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Tag: Chicago Blackhawks

A 2018 5th Round Pick For…

There’s an old saying, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” There’s another saying, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” There’s even another one that goes, “you can only see the tip of the iceberg.” Then there’s a trade in which the Vegas Golden Knights acquired Marcus Kruger for “future considerations” on Sunday and a 2018 5th round pick for Marcus Kruger on Tuesday. All of that belongs in one paragraph, believe me.

Prior to the Expansion Draft the Chicago Blackhawks were one of the many teams that appeared to be in a bit of a pickle. They were hampered with seven NMCs and a salary cap situation that needed to be resolved. So, George McPhee and Stan Bowman got to work.

An agreement was made, Vegas would select Trevor van Riemsdyk at the Expansion Draft, trade for Marcus Kruger afterwards, and the Blackhawks would take “The Pledge” to not make a move get in the way of any of it. It took some time to complete the process, because of a $2M bonus in Kruger’s contract that was to be paid by Chicago, but on Sunday night the deals were done and Vegas and Chicago’s interaction with expansion was over.

George McPhee then flipped both players selected to the Carolina Hurricanes. In the end, here’s what happened…

Vegas Golden Knights receive 
2017 2nd Round Pick (Jake Leschyshyn)
2018 5th Round Pick

Carolina Hurricanes receive
Trevor van Riemsdyk
Marcus Kruger
2018 7th Round Pick (from Vegas)

Chicago Blackhawks receive
Expansion Draft Considerations
Future Considerations
(Cap relief)

There are so many ways to look at what went down here, and all fans/armchair GMs are free to look at it which ever way they please because you as you know, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

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Golden Knights Expansion Trade Rumor Roundup

In less than a week George McPhee will finally have the protection lists in his hands and the Golden Knights will be on the 72 hour Expansion Draft clock. Until then, the hockey world will be buzzing about all the trades that are being discussed in the lead up. It’s time we take a moment to round em all up into one post, and try to make sense of what’s set to go down on June 21st.

Before we start though, we need to clarify something. While McPhee is making calls and probably coming to agreements, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman confirmed no deals will be made official, or even be announced, prior to June 21st. So, tread carefully out there, everyone’s trying to make a name for themselves.

Chicago Blackhawks – The chatter with Chicago started in late May from a pair of tweets from TSN’s Frank Seravalli.

The main question is which way the picks would be going, if any are involved. Chicago has three defensemen with NMCs, so van Riemsdyk would have to be exposed unless one of Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, or Niklas Hjalmarsson waives their NMC, and/or is traded. So, in theory, Vegas would be getting picks in exchange for taking on Marcus Kruger‘s salary, and simply select van Riemsdyk in the Expansion Draft.

Many news outlets, including most notably a news anchor from Kansas City (why?), have reported that Kruger to Vegas is done. The most common return is a 3rd round pick from Chicago. But there’s likely another piece to the puzzle here that’s missing. Whether that’s Chicago “moving a core player” as reported by WSCR’s Jay Zawaski, or Kruger being flipped through Vegas is yet to be seen. Either way, it’s highly probable McPhee makes a deal (or two) with Chicago, but the details out there currently, are likely not telling the whole story.

Columbus Blue Jackets – In Elliotte Friedman’s “30 thoughts” column he mentions murmurs of trade discussions here. The name mentioned is David Clarkson, who is Expansion Draft exempt due to a long term injury. Clarkson’s back will likely keep him off the ice in 2017-18 and could be career ending, however, his cap hit remains at $5.25 million through 2020 (three more seasons). Freidman mentions the 24th overall pick as well as “some young forwards at the AHL level” as possible compensation for Clarkson’s contract. Once again, the details are fuzzy because this would occur outside the parameters of the Expansion Draft. Vegas would still have to select a player from Columbus, so there’s another piece in the mix. Joonas Korpisalo just signed a team-friendly deal, is he involved? Vegas would get rewarded handsomely for taking Clarkson off Columbus’ hands, but there still has to be an Expansion pick, so more is certainly to come on this one.

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Scott Darling Not Coming To Vegas, Unless He And McPhee “Cheat” The System

The name Scott Darling is one Golden Knights fans will consistently hear between now and June as a possible option to be in net for Vegas’ inaugural season. I’m here to tell you it’s not going to happen, unless Vegas cheats.

