Blackhawks one win from hoisting the Stanley Cup

What’s that old saying about Democrat voters in Chicago…that come election day, they vote early and often. Well, if that is the case then the Chicago Blackhawks showed up for game five with that same attitude, scoring early and often on the Philadelphia Flyers. They built a 3-0 lead in the first period on their way to 7-4 win.

Patrick Sharp and the Chicago Blackhawks moved past the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4 Sunday night. They will look to close out the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Patrick Sharp and the Chicago Blackhawks moved past the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4 Sunday night. They will look to close out the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Dustin Byfuglien scored twice for Chicago and added another pair of assists. He now has 10 goals and 15 points during the playoffs this spring.

With the win, they could bring an end to the Stanley Cup Finals…and the entire 2009-10 NHL season…Wednesday night back in the city of brotherly love.

However, Flyers fans…and for that matter, Marian Hossa… will be quick to remind us that a year ago the Detroit Red Wings found themselves in exactly the same position the Hawks are. Following a 5-0 game-five win in Motown, the Big Red Borg looked to close out the series against the Penguins in Pittsburgh, but fell 2-1 in game six. They returned to Detroit three days later where the Penguins finished off the Wings by the same 2-1 score.

But if indeed the Blackhawks do win Wednesday night on the road… something neither they for Philly have been able to do yet in this year’s SCF… then it’s quite possible that fans here in Atlanta can begin the Torchetti Watch. It has been widely rumored that the Blackhawks assistant coach is high on Rich Dudley’s wish list for the head coaching position here in Thrasherville.

Either way, there will be something happening with the Blackhawks in Chicago Friday. It’ll be a series-deciding seventh game…or a parade.

Reading Assignments

How much is a Kovalchuk worth? Dmitry Chesnokov explores that very question.

Alan Muir provides his list of possible coaching candidates for those teams in the market this summer.

Speaking of coaches, TSN.com is reporting that the Columbus Blue Jackets have extended an offer to Guy Boucher to be their next bench boss.

Adam Proteau’s good and bad of NHL commisioner Gary Bettman.

137 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
10:11 am

Hokie – congrats!! That’s great news! And I would concur w/r/t your comments on a potential trade with CHI. The object of desire is Sharp and then Versteeg. A salary swap involving Campbell may be the ultimate price. Since CHI is not in a position of leverage, perhaps Duds can strong-arm them into taking Hainsey, the 24th pick and a prospect like Vishnevskiy, who projects to be a good puck-moving D-man. Either way, no matter what D-man, we’d essentially be taking Kovy’s money and use it to absorb the difference for Sharp & Campbell.

Lee

June 8th, 2010
10:19 am

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
10:39 am

News concerning The Wild, including Josh Harding-

“It doesn’t seem likely the Minnesota Wild, hampered by the salary cap, “daunting contracts and lack of high end talent” can improve in the off-season. Russo suggests GM Chuck Fletcher might have to go the trade route and believes he might be shopping blueliner Nick Schultz but his four-year, $3.6 million per season contract could be tough to move. Russo also suggests shopping blueliner Brent Burns but only if the return is that long-coveted first line center or top-six winger. He doesn’t believe shopping backup goalie Josh Harding alone will get it done.”

Harding can be had, the Wild need to shed salary.

Joe Friday

June 8th, 2010
10:43 am

“You’re a good rock thrower Joe, not much anything else. I doubt you even got off you ass to play the game yourself. There’s a one way bus back to Philly weaiting for you, do us a favor and take a seat wherever you like and please come up with an original idea.”

lol. Be careful about those assumptions, you know how they might make ya look…

WBF, I promise I’ll vote for you next year for blog of the year comment, you’ll feel much better then, lol. The mere fact that your panties have been in a bunch ever since that speaks volumes about you . . . it’s a freakin hockey blog, man up, Sally, there’s no cryin’ in hockey!

How ’bout this for an original idea, Kovy gets paid at the bank July 2nd, like I know he will, and you quit your crying. He gets the $.65 you think he’ll get and I’ll never write on this blog again (you’d be a shoo in for next year, Sparky, a shoo in I tell ya!)

