Joe Maddon to the Cubs?

940-couture-loganLet’s take a break from hockey for a minute and focus on another Chicago team: the Cubs. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports just reported that Joe Maddon has agreed to become the next manager of the Cubs, which if true, is huge. Maddon is a 2-time AL Manager of the Year winner with the Tampa Bay Rays, and is known for really creating a good clubhouse atmosphere and for knowing how to handle young players.

Before we get any further, let me just say that there are numerous reports out there right now that are saying no deal is in place between Maddon and the Cubs, but that there is still a very good chance Maddon ends up in Chicago. During the World Series, Major League Baseball enforces a “news blackout” which prevents any teams, players, etc. from announcing anything that might take focus away from the World Series, which might be why some reporters are denying that a Maddon deal is done. There is a very solid chance that the two sides have in fact agreed to a contract, but they won’t make anything official until Thursday or Friday (once the World Series is over).

So now let’s look at what this would mean to the Cubs if Maddon is next year’s skipper.

Like I already said, he’s a 2-time Manager of the Year recipient while in Tampa, he’s been to the World Series once (and lost), and he’s somehow kept the Rays in the thick of things in the AL East for the past 6-7 years despite having a low payroll. He knows how to manage young players, which the Cubs are stocked with, and he creates a very good atmosphere in the clubhouse. He’s been known to dye his hair after win streaks and have his players dress up in weird costumes on travel days. Aside from being a smart manager, he’s a player’s manager, and that is a good thing.

What this potential signing does is send a message to all of baseball that the Cubs are getting real serious about winning in the very near future. It’s no secret that they’ll be in the market for at least one, if not two high end pitchers this winter, and signing Joe Maddon will only increase a free agent’s desire to join the team. Look for the Cubs to target guys like Jon Lester and now James Shields, who both have connections (potentially) to the Cubs. Lester played with the Red Sox in Boston while Epstein was still in control there, and the two sides won the 2007 World Series together. James Shields played with the Rays from 2008-2012 and had Joe Maddon as his manager each of those years. If the Cubs could sign both of those guys to go along with Jake Arrieta, they would have a very potent top 3 in their starting rotation to go along with what should be a dangerous offense. If you really think about it, there aren’t too many players in the Major League’s that won’t want to be a part of the Cubs over the next few years. Everyone is going to want their name to be on the Cubs’ roster that one day wins the World Series, and it’s looking like the possibility of that actually happening is better now than ever before.

Clearly the Joe Maddon signing is not official, but in all likelihood he’ll be the Cubs manager come Opening Day. It kind of makes you feel bad for Rick Renteria who gained a lot of confidence from the Cubs’ front office this past year. He’ll be out of a job if Maddon comes to town, but it’s a move that the Cubs essentially have to make in this situation. It’s not every day that you get the chance to sign one of the game’s best managers.

Blackhawks-Ducks preview

130107_gq_trout_aTonight the Blackhawks play host to the red hot Anaheim Ducks, who are currently tied with Montreal for the league’s lead in points with 14. The Blackhawks come into this game having lost two of their last three games, while the Ducks enter the night fresh off a lopsided loss to the Sharks on Sunday snapping their seven game win streak. These two teams have been pegged by many to be the top two teams in the Western Conference this season, and tonight will be our first look at how they match up with one another.

Before I get to talking about the Hawks, a couple of story lines surrounding the Ducks heading into tonight’s game are Ryan Kesler, John Gibson, and the play of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

This will be Kesler’s first game against the Blackhawks as a member of the Ducks, and it is the first time he’ll be facing the Hawks since their supposed pursuit of him this past summer. Kesler’s presence in the Anaheim lineup makes the Ducks one of the deepest teams in all of hockey at the center position, something the Blackhawks tried to improve upon this offseason with the acquisition of Brad Richards. Kesler, as we all know, is one of the game’s best two-way forwards, as well as one of the most physical and toughest guys to play against. Going back to his days in Vancouver, Kesler has a very deep disliking for the Hawks, so it’ll be interesting to see if that carries over into tonight’s action.

As for John Gibson, he’ll be the Ducks’ starting goalie tonight. He has made a total of 5 starts in his NHL career (2 this year). With this being such a big game for both teams early on in the season, I thought we’d be seeing Frederik Andersen between the pipes for the Ducks, but I guess Bruce Boudreau wants to give Gibson a chance to prove himself against one of the league’s best teams.

Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are tearing it up right now. Both players have 12 points through their first 9 games, and Corey Perry leads the NHL with 9 goals. To compare, Patrick Sharp leads the Blackhawks with 3 goals and 8 points. As a result of Getzlaf and Perry’s hot starts, among some other things, the Ducks are averaging 3.22 goals per game this year. Tonight will be a huge test for the Blackhawks in trying to stop those two.

Okay, now to the Hawks.

It has been somewhat of an up and down start to the year for them, and they currently sit at 5-2-1, which is good for fourth in the West. The biggest positive that we’ve seen from the Blackhawks up to this point has been their ability to keep the puck out of their own net. They are third in the league in goals against per game (1.75) and penalty kill percentage (92%). What needs to improve is their powerplay, which has only converted 20% of the time this year (good for 15th in the league). Their lack of production with the man advantage is a huge reason why they are only averaging 2.62 goals per game so far, which leaves them ranked 16th in that category.

It hasn’t just been the powerplay that has disappointed thus far. The Blackhawks, believe it or not, are 24th in the NHL in 5 on 5 goals this year. They’ve only scored 11 times at even strength, which is very troublesome for a team with so much talent. Last game against Ottawa was the first time the Blackhawks scored during the second period this season. If it wasn’t for their great goaltending and defense, their record could look a lot different.

940-couture-loganSpeaking of the goaltending, Scott Darling will be making his second straight start tonight. He got his first ever win in his first ever NHL start against the Senators on Sunday, winning 2-1. He stopped 32 of the 33 shots that he faced and did a real nice job of cutting down the shooting angles and moving side to side from post to post against the Senators. He is 6’6″, 232 pounds and looks even bigger when standing in the crease. Hopefully he can continue using his size to his advantage. If he puts together another solid outing tonight, it’ll be interesting to see which direction the Blackhawks decide to go with their backup goalie once Crawford returns to the lineup. While Raanta has a ton of talent, his lack of size and vulnerability of getting pushed around in the crease puts him at a disadvantage when compared to Crawford and Darling.

The lines will look a little different than they did last game. As of now, Quenneville has them as Bickell-Toews-Hossa, Saad-Shaw-Kane, Sharp-Richards-Versteeg, Smith-Kruger-Morin. I like seeing that second line reunited. Saad does not belong on the third or fourth line, which is where he had played the last two games, and I love him being paired with Patrick Kane.

Tonight should definitely be a good test for both the Ducks and Hawks, as both teams will be using this game as a measuring stick to see where they currently stand. If you’re looking for something else to watch for in tonight’s game, keep your eyes on Marian Hossa. He currently has 998 career points, leaving him 2 shy of a huge milestone.

NHL goal horn power rankings

Recently the website wejustscored.com was developed where they let visitors listen to the goal horn and song of every team in the NHL. It’s pretty cool and you should check it out. As a result of this website being created, people have begun talking about which teams have the best goal horns and goal songs. Sports Illustrated actually came out with their rankings of all NHL goal horns and songs, which prompted to me to do the same. So, here’s my rankings:

30. ANAHEIM_DUCKS_LOGO Listen

I’ve always hated this one.

29. Minnesota-Wild-Wallpaper- Listen

Not a great horn, and what’s with the sound effects in the song?

28. bluejackets07-rgbjpg-8678ad1b3fbe2735 Listen

The horn is way too short, and I hate the stupid cannon they use.

27. 7327531 Listen

Just too generic.

26. WinnipegJets Listen

Bad all around.

25. 6cphie5heyvfwn6lbzfowe61h Listen

Not a terrible horn, but dumb, dumb song selection.

24. NHL-Nashville-Predators-Logo-Wallpaper Listen

There are worse horns, but Buffalo’s lasts too long. Plus, they have a bad song.

23. third_jersey_logo Listen

Kind of an annoying horn and a bad song choice.

22. 6cphie5heyvfwn6lbzfowe61h Listen

I could live with their horn, but they might have the worst goal song in hockey. Pitbull? Really?

21. crestonwht_rgb Listen

I don’t hate or love their horn, but a very common goal song.

20. ANAHEIM_DUCKS_LOGO Listen

Actually a decent horn. Just not a good song, even though it goes with the “Coyotes” name.

19. 6cphie5heyvfwn6lbzfowe61h Listen

A very mediocre horn, and somewhat of a decent song/chant.

