And Joining Campbell On That Bus...
Well at least McClure can rest easy.
He wasn't the only one who feared that the Hawks might get suckered into overpaying Kopecky after his career-best season. That will not be the case, as his rights were shipped off to Florida for a 7th round pick either next year or the one after. Or as it's better known, a bag of pucks. I guess they'll have to find a younger, cheaper Slovak to carry Marian Hossa's bags.
Kopecky can be a confounding player. There are obviously things to work with. There's decent size, but an inability to use it as he frequently bent from the waist and thus would lose all leverage and be knocked over with a suggestion. There was a pretty wicked wrister, but needed War And Peace like time to get it off. He provided a net presence...sometimes. But he didn't have enough speed or skill to consistently be on the Top 6. He didn't have the defensive awareness to be on a checking line, and though he liked to be a pest that act rang hollow because everyone knew that he wouldn't fight due to Francois Beauchemin breaking his face in the '09 playoffs.
Kopecky scored some big goals, including Game 5 against Nashville and Game 1 against Philly. He would have hot streaks, and would benefit when playing with superior teammates. A wealth of his points and goals last season came when Marian Hossa was torching the Earth in the first month of the season. He showed streaks when slaying bums on the fourth line, but that role could be better filled by someone who provides more physicality on a regular basis and might actually intimidate some people.
More importantly, with his 15 goals and 42 points, TomoKop is going to seriously cash in from someone. That will probably be with Florida, who need to drastically overspend just to reach the floor, and thus will warp the market. Kopecky isn't a $2 million player, at least not in my mind and neither the Hawks. With a Top 6 to be remade and a fourth line needing a center, which Kopecky never really was, there just isn't room for him here.
Hopefully Marian can make new friends.