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Blackhawks flirting with putting Kane at center

Posted on: September 26, 2011 11:04 am
Edited on: September 26, 2011 11:15 am

By Brian Stubits

If the Blackhawks have any hole on their roster as it's currently constructed, it would be at the center position. Coach Joel Quenneville would like to have more depth in the circle, especially since Marcus Kruger isn't completely impressing the staff.

So it isn't surprising that the team is looking from within to find an understudy. But it is a slight surprise that Patrick Kane is in the discussion. The star wingman has shown enough to get a tryout at center in the coming days. Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago had the quotes from Quenneville.

"He's been playing center throughout scrimmages and practices now and we'll see," Quenneville said.

"Defensively he's gotten better as he's grown in that position with us, down low on the walls. It's something we're going to at least take a look at."

As Myers points out, how about Michael Frolik? He's been a wing man since coming into the NHL but he has potential in the faceoff dot. And by trying him out you aren't disrupting the rhythm Kane has built with Jonathan Toews on the top line.

Even if he is the best of the rest for the Blackhawks at center, I would think he's too valuable to the team in his current position to move. Sure, he could be a fill-in, but I can't imagine the team is giving serious consideration into Kane being one of the four centers. No way would they move him to the another line just to fill the position.

Much more likely scenarios if Kruger doesn't convince them he can handle the center spot include shifting the aforementioned Frolik or maybe Jamal Mayers to the position. Or they could look to fill the void from within the system or even on the scrap heap that is remaining free agents -- John Madden is available for a return to Chicago.

As for Kane's feelings on the possibility, all Quenneville would say is that Kane is "not complaining."

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 5:19 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: September 26, 2011 8:18 pm

Blackhawks flirting with putting Kane at center

This is a case of me not caring about spelling bro.  Sometimes I really do purposely misspell these english words.  Purposely annoying the internet's English Spelling Police is hilarious when done on purpose.  Didn't care this time though.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: September 26, 2011 5:01 pm

Blackhawks flirting with putting Kane at center

Who's Dave Tallon? Dale Tallon maybe...

Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: September 26, 2011 2:47 pm

Blackhawks flirting with putting Kane at center

madden was huge in penalty killing the whole playoffs,thats why they brought him in,he did his job well.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: September 26, 2011 1:12 pm

Blackhawks flirting with putting Kane at center

Stan knows what he is doing.  He will simply rely on Dave Tallon to give him Steven Weiss for like free, then steal his credit for success again.  Oh Stan, you.

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: September 26, 2011 12:24 pm

Blackhawks flirting with putting Kane at center

I felt that Madden had run out of gas by the last month of so of the 2010 season.   The series he was really relied on for was that Nashvilled series, and he struggled.   Great guy, but his best days were well behind him 2 years ago, I don't think he gets the Hawks closer to a cup, maybe bring him in if there's an  injury.    Anything more than a few minutes and a few faceoffs would be more than I would want to see.  

Too bad Hawks couldn't address the center situation, but had they, it may actually be a detriment moving forward after this year.    The good news is that they are much deeper than they were last year.   Frolik and Sharp are wings with experience at the position, and I would rather role the dice with Kruger and Mayers getting the center time over Johnson and Dowell.   Pirri may be an answer, but he's still at least a year away from being reliable imo.    Bowman has some wiggle room and the Hawks system is very deep with skaters that project well, it's possible we see a move this winter.  

I'll be very interested in how Kane plays center (if he does), and I'm very surprised that he would be relied on at that position defensively.

Since: Feb 28, 2011
Posted on: September 26, 2011 12:02 pm

Blackhawks flirting with putting Kane at center

The Blackhawks have more than $3 million in cap space available right now. Madden wouldn't require much at all at this point.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: September 26, 2011 11:47 am

Blackhawks flirting with putting Kane at center

I'm not sure how the Hawks are sitting cap wise, and I'm not sure how much salary John Madden would command at this point.  About $1.5 million?  Maybe a little less?  Regardless, I would love to see Madden come back to the Hawks.  His leadership and defensive abilities were missed last year.

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