18. NHL-Nashville-Predators-Logo-Wallpaper Listen

Not a huge fan of the horn they use in Nashville, but a very good song considering it’s a country town.

17. 161 Listen

Again, a mediocre horn and song. I’m not a huge fan of sirens mixed with goal horns.

16. 161 Listen

Good horn, horrible song.

15. 6cphie5heyvfwn6lbzfowe61h Listen

Another good horn, but the song is over-used in the NHL. Plus, the wildcat noises get to be too much at a certain point.

14. TampaBayLightning_LOGO Listen

Pretty good horn, and not a horrible song.

13. ANAHEIM_DUCKS_LOGO Listen

Good horn, decent song selection as well. I would have had them higher if they still used “Holiday” by Green Day.

12. 6cphie5heyvfwn6lbzfowe61h Listen

An okay horn, and one of the better goal songs in the league I think.

11. 144 Listen

Very powerful horn with a good song for the fans to sing along to.

10. DRW Logo Listen

Good horn and a custom song. Not bad.

9. New_Dallas_Stars Listen

I love this horn, but the song puts a damper on things here.

8. 174 Listen

Pretty good all around here for Pittsburgh. The horn is what holds it back a bit.

7. 6cphie5heyvfwn6lbzfowe61h Listen

It gets tough to rank now. Good horn and song.

6. st-louis-blues-logo Listen

I’ve always like the Blues’ horn even though I hate the team. Unique goal song.

5. jesus-clip-art-2 Listen

Great horn. Good song selection considering they’re the Flames.

4. si34dm1f9jex9eoexq9l1svqk Listen

Original horn and song. The song is in French and talks about the relationship between the people of Quebec and the Canadiens. Pretty cool.

3. Boston_Bruins_logo Listen

Great horn, but I wish it sounded three times instead of twice. Good goal song as well, especially when the fans are going nuts.

2. Minnesota-Wild-Wallpaper- Listen

Very tough to decide whether this should be one or two. No weaknesses with this one.

1. 56 Listen

The best horn in hockey and a very catchy, fan-friendly song.

Sports Illustrated also had the Blackhawks ranked number one, so don’t immediately call me bias even though I probably am.

Update: Sporting News also just ranked the Blackhawks number one overall in their rankings here.

Thoughts on the Blackhawks after 3 games

940-couture-loganThree games are already in the books for the Hawks as they find themselves sitting at 2-0-1. Even after just three games, there are already some things sticking out at me about this team, both good and bad. Starting the year with three straight games without a regulation loss is obviously a good thing, but the Hawks play in the NHL’s toughest division and will need to continue earning points on nearly a nightly basis. With that, here’s what I’ve noticed through three games:

  • First of all, don’t get too upset over the loss to the Flames in OT the other night. The Hawks outshot Calgary 50-18 and dominated the game from start to finish. This was one of those fluke occurrences much like we saw two years ago between these same two teams in Calgary. Only that time, it was Ray Emery and the Blackhawks stealing the victory and not Jonas Hiller and the Flames.
  • The third line needs to wake up. The coaching staff moved Brad Richards from the second line to the third line shortly before the season began, and it has not worked out very well thus far to say the least. That line of Bickell, Richards and Smith has done very little in terms of generating momentum and scoring chances.
  • Speaking of Richards, he has been pretty awful through three games. He looks slow, he’s made a few horrible turnovers at the blue line on the powerplay, and he isn’t doing anything to make his line better. The best he’s looked so far has been on the back-check after turning the puck over. Not the kinds of things we were hoping to see from him. Hopefully he just needs a few games to finally get it going.
  • Special teams. The Hawks have been decent on the penalty kill, having killed 10 of the 11 penalties they’ve taken. It’s the powerplay that has not done much to impress. The Blackhawks are 3 for 16 with the man advantage, which may not look so bad on paper, but the fact that they were just 1 for 7 the other night against Calgary is not good. Had they converted just one more time in that game, they would have won. They need to quit trying to make the extra, cute passes and just shoot the damn thing. It’s that simple.
  • Why is Jeremy Morin still not getting playing time? He played a team low 5:48 against the Flames, one of the worst teams in the league. While guys like Carcillo have been playing pretty well here early on, there’s still no excuse to give Morin less than 6 minutes of ice time. Quenneville needs to get this idea out of his head that Morin is more of a liability than anything else. The guy goes 110% every time he’s on the ice, which creates scoring chances and momentum. Plus, if Q would give Morin the chance to prove he deserves more minutes (instead of providing Carcillo with ample opportunities), he’d probably show that he does deserve more ice time.

