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Is The Cup Half Full Or Half Empty ??

Updated on August 3, 2010
2010 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks
2010 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks
New Players For ATL Include: Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Brent Sopel, & Ben Eager.
New Players For ATL Include: Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Brent Sopel, & Ben Eager.

The hot topic of the NHL these days seem to be the debate of if the Chicago Blackhawks have traded away there chances to be a playoff team next year. There are many people who would have you believe that the Hawks are happy with their Stanley Cup and are now just simply having a fire sale, Others claim that it needed to be done due to the salary cap but now they are not even a playoff contender let alone a team that can defend their title. I would like to simply go over this past Off-Season so far and tell you why i believe that the 2010-2011 Chicago Blackhawks can contend for another Stanley Cup.

After the Hawks got done hoisting the cup and having that massive parade, the front office got right to work with trying to get this team under the salary cap for the coming season, all while trying to keep this team competitive. This was no easy task for any NHL GM. First it all started with the trade involving Ben Eager, Brent Sopel, Dustin Byfuglien, and Akim Alum to Atlanta for Jeremy Morin, Some Picks and Marty Reasoner. The Hawks ended up swapping Reasoner out for Jeff Taffe of the Florida Panthers in an effort to save some cash to offer Niemi a deal to stay, but we will get to that part in a bit.

Next for the Hawks was to try to deal Kris Versteeg. He was rumored to be on the market for as long as the back at the trade deadline. Hawks GM Stan Bowman was able to find a taker in the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs were in the market for a top 6 forward and the Hawks had that in Versteeg.

So the deal went down as LW Kris Versteeg and prospect LW Billy Sweat to Toronto in return for LW Viktor Stalberg, C Philippe Paradis, & C Chris DeDomenico. The Hawks are very high on Viktor Stalberg because of his size and blazing fast speed. He never really worked out in Toronto but he is projected as a future top 6 forward, and that may just happen sooner than most think.

About a week later the Leafs had trouble signing the LW Billy Sweat and ended up releasing his rights. So it was back to business for the Hawks management team. In an effort to save money for resigning their Restricted Free Agents they decided to part ways with one of them in Andrew Ladd. The Hawks made it very apparent that they were going for defense first. They publicly said that both Hjalmarsson and Niemi are a priority. With that being said the Hawks dealt Andrew Ladd to the Atlanta Thrashers for D Ivan Vishnevskiy and a 2011 2nd round pick. So Ladd went on to join his other ex teammates to play for the Atlanta Blackhawks........ I mean Atlanta Thrashers. All jokes aside the Thrashers did get alot better this off-season so far.

The Hawks also ended up losing 2 more of their grinders that filled out the 4th line. First Colin Fraser was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for a 2010 6th round pick. That move will surely help out Edmonton in the face-off circle. The next loss was when fan favorite Adam Burish left as a free agent to join the Dallas Stars. This move was a hard one to swallow but by this point you have to think the Hawks fans were getting used to it.

 The Hawks also had some UFA that they had to let walk due to the salary cap problem that they are facing. Some of those players are, C John Madden, D Kim Johannson, RW Adam Burish. D Jordan Hendry is also currently a RFA.

The Hawks were able to lockup some of their young talent that is in the pipeline, mainly D prospect Nick Leddy to a 3 year deal. They then signed RW Bryan Bickell to a 3 year deal as well. RW Jack Skille then received a 1 year deal in which he took a pay cut just to be able to play with the big club this season. All deals were signed for under $1 Million per year.

The Hawks also avoided losing the services of Nik Hjarmalsson by matching an offer sheet that was presented by the San Jose Sharks. The deal worked out to be a 4 year $14 Million which works out to be $3.5 Million per year. Right after dealing with that they had to turn their sights to signing Antti Niemi.

After reportedly several attempts to sign Niemi by the Blackhawks. The arbitration case that resulted from this was a 1 year $2.7 Million Per year deal. The Blackhawks decided to walk away from this and let Antti Niemi become an unrestricted free agent.

Did The Hawks Do The Right Thing By Letting Antti Niemi Walk Away ?

See results
Newest Starting Goalie For The 2010-2011 Chicago Blackhawks Marty Turco
Newest Starting Goalie For The 2010-2011 Chicago Blackhawks Marty Turco

The Chicago Blackhawks wasted little time after walking away from the arbitration decision on Antti Niemi. Moments after the announcment, there was the announcment that they Hawks and Marty Turco has agreed on a 1 year $1.3 Million deal.

So now the question becomes what happens to Cristobal Huet because Hawks GM Stan Bowman has already made it clear that G Corey Crawford will be on the team. The real question to all you fans is after all the changes this off-season, will the Hawks be able to defend the title of Stanley Cup Champions ? Will the Blackhawks even be able to make it to the playoffs ? Below i have listed all the transactions in a chart. Please do leave your comments and let me know what your thoughts are for the upcoming season for the Hawks.

As Always Thanks For Your Time

 Players That Left
Players Received (From)
Picks Received 
 Ben Eager - Atlanta
Ivan Vishnevskiy (ATL)
3 Extra 2010 2nd Rounders 
Dustin Byfuglien - Atlanta 
Phillippe Paradis (TOR) 
1 Extra 2011 2nd Rounders 
Andrew Ladd - Atlanta 
Nick Leddy (MIN) 
Brent Sopel - Atlanta
Jeremy Morin (ATL)
Kris Versteeg - Toronto
Jimmy Hayes (TOR)
Colin Fraser - Edmonton
Viktor Stalberg (TOR)
Adam Burish - Dallas
Chris DeDomenico (TOR)
Antti Niemi - UFA
Jeff Taffe (FLA)
Marty Turco (DAL)


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    • Tannehill85 profile image

      Eric 7 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you very much, i can honestly say that i totally agree with everything that you said. The talk will all end when the puck drops and i can not wait to watch a season in which the Hawks are defending the Stanley cup.

    • profile image

      The Core 7 years ago

      Good read. This talk circulating amongst fans about the Hawks not being able to make the playoffs next season is boarderline insane. We lost role players, nothing more. None of our losses were core guys. Now, I am not happy to see the likes of Buff, Versteeg, Ladd and Niemi leave, but let's not act like we lost Toews, Kane, Sharp, Hossa, Keith or Seabrook. Turco is going to put up solid numbers in front of a much better defense than played in front of him last season in Dallas. Honestly, he is probably a better goalie than Niemi, and he will be able to mold Crawford. Toews and Kane are very young, and they are only going to get better. It is also a challenge to come up with teams that clearly have a better top two lines and top 4 Defensemen than the Hawks. Bottom line is, it is almost an insult to the game of hockey to question whether this team has what it takes to make the playoffs. There is no question that we do. The real question is can we repeat, and what are the chances? The bottom line is that we can repeat, but it is less than a 50/50 chance. This is not even because of who we lost, it is just a fact that very few teams in any sport, let alone hockey repeat. It is the hardest championship to win in all of sports. With that said, we definitely have the talent to win it all again. Our young players have a chance here to make names for themselves, and the core is still as strong as ever, with Hossa being healthy from day one. It's also great to see that Turco wanted to be here and took a discount to come to the Hawks. Beyond that, only time will tell where the Hawks finish, but they will be a top 4 team in the West again next season and will once again be a serious Cup contender.