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updated: 1/13/2012 10:32 AM

Beauchemin would be good fit for Hawks

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  • Anaheim Ducks center Saku Koivu, middle, skates around the hats Tuesday with Sheldon Brookbank, left, and Francois Beauchemin after his hat trick against the Dallas Stars.

      Anaheim Ducks center Saku Koivu, middle, skates around the hats Tuesday with Sheldon Brookbank, left, and Francois Beauchemin after his hat trick against the Dallas Stars.
    Associated Press

  • Columbus Blue Jackets center Derick Brassard hits Anaheim Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin into the boards Sunday during the first period.

      Columbus Blue Jackets center Derick Brassard hits Anaheim Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin into the boards Sunday during the first period.
    Associated Press

 
 

With a little more than six weeks to go before the NHL trade deadline, the big names are already making the rumor mill rounds, and many of them have been linked to the Blackhawks.

But a somewhat lesser name would also be a huge acquisition for coach Joel Quenneville's squad.

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Anaheim's Francois Beauchemin is a perfect fit as the physical, stay-at-home defenseman the Hawks need right now.

The contract isn't a concern as he's months away from unrestricted free agency and his cap hit -- as of this moment -- is $1.9 million for the rest of the season.

An NHL source says the Hawks have discussed the 31-year-old Beauchemin. It's also early in the process and the Ducks may be waiting to see what kind of value Beauchemin has as the process moves forward.

But as the Hawks look forward to a mammoth nine-game road stretch in a couple weeks -- one that will go a long way toward determining their place in the West -- they could use some help on defense.

And though Beauchemin doesn't generally produce much offensively, a third of his NHL goals have been power-play goals, and when the Ducks won the Cup in 2007, Beauchemin was second among postseason Anaheim scorers with 4 power-play goals.

He also led the champs in average ice time with 30:33 -- more than Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer -- and he collected 8 points in 20 games.

Beauchemin leads the Ducks in ice time (25:46), blocked shots and is third in hits.

Perhaps his best quality is that he loves to line guys up and makes opposing forwards think twice about trying to find the puck near the blue line, where he will bury anyone not paying attention.

There's going to be a lot of chatter in the weeks to come and a lot of players up for auction, including several from Anaheim.

Many will have bigger names than Francois Beauchemin, but not many would be a better fit for a Hawks team that needs more toughness and a physical presence on defense.

Bearing down

As Lovie Smith seeks to find a general manager who will more readily accommodate his needs -- in others words, do what he says -- let's hope he doesn't pick someone primarily because the new GM has a background in defense.

Smith will undoubtedly want a defensive end, tackle and corner through the draft or free agency, but the Bears' biggest needs are at receiver and on the offensive line, and up until now the Bears have been blind to what ails Jay Cutler.

They did a good job putting Mike Tice in as offensive coordinator and they're searching for an assistant who will run the passing game, but all of that essentially means Cutler will run the offense -- and he should.

But can Smith ignore Cutler's biggest needs yet again? It seems impossible, but many of us thought the same thing last year. And the year before that. And the year before that ...

Ivan Boldirev-ing

It's idiotic that Roberto Luongo placed fourth in an SI players poll of the most overrated NHL players. Idiotic, that is, that Dion Phaneuf, Alex Ovechkin and Scott Gomez placed ahead of him.

Yeah, I telegraphed that one.

Tebowmania

Seldom do you run across a more polarizing figure in sports than Tim Tebow, but for those who can't stomach him -- maybe even including John Elway -- the bad news is Tebow's playoff win over Pittsburgh only means that he will again be the biggest NFL story in 2012.

Love him or hate him, at least it's good for writers and late-night comics.

Patriot slayer

Some of David Letterman's Top 10 Little-Known Facts About Tim Tebow:

•"For breakfast has Icy Hot on toast."

•"If you tell him your street address, he'll tell you the value of your home."

•"Currently ninth on the Kim Kardashian athlete waiting list."

•"Back in college, threw a football 20 yards!"

•"Distracts defenders by flashing his beautiful, piercing blue eyes."

•"Can turn water into Gatorade."

Passing fancy

FanHouse's David Whitley: "It doesn't matter if (Tm Tebow) throws 5 touchdowns or 5 interceptions (Saturday) against New England. Tebow and his mania are here to stay. We'll pause now to let Bill Maher set his hair on fire."

Victory knee

NBC's Jay Leno: "You know the difference between Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Tim Tebow? When God tells Tim Tebow to run, he wins."

This just in ...

From emailer The Last Bear Fan: "The Bears have four GM interviews lined up. In other news, the guy who sells 'Streetwise' outside my train station was missing this morning."

And finally ...

Omaha World-Herald's Brad Dickson: "In a game last week, Kobe Bryant threw the ball off the backboard and essentially gave an assist to himself. It took 15 years, but Kobe finally found a Laker he doesn't mind passing to."

brozner@dailyherald.com

• Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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