Okay now the positive stuff.

  • Corey Crawford continues to look great in net. Sure he only saw 18 shots against the Flames and still lost, but you can’t really pin either of those goals on him. The first was a crazy deflection that no one could have stopped, and the second was just a great wrist shot that beat him. He has made big save after big save so far, including multiple saves on breakaways.
  • The Saad-Shaw-Kane line has been unstoppable the past two games. There’s not much more to say about them than that. The chemistry that this line is showing will make it tough for Quenneville and the coaching staff to break them up, meaning Brad Richards might get demoted to the fourth line before he gets promoted to the second line where we all thought he’d be… Shows you how much us fans know.
  • 940-couture-loganTrevor van Riemsdyk looks to have solidified a spot on the team after the Hawks sent Kyle Cumiskey down to Rockford yesterday. When Rozsival comes back from injury, the d-pairings should look something like Keith-Seabrook, Hjalmarsson-Oduya, and Rozsival-van Riemsdyk with David Rundblad as the seventh defenseman (if it were up to me, I’d have sent him down instead of Cumiskey). TVR has shown a lot of poise, confidence, and awareness through his first three games as a pro. If he continues to improve, the Hawks may have hit the lottery with this kid.
  • Another decent surprise so far has been Dan Carcillo. I’ll be the first to admit that I did not agree with the Hawks when they signed him right before the season started. Now, it’s starting to like like somewhat of a decent move. Carcillo looks like a completely different player than the one who left town after the 2013 Stanley Cup parade. He’s added some physicality and skill (something Brandon Bollig didn’t have) to the fourth line this year, which has made that line quite effective up to this point. When Kris Versteeg comes back, the Hawks will most likely rotate Carcillo and Morin in and out of the lineup of the fourth line. Already I’m noticing more depth on this team than last year’s team, and we all know depth is a huge factor in winning the Cup.

Coming up, the Blackhawks host the Predators and Flyers before heading to Nashville and St. Louis. They really need to get two points in each of these last two home games to keep themselves in a good spot in the Central.

State of the Hawks after one game

940-toews-jonathan-8colAnyone who watched the Blackhawks take on the Stars the other night in what was each team’s first game of the year knows that the Hawks got manhandled for the first 40 minutes of play. Thankfully, Duncan Keith was able to score right near the end of the first period to put the Hawks on the board first, and Corey Crawford turned in one of those outings that just makes you shake your head in amazement. After a horrible second period in which the Blackhawks went down 2-1, they came out flying in the third and were able to get a powerplay goal from Patrick Sharp that eventually sent the game to overtime. No one scored in OT, a shootout commenced, Patrick Kane did his thing, and the Hawks walked away with 2 points. We’ll take it.

While the Blackhawks did somehow manage to get 2 points out their first game, the fact that they looked so awful through the first 40 minutes cannot be overlooked. Aside from Crawford, Sharp, and probably Hjalmarsson, no one else really showed up to play. As a result, the Stars were practically skating circles around the Hawks for much of the night doing whatever they wanted, except scoring. Besides that, here’s what else I took away from opening night:

  • Clearly the coaching staff has very little confidence in the young defensemen. Duncan Keith was forced to play a game high 29 minutes, while Hjalmarsson and Oduya played over 25, and Seabrook 23. Trevor van Riemsdyk turned in 11 minutes, and David Rundblad just 6. This cannot continue to happen for much longer. At some point, Quenneville has got to let the young guys prove themselves and let them learn to play NHL hockey. Using them for 6-10 minutes a game does not do that, and it certainly does not ready them for playoff minutes. Personally, I didn’t think TVR looked all that bad in his first career NHL game the other night. I’d try and get him around 13-15 minutes tonight against the rebuilding Sabres.
  • Going off of that first point, it is somewhat obvious that the Blackhawks can’t really afford to lose one of their top four defensemen to injury for very long this year. Seeing as how reluctant the coaches are to play the young blue liners, I don’t even want to imagine what might happen if a Keith or Hjalmarsson gets injured and needs a replacement. Granted, there’s a chance that Q will become more comfortable with a guy like TVR as the year progresses (and we haven’t seen Cumiskey yet), but who knows.. Michal Rozsival should be returning to the lineup sometime next week on the third d-pairing, which will probably increase the playing time of whoever his partner is.
  • The Blackhawks better not make a habit of coming out slow an unenthused to start games this year. We’ve seen them do it before in the past, and they did it again against Dallas.
  • I thought the powerplay looked rather decent the other night. They were moving the puck around pretty well and put some nice pressure on Lehtonen. They still have the tendency to pass up shot attempts and try to force bad passes instead, but overall I was please. It was Sharp’s PP goal that tied the game up with just over 8 minutes left to play.
  • The penalty kill wasn’t bad either.
  • Corey Crawford was ridiculously good. Let’s see if he has a “bounce back” year.
  • Other than the Sharp-Toews-Hossa line, none of the other three lines were real productive. Quenneville hoped that reuniting Saad, Shaw and Kane would result like it did last May, but it didn’t. I’d try Richards with Saad and Kane tonight and do everything possible to make that trio work.

