Chicago Blackhawks – medals, signings, national honors and rumors this week
Even though this is the slow part of the NHL season unless your team is in the Stanley Cup Finals that is. The Blackhawks are giving us plenty of things to write and talk about until draft day which will be in about another month. Below is a summary of everything I heard this past week surrounding this team.
Medals - As I wrote about before Michael Frolik was the sole Blackhawk left in the IIHF World Championships. He was playing for his homeland team of the Czech Republic who ended up winning the bronze medal after defeating Finland. Frolik did not score in this game but ended the tournament with 2 goals and 1 assist in 10 games. Congratulations you represented the Blackhawks and your country very well.
Signings – gave contracts to two prospects and a veteran this week.
Ø Rob Flick and Mac Carruth. Rob Flick was inked to a 3 year deal that will be a two way contract for 582K a year. Flick is a big physical center iceman that is a solid two way player. Flick has great success in his last year in the OHL where he played for the Mississauga-St. Michael's. Look for the Hawks to bring this kid into camp to compete.
Ø Mac Carruth G was also signed to a two way contract for 3 years for around 600K. This was first reported by RDS reporter Renaud Levoie. Carruth needed to be signed as he would have been eligible for draft reentry if the Hawks did not sign him. Congrats to both Rob and Mac on their contracts.
Ø Jamal Mayers is also being resigned by the Hawks for another year. It will be a one year extension with a slight salary increase. The cap hit to the Hawks will be 600K which is pretty reasonable for a gritty veteran player. This signing might take some by surprise as Mayers spent a lot of time at the end of the playoffs on the bench as a healthy scratch. Glad to see things got worked out. Mayers was second on the Hawks in FOW % which they need. Congrats Jamal on another year at the UC.
Honors – Scotty Bowman received the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada is a civilian designation to recognize outstanding achievements or dedication to the community and service to the nation. If any Canadian coach deserves this it is Bowman. He has won more games and championships than any other NHL coach. We do not have such designations in the US like England has knighthood so while I may not fully understand the significance or importance of such an honor I know it never hurts to be in a group that has Wayne Gretzky or the Rocket Richard. Scotty thank you for all that you did for hockey and congratulations on this prestigious honor.
Rumors – This week it was floated by ESPN’s Jesse Rogers that the Hawks maybe in talks with the Pittsburgh Penguins to swap Dave Bolland + others for Jordan Staal. Supposedly this rumor was actually coming out of Pittsburgh. Staal’s contract is coming up in 2013 as is Bolland’s contract which is probably at the root of this rumor. It is also being suggested the Brandon Saad maybe thrown in too since he hails from Pittsburgh and to sweeten the deal. While this is intriguing talk I don’t see this happening for several reasons. On the Pittsburgh side I would think they would want to see how the health of Malkin and Crosby hold up before trading a valuable center iceman although they will not be able to afford all three next year. On the Hawks side I think Staal’s contract demands would be too hefty and I’m not sure Marcus Kruger is ready for the 3rd line center slot. Bolland has invaluable experience and skates with a sneer and snarl that young Kruger just does not have. Still this one does make for interesting water cooler chats and is not your usual Kaner trade fantasy talk.