Before we even get into why Darling won’t be under contract with the Blackhawks come June, let’s just play the game as if he were.

Take a quick peek at the Chicago Blackhawks roster as it pertains to the Expansion Draft. They have eight players with NMCs. EIGHT! Four forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie (Corey Crawford). In other words, they can either protect three forwards using the 7/3/1 method, or protect a single defenseman using the 8/1 method. Marcus Kruger, Richard Panik, Ryan Hartman, Andrew Desjardins, Dennis Rasmussen, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Brian Campbell are just some of the names the Hawks have to choose from. Either method they choose, they are at the mercy of McPhee.

For those of you who have played fantasy sports, you understand the term positional scarcity. Those who don’t, let me explain. It means that players in a deeper pool of talent are not as valuable despite their higher skill, than those in a shallower pool. In fantasy football, that means TE Greg Olsen is more valuable than QB Ben Roethlisberger because there are way fewer quality tight ends than quarterbacks.

In the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, positional scarcity lies in skaters, not goalies. There will be upwards of 10 acceptable goalies of which McPhee and his staff will have the opportunity to either select or sign. He can only take three, likely keep two, and only start one. Meanwhile, he needs at least six playable defensemen and twelve forwards.

Scott Darling is good, but if he’s the selection off the Blackhawks, his value is limited. There’s a massive opportunity cost to skipping over the chance to get Panik, Kruger, or van Riemsdyk.

But all this is assuming Darling re-signs with the Hawks and is left exposed… which he won’t be.

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Fan Recounts First Live NHL Experience

Going to your first pro sporting event is something you never forget. I can still remember my first Red Sox game, when I was six years old. Sure I don’t remember the game much, but I can’t forget the atmosphere. The bright stadium lights, the peanut shells on the ground, and some loud guys calling Rich Gedman a f**king bum. Yeah, you don’t forgot your first game. So when my close friend told me he went to his first NHL game, I was interested in his experience.

There’s a good chance many Vegas residents haven’t been to an NHL hockey game before. Really where’s the opportunity? Ducks and Kings are 3+ hours away, and the Coyotes are even further. The Frozen Fury is played once a year at the MGM, and it’s preseason. There could be a lot of first timers when puck drops at the T-Mobile Arena. That being said, let’s check out my buddy Jimmy’s first experience at an NHL game. He answered some of my questions after the Bruins defeated the Blackhawks 4-2.

Jason Pothier: To start, a quick description on your overall experience.

Jimmy: It was a blast, I couldn’t believe how loud it was. I really had no expectations.

JP: What do you mean by no expectations?

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Vegas Can Learn From Deadline Strategies In Chicago And Toronto

Right now in the NHL two organizations are giving The Creator great examples on how to attack the trade deadline. Both teams have been aggressive for two very different reasons but ultimately one grand prize. Sure, the Maple Leafs won’t be in the playoffs for the foreseeable future, but what they’re doing right now should impact their future. While the future is now for the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks who continue to be aggressive. Lets face it they’re greedy. What NHL fan wouldn’t want their team to be Cup greedy?

Let’s start with Chicago, the King of the Hill. Whatever Stan Bowman drinks, The Creator’s people should drink too. Whatever Stan Bowman drinks, eats, sings, dances, whatever… Vegas peeps should do the same. As GM for the Blackhawks, Stan Bowman has created a dynasty in Chicago and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. After acquiring Andrew Ladd, the ‘Crown Jewel’ of this year’s deadline, Bowman put his team in the position to win back to back Cups. Most of Bowman’s aggressive moves have worked out, like the Johnny Oduya trade in 2012 or the Antoine Vermette deal made last trade deadline. Let’s not forget his brilliant move of plucking current Calder Trophy leader Artemi Panarin out of thin air. Bowman has been as impressive off the ice as his team has played on the ice. Without financial flexibility teams can’t be aggressive, and that’s another key element of Bowman’s success. You can’t go out and get Andrew Ladd midseason without cap room, but Chicago had the room and made it happen. Sure it’s easy to go and say mimic Stan Bowman, but it’s not a bad idea to take notes. When The Creator makes up his cabinet, he’ll have to find cap wizards, master scouts, and hockey whisperers to be successful. I know Stan Bowman is not available, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hire his Assistant to the Traveling Secretary.