All in all, not a good start for the Blackhawks, but great teams find ways to win the tough games. I’d expect their play to pick up over the next week or so once they get their legs back under them and once some chemistry begins to redevelop. They’ll need to pick it up because they are playing in the toughest division in the NHL, and the last thing anyone in the Central wants to do is fall too far behind early in the year. There’s no coming back from that.

Tonight it’s the Sabres who will take the ice against the Hawks in their home opener. I’m anticipating another 2 points tonight in what should be a game in which the Hawks start to figure things out.

Blackhawks-Stars preview

940-toews-jonathan-8colThursday night the Blackhawks will officially open their 2014-15 season in Dallas when they take on the much improved Stars. Already, there are story lines heading this game. Injuries, line juggling, and new faces in the lineup will all have an impact on the Hawks’ season opener.

Let’s start with the injuries. First off, Joel Quenneville said today that it looks like Kris Versteeg will be out around three weeks with a lower body injury. He suffered the injury in practice the other day, but the Blackhawks won’t specify as to how or what happened, per the usual. That stuff is “secretive” in the NHL these days. This is really unfortunate for both Versteeg and the Blackhawks because it appeared during training camp and preseason that Versteeg finally had his legs back under him. Many coaches and players said that he looked like his old self again (the guy from 2010). If that Versteeg is the one that shows up this year, he’ll be a big asset on the team’s third line.

Aside from Kris Versteeg, Michal Rozsival also will be out of the lineup in Dallas it would appear. He suffered an upper body injury during the preseason, but has been skating well in practice and may only miss a couple games. His absence from the lineup is not as crucial as Versteeg’s, but he’s out nonetheless.

In place of Versteeg and Rozsival, expect to see Dan Carcillo and Trevor van Riemsdyk (TVR) in the lineup Thursday. TVR (the younger brother of James of the Toronto Maple Leafs and U.S. Olympic team) unexpectedly made the Blackhawks’ opening night roster and figures to be the Hawks’ sixth/seventh defenseman until Rozsival returns from his injury. He was practicing with Hjalmarsson as his partner this week, while Oduya and Rundbald were the third d-pairing. Once Rozsival comes back, I’d expect van Riemsdyk to be sent back to Rockford. The Hawks likely won’t carry eight healthy defensemen.

If it’s not one of David Rundblad or TVR in the lineup Thursday night, it’ll be Kyle Cumiskey in their place. He is quite similar to Nick Leddy in that he’s a very fast, puck-moving defensemen that likes to be involved in the offense.

As for what lines you should expect to see Thursday, look for them to be Sharp-Toews-Hossa, Saad-Shaw-Kane, Bickell-Richards-Smith, Carcillo-Kruger-Morin. As you can see, it looks like Quenneville has already decided that he doesn’t like the Saad-Richards-Kane trio and will instead start the season off with the second line that owned the Kings in last year’s Western Conference Final. I would anticipate that sometime in the very near future Q will go with Richards centering the second line, but for now we’ll have to wait for that. I don’t understand his reasoning for giving up on Richards with Saad and Kane before the regular season even starts, but it is what it is.

Now, the game itself. Dallas is coming into this season already with a ton of momentum behind them. They ended up shocking a lot of people last season by making the playoffs as a wild card team, and they really did put up a good fight against the Ducks in the first round. This summer, they acquired Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky to really bolster their offense that already consists of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. They’re going to be a tough team to beat on a nightly basis.

