Answering Questions On Jagr, DeBrincat, Schmaltz, & More



What do you think about the Blackhawks signing Jamorir Jagr to a cheap 1 year 2 million dollar contract? in my opinion, that would give the Hawks a solid top 9 (Saad, Toews, Panik, Sharp, Anisimov, Kane, Schmaltz, Hartman) without including the chance Debrincat plays in the NHL this year. Is this something that could happen and is it a good idea?

Jagr is slow, but he can still play. Teams are apprehensive with signing him, because they would have to mold a line to his style and speed limitations. Any line with Jagr would need to be a slower, puck possession focused line. Nowadays, more and more teams are moving toward a speedy, throw the puck into open areas and race to it, attack the net quickly sort of playing style mimicking the Penguins. GM’s/coaches don’t want to have to format a line just for Jagr. They want the versatility of not having to work around a 45-year-old. I also suspect Jagr could be asking for an exorbitant amount of money for a risk GM’s just don’t want to take. Jagr for $1-$2 million sounds alright. Jagr for $4-$5 sounds risky.

Even though the word “old” has become a cataclysmic term in the Blackhawks community, I could see a fit for Jagr in Chicago. Blackhawks play a slower paced, east-west, control the puck sort of game that Jagr could fit into. However, I wouldn’t sign him right away.

Does Chicago need Jagr in the top-9?

  1. Saad – Toews – Panik
  2. DeBrincat – Anisimov – Kane
  3. Sharp – Schmaltz – Hartman

Then there are players like Hayden, Hinostroza, Dauphin, Jurco, and others who may try to sneak into the top-9 from time to time.

If Chicago were to sign Jagr, I would wait until Christmas. This way they can see what the forwards look like before making a move. Who’s injured? Who is sinking or swimming? At Christmas I would evaluate the roster and give Jagr a call if he’s still available. If he’s not, who cares.


Any chance Luc Snuggerud get legitimate NHL time this year?

It’s going to be tough as Chicago seem to have a billion defensemen capable of handling 3rd pairing minutes. I would be fine with any of Forsling, Gustafsson, Kempny, Rutta, Oesterle, and Franson on the third pair. Then there’s Ville Pokka, what the hell is he?

But Snuggerud has a chance to be special. He is an offensive defenseman who has done pretty well in his last season in college and in his stint in Rockford. I’ve been talking/excited about him for some time. I won’t rule it out, because hey anything can happen. However, with the current logjam of 3rd pairing defensemen, I doubt he cracks the NHL this season unless injuries spring up.


What is the realistic ceiling for Debrincat’s career? top 6 on a team? top line? top 30 in the league? 

Easily top-6 forward. I think he will be able to play on the top line. We know he can score goals. He only needs an inch of space to get his shot off and can score in traffic. The kid scores goals morning, afternoon, and night. When he sleeps, he scores goals in his dreams. During intermission, he gets on the PS4, and scores goals as himself.

So the question will be about the other facets of his game. Will he set up others well? Can he play well defensively? Will his positioning be good? Transition game? Zone entries? Puck handling? Those are the type of things we will need to watch for this season to determine if he can be an elite player or just an elite scorer.

From what i’ve seen, he’s got a little bit of little man syndrome as well. He doesn’t take any shit. Didn’t he just try fighting a guy at the rookie games? I know he likes to get to the slot area. I think this kid is going to be fearless. He will refuse to let people push him around.

But if this kid was as tall as myself, he would have been a top-10 draft pick. He wasn’t blessed with height and the benefit of the doubt that comes with it in the hockey world.

Such is life.


What can we expect for John Hayden this season? in what role would he fit best in general (3rd line?) and is that role available on the hawks? 

There is always 3rd line roles available as injuries are inevitable in the physical world of hockey. Will he be the opening day 3rd liner? I doubt it, but he should see some 3rd line time this year.

At the moment, I would want to mold him into a 2-way player that can play on a modern-day 4th line. A 4th line that can actually do something. Maybe see what he can do under center. A fourth line that includes him Wingels, and Jurco would be interesting this season.

But as for his role this season. He’s a depth forward who will play some 4th line minutes and probably some minutes in the top-9 if injuries occur.

His future role is probably solid 2-way, bottom-6 forward.


