Analysis: Bowman gets this one right

  

As with any trade, the one made last night, that sent Nick Schmaltz to Arizona for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini will not be fully assessed until a few years from now. People will look at point totals (achieved in entirely different contexts), where the respective teams finish, etc. And some of that may be accurate.

But this move made sense for the Blackhawks on numerous levels. And for a team that’s 9-10-4, where Schmaltz was failing to deliver what the front office and coaching staff had been counting on from him, it’s hard to see a downside right now.

Further, this trade signals that Bowman, instead of arrogantly, defiantly doubling down on his bad bets (as he has in the past), stepped up and corrected his own mistake (ie, pinning the future of the franchise on the unreliable, questionably committed Schmaltz).

Here’s a point by point as to why this trade works for the Hawks.

  1. Strome fills a need

If you’ve been reading our analysis pieces here, following us on Twitter, or listening to the RinkCast, you know we, at least, have been saying that another legitimate NHL center has been as big a need as any on the Hawk roster. Make no mistake, Strome has not really lived up to sky-high draft billings yet either.

But Strome, at just 21, is a legitimate NHL center. Schmaltz wasn’t, and probably never will be. The differences between Strome and Schmaltz—good and bad—are pretty stark. Where Schmaltz is blazing fast but seems allergic to contact and going into high traffic situations, Strome is pretty much the opposite—not a great skater, but big and more willing and able to create offense in the tough going. Schmaltz was 40% on faceoffs last year, Strome was 58%. And, like Schmaltz, Strome has offensive upside that will be somewhat more fulfilled playing with the likes of Patrick Kane and/or Alex DeBrincat.

Strome’s profile as a legitimate center, and his faceoff ability also takes some situational faceoff and TOI pressure off of one Jonathan Toews—and historically this has elevated Toews’ game.

2. Schmaltz needed to go

It’s one thing when a player is trying but underperforming. But Schmaltz’ shortcomings were never due to a lack of talent, rather to a lack of heart and willingness. Sure, somewhat like Teuvo Teravainen after he was dealt to Carolina, Schmaltz may grow up and see the light in the desert, and more fully realize his talents. But no one knows him, his off-ice habits and his character, like the Chicago Blackhawks do. And while we’ve heard a few things here and there here at The-Rink, and probably not enough to present a fully damning picture, we heard enough, and saw enough in terms of Schmaltz not making basic, cost of entry plays in order to avoid contact, to say that his coaches and teammates probably, privately felt a change was needed. Nothing kills morale quite so much as a teammate to whom much is given, and much is expected—and much is left wanting.

3. The money

Another issue with Schmaltz was a looming issue over his value on his next contract. At one point, fans and writers (at the very least) had jacked him up to being a $6 million a year player. This was always probably nonsense, and in the early parts of this season, as Schmaltz continually failed to meet small, but important metrics on the ice (Can he play center? No. Has he acquired more of a nose for high traffic areas and physical play? No. Will he shoot the puck? No), it’s become more and more clear that paying Schmaltz anywhere close to that kind of money for any kind of term could have been a huge waste of valuable cap space.

4. The math

In Strome and Perlini, the Hawks acquired two young, legitimate NHL players of some value, and at least one of them has upside that could be significant in Chicago. They gave up one. This is important because the Hawks need building blocks right now—not aging lineup patches. Here at The-Rink, we’ve been making the case for trading veterans (including Schmaltz if the return was right) for high end prospects and draft picks. the return on this deal, while not exactly that, is nonetheless heading in that direction. Strome especially, and possibly Perlini as well, have to be seen as potential pieces of a downstream Hawk resurgence, not just “guys” to prop up a flawed roster this year—though both may help for the above reasons this season.

Perlini is a guy the Hawks liked in his draft year—and if I had to provide a quick scouting report, he is the kind of guy the Capitals and Preds have drafted and developed in recent years. Big, physically willing, and good enough to pitch in some offense at the NHL level.

5. Bowman has learned

On our last RinkCast, we talked about the mark of a good GM. All GMs make mistakes. The good ones recognize and correct them fairly quickly. Bowman has done that here. We can all debate whether the team cut bait on Schmaltz too soon, and time will tell, but clearly, perhaps no Hawk player or prospect has fallen from grace more quickly—and certainly there were fairly obvious reasons for it. Just go back and listen to Eddie Olczyk’s commentary on various Schmaltz plays (and non-plays) this season.

