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Black Hawks down! Year in review

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Next out of the hopper.....


PRESEASON OUTLOOK The hope was that missing the playoffs the year before was a blip on the radar and they would bounce back with a healthy Crawford and a veteran but still very good cast making another run. It didn't quite work out that way but they were actually competitive.


FINAL RECORD 36-34-12 84 Points, 6 points behind the Avalanche for the final playoff spot. Truthfully they were in it until the final week.


LOW POINT OF THE YEAR: the Hawks went through October starting an impressive 6-2-2 and then the wheels fell off, From October 27th through December 16th they went an awful 4-17-4 costing long time legendary coach Quenneville his job and essentially wrecking their season. After losing to the Sharks on that date they sat at 10-19-6 and all signs pointed to the season being done.


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR: Pretty much everything from that date went right. Jeremy Colliton pushed all the right buttons as the new coach, a few trades worked, a few minor league callups came through and Patrik Kane picked the team up on his shoulders and damn near stole a playoff spot for the Hawks. From that wreckage of a start on the Hawks finished by going 26-15-6 giving lots of hope for the future.


WHAT WENT RIGHT: Well Colliton was booed every time his picture was on the jumbotron early but he did a terrific job with this club, he made Bowman look smart. Speaking of Bowman he traded for Strome who finally discovered his game with the Hawks, Strome had 51 points in 58 games, Perlini the throw in in the deal was solid, Drake Caggiula came aboard and was not horrible. Kane if the Hawks had made the playoffs would have garnered Hart consideration, Toews had his best overall year in five years. Debrincat scored 41 goals Eric Gustafsson came from absolute nowhere to score 60 points from the back end. Keith and Seabrook playing less minutes to avoid fatigue ahd their best season in years. Kahun looks like a real deal middle six center. Oh and then they watched the ping pong balls fall just right, they ended up with the third pick in the coming draft. IMHO of all the teams who missed the playoffs with the possible exception of the Rangers I feel the Hawks are trending the highest.


WHAT WENT WRONG Crawford was ordinary and concussed again, Ward looks like he is ready for the 19th hole, Delia is expected to be the goalie of the future but after a hit start was pretty awful, Kunitz simply cannot play anymore and the same goes for Marcus Kruger.


FREE AGENTS Kruger/Kunitz/Ward are all gone which is addition by subtraction. Gustafsson is an UFA at the end of next season and they need to figure out how to come up with the money to pay the man as he is Hockeys biggest bargain at 1.2 million for both the season just past and next year as a 60 point blueliner. 


OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Do they keep Crawford who has only one year left on his deal or try to deal him and roll the dice with Delia? Can they resign Gustafsson and do they think the monster year is a real progession of skill or a fluke? Who do they take with the third pick in the draft? Is Strome for real? 

  They took a step back but unlike teams such as Detroit and the Kings the Hawks instead of falling off the cliff appear to have retooled and look ready to make another run in arguably the games toughest division. Cap space is as always their biggest concern but they are certainly trending up.

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