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‘Hawks say good-bye to Handzus; who will play 2C?

Jun 16, 2014, 12:59 PM EST

From TSN’s Bob McKenzie:

Handzus is 37 years old, so this should come as no surprise. Despite scoring the overtime winner in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final versus the Kings, he struggled to keep up with the pace of the postseason. The popular veteran forward was never really supposed to go into these playoffs as the Blackhawks’ second-line center, but that’s the way it happened.

So…will Chicago general manager Stan Bowman make a move to address the 2c spot (behind 1C Jonathan Toews)? Ryan Kesler and Jason Spezza are expected to be traded this summer; the former has two years left on his contract, the latter just one. But neither will come cheap, and the ‘Hawks don’t have a ton of cap space.

Bowman could always see if Andrew Shaw is up to task; the 22-year-old had success between Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad in the playoffs. But the ‘Hawks may prefer Shaw on the third line, in a more gritty role.

Yes, the ‘Hawks also have Teuvo Teravainen in the system; however, it’s far too early to slot him into a top-six role on a Stanley Cup contender. The 19-year-old may be better off spending next season in the AHL.

  1. McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    2C will be played by someone who is wearing another NHL team’s jersey right now. Yes, Shaw will go back to 3rd team wing, along with Versuckness.

    Don’t be surprised if said player is currently wearing a Jet, Lightning, or Flames jersey.

  2. lowenni - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    I like Zus but I think we all, including him, know this is the right move. Zus is a great team guy and plays the game the right way and with respect but the Hawks play a fast game and he can’t keep up with that at his age. I expect he’ll still find a job as a veteran defensive prescence somewhere.

  3. 19to77 - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Toronto’s been shopping Kadri around. I’m sure the idea there is probably to try to send him to Florida and move up in the draft, but hey, can’t hurt to kick the tires. Kadri looked good at times this season and great the year before, and playing with more talent and a better core of players (not to mention a coach whose system actually works) would do him good.

  4. esracerx46 - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    I think I might give Stan a kiss for this…Or maybe a punch in the face for thinking he didn’t catch lightning in a bottle when he resigned him.

    • thesportsjudge - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Blom is an idiot, but don’t steal the style. Just like all those posts, yours will automatically get a thumbs down for linking a video, you cheeky vermin.

      • canucks30 - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        It works for me.

      • esracerx46 - Jun 16, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        Noted. My apologies. Just thought it was a fitting song based on how I felt about today’s news.

      • thesportsjudge - Jun 16, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        Fair enough response esracer. I usually like reading your posts. Also, I don’t think it came off right, but I was trying to be funny with “you cheeky vermin.”

      • esracerx46 - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:14 AM

        No worries. Gonna have to do a lot more to hurt my feelings haha.

  5. mshantz22 - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Good move by Chicago. Handzus isn’t a 2nd line caliber player, but I’m sure he’ll make a fabulous 3rd or 4th line defensive center / role player. He should have no problem finding another team to play for.

  6. gret9 - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    My line predictions to start next season:

    Bickle / Toews / Hossa
    Saad / Shaw / Kane
    Sharp / Teravainen / Versteeg
    Bollig / Kruger / Smith

    - I would prefer Morin over Bollig, but I doubt that happens.

    - After probably 3 or 4 shifts, if they don’t score, Q will switch Bickle and Sharp because Bicks will be back in Q’s regular season doghouse.

    - I think Versteeg has a bounce back season and Teravainen would be between two experienced wingers to ease his full time transition to the NHL. I just don’t see the upside to having Teuvo in the AHL.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      I would say Shaw and I have the same chance of centering that line. He’s not a center, let alone a 2nd line center.

      Teuvo will spend the majority of the season in Rockford, much like most younger players in the Organ-I-Za-tion. He will be brought up at times, but I think he stays another year.

      Sharp will be traded at some point. He’s not a 3rd line winger and we need his cap space for the upcoming trade for a 2C.

