Bowman, Quenneville & Player Development (Part 2)

Building off of my previous piece on the realities facing the Chicago Blackhawks due to the salary cap, I questioned the willingness of Head Coach Joel Quenneville to develop young players on the NHL roster given that he has not really had to do that very often during his time in Chicago. In the past when I have pointed out Quenneville’s hesitance to let younger players learn, people have often given a few examples of young players making the team to refute my claims. This spurred me to look through the past several years of player usage and movement to see if I was simply being too hard on him.

(All data regarding this season’s games played is current within the last two weeks. Data used throughout was obtained from: http://www.hockey-reference.com; http://www.hockeydb.com; http://www.prosportstransactions.com; and, http://www.nhl.com. Many thanks to these resources for making this information consistently available.)

1990-91 Through 2014-15chi 9091 to 1415 roster

The graph above shows the percentage of players on the Chicago roster during the regular season who were regulars on the roster the season prior. In determining this, I considered any skater with at least 20 games played during the season, excluding playoffs, as a regular roster player. They goalies were determined on a case by case basis since often goalies are called up to fill in sporadically, but they are not usually considered as part of the roster at the end of the season. Those skaters with under 20 games played or who were acquired in the offseason were obviously not part of the roster the prior season for my purposes here.

The major low point for the percentage of players returning to the roster was the 2005-06 season. After having the 2004-05 season cancelled, the team built itself around a crop of young players including Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and a few others. The low point after that is evidenced by the two seasons after winning the Stanley Cup in 09-10 when the roster was changed due to salary cap concerns and injuries.

chi 9091 to 1314 playoff roster

Above is a graph of Chicago’s players appearing in at least one playoff game who were and were not on the regular season roster the prior year. Again, the sell off after the 09-10 Cup win is an obvious marker here. Last season’s percentage was the highest during the time frame being examined (1990-91 through 2013-14) with 91.97% of the players appearing in the playoffs having been on the regular season roster the year prior.

This is unique territory in terms of the roster over the past 25 years. Does it mean that fewer prospects are being given a chance in the NHL? Is the lineup just so hard to crack that using prospects is unnecessary? Has management done such a good job of keeping the core players together that roster turnover hasn’t been a problem? The answer is probably a bit of all of these.

To illustrate how the team has gotten to its current roster, I took a look at how players were used throughout the regular season and the playoffs from 2005-06 to the present. Every player that appeared in at least one NHL game for Chicago was grouped by his time in the league.

Prospects are those players who have yet to play enough games in a season to be considered a rookie (25 games or more) or had appeared in less than 15-20 games per season for the preceding few seasons without ever sticking in the lineup. The players in their rookie season are in group 1. Players in their second NHL season are in group 2. Players in the league for 3-6 years are in group 3+. Players in the league for 7-9 years are in group 7+. Finally, players in the league for 10 years or more are in group 10+. I then took the games played by the players in each group and found the percentage of games those players appeared in for the regular season and playoffs where applicable to get an idea of how players were used.

Player Usage 2005-2006

chi 0506 roster pct

In 2005-06, prospects made up the largest percentage of players on Chicago’s roster but appeared in the smallest percentage of the regular season games. The next highest group of players, those with 3-6 seasons in the NHL, appeared in the largest percentage of games, followed closely by the rookies. The rookies that season were forwards Brandon Bochenski, Mark Cullen, Matt Ellison, Pavel Vorobiev and Rene Bourque while the rookie defensemen were Brent Seabrook, Danny Richmond, Duncan Keith and Michal Barinka.

Player Usage 2006-2007

chi 0607 roster pct

Again in the 2006-07 season, we see Prospects accounting for the largest percentage of the roster followed by the players with 3-6 seasons of experience, who also played in the largest percentage of games as well. Prospects getting some games of NHL experience during this season included: Adam Burish, Bryan Bickell, Carl Corazzini, Colin Fraser, Dave Bolland, David Koci, Jonas Nordqvist, Martin St. Pierre, Matt Keith, Mike Blunden, P.A. Parenteau, Sebastien Caron, Troy Brouwer and Dustin Byfuglien.

Player Usage 2007-2008

chi 0708 roster pct

Things started to change a bit in the 2007-08 season. Players with 10 years or more of NHL experience suddenly accounted for as much of the roster as the rookies and second year players. This veteran group appeared in the largest percentage of the regular season games as well. Rookies and players with 3-6 years of experience followed the veterans in the percentage of games played. It’s interesting to note that two of the 10+ group players were goaltenders Nikolai Khabibulin and Patrick Lalime. The other members of this group were Robert Lang, Sergei Samsonov, Yanic Perreault and Martin Lapointe.

The rookies accounting for such a large percentage of game appearances is no surprise considering Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Dustin Byfuglien and Dave Bolland were part of that group. Bolland was reassigned to the AHL four times during the season and recalled three times but ended up with enough games played for this to be his rookie showing for our purposes.

