Regardless of his winning percentage, his track record of getting guys defensively ready for the NHL isn't bad. Rockford is just an all around bad place to put someone like Morin who continue developing his offensive game.
I for one think the hawks learned most of their lessons by the end of the season. Without boyton, cullimore and turco in during the 2nd half of the season the team was able to gain some confidence and put wins together. If they started like that right out of the gate it would have been a totally different picture.
As was said before, hawks last year were much better than the record showed, so I've got pretty big expectations for next year depending on what happens in the offseason.
On that note, I wanna see
-bolland + faceoffs
-kruger + size and faceoffs
-smith + size
- 2 solid power forwards
- a big DFD for the #6 spot to keep em honest infront of the net
I guarantee that if we had a solid backup, we're around the same seed we were for the 2008-2009 season.
The Hawks were only 2 points out of the #4 seed that they had in 08-09, so that doesn't say much. I would start with blaming all those blown 3rd period leads in the early and middle parts of the season.
As for offseason goals:
-Bolland & Kruger faceoffs as others have said
-Some players bulking up their strength- namely Smith, Morin and Kane
-Make sure Bickell knows his physical play in the playoffs needs to continue in to next season if he wants to have a successful NHL career
-Trade Campbell at all costs (there's a few proposals out there that could work..of course, who knows what would work IRL).
-After trading Campbell (hopefully before the draft) - offer the bulk of our good picks left to Florida for Stephen Weiss. If it takes #18 + #36 + #43 to get Weiss, then so be it. We can even throw in Kyle Beach if Dale wants him. These 2 moves being made makes us Stanley Cup favorites IMO.
-Re-sign Frolik before he is eligible to be offersheeted. A team like the Sharks could offer him 3.1 mil and only have to lose a 2nd rounder if we let him walk. He's worth a lot more than a late 2nd to us.
-Re-sign Campoli if Campbell is traded
-Get a physical #6 dman - but they may already be accomplished from the Campbell trade