940-toews-jonathan-8colI’m expecting the Stars to give the Hawks all they can handle in the season opener, and there’s a good chance that they win the game in front of what should be a very lively, sold-out crowd in Dallas. Remember, these two teams developed some bad blood for one another over the course of last year, thanks to Antoine Roussel and his aggravating style of play. This will be a great test for the Blackhawks right off the bat.

Leddy dealt; Another round of Carcillo

130107_gq_trout_aI’m a little late to the party on this one, but better late than never. On Saturday, the Blackhawks traded Nick Leddy to the New York Islanders in exchange for three prospects: T.J. Brennan, Ville Pokka, and Anders Nilsson. Both Brennan and Pokka are defensemen, while Nilsson is a goalie. This was a trade that we had all been holding our breath on for seemingly the last four months, but it finally happened. The Hawks needed to move someone off their NHL roster to get themselves under the salary cap, and that someone ended up being Nick Leddy, which wasn’t much of a surprise. The Leddy trade wasn’t the only news on Saturday, however. The Blackhawks also signed Dan Carcillo to a one-year contract, a move that has most Hawks fans scratching our heads.

Back to the Leddy trade. It appeared that one of Oduya or Leddy would end up being the player traded away to get the Hawks back under the NHL’s salary cap, and sure enough it ended up being Leddy. Leddy was first brought up to the NHL to begin the 2010-11 season, and he never left the scene. He never appeared in an AHL game prior to being brought up to the NHL, so his first few seasons with the Hawks were basically an example of learning on the job. While he did progress in certain areas each year while here in Chicago, Leddy never seemed to take that big next step towards becoming a top four, reliable NHL defenseman. Don’t get me wrong, his speed, puck moving, and offensive talents are elite for a d-man, but his ability to be an effective player in his own is what has held him back a bit. Joel Quenneville regularly sat Leddy late in close games because he simply couldn’t trust him to be on the ice during those times. That’s where Leddy has never shown much progression, and that’s a huge reason why he’s the one who got moved.

As for the players the Blackhawks received in return for Leddy, T.J. Brennan, 25, is the most valuable. Last year in the AHL he recorded 25 goals and 47 assists from the back end, and he was named the AHL’s most outstanding defenseman. Brennan has appeared in 40 NHL games in his career with the Sabres and Panthers, and he registered 4 goals and 7 assists in those 40 games. As you can tell from his numbers in the minors, Brennan is an offensive-defenseman who looks to be active in the offensive zone. I wouldn’t expect Brennan to make an appearance in the NHL this season, but you never know. He’s definitely deserving of it, but the Hawks appear to be set with Kyle Cumiskey and David Rundblad as their sixth and seventh defensemen.

940-toews-jonathan-8colNow to Carcillo. In case your memory is very limited and you have already forgotten, Carcillo was with the Hawks from 2011 to 2013 and was a part of the team that defeated Boston to win their second Cup in four years. His role ever since entering the NHL has been that of an agitator. He runs around looking to drill guys through the glass (despite his 6’0″, 200 lb. stature) and is always willing to drop the gloves. His biggest problem is taking dumb penalties and making illegal hits, something he’s been either fined or suspended for 10 times in his career. His job is basically going to be to take over at Brandon Bollig’s spot on the Hawks’ roster this year. He’s a very similar player to Bollig, only he has more skill and can play with better forwards. Still, I don’t like this move.

The Blackhawks have preached over recent years that their mission is to draft, develop, and deliver their prospects to the NHL, much like they did with Brandon Saad. Signing Dan Carcillo completely goes against that plan. When you have guys like Jeremy Morin, Teuvo Teravainen, and even Phillip Danault who look to be NHL-ready (especially Morin), why take away their potential playing time in the NHL by dressing Dan Carcillo in their place who has much less talent and is a far worse hockey player? I understand that Joel Quenneville likes to have that “enforcer” in his lineup, but at some point you just have to use your head and realize that the NHL has changed in recent years, and the role of the enforcer has all but evaporated. One of the keys to being an elite team in the NHL and to winning the Stanley Cup is having great depth on your team. Dan Carcillo is not the worst player you could have on your fourth line, but guys like Morin are better all-around hockey players who can put together more valuable minutes than Carcillo.

Unfortunately, that argument will probably never be a winning argument as long as Quenneville is in charge. He likes his enforcers, and that’s that. After all, the guy does have the third highest win total of any coach in NHL history, and he has led the Hawks to two Stanley Cups in the last five years, so he probably knows better than me. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t disagree with him on this matter.

Thanks for reading.