Chicago Blackhawks Roster

Stanley Cup Summer Once Again

The hockey world has already witnessed what was most likely the greatest 17 seconds in Chicago sports history this past 2013 NHL Playoffs. We have seen another great Stanley Cup parade in the streets of downtown Chicago. What happened next was hopefully not a case of another familiar feeling.

Let's go back to 2010 and the Stanley Cup Finals that was the Philadelphia Flyers against the Chicago Blackhawks. The series went 6 games with of course the Hawks taking the Cup back to Chicago for the first time in 49 years. The hockey world knew what was in store for the Blackhawks before the puck even dropped for the first game of the season that year. The Hawks front office had made some bad contracts that were about to kick in the following season so with a very talented team, the thought was now or never for this club. Once the off-season was here it was time for the Hawks front office to get to work on getting their club down the the salary cap.

Although many Blackhawks fans knew what was coming, it was hard to see many of the players go because that team had become so special to the city after winning the city a Championship that it starved for for almost 50 years.

2010 Stanley Cup Champs

The team that ended the Cup drought in Chicago
The team that ended the Cup drought in Chicago

Say Goodbye

The off-season started fast and furious for the Hawks front office.First they sent Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager & Prospect Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers 2 picks, Marty Reasoner, Jeremy Morin, Joey Crabb. This came as a shock to many around the hockey world mainly because Byfuglien was such a key player in the Hawks run to the Stanley Cup in 2010, He scored many big goals and a couple game winning goals as well.

The next deal came almost immediately after this which was sending Colin Fraser to the Edmonton Oilers for a 6th round pick. Fraser was not a major key to the Cup run but has been a Hawks regular for many seasons leading up to this trade.

The Hawks moved on to the Toronto Maple Leafs and traded Kris Versteeg and prospect Billy Sweat for Viktor Stalberg and two prospects. Versteeg was a flashy player with great hands for the Hawks and just seemed to be one of those players that fit in very well with this roster and played above what e might do in most other lineups.

Chicago came back to the Atlanta Thrashers and made a deal that would sent Andrew Ladd to ATL in exchange for D prospect Ivan Vishnevskiy and a pick. Ladd was another great player for the Hawks and was very tough to see him go, He is the type of player you can build a franchise around and that seems to be what Atlanta did after they moved to Winnipeg and named Ladd their Captain.

Those were some of the major moves that were made and with that the Hawks would enter the 2011 season with 10 players of the Cup winning team gone. Below is a full list of what the Championship roster looked like as opposed to what the roster was on opening night of the 2011 season.

2011 Roster

Bryan Bickell

Nick Boynton

Dave Bolland

Troy Brouwer

Brian Campbell

Chris Campoli

Cory Crawford

Jake Dowell

Michael Frolik

Jordan Hendry

Nik Hjalmarsson

Marian Hossa

Ryan Johnson

Patrick Kane

Duncan Keith

Tomas Kopecky

Marcus Kruger

Nick Leddy

Fernando Pisani

John Scott

Brent Seabrook

Patrick Sharp

Viktor Stalberg

Jonathan Toews

Marty Turco

2010 Roster

Bryan Bickell

Nick Boynton

Dave Bolland

Troy Brouwer

Adam Burish

Dustin Byfuglien

Brian Campbell

Ben Eager

Colin Fraser

Nik Hjalmarsson

Marian Hossa

Cristobal Huet

Patrick Kane

Duncan Keith

Tomas Kopecky

Andrew Ladd

John Madden

Antti Niemi

Brent Seabrook

Patrick Sharp

Brent Sopel

Jonathan Toews

Kris Versteeg

New Faces In New Places 2011

Player
New Team
Transaction
Dustin Byfuglien
Atlanta Thrashers
Traded
Ben Eager
Atlanta Thrashers
Traded
Brent Sopel
Atlanta Thrashers
Traded
Adam Burish
Dallas Stars
Free Agency
Colin Fraser
Edmonton Oilers
Traded
Kris Versteeg
Toronto Maple Leafs
Traded
Andrew Ladd
Atlanta Thrashers
Traded
Antti Niemi
San Jose Sharks
Restricted Free Agency
John Madden
Florida Panthers
Free Agency
Cristobal Huet
Swiss Hockey Club
Loaned To Swiss League

Potential Dynasty In The Making ?