2008-2009

Quenneville was hired as head coach on October 16, 2008 after the firing of Denis Savard. This move came a few months after the Blackhawks had hired Scotty Bowman as Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations. Within days of coming aboard, roster moves (described below) were made to adjust the team to Quenneville’s liking.

Forwards

Troy Brouwer was called up and Jack Skille was assigned to the AHL. Brouwer would eventually become a fixture in the lineup.

Defensemen

Niklas Hjalmarsson was assigned to the AHL and Cam Barker was called up. During the season, the Blackhawks had a large number of injuries to defensemen, including stints on IR for Aaron Johnson and James Wisniewski (torn ACL preseason) as well as a season ending injury to Brent Sopel. In January of 2009, with Sopel, Barker and Keith all injured at the time, Hjalmarsson got called up from the AHL only to be reassigned a few days later.

Once Wisniewski was healthy, he played for a few months and was traded to Anaheim, with Petri Kontiola, for Samuel Pahlsson, Logan Stephenson and a pick. At that point, Hjalmarsson was again called up, finished the season with the NHL team and appeared in all of the team’s playoff games. All told, the Blackhawks saw 10 different players on defense that season with the 6 in the playoffs being: Cam Barker, Brian Campbell, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Matt Walker (who had previously played for Quenneville earlier in his career).

Goaltenders

With Nikolai Khabibulin battling injuries for part of the season, Cristobal Huet, Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford saw some playing time.

Offseason Moves

A few other players got looks during the season including Pascal Pelletier and Tim Brent who the team had traded for, but who became unrestricted free agents during the summer of 2009. Marty Havlat, Khabibulin, Walker and Pahlsson also became UFAs that summer. The team went on to make a big splash by acquiring Marian Hossa in free agency along with signing John Madden, Tomas Kopecky and re-signing Aaron Johnson, Ben Eager, Cam Barker, Colin Fraser, Corey Crawford, Troy Brouwer, Bryan Bickell and Kris Versteeg.

Player Usage

chi 0809 roster pct

The players in the 3+ group made up the largest percentage of the roster and appeared in the most regular season and playoff games. While many prospects were used due to injuries during the season, the group 3+ and group 2 players accounted for the majority of the games played. These two groups notably included: Cam Barker, Dave Bolland, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Dustin Byfuglien, James Wisniewski, Andrew Ladd and Patrick Sharp.

2009-2010

Heading into the 2009-10 season, the roster was pretty much set with all of the big names many fans so fondly remember from that season.

Forwards

Dave Bolland, Marian Hossa, Adam Burish and Ben Eager all spent considerable time on IR that season and in order to have enough bodies on the roster, Bryan Bickell, Jack Skille and Jake Dowell were shuffled back and forth between the NHL and AHL. There was also quite a bit of paper shuffling to save money on the salary cap at this point, but by the end of the season, Bickell had gained 16 games of regular season experience along with appearing in 4 playoff games. Skille had 6 regular season games and Dowell had 3, although neither was used in the playoffs.

Defensemen

Defenseman Aaron Johnson was traded very early in the season to the Calgary Flames for Kyle Greentree, who was immediately assigned to the AHL.  The Blackhawks defense had the familiar faces and Niklas Hjalmarsson had cemented himself as one of the mainstays after injuries gave him a chance to break into the lineup the season prior. In February of 2010, the Blackhawks traded Cam Barker to the Minnesota Wild for defensemen Kim Johnsson and Nick Leddy. Johnsson played in only 8 games before suffering a concussion that essentially ended his career. Prior to Johnsson’s injury, defenseman Nick Boynton was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks for future considerations that, so far as my research has been able to uncover, never came to fruition. A few days after Johnsson’s injury, Brian Campbell suffered a broken clavicle and rib. Boynton was called up as a result, appearing in 7 regular season and 3 playoff games. Nick Leddy signed an entry level contract with the team that summer.

Offseason Moves

The team had been built to win, but the realities of the salary cap caused a huge purge of talent. Niklas Hjalmarsson was re-signed after being sent an offer sheet by the San Jose Sharks. Goaltender Antti Niemi became a free agent after the team declined the salary arbitration ruling.

Trades

910 trades
Player Usage

chi 0910 roster pct

It should come as no surprise that the 3+ group dominated the roster and the games played during this season. That group was comprised of Burish, Seabrook, Bolland, Keith, Byfuglien, Toews, Kane, Ladd, Eager, Sharp and Tomas Kopecky. The only Prospect to appear in playoff games that season was Bryan Bickell. Two of the prospects used during the season were claimed off of waivers and lost to waiver claims shortly thereafter.

2010-2011

Forwards

Injuries to Patrick Sharp, Dave Bolland, Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, Fernando Pisani and Patrick Kane during the season caused Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, Evan Brophey, Ben Smith, Rob Klinkhammer, Ryan Potulny and Jeff Taffe to be called up. Pirri, Brophey, Taffe and Klinkhammer each played 1 game during the regular season. The team had traded for Taffe in the offseason and it is interesting to note that he had been drafted by the St. Louis Blues while Quenneville was coaching there. Not seeing what they wanted out of the call ups, free agent veteran forward Ryan Johnson was signed in December of 2010 and called up the same day. Johnson, considered a defensive type of forward known for blocking shots, had previously played for Quenneville when he coached the St. Louis Blues.

