A few quick thoughts about the Hawks and the first week of games on the preseason schedule.
-Jeremy Morin has an interesting problem. He’s been
good great outstanding in a Blackhawk sweater, but his cap hit is near $1 million and that makes him hard to fit into the mix. At 19, he could go back to juniors, but since his pro deal is technically with the Blackhawks and not the Ice Hogs, the CHL-AHL transfer agreement would not apply. He could therefore just as easily play in Rockford this year, if he chooses, and despite receiving less playing time, could be a potential midseason call-up or emergency fill-in.
-It’s not looking so good for KHL coaches right now. After two Russian teams benched Igor Makarov for the better part of the last two seasons, the newly-turned 23 year old is tearing up the NHL exhibition landscape. He was one of the few bright spots in a sad showing at Toronto’s prospect tournament, and he’s continued to make a strong case throughout training camp. His great hockey sense has made up for many of his physical deficiencies, and he’s looked completely comfortable in the Hawks’ lineup. With his recent performances, it’s hard to imagine him not on the roster when the plane leaves for Denver.
-Patrick Kane, for the second consecutive year, has come to camp looking bigger and stronger. The so-called party animal looks much more physically mature and appears to be in great shape as he aims for his first triple-digit point season.
-Brandon Pirri will score 25 goals for Rockford this year.
-Kyle Beach will spend the entire year in the AHL (and make me look silly in the process). The jump from juniors to the NHL is simply too big for him. Twelve months and 15 extra pounds from now, he’ll be ready to make an impact, but not yet.
-Detroit’s Jakub Kindl is going to be a star. He’s the total package.
-Kiss them goodbye—Evan Brophey, Brian Connelly, Jassen Cullimore, Nick Leddy, and Ben Smith will all be Rockford Ice Hogs come October.
-Marty Turco’s puckhandling ability fits tremendously well with Joel Quenneville’s system. One need only look at the 100 foot tape-to-tape bomb he dropped at Patrick Kane’s feet on Saturday (which led to a nice tic tac goal) to see his impact.
-Jack Skille will finally get his chance to prove he’s not a bust. So far, so good.
-Brian Bickell’s mediocre preseason may land him in Rockford, despite offseason speculation that he would be a lock to make the team. Jake Dowell has acquitted himself reasonably well, but still could be on that bubble. Both players have one-way deals which would prevent them from being called up midseason without adequate cap space for their entire contracts.
About the Author
Written by Adam Seidman
Adam can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org