It seems to be tradition now, and a weekly one. Either I or McClure will engage with the beaters about some subject concerning the Hawks (it's not always John Scott, honest), and it turns into a whole rigamarole that didn't have much to do with what was asked in the first place. Last night, it was the possible availability of Bobby Ryan.
All I posed was if it was possible to gauge an interest in the apparently now-being-shopped Anaheim winger. This didn't mean asking Stan Bowman directly, because Stan would be an idiot to tell you he was after him, and it would also probably flirt with tampering. I was simply hoping that one of those who spend every day around the Hawks might have an anonymous source somewhere within the Black Gate of Madison that could indicate whether the Hawks had put it in a call. We already know the Rangers have, and so have the Jackets. Perhaps the Hawks are such a CIA-level, zip-shut outfit and no leaks ever spring, but I doubt it.
I was greeted with queries as to why a team that's third in the league in scoring would want a forward and not a defenseman that could help shore up a team that's now given up the most amount of goals in the West outside of Ohio. A somewhat valid point. But any team that has Viktor Stalberg and Dan Carcillo on its top six (two players I like, mind) skating on its top six can't exactly claim that it's set in that area, can it? Ryan would cause both to slot down where they properly belong. Let's be honest here, what did you first think when Carcillo was signed? Me, it was something along the lines of, "Ok, he can play on the fourth line, hit some people, provide energy at times, probably be out of the lineup at times, and if there's an injury crisis or some certain game situation, he can get you out of a game or two on a higher line." Did anyone think he'd be on the second line for 20 games? I doubt it. He was a 13th forward in my mind.
But let's move on from not anyone wanting to do their job and simply ask a question that at least some fans would like to know (unless I'm the only one who wants to see Ryan in red, which would be weird). The idea that the Hawks are after defense first is a completely valid one, though it's funny that no one was complaining about the defense when Corey Crawford wasn't awful, and I bet it gets quieter when Crow emerges from this slump. If he does, but I don't want to think about "if" instead of "when". It's clear that Leddy and Hammer aren't working right now as a second pair. Maybe given time they would, but we've given Hammer a year and a quarter now and not much has changed. So when I asked Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald which of Leddy or Hammer he'd move off the second pair, I got this brilliant response, "Leddy to the 3rd pair, but he still skates 20 minutes a night."
You sort that one out if you can. My guess is Sassone was trying to say he wanted Hammer out without saying it, but that's only a guess because I lost my beat writer Rosetta stone.
Look, I can't question the Hawks very well might need another blue liner before all is said and done. I know I'm pretty much finished with Hjalmarsson, and an atom smasher is required. But last night also proved they may be a forward short. When Toews can't save them, and Kane is struggling defensively, who was coming to save them? A probably not healthy and maybe disinterested Dave Bolland? Ryan would solve at least one problem the Hawks have, i.e. a quick guided missile who can make some boards rattle when the Hawks are forced to repeatedly dump the puck in. Only Toews and Hossa are puck winners right now, and that's not the highlights of their game. Ryan is also so much more, but those that follow the Hawks professionally can't sit and bemoan their lack of hitting and then dismiss out of hand the acquisition of Ryan.
Also, I feel I have to clear up a misconception amongst our followers whenever these tiffs with the Hawks press arise. We are not offered credentials every year or something. The only time I remember actually being offered press passes, and McClure or Kills can correct me if I'm wrong, was for the parade. I think we were offered them for the Final as well, but as McClure and I were going to every game anyway and Killion didn't see the point of going and not drinking or cheering, we turned those down as well. To get passes now, we'd have to go through SB Nation, and I'm guessing at this point even if we wanted them SB would be turned away not too long after, "Hello".