The Chicago Blackhawks have less than $500,000 in salary cap space, but that doesn’t mean Marcus Kruger will be going anywhere.
Kruger, 25, may have only scored 17 points with the Blackhawks this past season, and he may have only registered two goals and four points in 23 playoff games, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many who wouldn’t call Kruger one of the most important pieces of the Blackhawks. As such, there’s no surprise Chicago GM Stan Bowman wants the pivot under contract.
However, with August drawing nearer and Kruger on the verge of one month as a restricted free agent, the Blackhawks have yet to ink the Swedish center. Yet there doesn’t appear to be any panic from either Kruger or the Blackhawks. If anything, both sides seem to be feeling pretty good about where they are.
According to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc, the lack of cap space is making it difficult for the Blackhawks to finalize a deal with Kruger. Read more
If some gym bro said he works out for half an hour but it takes him almost three hours to do it, you’d probably laugh him off. And you’d be perfectly justified in doing so.
Why, then, is it any different for an NHL player?
Throughout the playoffs, a ton of talk surrounded Duncan Keith and the minutes he logged: 31:06 per game. Fans know that’s a dump-truck load of hockey, but most would be hard-pressed to prove why. After all, numbers-wise, it’s no more than what our gym bro does.
Consider this: Most NHLers average 10 to 20 minutes per game. Only the best play more than 20, while some play fewer than 10. The average shift lasts merely 45 seconds, and players clear the boards 20 to 30 times. All of this occurs over as much as three hours to play an NHL game. Endurance athletes like runners, cyclists and swimmers can go for much longer and do it without pause.
Everyone in the hockey world knows this is one of the most demanding sports to play. Yet few understand what players endure physiologically that makes what they do so difficult.
One of the biggest free agent deals took place when the Chicago Blackhawks signed Bobby Orr away from the Boston Bruins in June 1976. Orr’s time in Chicago was a forgettable end to his legacy, which also resulted in two terrible hockey cards. For their 1976-77 sets, Topps and O-Pee-Chee — not yet possessing a photo of Orr with Chicago — awkwardly painted a ‘Hawks uniform onto a picture of the superstar, complete with a doctored logo. Despite the injury-plagued Orr playing 20 games that season, the card companies didn’t bother getting an up-to-date picture, and again painted ‘Hawks colors on Orr’s photo for their 1977-78 sets. It was almost convincing, too, until you notice that he’s sitting on the bench next to a Bruins player. Read more
The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten quite a few perks since winning the Stanley Cup. President Barack Obama called members of the team, they filled Soldier Field for their Cup parade and they were even given a giant chocolate Stanley Cup for their fan convention. But now they’re literally changing the landscape of an Illinois business.
According to Chicago’s ABC7, Spring Grove’s Richardson Adventure Farm, which houses, “the world’s largest and most intricate corn maze,” announced Monday they would be honoring the Blackhawks 2015 Stanley Cup championship with a re-design of its maze. Read more
The greatest prize in hockey, the Stanley Cup, weighs 34.5 pounds and stands 35.25 inches tall. It only makes sense then that the chocolate Stanley Cup should be the greatest prize in confectionary art. It does, after all, dwarf the very trophy it is modeled after.
At the recent Chicago Blackhawks fan convention, which took place over the weekend, Chicago’s French Pastry School designed and delivered a six-foot tall, 100-pound replica of the trophy, which was complete with a Blackhaws logo and painted in silver dust, according to Justin Breen of DNAinfo.com. The gigantic chocolate replica also made an appearance at a party held by Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz to celebrate the Stanley Cup victory. Take a look at every dentist’s nightmare: Read more
When the players who finished last season for the Dallas Stars stuck out their hands, only three Stanley Cups were to be found. Two of them belonged to Tyler Seguin and Alex Goligoski, guys who played small roles in their teams winning championships.
With his moves this summer, Stars GM Jim Nill has tripled that number, with the most recent coming in the form of defenseman Johnny Oduya, a two-time Cup winner who signed a two-year deal with the Stars worth $7.5 million. Add to that Patrick Sharp’s three Cups with Chicago and Antti Niemi’s championship with Chicago in 2010, to go along with the Stanley Cup Travis Moen won with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.
Unrestricted free agent defenseman Johnny Oduya could only wait so long for the Blackhawks to clear salary cap room and, once it became evident Chicago GM Stan Bowman wouldn’t be able to, it didn’t take long for Oduya to find a new home.
Wednesday afternoon, the Dallas Stars announced they have signed the 33-year-old blueliner to a two-year deal worth $7.5 million, which includes a modified no-trade clause, according to War-On-Ice. The Stars were long-rumored to be interested in Oduya’s services, but it took two weeks before Chicago’s cap situation was such that Oduya moved on.
“Johnny is a steady, veteran presence on the blueline and he’ll complement our group nicely,” Nill said in a release. “He has achieved a great deal of success, winning the Stanley Cup twice, and his championship-mentality will be valuable in our room.” Read more
Hall of Famer Steve Shutt once famously had this description of how Scotty Bowman’s players felt about him: “You hated him 364 days of the year, and on the 365th day you got your Stanley Cup ring.” Ken Dryden wrote in his book, The Game, that, “Scotty Bowman is not someone who is easy to like.” And Dino Ciccarelli had this evaluation: “He was a great coach and a rotten person.”
Chicago Blackhawks GM and Scotty’s son Stan Bowman does not generate the same kind of derision and admiration, but as a hockey executive, he is indeed proving that the apple does not fall very far from the tree. The moves he has made since the Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup, while dictated by salary cap constraints, are proving that, in many ways, the younger son has the same cold blood running through his veins when it comes to dealing with players.