Ben Smith saw more time in the lineup late in the season and in the playoffs after being recalled as a “Black Ace”. In February of 2011, the team traded Jack Skille, Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan to Florida for forward Michael Frolik and goaltender Alexander Salak. Frolik was used in the lineup during the regular season and all of the team’s playoff games.

Defensemen

After Brian Campbell was placed on IR with a knee injury and Hjalmarsson was suspended for 2 games, the team called up Jassen Cullimore to help fill the void. Cullimore had previously played for the Blackhawks from 2005-07, so he was a known commodity at the time of his call up. Nick Leddy was assigned to the AHL after Hjalmarsson returned from his suspension. Cullimore remained with the team until mid-December when forward Ryan Johnson was signed.

In February of 2011, the Blackhawks traded forward Ryan Potulny and a pick (which eventually became Xavier Ouellet) to the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Chris Campoli and a conditional pick (not exercised).

Around this same time in February of 2011, Niklas Hjalmarsson suffered a minor injury and was considered day to day. Nick Boynton was also said to have a minor injury and was sent to the AHL.  Nick Leddy was called up. Defenseman Jordan Hendry tore his ACL in late February and with the only other player available to play defense being John Scott, Leddy got his chance to stick in the lineup. Leddy appeared in 46 regular season games and all 7 of the team’s playoff games that season.

Goaltenders

Without what they considered an experienced goaltender, the Blackhawks signed Marty Turco to a 1 year contract during the summer. As the season went on, Corey Crawford took over the starting role and appeared in all of the team’s playoff games that season.

Offseason Moves

The Blackhawks were again faced with looming problems due to the salary cap after the season. They had to move salary and every team in the league knew this. Brian Campbell’s contract was massive and despite what a good player he was (and continues to be), he was traded to Florida for Rostislav Olesz on June 24, 2011.

Trades

1011 trades

More moves on defense came in the offseason with the Blackhawks acquiring the rights to Steve Montador and subsequently signing him to a 4 year contract. They were unable to reach an agreement with Chris Campoli and as such, he became a free agent. The team had already signed long time NHL defenseman Sean O’Donnell and defenseman Sami Lepisto to one year contracts apparently knowing Campoli was unlikely to return.

Several forwards were re-signed and brought on to the team during the offseason and goaltender Ray Emery was brought in to back up Corey Crawford.

Player Usage

chi 1011 roster pct

Again, the core group that had been kept together after the salary purge accounted for the majority of the roster and playoff games. The Prospects appearing in playoff games included Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith, both of whom joined the team after their seasons ended with their prior teams (Sweden, NCAA).

 2011-2012

The season started off poorly in terms of injuries and continued that way for the rest of the season.

Forwards

In October, Viktor Stalberg and Ben Smith were placed on IR. Smith would end up back in the AHL shortly thereafter and played only 13 games for the NHL club that season. Brandon Pirri, Ben Smith, Andrew Shaw and Jeremy Morin served as the main injury replacements early in the season. Marcus Kruger was called up early in the season after some forwards missed time due to injury but suffered a concussion in early December of 2011. He returned to the lineup too soon and was forced to take longer to recover.  Jimmy Hayes was also called up as an injury replacement and subsequently reassigned to the AHL.

Rostislav Olesz had suffered a knee injury that eventually required that he be waived to the AHL and his contract later bought out. Daniel Carcillo was reinstated from a suspension on October 9, 2011, only to be suspended again at the end of the month. He was placed on IR in December due to an upper body injury. Within a few days of being activated from IR, Carcillo was suspended for boarding and suffered a season ending knee injury during the illegal play. Andrew Brunette suffered a lower body injury in early April that kept him out for the remainder of the regular season; however, he was able to play in 6 playoff games.

In January of 2012, Jonathan Toews was placed on IR with what was described as a wrist injury. What most did not know was that he had suffered a concussion and tried to play through it. The effects of the head injury were too much and in February, he was considered out for the remainder of the season. He did return for the playoffs, but obviously, not having him for a large portion of the season was very hard for the team. Losing Marian Hossa to a head injury in the playoffs was also quite difficult and added to a rather long list of players suffering head injuries during this rather terrible season.

The Blackhawks, while both Sharp and Toews were on IR, traded AHLer Brian Connelly to the Calgary Flames for veteran forward Brendan Morrison. Morrison played 11 regular season games and 3 playoff games for the Blackhawks. In February, as a result of injuries, Jimmy Hayes, Andrew Shaw, Brandon Bollig were called up. Hayes played the rest of the season in the NHL as well as 2 playoff games. Shaw and Bollig also remained on the NHL roster through the playoffs. Also during February, John Scott was traded to the New York Rangers.

