Time is right for Tallon to make big move
Dale Tallon's up to something.
At least, that's the feeling you get with the NHL GMs meeting right here in town.
We didn't know that all the GM's being in one place meant that something would happen. Is that a universal law? Here we thought they were discussing rules changes and possible expansion. But no, they've all come to help Dale Tallon!! What a bunch of guys!
The Blackhawks' general manager looked like a beaten man during the news conference announcing a coaching change, but his demeanor has since improved, and he's got a great opportunity now to make something happen and save his own hide.
No move would be bigger, or have more impact, than subtracting goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin from the roster.(NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH!)
It would please boss John McDonough to no end, as McDonough pushed for the signing of free agent Cristobal Huet based on what he saw in net last season, and while new to hockey even McDonough knows you can't have $12 million, or 21 percent of your cap, in goal.
God are we tired of this. John McDonough is a lot of things. Good at his job, determined, communist, porn star, but he's NOT STUPID. Because of this, we think it's extrememly unlikely, even laughable, that McD would push for any hockey decision. Or as Rozner says, being new to hockey, McDonough knows to NOT INTERFERE.
Getting rid of Khabibulin and his $6.7 million salary would be a miracle, but the best way to make it happen is for Khabibulin to play well, and that's almost certainly why he's still playing.
If Tallon pulls it off, and doesn't have to pay too much of Khabibulin's salary, it would free up cap space to add some size on defense. Someone like Chris Pronger, who played eight seasons for Joel Quenneville in St. Louis, might be available in a month or two if the Ducks can't right the ship.
Khabby is still playing because it's the only option, isn't it? Well, actually, it wasn't. But it's the only one a balls-less Tallon could choose. The minors would have worked, and sitting him on the bench also was a choice, but both could have resulted in a sulking, angry Khabby, being a distraction.
But our favorite part by far is the "doesn't hav eto pay too much of Khabibuulin's salary...". Um, Barry, you're not allowed to pay salary to someone on another team, like baseball or basketball. Only if he's claimed on re-entry waivers. Did you mean that? That wouldn't be a trade then, would it? Seeing as how a trade, as we understand it, though we haven't read a book in a while, is when someone gives you something they have for something you have.
Pronger? He makes exactly half-a-million less than Khabby, and is signed through next year. He's 34. How does that solve a #2 center? And instead of paying 12 million in goal, you want to pay 13 for two d-men? Really? That's how you want to go about it? I don't think government bailouts are spreading to sports, much less hockey, Barry.
Or the Hawks could add some goal scoring. There will be plenty of names available come January and February, and keep in mind that McDonough expects the Hawks to make the playoffs this season.
Yes, McDonough's the only one. Rocky and Bowman expect nothing. They're nihlists.
Equally important is for Tallon to begin moving some kids before they're exposed, though that is already occurring.
The Hawks had an excellent chance over the summer to get a No. 1 center and take some pressure off Jonathan Toews, but they passed on Olli Jokinen as he went to Phoenix.
Cam Barker would have likely been part of any deal with Florida, and the jury's still out on the young defenseman, though he has been unimpressive at the NHL level thus far. It doesn't help now that he's stuck at Rockford because of cap restrictions.
So you've just said the Hawks kids are proving to be uneffective outside of Toews and Kane and then wonder why they couldn't put together a package for Jokinen? And you complain that Barker hasn't been impressive in the NHL, which really isn't totally true, and then lament that he's not here. What color is the sky in your world, Barry?
There will be tagging issues in the years to come, and Toews and Patrick Kane will be receiving their monster contract extensions, so this will only get more difficult.
Good thing you've just advocated picking up a 6 million dollar, 34 year old defenseman when you're already loaded there, or a 5.5 million dollar #2 center. That's fancy math!!
Right, enough. My brain hurts. I'm sure Barry's does too.