2013 Stanley Cup Champions
2013 Stanley Cup Champions

2014 Roster

Patrick Kane

Jonathan Toews

Marian Hossa

Michal Handzus

Bryan Bickell

Patrick Sharp

Duncan Keith

Andrew Shaw

Johnny Oduya

Brandon Saad

Marcus Kruger

Nik Hjalmarsson

Brent Seabrook

Michal Rozsival

Nick Leddy

Sheldon Brookbank

Brandon Bollig

Drew LeBlanc

Theo Peckham

Cory Crawford

Nik Khabibulin


2013 Roster

Patrick Kane

Jonathan Toews

Marian Hossa

Michal Handzus

Bryan Bickell

Patrick Sharp

Duncan Keith

Michael Frolik

Andrew Shaw

Johnny Oduya

Dave Bolland

Brandon Saad

Marcus Kruger

Nik Hjalmarsson

Brent Seabrook

Michal Rozsival

Viktor Stalberg

Nick Leddy

Dan Carcillo

Sheldon Brookbank

Ben Smith

Brandon Bollig

Jamal Mayers

Cory Crawford

Ray Emery

New Faces New Places 2014

Player
New Team
Transaction
Dave Bolland
Toronto Maple Leafs
Trade
Michael Frolik
Winnipeg Jets
Trade
Viktor Stalberg
Nashville Predators
Free Agency
Dan Carcillo
LA Kings
Trade
Jamal Mayers
Free Agent
Free Agency
Ray Emery
Philadelphia Flyers
Free Agency

Raise Another Banner

Building Towards A Dynasty

Unlike in the aftermath of the 2010 Stanley Cup championship, The 2013 team was able to be kept basically in tact aside from a couple key role players. This is even more important than keep the 2010 team together because this is a team that powered it's way through the Western Conference on it's way to NHL and club records. To put it simply, this team was dominant all year long and has a real chance to be the first dynasty in the NHL under the salary cap era.

Many people may think that the lose of Dave Bolland would effect the Hawks in the Center position but Bolland became expendable because of the emergence of 4th line center Marcus Kruger. The young Swede has been improving year after year and will move up to the 3rd line Center duties and at time be used in the 2nd Center slot. Taking his old 4th line duties will most likely be one of the kids from the Rockford Icehogs. My personal thought is that it will come down to either 2013 Hobey Baker Award Winner Drew LeBlanc or Phillip Danault.

The next big change may come at the Penalty Killing position because this is were both David Bolland and Michael Frolik had been amazing this past season in particular. We will soon find out if it was those two players mentioned that deserve all of the credit or if it was simply the coaching staffs system that may be able to slot in new players to get similar results.

And last but not least is the goaltending position the Jennings Trophy went to Cory Crawford and Ray Emery in 2013 for the lowest Goals Against Average in the NHL during the regular season. Ray Emery left for the Flyers for a more realistic shot at being a starter and the Hawks responded by getting the veteran Nik Khabibulin to come back and put on the indian head sweater on one more time. Ray Emery had a very special season and I do not think that either Khabibulin or Emery himself could replicate in 2014 but I think you would get near the same results with Nik backing up Cory Crawford.

All in all this was a very successful off season for the much criticized Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman and I think he may have silenced many around the league with his moves to keep this club together.

2013 Stanley Cup

3 Teams Added To Central Division

Defending The Cup In A Realignment

This season will be a much stronger test for the Blackhawks due to the fact that this will be a full 82 game season as apposed to the shortened season in 2013, what may be the greatest test is the fact that every team in the league will be looking to test themselves against the defending Stanley Cup Champions night after night and the Hawks will need their best game every game. We have seen time and time again where the defending champs just don't have enough left in the tank come playoffs time and they fizzle out after the long grind that is the Defending Champion season in the NHL.

If the Blackhawks are able to somehow repeat as Champs then they will be the first on the modern salary cap era to have accomplished this and they will be the talk of every sports station as a Dynasty and rightly so because repeating as champions in this league is probably the toughest thing to do in all of the major sports today.

The West looks to lineup great for the Hawks going forward and the only teams that look equipped to challenge the Hawks for best in the West are the St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks, LA Kings, and possibly the Vancouver Canucks.

With that being said Many do expect the Hawks to return to the Stanley Cup Finals and I know that is what I also expect although I do not think they will be able to repeat as Champions in 2014, I have been wrong before..... Until next time, Thank you for reading and please leave me your comments about the up coming season and your picks for who will face off in the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals.

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