Defensemen

In January, defenseman Steve Montador suffered a concussion that would not only keep him out of the lineup for a while, but sadly would eventually end his hockey career. Montador tried to return to playing in January, but his concussion symptoms continued and he was again placed on IR. By March, it was clear that he would not be able to return to playing hockey during the 2011-12 season.

After Montador’s injury, the team called Dylan Olsen up for a short time but he was reassigned to the AHL. When defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson sustained a concussion in February of 2012, Olsen was again brought up with the NHL team, appearing in 28 regular season games and 1 playoff game. The defense was bolstered by the acquisition of defenseman Johnny Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets for 2nd and 3rd round picks in the 2013 draft.

Hjalmarsson tried to return to the lineup in March but a few days later was again considered day to day for an “undisclosed injury”. Sami Lepisto, an offseason free agent acquisition, was injured in March but returned to play 3 playoff games at the end of the season. Duncan Keith also missed some games at the end of the season due to being suspended, but was able to play in the playoffs.

 Goaltenders

Ray Emery missed a few games here and there for various reasons during the season, but Corey Crawford stayed relatively healthy so there were no dramatic moves necessary at the goalie position.

Offseason Moves

Several players were re-signed in the offseason, most notably Johnny Oduya, Jamal Mayers, Ben Smith and Brandon Bollig. Defensemen, Michal Rozsival and Sheldon Brookbank were signed by the team as well. During the lockout, many of the players signed with teams in Europe and returned once the NHL season was announced.

Player Usage

chi 1112 roster pct

The Prospects percentage was quite low this season which is odd given that it hovered at or above 20% for many of the prior season. The thing that stands out the most on this graph is playoff game usage. Rookies Andrew Shaw, Jimmy Hayes, Dylan Olsen and Marcus Kruger as well as second year players Bryan Bickell, Nick Leddy and Corey Crawford were called upon during the playoffs for various reasons. Crawford was the starting goaltender of course, but some of the others were used due to the veterans struggling and the injury to Marian Hossa.

2012-2013

The lockout shortened season began with Olesz and Montador on IR due to their ongoing medical problems. They were eventually assigned the the AHL and their contracts were bought out.

Forwards

Daniel Carcillo started the season on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, but injured his knee. This allowed Brandon Saad to get out of the press box and into the lineup. Both Dave Bolland and Marian Hossa struggled with injuries during the season. Patrick Sharp was placed on IR after separating his shoulder against the Colorado Avalanche and remained out for about a month. Upon returning, he had some setbacks that caused him to miss a few more games.

Due to the shortened season schedule being a virtual sprint to the playoffs, injury replacements were rather chaotic. Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes, Brandon Pirri and Brandon Bollig were the most frequently called upon to provide a warm body on the roster.

In April, Michal Handzus was acquired from San Jose for a 2013 4th round pick that eventually was traded back to Chicago during the summer and became Robin Norell.

Defensemen

The defensemen faired far better in terms of staying healthy throughout the short season so there was not much done in terms of letting younger players get a taste of NHL action. Ryan Stanton and Shawn Lalonde both played one game during the season. When Duncan Keith was suspended during the playoffs, offseason free agent signing Sheldon Brookbank took his spot for a game.

Goaltenders

Crawford and Emery had some injury issues during the season, but they did not require much in terms of backup. Carter Hutton did play in one regular season game.

Offseason Moves

Corey Crawford, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marcus Kruger, Nick Leddy, Bryan Bickell, Ryan Stanton, Michal Rozsival and Michal Handzus were re-signed at the conclusion of the season. Goaltenders Antti Raanta and Nikolai Khabibulin were signed as free agents.

Trades

1112 trades

 Player Usage

chi 1213 roster pct

The healthy core of the team was mainly spread across the 3+, 7+ and 10+ groups during the lockout shortened season and as such, the Prospects, rookies and second year players were used sparingly during the regular season and playoffs. Drew Leblanc was used a bit at the end of the season after being signed following the conclusion of the NCAA season.

2013-2014

Bryan Bickell spent a fair amount of time on IR after hurting his knee in a game against Colorado. Bickell had several offseason procedures and was skating with knee braces as well for most of the season. Marian Hossa, Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews also missed time with injuries during the season. Only Shaw missed any extended time in the playoffs, but he was able to return during the second round.

After making the club out of camp, Jimmy Hayes was reassigned to the AHL and Brandon Pirri was called up. In November, Hayes was traded along with defenseman Dylan Olsen to the Florida Panthers for Kris Versteeg and prospect Phillippe Lefebrve. Pirri played with the NHL club for a while and was reassigned to the AHL. He was called up again for a few games and then traded to the Florida Panthers for 2 draft picks in March of 2014.

Jeremy Morin, Brad Mills and Joakim Nordstrom were the main injury replacements during the season. Mills played in 3 games, was then on IR for a while and reassigned to the AHL.  Peter Regin was brought in through a trade with the Islanders (draft picks). He played 17 games in the regular season and 5 in the playoffs. Near the end of the season, when the “Black Aces” are called up, highly touted prospect Teuvo Teravainen was brought to North America to make his NHL debut. He played 3 games and was assigned to the AHL.

