Summer With The Cup

The summer long party started here, after Patrick Kane scored the game winning goal in overtime of game six of the Stanley Cup Final. Jonathan Toews lifted it with pride and now we will stop and watch the highlights of the Summer With The Cup. The day after the win the Hawks went out and partied with the city as they went around on a parade around Chicago and stopping at bars and clubs to share their fun. I was lucky enough to take part of the party late than night. The day was the Parade which had an amazing attendance of two million people and was said to be Chicago’s biggest ever celebration. The parade ended in a huge rally that had many memorable moments and after that the team went to family party at the Hyatt and went to more bars around Chicago till early the next morning. On Sunday the Hawks took the Cup to the Crosstown Classic at Wrigley Field where there was a pre-game ceremony which included the team parading around the field with the Cup and staying on field for the National Anthem. They later sang the 7th inning stretch. Not all of the players have had thier day with the cup yet however the ones that have had a lot of fun while Jonathan Toews took it around his home town and partied with that and his Conn

Smyth Award. Colin Fraser took the cup wake-boarding in Canada with his good friend and teammate Andrew Ladd. However I think that we can all agree that Andrew Ladd had the most amazing and memorable day with the cup that will go down in history as one of the greatest cup days ever. Andrew rented a helicopter took the cup to the top of mountains in British Columbia while he watched the sun-rise upon the mountains with Lord Stanley.

The Swedish Rocket

New Blackhawk Viktor Stalberg

I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about new Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg. Some people think that he is not ready for the NHL however I disagree. This Swede, consisting of a 6 foot 3 inch tall body weighing 191 pounds, contains a very powerful offensive skill set.

Drafted in the 6th round of the 2006 draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs he committed to the University of Vermont where he was a finalist for the 2008-2009 Hobey Baker Award. He lead Vermont to the Frozen Four that year when they got knocked out by Boston University. This is the year when Stalberg really excelled. He was the he was the heart of that team, and as a pretty hardcore college hockey follower I really liked the power punch that this kid has with a combination of his size, speed, and quick hands.

When he came out of college he went right to the NHL where he came out of the gate flaming. The Maple Leafs put him on a line with two other rookies who also came out of the NCAA: Christian Hanson from Notre Dame and Tyler Bozak from Denver. They called this trio the “frat line”. They lead Toronto in Plus/Minus in the second half of the season. Last year Stalberg recorded 9 goals and 5 assists in 40 games as a rookie.

In the off-season he was traded to the Blackhawks for Kris Versteeg. Many fans were in outrage however it think this move helps, more than hurts the Hawks. He should be great fit for the Hawks since he is versatile. He has great quick hands and the ability to snap off a lightning fast Marian Hossa like shot. His quick release can be deadly. He’s got a big body and knows how to use it. He can be a big force in front of the net and has above average deflection skills. I say that without question this kid is more than ready for the NHL. He could of the Blackhawks best players for the money this year with his low 850,000 cap hit.

The Defense

Now with the goalie situation figured out the next problem to solve is the defense. With only four proven D-men for the Hawks they need at least one more and probably two. They have John Scott who played last year in Minnesota however there are now rumors that rumors that he will play offense. That is just speculation. Even if he does play D he is only fit to be a 7th D-Man on the roster similar to how Jordan Hendry was this past year. Don’t expect Hendry to play too many games either.

My source says Stan Bowman feels that he has plenty of forwards in Rockford that can play but not many D-Men. The two top D-Men in the system this upcoming season are Nick Leddy and Shawn Lalonde. I was told that if the Hawks fail to gain two new defense men these two will take over the 3rd D line. If they have to only call up one it will be Lalonde because his salary is lower however that could possibly change. I was told not to count on these two being everyday players. If they do gain two free agent defense men, which the teams desire, than Leddy and Lalonde will go back down to Rockford for more seasoning.

Nick Leddy at University of Minnesota

The first two lines are frozen solid:

Line 1-Kieth Seabrook

Line 2- Hjalmersson Campbell

There is no word yet on who the defense men are that the Hawks were looking into signing however there is word that they are in the hunt for one more cheap defensive forward. One candidate is rumored to be Marc-Andre Bergeron.