Again, there’s no guarantee this trade pans out or bombs to one extreme or the other. But most signs point to a win for the Hawks here, especially as a modest rebuilding move. Comment below.

Center Ice Forums Analysis: Bowman gets this one right

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #10345
    John Jaeckel
    Keymaster

      As with any trade, the one made last night, that sent Nick Schmaltz to Arizona for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini will not be fully assessed
    [To continue reading full article, click here: Analysis: Bowman gets this one right]

    Apparently, all goalies are Vikings

    #10348
    DK002
    Participant

    Really solid write up John – great points – and another bust draft pick for old Stan…shocker there.  Where I will give him credit (as you mention) at least he moved him and got a couple of different pieces to try.   The other thing to note is Bowman saved himself from giving Nick that 6mil per with a full nmc/ntc – which we all dreaded was coming.

    Here’s a fun question – How many of Stan’s #1 picks are still with the team?

    Based on the first period in Tampa the other night we can certainly see how far this team has fallen.  Yikes.  Embrace the tank.

    #10349
    fattybeef
    Participant

    I was keen on Strome his draft year. Big dude, seems to have a good attitude and potentially provide a 1B to Toews. Hasnt panned out for him but 30 NHL games isn’t a lot.

    I think this is one of those guys who benefits from being around Toews and Kane and having his buddy dinglecat around.

    I thought Schmaltz was better on the wing then up the middle, especially in transition but with how meh he has played this year I’m glad they didnt wait and went young instead of using him to get a veteran. Could you imagine the lack of return if that malaise went on the whole year?

    Not like they got worse and they still arent a playoff team but if Strome isn’t as horrifically slow as many people seem to think (I can’t believe hes that plodding), it makes AA expendable and a straight salary dump plus a surplus defender for a future the likely next play and I’d expect that relatively soon. In 5-8 games when big D is skating with Kane and feasting on garbage goals.

    #10350
    Toews2Kane
    Participant

    Schmaltz was number 1 on my Trade For Value list. Watching a player with loads of talent not have enough confidence to shoot was mindbogglingly frustrating.

    Excited to see what Strome and Perlini can do here. To echo on what everyone has mentioned regarding Strome’s skating: You can at least work to improve it. No amount of training can fix confidence or IQ.

    #10358
    Mister Ricochet
    Participant

    Nice breakdown, JJ.   Agree on all points he best might be StanBow has moved on from a mistake.   We know that isn’t always easy for him keeping a horrid Rundblad on the roster, in fact IIRC extending him.

    Been forever they’ve needed a 2C and Strome is the newest to get a crack.  At 2 points per in the OHL, 1 point per in the AHL and a 3rd overall at 21 yrs old he just might be the guy.

    Lets see what Colliton can do with this kid.  He’ll get linemates and TOI he’s never had in the NHL so he’ll get a real shot.

    Finally Schmaltz, a bonafide enigma.  Facing a contract with term StanBow IMO wisely felt there was too much risk in a hard cap world.  Better to be wrong trading him for 2 young big 1st rd guys and he turns it around than be wrong and give Schmaltz money and term and he proves to be a soft player who can’t play center.

    Exciting time for a Hawks fan.

    #10359
    Matthew Paulish
    Moderator

    I like it.

     

    8 has been pissing me off a lot.

    #10360
    theneek
    Participant

    JJ, great summary!  I’ve been reading up on this trade and you have the best synopsis of why this makes sense right now.  I love this trade as NS was a tweeter and in pro sports those players never really make it.  He was (played) too small & soft and had no presence on the ice.  We had a bunch of those players last year and I felt like most of them needed to go (sorry Vinnie).

    We now have a much deeper team with baby AA and baby Brouwer.  There is a missing like though:

    Hawks got Saad back for Toews and Strome for The Cat but what about Kane?!?  Hawks got rid of his boy Panarin (which he is probably still mad about).

