Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
They're not going to unseat Patrick Sharp or Daniel Carcillo upon their return, but those two are both out for weeks, giving the rookies a chance to establish themselves. Hayes has size and a big shot, while Shaw brings energy and has already proved he won't back down from a fight. This is just the sort of unanticipated jolt a Stanley Cup contender is apt to receive at midseason, and the Hawks could decide before the playoffs that they're an upgrade on underachieving veterans Bryan Bickell and Andrew Brunette. At this point, coach Joel Quenneville and GM Stan Bowman can only hope to be forced to face such tough decisions down the road.
All I know is I had a ticket to last week's game against Edmonton, when Hayes scored his first NHL goal, and I'm going to be keeping the stub. Who knows, it might be worth something someday.