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Double Minor With Jason Pothier – 1/27/16

Canada shut out? Blackhawks suffering back to back syndrome? Ken’s appearance on TV. Jason heads to the box to take a look at the week in hockey. It’s Double Minor with Jason Pothier.

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When Building An NHL Team, Goalie Comes First

Most successful teams are balanced with a great offense and a great defense. In all sports one player can make the difference, but overall balance is the plan. However, in hockey and football one position truly makes the difference for teams to succeed.

If an NFL team doesn’t have a great quarterback chances are the team isn’t still playing. Same with the NHL, to have success a team needs a goaltender. Not an average one either, a goalie that can anchor a team like Dominik Hasek did. In both sports teams need an elite star that can individually lead them to victory.

This weekend the Golden Boy will defend his title against the legendary Peyton Manning who is relatively beaten up but good enough to be there. On the NFC side, two QBs having career years will face off. Carson Palmer and Cam Newton are former Heisman winners and ready to win their first Super Bowls. They may not be the top four best QBs in the NFL, but they are some of football’s best. All four of them have a good chance of winning this year’s Lombardi trophy.

Now the NHL isn’t so far off. Most of today’s best teams have the leagues best goaltenders. Sure I know an NHL team needs a solid two-way center, a sniper, and a deep blue line. However, those teams are still backed up by the NHL’s best. Let’s take the LA Kings as an example. You could argue Drew Doughty, and Anze Kopitar  are the best players at their position. Doughty and Kopitar will both tell you without their stud goalie Jonathon Quick they wouldn’t be two-time Stanley cup winners.

Over on the Eastern Conference Alexander Ovechkin gets all the praise for lighting up the lamp in DC, but he has a lot of help. Goaltender Braden Holtby is playing out of his mind and anchors the best team in the east. Down south the surprise Panthers are led by their thirty-six year old Vezina finalist goaltender Roberto Luongo. He’s always been a top tier goalie, but this season he has shown he’s still elite. Plus he’s always lead the NHL with his slick salad. This talented Florida team is geared up for a serious postseason run in front of Roberto. Here’s more on glorious heads of hair.

Some of you will argue that Corey Crawford isn’t a top tier goaltender. Hey, I understand the evidence is there. Joel Quennville has had to pull his starter on multiple occasions. Scott Darling has his own fan page thanks to a few stinkers from Crawford. Chicago is also loaded so Crawford doesn’t have to be the star like Carey Price in Montreal. Even after being pulled, Crawford was there at the end stopping Stamkos clappers.

If the trend continues, this year’s Stanley Cup winner will have a steady goaltender leading the charge. Keep in mind the 2012 Kings Cup winning team was an #8 seed. That’s when the Jonathan Quick show began, and it hasn’t stopped airing. LA proved seeding doesn’t matter in the playoffs, and a hot goalie is the key. That’s why teams like the Rangers, Bruins, Predators and Ducks still have a fighting chance in the playoffs. Their goaltenders give them a chance to win on most nights. So this when you’re watching the NFL playoffs, look at the four remaining quarterbacks and ask yourself a question. Would these four teams be playing without these QBs? Chances are no, and the same will be said come Stanley Cup time. The teams remaining will have an outstanding netminder.

Away Fans, A Problem Or A Blessing?

How to deal with away fans has been a hot topic in NHL circles recently with the news out of Nashville. The Predators did everything they could to keep Chicago Blackhawks fans out of their building.

For Tuesday’s contest against the Blackhawks, only fans with credit-card billing addresses in Tennessee and the television-viewing area will be permitted to purchase tickets. – Chris Emma, CBS Chicago

The Predators have also done things such as sing God Bless America rather than the National Anthem, to offset to Chicago tradition of yelling during the anthem. They’ve even forced fans to buy two-game packs in an effort to keep Chicago fans away.

Many love the creativity, and applaud the organizations commitment to winning. Others, including the Nashville Tourism Agency aren’t as keen to the idea.

