him like I have since he was a member of Tampa. What I am opposed to is the concept that two starters will share goaltending duties. Yeah this isn't the MLB we don't have a "rotation". We also don't have starters backing each other up morally. That crap only happens in REALLY shitty movies and not even just the bad ones like "Mighty Ducks 3"! This isn't a "feel good movie about buddies", this will be a "legendary clash of egos!". If Huet is replacing Khabi, that is fine. BUT who in their right mind signs another starting goalie while they still have one left to unload? And I do mean unload. Thanks to mathematics I figured out that we paid Khabi over $290K per win last year. Which I find ridiculous.
Then we get to the draft. The whole time before hand there was only one kid rated in our range I did NOT want. Guess who we signed? The kid with an attitude problem and some injuries. Yeah genius drafting startegy! Oh but it gets better. We then spend the rest and I mean the entirety of our draft picks on defenseman. um, okay. Refilling the AHL roster with D-men? Possibly. Which almost started to make sense UNTIL we signed 3 defensemen in a row that were like #7 D-men at the best. So we have a bunch of D-men that should not be playing at the NHL all eating up non-existant cap space. Not one of these guys is gonna be ready to fill in for injured D-man James "Wiz" Wisniewski who will likely miss 5-10 games recovering from surgery.
Yeah. Well anyway everyone keeps saying "The Blackhawks are going to be amazing next year!" I think we will make a powerful playoff push, but I'm not 100% on board for this "Stanley in 09 !" thought process that seems to be overpoweringly compelling to hockey fans right now. I'm happy that we're re-surging, but I'm confused as hell about out post-season strategies. I've shook my head in pure bafflement when we signed what really amounts to NHL cast offs and AHL refuse, especially when goaltending prospect Corey Crawford has not been signed. Corey has skills. I am saying that straight up. He could be a Stanley Cup winner, and that is no doubt to me. My Chicago Sports Paranoia keeps thinking we will let talent walk away and not even get a draft pick out of the deal AGAIN. When Corey gets signed and Khabi get dealt I'll relax a ton.
It just doesn't stop getting better! By now that ridiculous trade rumor is swirling around that links us to the Kings and the Sens in a 3 team blockbuster trade. Let me dispell this rumor right now. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. The first tip off was that we would trade Seabrook and Khabi. Okay we JUST re-signed Seabs for 3 more years. This trade is not gonna happen. You don't re-enforce your blueline and then trade your 2nd biggest homegrown Defensive player(after Keith). Flush rumor #1. Rumor #2 is even more ludicrous as it involves both Khabi and Seabs and then gets even more Eklund-ish....er, insane by involving our top goal scorer Patrick Sharp. Let me tell you something. We might be dumb enough to overpay for Campbell, but dumping Sharp is a new kind of dumb that only a Gm for a Florida team could pull off.
Someone will be hitting the skids, but it won't be Sharp or Seabrook. Stay tuned to see who that lucky target will be other than Khabi. My Spidey Sense says Barker. Oh well. I pled my case, but Koharsky is pointing at the box. I'm off for another 10. Good night folks.