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
10:50 am

Hearty Congrats to Zilla and Hokie on the additions and coming additions to their respective families.

I saw that Russian Hockey link … and if it’s true, it’d be hard for Kovalchuk to turn that down. What are the odds that Kovy wouldn’t win a Championship in the KHL over 3 years? I know nothing of that team, but if they’re even halfway close to championship caliber, Kovy will help them get over the hump. Hey … it’s his life, folks. It’s his money. He’s still very young. He’s 26?? Three (3) years in the KHL still makes him a very desireable 29 years of age, re-entering the NHL as a prized UFA. That’s how I see it, anyway. And for those of you hung-up on the financial aspects of Kovy’s contract, he certainly will beat an annual salary of $10 million-per-year, at $14 million-per-year. I suppose, you could then ‘jump up and down,’ doing a victory dance, that “See, I told you so. It was all about the money.”

Well, what if Kovy just wanted his kids to know something of his motherland? He does a little 3-year tour in St. Petersburg, then comes back to the NHL. $45 million richer, with his bonus. His fellow players will say nothing, of course. And, in terms of the NHL image, as the best, most desireable league in the world, this Kovy to the KHL deal won’t hurt that. He’s Russian. If it were Eric Staal, Vinny Lecavalier, or Sidney Crosby headed over to the KHL, eyebrows would be raised in the league offices. But not Kovalchuk. Russians, wanting to play back home, that’s not a big deal.

Joe Friday

June 8th, 2010
10:50 am

“Thrashers did not retain the rights to prospects Jonas Enlund and Niklas Lucenius. Enlund is now a UFA. Lucenius can go back in the draft.”

Don’t you have 2 years to hold their rights before signing them, or just 1?

“they had a Zillette”

A future Blue Crewer, congrats to the zilla family and to you as well, Hokie. You’ll have less time for screwing around on the blog, but well worth it, a child is priceless and a gift from God, congrats.

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
10:54 am

Adam, if Campbell does waive the NTC to come play here, that would be rather telling. Plus, he can always ‘claim’ that he ALWAYS WANTED to play here, citing the bidding war between Chicago and Atlanta when he was a UFA. Hmmn. Yeah. Well, like I always say, “It’s fun to speculate. That’s what a blog is for.”

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
10:59 am

Brendan, do we have any idea what the Thrashers’ internal, self imposed salary cap is for the coming season? There has to be one, I doubt we will come close to the league-established salary cap. Raises for RFAs, UFAs and a new goaltender will leave us close to whatever that number is.

Red Light

June 8th, 2010
11:10 am

Slater has indeed signed with the Thrashers. Good for him and well deserved.

Not sure why Kevin Dineen can’t get an NHL job. He was on my radar three years ago, but nothing yet. Curious!

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2010
11:11 am

Thanks for the congrats… I’m looking forward to being a father!

You’ll have less time for screwing around on the blog, but well worth it, a child is priceless and a gift from God, congrats.

Actually, you’ll probably see more 2am posts from me in the future… if you think my comments are off-the-wall now… wait until sleep deprivation kicks in. :)

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
11:33 am

WBF, that Nick Schultz deal had me shaking my head when it happened. But, at the time, I guess Minnesota needed to maintain its continuity, and show the players and fanbase that they can and will ‘pony up’ when contracts come due.

Here’s what I don’t understand about Minnesota’s team. They sell out every game. Minnesota is known as, “The State of Hockey.” The fans there are rabid. What’s the problem, then??? Why are they short of cash? The revenue stream should be there, for them. They should be an attractive option for players. No one can tell me Minneapolis isn’t a hockey town. I know of their state taxes in Minnesota, or the City of Minneapolis, but at these salaries, the players can afford it.

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
11:34 am

WBF, we’d need someone on the ‘inside’ to tell us what the internal cap figure is.

Rawhide

June 8th, 2010
11:36 am

Red Light - Yes they have indeed re-sign Jimmy Slater, per C-Viv’s tweet. This is good news.

GaVaHokie – Congratulations my friend!!! Here’s hoping everything come out OK!! :lol:

Adam

June 8th, 2010
11:56 am

Congrats on the forth coming child Hokie!!

