Blackhawks won’t be getting Suter or Parise, take interest in Brodeur
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org July 1, 2012 10:36PM
The Hawks reportedly have reached out to Martin Brodeur (above) about a one-year deal, but they can forget about Ryan Suter or Zach Parise. | Elsa~Getty Images
Updated: August 3, 2012 6:27AM
Sunday was nothing like a year ago for the Blackhawks.
There was only one signing to announce during the first day of free agency, instead of a handful.
And the Hawks’ empty-handedness is disconcerting.
The news surrounding the team Sunday was limited to the addition of veteran defenseman Sheldon Brookbank, indications they’re out of the running for the best two free agents — defenseman Ryan Suter and winger Zach Parise — and word that they’re interested in the services of future Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur.
With the heat on general manager Stan Bowman to right past wrongs after two problematic seasons, it was widely thought the Hawks would be aggressive in free agency. But even if they made the attempt Sunday, the fear now is they’re being left behind.
By all accounts, the Hawks have always stood by goalie Corey Crawford, believing he can rebound in his third NHL season, but a league source said the Hawks have interest in Brodeur, a fixture of the New Jersey Devils for 18 seasons.
Brodeur, though, was only available in free agency because of the Devils financial woes. The league source indicated the Hawks would prefer to give Brodeur a one-year deal, and they reportedly contacted his camp Sunday. He recently hired prominent agent Pat Brisson, who also represents Hawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
But now he’s out of the picture.
Brouder, who backstopped the Devils to the Stanley Cup finals this past season, re-signed with the Devils early Monday morning, getting a two-year deal worth a reported $9 million. It was always believed his first choice was to stay in New Jersey.
The Hawks have more concerns than who’s in goal.
Like most every team, they were keen on Parise but especially wanted Suter. By Sunday night, however, reports indicated they weren’t on either stars’ short list, while the rival Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild were.
The Hawks also watched defenseman Jason Garrison sign a six-year deal with an annual $4.6 million cap hit with the rival Vancouver Canucks. Garrison’s stock rose after he had 16 goals for the Florida Panthers last season. His booming shot and power-play capabilities were coveted.
Matt Carle, a top-two defenseman for the Philadelphia Flyers, is the best blue-line option available for the Hawks now. Up front, playmaking wing P.A. Parenteau signed with the Colorado Avalanche, but some big names remain, including Olli Jokinen, Shane Doan and Jaromir Jagr.
As the free-agent pool dwindles, Bowman’s best — and only — option to revamp the team may be through the trade frenzy he predicts will happen.
‘‘We’re open to do a trade at any point if it makes sense,’’ Bowman said recently. ‘‘We’ve got a lot of guys who are attractive to other teams. Depending on how we want to work it, if we can get the right player and it’s the model we’re going with, then we’ll do it.”
A day into free agency, those ‘‘right players’’ have so far been out of his reach.