Defensemen

Johnny Oduya missed about a month of time to injuries during the regular season. He broke his foot during game 7 of the Western Conference Final, but was able to start the following season on time. Michal Rozsival also missed about a month of time during the season due to injury. He was healthy for the playoffs. The Blackhawks acquired young defenseman David Rundblad in March of 2014 from the Arizona Coyotes for a draft pick. He played in 5 games during the regular season.

Michael Kostka, signed as a free agent having played for the Toronto Maple Leafs prior to that, played 9 games for the Blackhawks and spent a while on IR for an injury. He was waived in February and claimed by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ryan Stanton had been claimed off of waivers in September of 2013 by the Vancouver Canucks, so this was the second defenseman to be claimed from Chicago that season. Other than the few games played by Rundblad after he was acquired, no other defensive prospects were given NHL time during the season.

Goaltenders

After a shaky start to the season, Nikolai Khabibulin was placed on season ending IR in November due to a serious groin injury. Antti Raanta was recalled from the AHL to take his place. Less than a month later, Corey Crawford sustained a lower body injury that required about a month to heal. Jason LaBarbera was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers to back up Raanta during that time and later assigned to the AHL. Kent Simpson also had one NHL start during the season before returning to the AHL.

Offseason Moves

After the season concluded, Antti Raanta, Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin, Peter Regin, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were all re-signed by the team. Brad Richards, Kyle Cumiskey (who played for Quenneville while with the Colorado Avalanche), Scott Darling and Cody Bass were signed to one year contracts. Brandon Bollig, who had been re-signed during the season, was traded to the Calgary Flames for a 3rd round draft pick.

Player Usage

chi 1314 roster pct

This graph looks much like the prior season; however, this season was not shortened by a lockout. The older players on the team were used far more than the younger players not only in the playoffs but during the regular season as well. The Prospects percentage of the roster was unusually low during this season. The only prospect used for more than a handful of games at the very end of the season was Joakim Nordstrom. Matt Carey and Teuvo Teravainen were used in a few games at the conclusion of their respective leagues’ seasons (NCAA, SM-liiga).

2014-2015

Just before the new season began, the Blackhawks were over the salary cap. They had to move some contracts and that deal happened October 4, 2014. The Blackhawks traded defenseman Nick Leddy and goalie Kent Simpson to the New York Islanders for defensemen T.J. Brennan and Ville Pokka as well as goalie Anders Nilsson. The team had just the day prior signed forward Daniel Carcillo to a one year contract.

Forwards

Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg have been a bit injury plagued this season and that has given younger players an opportunity to get a bit of time with the NHL club. Phillip Danault, Ryan Hartman and Peter Regin have played a few games apiece as injury replacements, but all have been reassigned to the AHL.

Jeremy Morin, no longer waiver exempt, made the team to start the season but only played in 15 games with sparing minutes before being excused to the press box. He was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 14, 2014 for defenseman Tim Erixon. Joakim Nordstrom, known for his defensive game more than anything else, has bounced between the NHL and AHL clubs fairly often this season, but it remains to be seen whether he can stick in the lineup. Teuvo Teravainen was called up when Kris Versteeg went out with injury and played in 15 games. He was subsequently reassigned to the AHL. Ben Smith was recently traded and Teuvo Teravainen was recalled from the AHL.

Defensemen

Trevor van Riemsdyk, signed the prior season as a free agent out of college, surprised everyone with making the team out of training camp. While often used in sheltered minutes, van Riemsdyk showed a lot of potential in his first 18 games. He broke his kneecap blocking a shot and needed surgery to fix it. Since being activated from LTIR, van Riemsdyk has been assigned to the AHL. While the hope is that he will be recalled to the NHL team, it is unclear if that is going to happen.

 After van Riemsdyk’s injury, Prospect Adam Clendening was called up and played 4 games for the Blackhawks before being reassigned to the AHL. Clendening was then traded to the Vancouver Cancucks for defense prospect Gustav Forsling on January 29, 2015.  Tim Erixon was acquired in December presumably to fill the 6th defenseman spot alongside Michal Rozsival, but after being used in only 6 games, it would seem he was not what Quenneville was looking for. Klas Dahlbeck was called up after the van Riemsdyk injury and before the Erixon trade but played only 4 games before being reassigned to the AHL.

After playing very sparingly in the beginning of the season, David Rundblad has seen more time recently. This seems to be a pick your poison choice for Quenneville as his only other option prior to van Riemsdyk getting healthy has been Erixon. Erixon was waived by the team and claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kyle Cumiskey was brought up for 4 games before being sent back to the AHL. Now that Johnny Oduya has an upper body injury and is likely to miss a few weeks because of it, some interesting choices lie ahead. As it stands right now Seabrook, Keith, Hjalmarsson, Rozsival, Rundblad and Timonen comprise the defense core.

