Now that the Blackhawks' fan convention is over, it's time to continue to address offseason needs. Yes, the 'Hawks put on a good show over the weekend, but hopefully most fans still believe that the team has some improvements to make before training camp.
My last article was certainly critical of Stan Bowman and his transactions to date, and while nothing I said was untrue, sure, the 'Hawks still could go into next year, as is, and be competitive. I am truly hoping they will be and it is a bit premature to think the 'Hawks won't be in the mix this coming season.
On the positive side of things, the 'Hawks may be tougher with a full season from Dan Carcillo, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig. Their D-unit is still relatively solid and Sheldon Brookbank will help.
As for Corey Crawford in net, we'll see.
If the 'Hawks are interested in tempting fate and believing that the best defense could be a great offense, they should focus in on unrestricted free agent Alexander Semin.
Semin, still unsigned, has some decisions to make. Rumor has it that he was offered an unreasonable amount of cash to return to his home country. Well, not unreasonable, but there is no chance he is worth $10 million a season in today's NHL.
So, he very well may return home, but since he has not signed with CKSA Moscow, one would think that he still wants to be in the the NHL.
Semin and his agent may be playing the waiting game to see where and what price Shane Doan will sign for before making their move.
Though Semin has not matched his 40-goal plateau of a few seasons back, he is still an offensive weapon. The Caps are not the same team that they were in 2009-10 and he has not received as much offensive support the last two seasons.
Semin may not be the bruising power forward that the 'Hawks are looking for, but inserting Semin into the top six would create a significant domino effect with the 'Hawks' top four lines.
If they were able to land Semin for three years in the ballpark of $5-5.5 million per year, it would be worth it for Bowman and company. With a little under $8 million still remaining in cap space, this would still give the 'Hawks the breathing room to make an additional move if need be.
With Semin in the fold, the 'Hawks' top six forwards would be Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Semin and perhaps Viktor Stalberg.
Still, there is also the chance that Brandon Saad could be in the top six, giving third-line center Dave Bolland players like Stalberg, Bryan Bickell, Michael Frolik, Shaw or Carcillo to chose from as wingers.
We perceive Dave Bolland to be a third-line, shutdown center, yet he notched 19 goals last year with a plethora of different linemates, some of which did not have great campaigns. Place 20-goal scorer Stalberg on his wing and the 'Hawks would have three dangerous lines throughout the season.
And, hey, the idea of Semin having a center like Jonathan Toews and potentially Sharp or Hossa on the other side? Sound nice? Sounds lethal.
There is time for Bowman to make a few calls and see what else he can get. Whether or not he does, and whether or not Semin is the ideal fit, if you can get him at a good price point, there is tremendous upside bringing him to Chicago.
Thanks for reading.