      • esracerx46 - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        I think its Sharp, Bickell, or Seabrook that goes. This could be a huge year for the Hawks, offseason wise. You could see 2 of Seabrook, Oduya, and Leddy traded. Could see Rozsival retiring (wishful thinking on my end). And have all 3 of Clendening, Dahlbeck and Johns making their debut. I dont worry about Johns or Dahlbeck defensively or Clendening offensively, but I worry he might be too offense first.

        In a fantasy world I’d have lines of

        10-19-81
        20-Kesler-88
        Morin-16-65
        Nordstrom-Brian Boyle- 23

        2-7
        Dahlbeck-4
        8-Johns

        That would put the Hawks at 65.23 million with Crawford and using conservative figures on Brian Boyle and Morin.

      • chanceoffleury - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:35 PM

        Just curious, do you know what Sharp’s NTC is structured as? Like is it 10 teams he will/ won’t accept a trade to, etc? It’s not listed on cap geek and I don’t follow the Hawks close enough to know how tightly the Hawks have their hands tied with him.

      • esracerx46 - Jun 16, 2014 at 10:42 PM

        Sharp has a limited no-movement close. So he can’t be placed on waivers or traded. However, since its a limited clause, he can submit a list of teams he won’t accept a trade to. How many teams he can list is unknown. At least unknown to the fans and media.

    • c9castine - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      blackhawks and their fans would be wise not to be fooled into thinking shaw is a 2nd line center.

  7. skuba7 - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    I’m guessing it’s time to dip into the UFA pool. Maybe Bolland wants to come back (not that I think he is a prototype 2C, but…), but my choice would be someone like Mikhail Grabovski. He clearly has the talent and creativity and speed to keep up with Kane or Sharp. He would have to work a bit on his Defensive game to fit in. If his salary last year is an indication, he could be had for something in the $4M range, which could still fit in Chicago’s plans.

  8. hockeyornothing - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    We will miss him if only for his locker room presence and as a fan fav. I’m sure he will land on his feet and be able to help another team. Would love to get Kesler. Think Kadri is too inconsistent. Too bad teams can’t “try before they buy”!!!! Ha ha ha

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Word on the street is Vancouver’s starting point for Kesler is Saad plus. Won’t happen.

      • canucks30 - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:27 PM

        The Canucks reportedly turned down an offer featuring 2 firsts and 2 seconds from Anaheim and a package from Pittsburgh that had Brandon Sutter (who is better than every centre on Chicago save for Toews).

        I still think he ends up in Anaheim for the 10th and/or 24th overall pick and some of Anaheim’s abundance of top prospects/quality young players.

  9. hockeyornothing - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Forgot about Grabovski. That would be a nice fit. I too hope Morin gets in there. And I hope poster is right and Versteeg has a bounce back year but I’m not so sure about that.

  10. skuba7 - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Nevermind, there is no money to sign a 2C for Chicago based on a $71M Cap. Someone will have to step up from within, the Blackhawks have a slew of players making 7 figures in a Bottom-6 role. Maybe it is time for Teuvo, maybe Shaw has to carry the load until the Trade Deadline…

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      There will be once you take Sharp and Oduya off the roster.

  11. petersteelewannabe - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    If I was Stan Bowman, I’d be on the phone to Mike Richards’ agent right now and tell him the minute the LA Kings buy him out (assuming all the rumors are true) he’s got a spot in Chicago…that might LA’s worst nightmare (paying him $23M over the next twelve years while he plays for the one team that is as talented and as tough as they are). Ritchie would probably take a small discount to play for bona fide Cup contender and CBH will love his heart and effort. The downside is I’d have to buy my third different Richards jersey…

    • chanceoffleury - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:47 PM

      Why do you think Richards will take less to play for a cup contender? He’s already got 2, plus a gold medal all in the last 4 years. He’ll probably go wherever they’re willing to overpay for him, like most free agents who already have a plethora of hardware to their name tend to do. He seems to like playing in a non-traditional market, too. If he busts in Florida or Nashville or even somewhere like Tampa or Washington where he’d still be on a decent team nobody really cares that much, if he busts in Chicago it’ll be like he’s back in Philly.