“Any time it’s made hard for anybody to visit, it’s not a good thing,” Butch Spyridon, Nashville Tourism Agency President said. “I can put my Predator hat on and understand what we’re tyring to do, but we need to get to a better way to accomplish a better goal to ensure they have a home-ice advantage — I’d like that, but I’d love visitors a shade more. We have to figure it out.”

Away fans will certainly be a topic of conversation for a team in Las Vegas. As the tourism hub of the world, people from cities of every team will flock to Vegas to cheer on their squad.

How will everyone deal with this phenomenon though? Will we welcome out of town fans? Are the team and the league counting on these seats to be sold by visitors? Will it hinder the home team’s chances to win?

I say bring em on. One of the concerns about the viability of hockey in Vegas is home support. Many believe that if the team struggles, locals will be less likely to attend games. Out of town fans solve this issue for The Creator and the league.

I’m sure once we have a team and we need a big playoff win my tune will change, but at this stage, away fans should be seen as a great advantage few cities can match. Even in the down years, Las Vegas ticket sales won’t be an issue, because people from around the world will suck up all the extra seats.

It’s obviously not the best case scenario, and it’s not something we even see as being a necessity. Here at SinBin.vegas we firmly believe, if you build it (and Bettman hurries up and makes up his damn mind) they will come. Las Vegans will adore their first real home team and hockey will become the biggest thing since the Bellagio Fountains.

But, if we are wrong, it’s a nice little insurance policy to fall back on.

Mock Expansion Draft – Protected Players – Chicago Blackhawks

The first step to our mock draft is to establish the list of players that will be available for the Las Vegas franchise to draft. To do this, we decided to have a blogger from each team represent their own franchise and select the players that will be protected from the Mock Expansion Draft available player pool. To see the rules which were followed to protect players, hit this link.

Due to time constraints, our own Dana Lane has taken on the task of completely the rosters for each of the remaining teams. Next up is the Chicago Blackhawks.

Protected Players

The entire list of unprotected players that will be available for Team Lane and Team Pothier to select from can be found here.

To see more team explanations just like this one, check out The Sin Bin Mock Expansion Draft Landing Page.

Special thanks again to Dana Lane for picking up the slack. Show your appreciation by following @DanaLaneSports on Twitter, and heck, throw us (@SinBinVegas) a follow too while you’re at it.

Who Should We Hate?

One of the best aspects of sport is rivalry. There’s nothing better than a mutual hatred between two organizations who get to prove their worth on the battlefield.

With an NHL franchise will eventually come NHL rivalries. Will it be location based? Performance based (say a team we beat three straight years in the playoffs)? Or will it be something completely different?

Let’s start with location. The obvious candidates would be Phoenix, L.A., and Anaheim. Phoenix is already writing headlines for when they beat a Vegas team named the Scorpions. L.A. would be fun to hate just based on the fact all people from California seemingly can’t drive. Is it just me or does it seem like things like turn signals, changing lanes, stopping at stop signs, etc. are just too difficult of tasks for people with California license plates? And Anaheim because they just suck (you mad?).

Boring.

Performance based rivalries are great, but they are slow developing. It will take some time before our squad is established enough to form these types of rivalries. A few trips to the playoffs, a few feisty games, a few solid off the ice quips via the media will help, but these things aren’t immediate.

It’s that something else category that will really help to form our first rivalry, and I’m going to tell you exactly what that something is.

Annoying visiting fans.

Because Vegas is “The Entertainment Capital of the World” fans from every NHL city will flock to the valley to watch their beloved losers. It’ll be the team that sends the loudest, rowdiest, most annoying fans to fill up Las Vegas Arena that will become the first Vegas rival.

My guess is Chicago. They’ll come parading in to town with their “I had the Polish sausage” Midwest accents, inability to feel cold weather, and three championships and annoy you to the high heavens. Obviously, those rings are null and void because they were won in a pre-Vegas NHL, but I digress.

Being a transient city, Las Vegas will constantly fight the uphill battle of creating a home field advantage. We’ll support our team, but it’s going to be hard to keep tourists out of the building. Those tourists are going to create our rivalries, and it’s going to be a blast sending them back home not only with empty wallets from the blackjack tables, but also with a big fat L on their favorites teams’ schedule.

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