Goaltenders

Corey Crawford was injured early in the season so backup Antti Raanta was pressed into service. Scott Darling was called up from the AHL and played very well. Darling was recently recalled and re-signed while Raanta has been reassigned to the AHL. Both goaltenders played well when they have been called upon due to injuries to Crawford this season.

Player Usage

chi 1415 roster pct

Again, we see that the Prospects representation on this graph is fairly low. The majority of the roster spots and games played have come through players in the 3+, 7+ and 10+ groups.

It would appear at this point that the 7+ and 10+ groups will see even more action as the regular season draws to a close. The team is obviously “all in” on making a run for the Stanley Cup this season. This likely reflects the knowledge that the window for keeping the core group of players that has been so successful over the past several years will not be open forever. The minimal use of prospects and other young players over the past few years is also reflective of having kept a very strong group of players together over that time and working in pieces to complete the roster. The concern is that the pieces have more often come from free agent veteran players or those on expiring deals rather than prospects in the system.

From a “win now” mentality, this is perfectly acceptable; however, the “core” group is aging. They are not old by any means, but new young stars need to start being added to this group to avoid a massive drop off in team success in the coming seasons. Brandon Saad is a perfect example of this. He becomes a restricted free agent this summer and will need to be re-signed. Trevor van Riemsdyk, at least at this point, seems like he could become one of the core players on defense going forward. Teuvo Teravainen also looks to be one of the core offensive players in the coming season.

If players who have been in the trade rumor conversation over the last season or two are in fact moved this offseason, the development of the prospects becomes all the more important. The defense in particular could see a massive overhaul after this season ends. Many have mentioned Brent Seabrook as a potential trade candidate this summer. If he is traded, only Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson would be familiar faces returning to the blue line next season. Assuming van Riemsdyk makes the team, that leaves four defensive positions up for grabs. It is hard to believe that David Rundblad will be skating in one of those spots. He is a restricted free agent at the end of the season so I do not think it would be out of the question to see Chicago trade his rights to another team.

Quenneville’s history with defensemen is essentially having high standards and little patience for mistakes from young players. Although this is a fairly common approach by NHL coaches, the salary cap is going to render this impossible in the coming seasons. Unless big moves are made in the offseason to clear up some room under the salary cap, it is difficult to see how Chicago will be able to avoid using a slew of prospects on defense. It will be very difficult to bring in a veteran defenseman of any worth. Two of the top defensive prospects in Chicago’s system, Adam Clendening and Klas Dahlbeck, have been traded this season. There are certainly some quality defensive players waiting for their chance to grab a roster spot, but I have serious difficulty imagining a blue line coached by Joel Quenneville that has three or four rookies on it. 

Some very tough decisions lie ahead for Chicago’s front office. They have had the luxury of keeping a very talented group of players together for a long time with great success. This may also be their curse over the next few seasons.

prospects 1 2 percentage

Prospects, rookies and second year players have seen increasingly dwindling NHL game action in Chicago. After years of using veterans to fill out the lineup, Joel Quenneville’s approach to the entire team is going to have to change. This will no longer be a question of using a prospect to fill in here and there when a trusted veteran is out with an injury, which has been the status quo in Chicago since Quenneville’s arrival. The adjustment to suddenly increasing the use of these young players promises to be very difficult and I worry that it may not go well. I hope I am wrong of course, because as I have said before, I think Quenneville is an exceptional coach. I simply wonder if this dramatic change is going to prove to be too much in too short a period of time.

TABLES

DEFENSEMEN ADDED TO CHICAGO ROSTER SINCE 2008-09

Includes seasons not equal to a full rookie season by prospects from 2008-09 to present as being added to the roster. Call ups, reassignments and games played are for the listed season only. Results refer to what ultimately became of the player in regard to Chicago’s current roster, not the specific season listed.