      • esracerx46 - Jun 17, 2014 at 7:36 AM

        Because losing sucks and winning doesn’t.

      • petersteelewannabe - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        “He seems to like playing in non-traditional market” ?! He was drafted by Philly, one of the best, if not THE best hockey market in the US and was then traded to LA (he had no choice) so I am not sure where you’re getting that from.

      • chanceoffleury - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Because he’s had success in la with none of the media pressure of playing in philly. Just because a guy got traded doesn’t mean he doesn’t like where he got traded. Brandon Sutter and James Neal said they have every intention of staying Penguins because they like playing here, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t love playing in Anaheim or Tampa though. He’ll still win of he signs with a team like that except he doesn’t have to worry about a media meltdown when he’s not putting up game changing playoff numbers or anything. I’m not saying he can slack off, but he’d be able to turn on a tv or read a newspaper without constantly being reminded about it. Playing in a hockey-loving market is great when you’re a star in your prime doing well, and pretty much a nightmare if you’re underachieving.

      • thesportsjudge - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        Lol @ Philly being the best hockey market in the US.

      • petersteelewannabe - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        @ chance, I agree that he must be enjoying the lack of scrutiny compared to the Philly media’s maniacal pleasure they take in their unfair critiquing of NHL players but I still don’t get the non-traditional market quip. Whatever-he’s a very good player and whoever he ends up with will be better team for it.

  12. cheggy1731 - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Hawks need some of the kids from the farm to step up. Teuvo will be very good at some point, but needs to learn as well as add some bulk, the Swedish center they signed recently. Rasmussen, intrigues me He!s 22 or 23 years old, skilled and similar to Toews in height and weight

    • desertfan - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:37 AM

      My girlfriend is the same height and weight as Toews as well- does that mean we won the lottery???
      Yeah baby!!!

  13. pone27 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    I’ve heard package deals involving Sharp and Leddy for Spezza, which I would love.

    I think Spezza on a line with Hossa would be pretty vicious.

    I don’t see Seebs getting moved at all. From defense, Leddy or Oduya get moved. On offense, Sharp seems to me like the odd guy out just based on his age.

    As long as they dont move Saad in any deal to acquire a 2C, I will be happy.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      Haven’t heard the Sharp and Leddy for Spezza, but it’s interesting.

      Again, word on the street, the untouchables, other than #19, #88, and #2, are Seabs and Hammer. Oduya and Sharp are being ACTIVELY shopped. Saad not untouchable but short of a Crosby-Stamkos like deal, he’s not going anywhere. They aren’t going to give up on a 20 year old who just had a great playoff run unless they get monster value in return.

  14. sophosleygh - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    This may just be because Sharp is my favorite player and I finally got his jersey. But I sincerely hope that they don’t trade him. He has his most productive regular season of his career, which may make him trade bait, but hopefully Bowman keeps him along Toews and Hossa. I think that the core of Kane, Toews, Sharp, Hossa, and Keith will stay together for a few more years. On I think that Hjalmarsson and Oduya stay together and Leddy or Seabs could be some good trade bait. But what do I know? I just hope that Sharp stays in Chicago. (Remember that hat trick at home against the Avs? And his assist that game to Toews? That was a good day.)

    • sophosleygh - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:51 PM

      Oops, typo that I just noticed. *On that note, I think that Hjalmarsson*. More of an omission really, but it could easily have clouded understanding.

  15. djshnooks - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Chicago would be well-served making an offer to Steve Ott. He can play any role, and is the exact kind of player you need when you’re playing against the Kings.