    How about this:

    Seabrook back to his hometown to mentor the young  VAN team in exchange for another bad contract in Gagner?  They don’t want him and I’ve always thought they should reunite these 2 junior stars together again.  You would then have 3 line pairs to build around:

    Towes-Saad

    Strome-Cat

    Kane-Gagner

    Why not throw in:

    Kampf-Hayden

    (not sure about chemistry but I like those 2 players)

     

    The D sucks right now, so why not go in 1980s Oilers style and try to outscore everyone and hope that Crow can make the big save when he needs to.  Better than what we have now which is total pure mediocrity…

     

    #10361
    Under Qs moustache
    Participant

    If the Hawks wanted another small forward, Gagne could be picked up on waivers. Seabs isn’t going anywhere til the lockout and contract amnesty. The D is weak enough, without Seabs, the whole team is worse off. If he is going to mentor young Dmen in the NHL, the Hawks have several on the team and in the pipeline. Yes his contract is an embarrassment, but if that’s his on ice value, better he tutors here for the next year and a half.

    Great write up JJ. Lets see what Jeremy has in mind for these 2 new additions.

    #10378
    One-timer
    Participant

    JJ, I agree with your analysis. In hockey, more than any other sport, heart goes a long way and if it’s missing, all the talent in the world can’t make up for it. Too bad for the ‘hawks and Schmaltz, he couldn’t come to this realization. Maybe Schmaltz will do well in AZ, maybe not? Who cares now…he is there enigma. Now we get two players with some potential. Like you, I agree that faceoffs are important depending on the situation and timing in a game. I for one will be happy when they can win a few more to put some pressure on opposing teams when we are on the PP and relieve some pressure on us when killing a penalty. This might make the difference to win a few more than we have been losing in the recent past? Time will tell.

    #10381
    JZS
    Participant

    Thanks for this piece. You’ve eased my main concern, which is Strome’s lack of speed. In talking to the press yesterday, he did say that that’s one area he’s been working on. And as you point out, he’s willing to be the net-front presence the Hawks desperately need. I also agree that the Hawks need to rebuild. I wish someone would tell that to McD, who seems to be delusional on this score.

    JZS

    #10382
    rustyo
    Participant

    If the Hawks wanted another small forward, Gagne could be picked up on waivers. Seabs isn’t going anywhere til the lockout and contract amnesty. The D is weak enough, without Seabs, the whole team is worse off. If he is going to mentor young Dmen in the NHL, the Hawks have several on the team and in the pipeline. Yes his contract is an embarrassment, but if that’s his on ice value, better he tutors here for the next year and a half. Great write up JJ. Lets see what Jeremy has in mind for these 2 new additions.

     

    Speaking of Seabs, my prediction FWIW, is  that the Hawks ask him to waive his NTC, expose him to the Seattle entry draft, and negotiate with the Seattle team to draft him. Hawks will probably have to throw in a sweetener. Seabs could be their team captain, play 3rd pair minutes, mentor the younger D-men and be closer to home. His salary shouldn’t be a problem for Seattle since they’ll have to hit the cap floor and will probably have half the team on ELC’s. They could also buy him out a couple of years down the road. You reading this Stan?

    #10388
    Alan Parsons
    Participant

    This is not a rebuild.

    #10389
    Alan Parsons
    Participant

    There are 3 modes.  Fire sale.  Rebuild.  Win now.  They are stuck between Fire Sale and Rebuild.  They are miles from Win Now.  Miles.

    Watch what they do, not what they say.   They are heading straight into fire sale mode.

    #10409
    6628
    Participant

    “Watch what they do, not what they say”

     

    For sure.

    #10425
    Gonzo
    Participant

    Hey JJ, thanks for the great write up.  You tweeted the other day that you’re hearing at least one long-term Hawk vet may be gone by the New Year.  Can you shed some more light on this?  Justin over at HB said he’s heard from 2 different sources that it’s Seabs.

    #10428
    Alan Parsons
    Participant

    Thats what JJ said in the rinkcast.

    #10346
    Riozzo
    Participant

    As with any trade, the one made last night, that sent Nick Schmaltz to Arizona for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini will not be fully assessed[To continue reading full article, click here: Analysis: Bowman gets this one right]

     

    JJ nice article.  IMHO you are Spot On.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.