Do you expect Schmaltz and Hartman to take another big step this year and provide depth scoring on the third line?

Kind of.

Depends on the definition of “big step”.

They were both around 30-point scorers last season, and I could see that increasing to the 35-40 point range, which is what Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw produced in their last seasons with the Blackhawks,

Schmaltz is a wild card because he doesn’t shoot much, his positioning can sometimes be questionable, but dammit is that kid a playmaker. He can handle the puck, identify open teammates, and feed them the puck for a prime scoring chance. Nick Schmaltz will be a player that racks up assists. Think Joe Thornton type. (No he’s not Joe Thornton. I never said he was Joe Thornton. I was just using one player as an example of a playing style to help you better understand what to expect. For example, Trevor Van Riemsdyk and Niklas Hjalmarsson have similar playing styles. Obviously one is way better, so chill)

Anyway, we all know Nick Schmaltz is way better than Joe Thornton will ever will be…

Joking. Schmaltz could be a solid middle-6 type player in the future. I’m thinking offensive usage and give him some snipers on either side of him. Hell, DeBrincat – Schmaltz – Hartman would be an interesting third line this season. I don’t know if all that youth on one line would work, but it would be fun to watch. But the main point I want to stress with Schmaltz is playmaker.

Hartman is the goal scorer. Actually, Hartman is solid, even slightly above average at most facets of the game. He’s definitely not the playmaker Schmaltz is. However, Hartman has shown more goal scoring ability and a solid two-way game. Hartman is versatile and can be used in offensive or defensive situations. He also gets plenty of shots off which is usually a sign of talent. He led Rockford in past seasons in shots per game. That shot prowess didn’t fade away in the NHL either.

Although I trust Hartman more right now, I should mention that Hartman is around 1.5 years older than Schmaltz. Schmaltz turns 22 in February. Hartman turns 23 next week (Sep 20th), so one might expect more growth from Schmaltz than Hartman. But right now, I trust Hartman with more important minutes than I do with Schmaltz.

It just depends on what the line needs.

Need an offensive playmaker in Schmaltz or a 2-way goal scorer in Hartman?


How would you grade or rate the hawks 2017 draft? any prospects to really keep an eye on?


I like what he did last year in the MHL (Russia’s junior league)

But I don’t really know. I kind of checked out and took a “vacation” from hockey just before the draft until this very post, so I haven’t looked into it that much yet. All I know is Altybarmakyan posted much better numbers than 2016 draft pick Artur Kayumov did in the same league last season.

I’ll have better info in the future. Sorry for punting on this one, but it might be a good idea to learn how to spell Altybarmakyan

Alty – Bar – Mak – Yan

Alright now that the questions have been somewhat answered, lets talk shop.

I hate proofreading. I quickly read through once and call it good, so don’t expect perfection. While I do enjoy grammar, I don’t care enough to spend countless hours proofreading/editing a post I already spent some time typing. I simply type up what I’m thinking. Go back through and make sure it all looks legible, and hit post.

Also, for this season, I’m thinking about writing in a more general manner. Less technical stuff and more matter of fact stuff.

Kind of like this post. In the past, I would have pulled up all this info, data, charts on why Schmaltz is a great playmaker. This year, I’m just going to tell you he’s a good playmaker and you will just trust me. I’ll still post technical stuff from time to time, but figured this is easier on me and probably more readable for a wider population who isn’t trying to sift through 3000 words and 20 charts on the impact some player has on some facet of the game when I can just tell you Nick Schmaltz is a pretty good playmaker.

What else should we chit-chat about?

I always wanted someone to do something similar to what I do, but for the Blackhawks prospects. They aren’t many active Blackhawks prospect twitter accounts out there. I started with a twitter account with zero followers. So if your interested in hockey enough to watch junior league, KHL, or NCAA games, create a twitter account and inform the community about these prospects. It’s an area of the internet that has low supply and high demand. Hell, the Carolina Hurricanes have like 9 solid prospect info twitter accounts. Scott Powers does a good job of keeping us updated, but some regular joe out there could do something on twitter with prospects being their main cup of tea.

As always, I’ll help out anyone who has questions about doing things similar to what I do.

Enjoy your weeked.