With Kovalchuk off the blocks and headed to New Jersey in what I see as a terrible deal by Waddell and here is why. He clearly stated he wanted players to help him now and do Oduya, Bergfors, a pick and Cormier help him now? Not a chance, they are losing a top 5 player in the league and receiving basically a good defenceman and a young Bergfors who really is another player just trying to find his groove in the NHL. The latter being Cormier and a 1st pick are obviously for the future and definitely not helping the team now.
Yes Waddell was under pressure to make a deal clearly wanting to move Kovalchuk prior to the Olympics in case of a possible injury and ending up getting nothing but maybe a player for Kovie's negotiating rights in the off season. Waddell however has a lot of options still with an abundance of soon to be UFA's so I truly believe he is not done but at this point in time if I am a Thrasher fan I would not be happy.
What does this do to the Hawks? Not much, besides the obvious of Kovalchuk out of the question the Hawks brass can now move towards perhaps a Niedermayer and/or Selanne for rental and basically offering similar players as mentioned all over the web like a Versteeg/Barker and a pick for Niedermayer for example. With that said the Ducks would need to clear some Cap space with some moves aswell. At this point I do not feel the Hawks will be doing much now that Kovalchuk is off the market, more then likely towards the March deadline as teams fall out of the playoff race. Mind you, in an interview last night with Stan Bowman he clearly stated it would be nice to get guys earlier then later and that he was in talks with GM's around the league.
Bowman went on to mention adding another player to the Hawks would not disrupt the current chemistry of the team. On the topic of chemistry one can not overlook the poor play of the Hawks for the past 3 weeks, sure they have good periods here and there and some glimpses of the play they were capable of earlier in the season.However, the last full great effort was way back against Detroit in arguably the game of the year and if one thinks of every game after that they had some serious mental collapses with some very questionable defensive play.
The Hawks are dropping in G.A.A. and G.F. which do not matter to some but it's clear the stats also are proof for mediocre play of the Hawks of late. For more proof you can look at the standings and see Chicago is slowly losing ground on San Jose and giving up ground on teams like Vancouver, Phoenix and Los Angeles.
There is no need to panic the Hawks just need to get back to what they were doing best. Teams are ready for them now they can not catch teams by surprise anymore. There are some positives as Huet played quite well against St.Louis not having any chance on all 3 goals with the last 2 being deflected, let's hope he can keep it up and go on a hot streak. Bolland is back but one could see he is no where near up to par by any means, there were a lot of times he was reaching for the puck instead of moving his feet. That is to be expected after coming off major surgery. I do not see any line up changes for the next game, perhaps just some line juggling with Bolland perhaps moving up and playing with Hossa but we shall see.
About the Author
Written by Trent Kondo
An all around sports fan and has been a Chicago BlackHawks supporter longer then he can remember. Currently writes for Prosportsblogging.com on the Blackhawks and NHLHotstove.com on the Edmonton Oilers. (If you would like to email feel free to contact Trent at TKONHOCKEY@gmail.com )