It’ll be interesting to see what happens between the end of the SCF and 6/25. Reports should come out by the end of next week as to Campbell’s willingness to waive the NTC and the 8 teams he’d be willing to go to.

Also, I don’t think Hossa has a NTC/NMC. There’s nothing list on capgeek. So they have the option of packaging him in any deals.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
12:02 pm

Hey Joe, thanks buddy and have a great day.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
12:07 pm

On Slates’ signing: good to have our resident recycling guru back in the fold! That speaks to player retention under the new regime eh? ;-)

At any rate, that helps stabilize our 3rd line a bit. Now it’s just a matter of whose gonna play with Jimmah on the wings. Any guesses to what kind of deal he got? I’d say 2 years worth $1.875 M.

WBF – I saw that bit of news on the Wild and the potential for Harding to be dealt. Dudley should be the first in line…sorry Moose, but we gotta get younger!

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
12:18 pm

Here’s the TSN.ca article on Slater’s re-signing. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=323965

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
12:30 pm

First off, congrats to GaVa and your great news. Life is about to change my friend.

Smoothie-a number of potential goalies have been suggested on this blog, veterans like Nabakov and Theodore, establish goaltenders that will want top dollar. While I am not against these guys, I do not want to pay for reputation, unless it is a 28-30 year old goaltender that we can hook on to long term. I like Ellis cause I believe we can get him for $2.5-3M/year and have a guiy with some upside. Harding is that kind of goaltender, a player that has upside that can be had for a high draft pick or maybe a prospect. We have both and can deal with our goaltending concerns before free angency. Let’s hope Duds is listening.

Brendan-sounds like the Wild are victims of poor management decisions on players and contracts. Their drafting has been average at best. Lemaire’s coaching may have covered for bad decisions by Risbrough and now that he’s gone, the problems are surfacing more and more. I am not sure how close to the cap the Wild were this season, or how they are projected for next year though it sounds like they have little wiggle room without making some deals. Just shows that that as bad as things have been her in Atlanta, other teams have their issues as well.

The full house every night creates other problems for owners that come to realize that it doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, they know fans will pack the house every night regardless. Buffalo is the same way, owners know the place will be packed whether they commit to a winner or not. Like Mike Brown in Cincinatti with the Bengals and Harold Ballrd with the Leafs. Not certain this is the problem in Minnesota, but it doesn’t look like the The Wild is a preferred destination for top UFAs, coaches or management.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
12:31 pm

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2010
12:36 pm

FYI… if anyone is interested in a trip to LA for the Draft. Tickets are free.

http://kings.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=61945&navid=DL|LAK|home&navid=DL|LAK|home

I’m heading to LA on business that week, so I’m going to hang around and attend!

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

June 8th, 2010
12:38 pm

Mr. World Be Free – You’re 12:30 pm post has been free from Blog Purgatory.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
12:56 pm

Vivlamore is reporting Jimmy’s deal is for 2 years, $2 M total. $900 K this year and $1.1 M next year. Good for Jimmy! A little more than I expected, but a $1 M average for a 3rd line C is very good value.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
1:10 pm

Yup good for Jimmy-and I wanted the guy out of here so bad last summer! He had a great year and I hope he keeps it up. Nice signing by Dudley, I hope it’s a run on signings to show potential UFAs we are serious about getting better.

BlueSpark

June 8th, 2010
1:11 pm

There’s no way Dudley should take Campbell in any trade. He absolutely refused to sign here; why would you trade for him?

Also have to disagree with the gripes about Kovy’s +/-. The Thrashers have always had poor team defense, 39% of his points have come on the PP (so aren’t counted), usually played over 20 minutes per game, and he just finished this year a +10. I’d disregard his ATL +/-. That said, he’s pretty absent on defense. He’s not a two-way player.

R. Stroz

June 8th, 2010
1:16 pm

Actually, you’ll probably see more 2am posts from me in the future… if you think my comments are off-the-wall now… wait until sleep deprivation kicks in.

Congrats GaVaHockie. Don’t worry about the 2am posts, Brendan likes to post at that hour as well. Now if your posts start to exceed Brendan’s posts in length…..well, then we’ll get concerned.