    He wouldn’t cost much. He can play big minutes. He can play the penalty kill, and even if needed on the power play. He would be a perfect pickup for the Blackhawks, and he would be a leader.

    I never liked him until he came to Buffalo…but he quickly became a fan favorite, and one of my favorites too. He’s one of those guys who will do anything to help his team win…he’ll die for his team.

    He would fit perfectly in Chicago, IMHO.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      He can’t skate enough to center Saad and Kane and will cost too much to be a 3rd line center. If the IndianHead had more cap room, I’d jump in a heartbeat as a 3rd liner. But with limited dollars and a bigger need at 2C, I think they will pass.

      He may end up back in St. Louis.

  16. c9castine - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    spezza sounds like a good fit but im thinking maybe his cap hit is too high when you have to sign new contracts for kane and toews.

    my guess, like a week or so ago, is chicago sends a young players/prospect type deal to philly for Lecavalier.

    • sophosleygh - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      One year after signing Lecavalier to a 5 year contract the Flyers are going to give up and trade him to the Hawks for a few prospects? And the Hawks would give up prospects for another veteran? Even though some of the Hawks youngest players are pretty much veterans by now? And Spezza’s cap hit would be too high but Lecavalier’s wouldn’t be?

      • c9castine - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        correct me if im wrong lecavaliers cap hit is what 4.5 mil? 2.5 mil is a big difference.

        Lecavalier played a small role and often on the 4th line for Philly this year. Seems obvious he is not a fit with that team, a topic recently discussed here on PHT.

        chicago has a very good defense with two guys locked up long term and another for the next 2 years atleast. oduya has one year left on his contract at 3.375 mil and will im sure expect a small raise and it wont be there for him simply because of their salary structure. dealing him and a prospect/pick for a legitimate 2nd line center seems reasonable. Leddy makes 2.75 but hes an RFA hell be easier to retain. yes some of them are pretty much veterans especially Oduya but when i looked at the roster and cap situation closer, hes one that made a lot of sense.

        so yes when you look at the big picture, the flyers trading lecavalier and the hawks obviously realizing and then wanting to fill their no. 2 center hole by giving up a player who does not fit into their long term plans seems very reasonable.

      • esracerx46 - Jun 17, 2014 at 7:45 AM

        The Senators would have to retain salary for the Black hawks to acquire Spezza. His cap hit is 7.5 mil, but his salary I believe is 4 mil. So in theory you could get Spezza at 3.5 million. Spezza has 1 year left so its very temporary. For the Hawks to get LeCavalier, the flyers will not retain salary. They’ll spend to the hilt to try and win and want all the space they can get. LeCavalier at that point is older, more expensive per year, and has a higher cap hit with less production than Spezza.

  17. garn53 - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    There is a lot of disdain for Seabrook, Sharp and Leddy. Most seem willing to discard them as no longer being of value. I don’t like that and teams in the past that were classy and winners, like Montreal and Detroit, never acted in that way. If a player is to be traded or let go then let us laud their values and not jump on whatever faults we might think they have. Let’s not be too quick to destroy the core and perhaps look to the youth in the system that just may be the answer.

  18. aldog83 - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:30 AM

    I hope Chicago AND St Louis Play each other in the 1st Round again next year.

    That eliminates 1 of the MAJOR threats to the Kings in the post season.

    • bluesdroogie - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:36 AM

      the Blues are a threat? I think 2 straight years of going up 2-0 and losing the series in 6 means that we are not a serious threat. Until the Blues learn to adjust their play on the fly and get an actual goal scorer we will not contend with the Hawks or Kings. We may be a great regular season team but that counts for nothing in the playoffs. Shootouts are not allowed in the playoffs.

  19. bluesdroogie - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    I would welcome Handzus back to where he started, back in St. Louis as a 3rd or 4th line center. We can ALL agree he is better then Lapierre.(I hate that guy so much and detest his signing)

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