SEASON PLAYER STATUS MANNER ACQUIRED TO AHL FROM AHL NHL GP PLAYOFF GP RESULT
2008-2009 NIKLAS HJALMARSSON PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 2 2 21 17 ROSTER
2008-2009 AARON JOHNSON 3+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 1 1 38 0 UFA
2008-2009 MATT WALKER* 3+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0 0 65 17 UFA
2008-2009 BRIAN CAMPBELL 7+ ROSTER OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 82 17 TRADED
2009-2010 NIKLAS HJALMARSSON 1 CALL UP DRAFTED 2 2 77 22 ROSTER
2009-2010 JORDAN HENDRY 1 CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 2 2 43 15 UFA
2009-2010 KIM JOHNSSON 7+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION  0 0 8 0 UFA
2009-2010 NICK BOYNTON 7+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 1 0 7 3 WAIVED
2010-2011 NICK LEDDY 1 CALL UP MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 5 6 46 7 TRADED
2010-2011 CHRIS CAMPOLI 3+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 0  0 19 7 UFA
2010-2011 JOHN SCOTT 3+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 40 4 TRADED
2010-2011 JASSEN CULLIMORE+ 10+ CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 2 2 36 0 UFA
2011-2012 DYLAN OLSEN 1 CALL UP DRAFTED 2 2 28 1 TRADED
2011-2012 JOHNNY ODUYA 3+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 0  0 18 6 ROSTER
2011-2012 SAMI LEPISTO 3+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 0  0 26 3 UFA
2011-2012 STEVE MONTADOR 7+ TRADE OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  1 0 52 0 WAIVED
2011-2012 SEAN O’DONNELL 10+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 0  0 51 2 UFA
2012-2013 SHAWN LALONDE PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 1 1 1 0 UFA
2012-2013 RYAN STANTON PROSPECT CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 2 2 1 0 WAIVED
2012-2013 SHELDON BROOKBANK 3+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0 0 26 1 UFA
2012-2013 MICHAL ROZSIVAL 10+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 27 23 ROSTER
2013-2014 MIKE KOSTKA 2 CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 1 1 9 0 WAIVED
2013-2014 DAVID RUNDBLAD 3+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION  0 0 5 0 ROSTER
2014-2015 ADAM CLENDENING PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 2 1 4 N/A TRADED
2014-2015 KLAS DAHLBECK PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 3 2 4 N/A TRADED
2014-2015 TREVOR VAN RIEMSDYK 1 FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 1  0 18 N/A AHL
2014-2015 DAVID RUNDBLAD 3+ ROSTER MIDSEASON ACQUISITION  0 0 37 N/A ROSTER
2014-2015 TIM ERIXON 3+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 1  0 6 N/A WAIVED
2014-2015 KYLE CUMISKEY* 3+ CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 1 1 4 N/A AHL

*Player previously coached by Quenneville

+Player previously played for Chicago

FORWARDS ADDED TO CHICAGO ROSTER SINCE 2008-09

Includes seasons not equal to a full rookie season by prospects from 2008-09 to present as being added to the roster. Call ups, reassignments and games played are for the listed season only. Results refer to what ultimately became of the player in regard to Chicago’s current roster, not the specific season listed.

