#25 / Defenseman / Chicago Blackhawks
Apr 04, 1986
Contract Status: RFA-2.42 million hit in 08-09
|2008 - Cam Barker||68||6||34||40||-6||65||5||0||1||0||101||5.9|
The Good: Certainly not our lack of pictures for him. Anyway, Barker had a Huet-like year, in that it was deceptively good, but you had to look real hard to see it. The 40 points were nice. The real story is Barker's work on the PP. According to Behind The Net', Barks was the 6th best point-man on the man-advantage in the league. And if you watched every Hawks game, you saw this too. It wasn't necessarily the work of Barker getting into the zone, though he usually makes the correct first pass, but once in it. Either unleashing his booming shot and finding a way through, or knowing when to keep the puck moving. Quenneville never moved Barker off the first unit, but didn't hesitate to do so to Campbell. Obviously, Q thinks it's Barker who makes the power play tick, and it's hard to disagree. Plus, that spread out the talent over the two units, and the second unit really started to hum in the postseason with Campbell on it. But back to the point at hand, Barker also started to let his physical side out towards the end of the season, and was probably the best Hawk in the Calgary series. The -6 and sub-Behind the Net number at even-strength aren't pretty, but some of that may be due to being paired with Campbell for most of the year, or Walker, and neither complements Barker's game very well.
The Bad: Let's face it, Barker's not quick, and can get beat from time to time. He'll eventually learn better positioning, this being only his second full year of experience. His decision making at times can be abstract, notice the Game 1 winner against Vancouver. And I won't buy into him using his size until he does it for a full year. Sometimes, he can be maddeningly soft, and only time will tell if that's a thing of the past.
Nicknames: Pretty sure he didn't have any, occasionally called him Barks. We'll work on this.
Playoff Beard Strength: Pretty solid, and matched his pack-of-cowboy-killers-a-day voice.
Photoshops: None, but he seemingly did this interview with Sarah Spain in his own house where we're pretty convinced neither he or Eager were wearing pants, and they admitted they've seen what we do:
The Grade: This one isn't as cut and dried for me, and I know it isn't for a lot of Hawks fans either. I do disagree with the contention that Barker brings a lot of what the Hawks have already. Barks is a good puck mover, of which the Hawks only have one in Campbell. Keith isn't, though he could be soon, with better passing. Right now Keith is just fast. Barker would be the exact opposite, only possessing the ablity to move the puck out of the zone by a pass. As I dance more and more to to the rhythm of the Fracois Beauchemin drum that McClure keeps beating, I can't help but think that would be the perfect partner for Cameron. A big body to match Cam's, giving the Hawks one of those, but someone who can stay at home and cover for Barker's chance-taking, and allow us to see what he can really do. But as for season past, B sounds right. What you say?