We've fully entered the summer doldrums these days, and other than Chris Campoli's arbitration hearing, the Parcheesi blockade that seems to constitute the Michael Frolik negotiations, and possibly a trade that probably isn't coming, there's not anything going on. Nor will there be. So every so often, I'll just put up a post about what's rattling around in my head to open up a new thread as others fill up, as Sam's Summer of Love On Second City continues (no, Killion and McClure are not dead, just taking a well-earned break. Well, a break nonetheless). Anyway, here's what I think.
-A lot of us were banking on one or two more moves to finish out the summer, namely a fourth line center and someone else to fill out the top six. A lot of us were getting frustrated that it is looking a lot less likely that they're coming. Still might, after all Turco and Pisani weren't signed until August (I think), but I've gotten past that. The most likely scenario is that either Marcus Kruger or Jeremy Morin are going to get the first crack at the second line. And i think that's fine. If they really do believe in Kruger, they probably should give him every chance. I didn't see anything, but the baseball fan in me was screaming, "Small sample size!" -- a phrase I hear far too often in scenarios I'd rather not, but that's another story for another time. It would be optimum if either Kruger or Morin or both proved that they can be long term solutions for these areas. It saves money, proves your system is producing, and keeps the ball rolling. If they don't work by Christmas, the Hawks will have flexibility to address these needs midseason, when other names might be available that aren't now. The briefest of glances show that Daymond Langkow or Tuomo Ruutu or Shane Doan are in the last year of deal on teams that very well might blow. I'm sure if I did more research even more enticing names would pop up.
-My dreams of Chris Drury are beyond the respirator at this point, but the lack of anyone showing interest probably means he's either more hurt than I thought, or everyone thinks he is. He probably doesn't sign until someone gets to run him through a pretty heavy medical or fitness test. But that's ok. I get the inkling that your 4th line center come October 7th is Ben Smith. Smith played a lot of center at Rockford, and some at BC. He's shown a brain, he can probably handle it. We'll see if he gets a look there at camp.
-You can add up the numbers of players signed, include Campoli and Frolik, and come to the conclusion that there are too many bodies and someone has to go. Me? I like it. Competition in camp will not be a bad thing. Last year, players had to play their way off the ice. Now? They have to play their way on it. Stalberg, Smith, Mayers, Bickell, Morin, and Kruger are all on notice. Don't produce, someone's already up with the big club to take your place. Look at how ineffective Pisani had to be to finally be scratched. That won't happen this season, if this is how they go forward.
-To end things, once again none of us are going to The Convention, so if any of you are and would like to write something up for us, do a Fanpost, email us, and we'll bump it to the front page. Enjoy the fat guys in Kane jerseys sweating on you and the north shore kids crying.