SEASON PLAYER STATUS MANNER ACQUIRED TO AHL FROM AHL NHL GP PLAYOFF GP RESULT
2011-2012 ANDREW SHAW 1 CALL UP DRAFTED 2 2 37 3 ROSTER
2010-2011 BEN SMITH PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 3 3 6 7 TRADED
2011-2012 BEN SMITH PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 5 4 13  0 TRADED
2012-2013 BEN SMITH PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 1 1 1 1 TRADED
2010-2011 BRANDON PIRRI PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 3 3 1 0 TRADED
2011-2012 BRANDON PIRRI PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 5 4 5  0 TRADED
2012-2013 BRANDON PIRRI PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 2 2 1 0 TRADED
2013-2014 BRANDON PIRRI 1 CALL UP DRAFTED 3 2 28  0 TRADED
2011-2012 BRANDON SAAD PROSPECT BLACK ACE DRAFTED  0 0 2 2 ROSTER
2012-2013 BRANDON SAAD 1 ROSTER DRAFTED 1 1 46 23 ROSTER
2009-2010 BRYAN BICKELL PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 5 3 16 4 ROSTER
2010-2011 BRYAN BICKELL 1 ROSTER DRAFTED  0  0 78 5 ROSTER
2010-2011 EVAN BROPHEY PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 2 1 1 0 WAIVED
2008-2009 JACK SKILLE PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 2 2 8  0 TRADED
2009-2010 JACK SKILLE PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 2 2 6  0 TRADED
2010-2011 JACK SKILLE 1 ROSTER DRAFTED  0 0 49 0 TRADED
2008-2009 JAKE DOWELL PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 1 2 1  0 UFA
2009-2010 JAKE DOWELL PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 1 2 3 0 UFA
2010-2011 JAKE DOWELL 1 ROSTER DRAFTED  0 0 79 2 UFA
2013-2014 JOAKIM NORDSTROM PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 2 2 16 7 ROSTER
2014-2015 JOAKIM NORDSTROM 1 CALL UP DRAFTED 4 4 24 N/A ROSTER
2010-2011 MARCUS KRUGER PROSPECT BLACK ACE DRAFTED  0  0 7 5 ROSTER
2011-2012 MARCUS KRUGER 1 CALL UP DRAFTED 1 1 71 6 ROSTER
2014-2015 PHILLIP DANAULT PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 2 1 2 N/A AHL
2014-2015 RYAN HARTMAN PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 2 1 5 N/A AHL
2013-2014 TEUVO TERAVAINEN PROSPECT BLACK ACE DRAFTED 1  0 3 0 ROSTER
2014-2015 TEUVO TERAVAINEN PROSPECT CALL UP DRAFTED 2 2 15 N/A ROSTER
2008-2009 TROY BROUWER 1 CALL UP DRAFTED 1 1 69 17 TRADED
2009-2010 ANDREW EBBETT PROSPECT CLAIMED MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 1  0 10 0 WAIVED
2011-2012 BRENDAN MORRISON 10+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 11 3 UFA
2008-2009 COLIN FRASER 1 ROSTER MIDSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 81 2 TRADED
2008-2009 KRIS VERSTEEG 1 ROSTER MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 0  0 78 17 TRADED
2013-2014 KRIS VERSTEEG*+ 3+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 63 15 ROSTER
2010-2011 MICHAEL FROLIK 3+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 28 7 TRADED
2012-2013 MICHAL HANDZUS+ 10+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION  0 0 11 23 UFA
2014-2015 PETER REGIN 3+ CALL UP MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 2 1 4 N/A AHL
2013-2014 PETER REGIN 3+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 0 0 17 5 AHL
2009-2010 RADEK SMOLENAK PROSPECT CLAIMED MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 1  0 1 0 WAIVED
2010-2011 RYAN JOHNSON* 10+ FA SIGNING MIDSEASON ACQUISITION 1 0 34 6 UFA
2008-2009 SAMUEL PAHLSSON 7+ TRADE MIDSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 13 17 UFA
2011-2012 ANDREW BURNETTE 10+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0 0 78 6 UFA
2013-2014 BRAD MILLS 2 CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 3 2 3  0 UFA
2014-2015 BRAD RICHARDS 10+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 57 N/A ROSTER
2011-2012 BRANDON BOLLIG PROSPECT CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 1 1 18 4 TRADED
2012-2013 BRANDON BOLLIG 1 CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 3 3 25 5 TRADED
2014-2015 DANIEL CARCILLO*+ 7+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 0  0 37 N/A ROSTER
2011-2012 DANIEL CARCILLO 3+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 0 0 28  0 TRADED
2012-2013 DREW LEBLANC PROSPECT BLACK ACE OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0 0 2 0 AHL
2010-2011 FERNANDO PISANI 7+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0 0 60 3 UFA
2011-2012 JAMAL MAYERS* 10+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0 0 81 3 UFA
2010-2011 JEFF TAFFE* 7+ CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 2 2 1 0 UFA
2010-2011 JEREMY MORIN PROSPECT CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 6 6 9 0 TRADED
2011-2012 JEREMY MORIN PROSPECT CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 2 2 3  0 TRADED
2012-2013 JEREMY MORIN PROSPECT CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 2 2 3  0 TRADED
2013-2014 JEREMY MORIN 1 CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 4 4 24 2 TRADED
2011-2012 JIMMY HAYES 1 CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 3 3 31 2 TRADED
2013-2014 JIMMY HAYES 3+ CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 1 0 2  0 TRADED
2009-2010 JOHN MADDEN 10+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 79 22 UFA
2009-2010 MARIAN HOSSA 10+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 57 22 ROSTER
2013-2014 MATT CAREY PROSPECT BLACK ACE OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 1  0 2  0 AHL
2008-2009 PASCAL PELLETIER PROSPECT TRADE OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 3 4 7 0 UFA
2010-2011 ROB KLINKHAMMER PROSPECT CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 2 2 1 0 TRADED
2011-2012 ROSTISLAV OLESZ 7+ TRADE OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 1  0 6  0 WAIVED
2010-2011 RYAN POTULNY PROSPECT CALL UP OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 3 2 3  0 TRADED
2008-2009 TIM BRENT PROSPECT TRADE OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 3 2 2  0 UFA
2009-2010 TOMAS KOPECKY 3+ FA SIGNING OFFSEASON ACQUISITION 0  0 74 17 TRADED
2010-2011 VIKTOR STALBERG 2 TRADE OFFSEASON ACQUISITION  0  0 77 7 UFA

*Player previously coached by Quenneville

+Player previously played for Chicago

 

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4 thoughts on “Bowman, Quenneville & Player Development (Part 2)

  1. This is really outstanding! I’m new to hockey stats but familiar with data analysis. Greatly enjoy reading all your stuff. Just a little unclear about what you think the appropriate % of young players should be. What would indicate Q is doing a good job of development (or improving)? Any other teams out there, that you believe, do a better job? Is it simply more (young players) is better? Thanks for a great collection of thought provoking material.

  2. Interesting to see how the prospect usage has changed over time. As you say, there’s an argument that this is largely the team being a victim of its own success. Like you, I don’t think that argument explains all of what we see after the 2010 Cup. So I have been follow-up proposal for you (Hopefully the idea would yield a better Part III than the Godfather did.) What did the Hawks get out of the veterans they signed post 2010 Cup that blocked the prospects? My impression is that Rozsival in the Cup Year and arguably Jammer’s leadership during the Detroit series yielded positive impacts. But it’s not obvious to me that Brunette was any more useful than a much younger Morin would have been. Anyway, I can’t see how you can compare what Morin, Hayes, or Smith would have offered (though that would be badass) but I would be interested to see a Part III that looks at some advanced stats to see, e.g., was Brunette a positive posession player or is there a legit argument that developing a prospect there would have been a much better idea. Keep up the good work!

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