Hawks in market for change

Updated 7/3/2012 8:32 PM
  • Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville continues to believe his team can play a puck-possession style built around a great offense. That's contrary to what most NHL teams are doing.

      Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville continues to believe his team can play a puck-possession style built around a great offense. That's contrary to what most NHL teams are doing. John Starks | Staff Photographer

The Blackhawks appear to have gone 0-for-New Jersey in the free-agent department.

And it's hardly a surprise.

Marty Brodeur was never coming here. His hiring of an agent and discussions with several teams was merely an extortion tool designed to get an extra year out of the Devils.

Besides, Brodeur is not nearly the goalie he was even a couple of years ago, and if the Hawks had signed him it would have been only to split time with Corey Crawford and -- more than anything -- counsel the Hawks' goaltender.

They would not have considered a two-year deal.

As for Zach Parise, the Hawks made a run at him, but there was talk three weeks ago that Parise had a deal in place with Pittsburgh.

The wrench was his hometown Wild getting into the mix and forcing Parise to consider going back to Minnesota. As of Tuesday night, and barring a huge offer from a team like the Hawks, Wings or Flyers, the choice appeared to be down to Pittsburgh or Minnesota.

What's most interesting is that the Hawks are thinking offense here. True, they need another top-six forward, and the addition of Parise would give the Hawks as high-powered an offense as anyone in hockey.

It also drives home the point that Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville continue to believe they can play a puck-possession style built around a great offense, something Quenneville stressed at season's end.

But most NHL teams are moving back to pre-lockout formulas focused on defense, hitting and shot-blocking.

That style of play has won five of seven Cups since the lockout, and it was the overwhelming, dominant theme in this year's postseason.

There's also the possibility that the Hawks planned to sign Parise and move one of their own superstar forwards in a deal to get a big defenseman, which continues to be their most glaring need.

This also doesn't mean the Hawks are done looking. They can still sign free agents and make trades.

By the end of Sunday's dealings, fans were quite concerned that the Hawks were sitting on their hands. By the end of business Monday, it was quite clear they were not.

As of Tuesday, they still had plenty of time to make something happen, and the expectation here is that they will make some changes -- maybe even a big one.

What's in a title?

Just about everyone believes John Paxson is still the Bulls general manager, even the Bulls players.

While training with Great Britain in Houston, Luol Deng was discussing his injured wrist when he said, "I wouldn't want me to play (in the Olympics) either. (Paxson) is an athlete, and as an athlete who used to play, Pax understands me wanting to play. But as a GM that's his job to try and get the team healthy and get the team ready for next year."

Yes, that is his job.

Ivan Boldirev-ing

The biggest NHL shocker of the last two weeks is Pittsburgh deciding on a 12-year contract extension for Sidney Crosby worth $104 million.

Since suffering a concussion in the Winter Classic in January 2011, Crosby has played in only 28 games, and is one hit away from a lifetime of eating oatmeal in a dark room.

There's little doubt he's still the best player in the game when healthy, but the odds of him staying healthy -- sadly -- are not very good.

Raffi Torres

Why did Gary Bettman reduce the suspension of chief NHL clown Raffi Torres from 25 to 21? It might have something to do with the collective bargaining that just began.

There's really no appeals process the way it stands because Bettman generally backs his disciplinary chiefs, and the NHLPA has been yapping about it for years.

With this decision, Bettman can say there really is an appeals process and he doesn't rubber stamp all suspensions, thereby claiming there's no need to bring an arbitrator into the process.

Just a theory.

Best point

New Sabres enforcer John Scott doesn't think goaltender Ryan Miller will have to worry about getting run over again next season. Miller was taken out by Milan Lucic last season and no one on Buffalo made a peep.

"Hopefully, with me next year, that doesn't happen," Scott said. "If it does happen, there's a different outcome."


If your village has canceled fireworks or if you just haven't decided yet where to go, check out Arlington Park on Wednesday night. The local oval puts on the best and longest show you will probably ever see, and it follows a race card that begins with a 3 p.m. post. Gates open at 1 p.m.

Best tweet

From @sportspickle: "Zach Parise's plan: wait a few days until the Devils go out of business and then sign somewhere else without guilt."

Just the dope

ABC's Jimmy Kimmel: "Lance Armstrong may be in trouble again. An anti-doping agency accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs. Federal authorities got suspicious when they noticed an American exercising."

Catching up

TBS' Conan O'Brien: "For the first time ever, Saudi Arabia is going to allow women to compete in the Summer Olympics. The rumor is that Saudi women are excellent runners -- because they're not allowed to drive."

And finally

NBC's Jay Leno, on Jerry Sandusky: "Penn State did not release a statement on the Sandusky verdict. As usual they're going to wait 10 years before they say anything."


•Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM, and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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