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hf101

The Hawks got Younger and Cheaper but...

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Image result for Blackhawks, Saad

 

Will they be able to win another Stanley Cup?

 

The Blackhawks made several changes to their core group.   Gone is the 30-year-old reliable defenseman, Niklas Hjalmarsson,  and his cap of 4.1M and in is the 24-year-old Connor Murphy from Arizona who is currently signed for the next 5 years at 3.75M.  With a better team to play behind can Murphy improve to be a steady top 4 defenseman?  There is a lot of hope for this younger, faster, more physical defenseman but he also isn't a defensively sound and blocks a lot less shots on net.

 

The Hawks also lost defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyke to the expansion draft and will need to count of big minutes from the likes of three youngsters Gustav Forsling and ?? and ??.   That's concerning.

 

They also made another major trade bringing back Brandon Saad from the Blue Jackets in exchange for Artemi Panarin who has scored 61 goals and 90 assists over the last two seasons.  In both of these deals they got cost certainty with a longer term but at a cost.  

 

The Hawks will be faced with lots of changes for next season,  it’s fair to wonder whether the downgrades from Panarin-Hjalmarsson to Saad-Murphy ultimately will cost the Blackhawks too much in the end?

 

 

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14 hours ago, hf101 said:

Image result for Blackhawks, Saad

 

Will they be able to win another Stanley Cup?

 

The Blackhawks made several changes to their core group.   Gone is the 30-year-old reliable defenseman, Niklas Hjalmarsson,  and his cap of 4.1M and in is the 24-year-old Connor Murphy from Arizona who is currently signed for the next 5 years at 3.75M.  With a better team to play behind can Murphy improve to be a steady top 4 defenseman?  There is a lot of hope for this younger, faster, more physical defenseman but he also isn't a defensively sound and blocks a lot less shots on net.

 

The Hawks also lost defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyke to the expansion draft and will need to count of big minutes from the likes of three youngsters Gustav Forsling and ?? and ??.   That's concerning.

 

They also made another major trade bringing back Brandon Saad from the Blue Jackets in exchange for Artemi Panarin who has scored 61 goals and 90 assists over the last two seasons.  In both of these deals they got cost certainty with a longer term but at a cost.  

 

The Hawks will be faced with lots of changes for next season,  it’s fair to wonder whether the downgrades from Panarin-Hjalmarsson to Saad-Murphy ultimately will cost the Blackhawks too much in the end?

 

 

The Toews/Kane contracts are handcuffing them. I was called foolish by a few people when I proclaimed those contracts once they kick in will bugger their odds as contenders because they will need to let go of too much and play with rookies and tweeners all over the lineup.

 

But sigh, cap circumvention seems to be a thing the league allows. Let's see how this Hossa situation pans out.

 

 

 

 

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Well, guys, such is the life in the cap era for a contender.

Particularly one like Chicago (and to a lesser degree, Los Angeles), who have highly paid star players and relentlessly count on young, inexpensive up n comers to fill in the gaps, or get veteran rentals to round out their squads for yet another deep playoff run.

 

And although anyone could have said, "Well, Toews and Kane will eventually cost the Blackhawks" (which, sure, it eventually may), the fact is, the organization, WITH its highly paid stars, shifting core, young up n comers, and veteran rentals, has managed 3 Cups in six years.....and even as recent as last season, are still a team capable of deep runs.....despite the fact they were dispatched rather handily by Nashville.

 

I look at it this way:

Even if Chicago never wins another Stanley Cup before they are forced into a rebuild, they have succeeded.

There are teams out there that would give their collective left walnut (or is it the right pecan...I dunno, I can't tell you from personal experience...lol) for a chance at ONE Stanley Cup with their core group.

 

Chicago succeeded above and beyond that while setting the standard on what a modern dynasty (or the closest to one) should be like in the cap era.

 

As a Wild fan, I'd love nothing more than to see Chicago finally become "just another team", but until they do, they remain the standard bearer. 

I counted these guys out a few times already in recent seasons, only to be proven wrong.

 

I will agree that the Hawks, with the constraints of cap, expansion draft, and reliance on younger and younger players have become, for lack of a better term, "weaker" this off season.

But is a 70% strong Blackhawks team STILL better than a 100% other Western contender?

 

That is what we will find out this coming season, no?

To see if that quick dispatch by Nashville was an aberration or a sign of things to come.

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