Congrats to Buzilla as well. Later today, I’ll relay an idea Zilla can use 14 years from now.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
1:16 pm

It’s not like Brian Campbell trashed us in the press like Dan Boyle and simply laughed at our overture. In fact, IIRC, he had good things to say about Atlanta and thanked them for the interest. Being in his shoes, I would’ve signed with CHI too. Have y’all ever been to CHI?? Such a better town than ATL, the only drawback being the winter snow. But for a Canadian kid like Soupy, it prolly seemed like home as he is from Ontario.

rob

June 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

I think the Wild’s problem is the uniforms…..who wants to wear those gaudy colors for 82+ games? No Thanks!! LOL
WBF & JF,
dudes, same team….save all that for sage or someone, you both make good points, at least sometimes HAHAHAHA

Thought to ponder…..may it get ugly in Philly if the Hawks win there?!? The fans there being so nice and accommidating and all? Especially if it isn’t a close game, and the line shake ups for the Hawks may be too much for the Bums to handle IMO

Sage of Bluesland

June 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

“…WBF, I promise I’ll vote for you next year for blog of the year comment, you’ll feel much better then, lol. The mere fact that your panties have been in a bunch ever since that speaks volumes about you . . . ”

Wow. Now that I’ll nominate for an early post of the year! No surprise on the World-Be-Lapdog there, folks…

rob

June 8th, 2010
1:18 pm

speak of the…..

Lee

June 8th, 2010
1:25 pm

GaVa – Congrats!

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
1:51 pm

Hey Sage, old buddy, great to hear from you today as well.
Somedoby must have flushed a toilet.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
1:56 pm

rob-agreed, time to put all that aside which I have. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.

Funny that you talk about Minnesota’s uniforms. I think we have all disliked their uniforms over the years, but I do like their new 3rd jersey, the all green uniforms that sez something like “Minnesota hockey club” or something like that. Those are pretty nice.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
2:08 pm

From old reliable’s (Kevin Allen of USA Today) twitter machine:

kausatoday “Atlanta gave Jim Slater a 2-year deal worth 900K and $1.1 million. Afinogenov re-signing probably won’t happen. Kubina still possible.”

Let’s hope they at least offered Pasha a multiple-year deal. Not sure why they only offered Max a 1-yr deal but guess they figured he would feel loyal and take it. Hopefully they have bigger and grander plans.

alex

June 8th, 2010
2:13 pm

brendan st.pet. good khl team long coached former deitroit assist. smith. chance to win khl with kovy still in my opinion 30% because still “kazan” and “salavat” better. owner is medvedev simultancously khl commish. they also offered contract to frolov and intend to lure semin next year. again better for nhl the best playing here no matter what coutry they born. it’s better for tv ratings revenue money just purely better for nhl to survive competition with nba, mlb. when everybody talking about krosby and ovy it’s better for sport because nobody will talk when kunitz will compete with slater. i wan’t nhl become irrelevant like hourse racing or boxing, because contraction is inevitable. again when the best is here more money revenue, less idiot asg owners, possibility espn tv like before. nhl should prosper with world star but not fall in oblivion with mediocricy.

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
6:13 pm

Alex, I hope you’re right. I’d rather than the NHL retain its Russian stars, than lose them to the KHL. I like Russian players. But, in the end, it’s their decision on where to play, and for how much money.

Joe Friday

June 9th, 2010
9:54 am

Lloyd, I’ll take that as you don’t wanna put your money where your mouth is . . . no problem, how bout just a gentleman’s agreement on what Kovy winds up getting paid?

“Not sure why they only offered Max a 1-yr deal but guess they figured he would feel loyal and take it.”

I’m still guessing that it’s what we talked about before, that he’s not a Dudley guy and he wants him gone, and that was the easiest way to push him out the door.

Hokie, those 2/4/6am nights in front of the computer while holding the little darling seem like a nightmare at the time, but it goes so quick, cherish it while it happens, if you can.

DA BEARs

June 9th, 2010
4:26 pm

where are the hawks fans watching the game tonight? Trying to find somewhere to go and celebrate with other hawks fans when we win lord stanleys cup