Stan Bowman (GM), Joel Quenneville (Head Coach)
82GP 52W 22L 8OTL 112PTS
1st Central, 2nd West, 3rd NHL
Patrick Kane – 82GP 30G 58A 88P
Jonathan Toews (C), Patrick Sharp (A), Duncan Keith (A)
Brent Sopel (Dealt to Atlanta)
Ben Eager (Dealt to Atlanta)
Andrew Ladd (Dealt to Atlanta)
Dustin Byfuglien (Dealt to Atlanta)
Colin Fraser (Dealt to Edmonton)
Antti Niemi (Signed with San Jose)
John Madden (Signed with Minnesota)
Kris Versteeg (Dealt to Toronto)
John Scott (Free Agent)
Jeff Taffe (Acquired from Florida)
Marty Turco (Free Agent)
Jassen Cullimore (Free Agent)
Fernando Pisani (Free Agent)
Viktor Stalberg (Acquired from Toronto)
Philippe Paradis (Acquired from Toronto)
Chris DiDomenico (Acquired from Toronto)
Ivan Vishnevskiy (Acquired from Atlanta)
After winning the Stanley Cup, the Chicago Blackhawks faced some serious cap problems and were forced to trade off power forwards Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien, as well as their number one netminder, Antti Niemi. Their shut-down centerman, John Madden, signed with the Minnesota Wild. In return, the club added some solid prospects to their depth, including the Swedish Rocket Viktor Stalberg. They also signed veteran goaltender Marty Turco to help the team’s transition into another era.
After all of their off-season moves, the core of the club remains intact. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa remain up front for the club’s scoring department, while Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Brian Campbell will continue to lead the team on the back-end. While the cookie jar is nowhere near as full as it was last season, it’s certainly not empty.
The team will have to find a way to re-establish their identity and will be hoping a few prospects can make the transition to the NHL and help contribute to this year’s success. Kyle Beach and Viktor Stalberg could be a part of the club full-time this season, while brothers Jimmy and Kevin Hayes will be provided an opportunity to shine during pre-season. Defencemen Dylan Olsen and Nick Leddy will be battling it out with Nick Boynton, John Scott, Brian Connelly and Jordan Hendry for the final three positions on the back end.
The only serious hole in the club’s depth is on the left side, but it’s easily acceptable when you consider Toews/Kane and Sharp/Hossa will be playing alongside whoever is penciled in. With serious talent up the middle and on the right wing, the club will still be successful on the score sheet.
While it is upsetting the team had to part ways with Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd, the fact remains that this team still has the necessary leadership and skill to repeat. If Marty Turco can provide solid goaltending, the team’s excellence on defence will certainly make his job easier and, in turn, make Turco look amazing – just as they did for Antti Niemi. With consistency in net, this team will have another long dance in the post-season.
1st Central, 2nd West
BLACKHAWKS DEPTH CHART
Tomas Kopecky – Jonathan Toews – Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell – Patrick Sharp – Marian Hossa
Viktor Stalberg – Dave Bolland – Troy Brouwer
Jeff Taffe – Fernando Pisani – Jack Skille
Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson – Brian Campbell
Jordan Hendry – Nick Boynton
John Scott – Brian Connelly
for more articles and previews by Micheal Aldred.
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