UA-59049186-1 Blackhawks Off-Season Update: Darling, Panik, Coaching Changes - Good if it Goes

Blackhawks Off-Season Update: Darling, Panik, Coaching Changes

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After another disappointing first-round playoff exit, the Blackhawks fired Rockford IceHogs (AHL) coach Ted Dent and NHL assistant coach Mike Kitchen. Kitchen was in charge of the penalty kill, which was atrocious early on in the season, and while it got better as time went on, was never really great. The downside here – the move probably isn’t sitting overly well with Joel Quenneville, who is one of Kitchen’s best friends and former teammates. Dent will be replaced by Jeremy Colliton, who played professionally for parts of nine seasons, mostly in the AHL, then coached Mora IK in Sweden for four years, compiling a record of 98-18-57 in that time.

The Hawks traded Scott Darling to Carolina for a 3rd-round draft pick in the 2017 draft. Darling was set to become a free agent, so the move isn’t all that surprising. Darling signed a 4-year/$16.6M deal with Carolina and this is the point where I get a little upset. Would Darling have given the Hawks a hometown discount? Would he have taken 4 yrs/$16M to stay home if the Hawks were going to give him the starting job? Would he have taken even less for an extra year – say 5 yrs/$19M? Even if he wouldn’t have, $4.15M AAV is at least $350K below what I would have considered a good deal given the current goalie market. I get why the Hawks stuck with Corey Crawford – he’s the more proven commodity – but at some point, the Hawks are going to have to take some chances and I think Darling showed enough to merit being one of those chances.

The Hawks signed Czech forward David Kampf to a 2-year/$1.85M deal. Last year for Pirati Chomutov of the Czech Extraliga, Kampf scored 15 goals with 16 assists in 52 games. He’ll likely play in Rockford.

The Hawks signed Richard Panik to a 2-year/$5.6M extension. Panik almost certainly could have gotten more elsewhere, but given that his career took off in Chicago, taking less to come back makes sense. Remember, when the Hawks acquired him, he was playing in the AHL and the Hawks got him for Jeremy Morin, who it was pretty obvious the Hawks were going to trade regardless.

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

E-mail: schroeder.giig@gmail.com

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