With the season right around the corner the Hawks have a great roster, and great motivation for 2017. After playing one of the worst playoff series in NHL history, the Blackhawks have a shot to start new.
In the offseason the Hawks made 18 total signings, and trades. The Blackhawks have done a masterful job of keeping the team under the salary cap, while keeping talent on the roster. It’s a new year of new faces, but this team is set up for success.
Three Biggest Question
The Hawks sent backup goalie to Scott Darling to the Hurricanes for a third round pick. In 2016 Scott Darling played 32 games, with a 2.38 goals against average. Anton Forsberg and Jean-Francois Berube are the two goalies on the roster slated to backup Darling. They have a combined 31 games in the NHL. Both goalies have a combined .893 save percentage. Berube comes in with more experience, but Forsberg is second on the depth chart according to the Blackhawks website.
Another key piece to the team is 35 year old Patrick Sharp. Like it or not his million dollar contract is a big hit to the cap, and he is expected to contribute to the team from day one. Sharp is a veteran presence, and a leader. However he is coming off a hip injury which could limit his productivity. If Sharp can reclaim some of his old glory the Hawks will be a more solid team.
The moves in the offseason have breathed new life into the Hawks. The team is full of fresh faces, and can almost be unrecognizable. The biggest question remaining is how well can the team play together. The lines are mixed up this season and new faces will have to play with new players. After trading Marcus Kruger to the Golden knights, signing Patrick Sharp out of free agency, and trading Artemi Panarin for Patrick Sharp the first lines, all the way down the last lines, should expect some kind of change.
The Hawks have a loaded roster, and while new faces are headlining the team, they still have Coach Q. The Hawks haven’t moved on from their leaders from last season. Kane and Toews still remain, along with five of their top seven points leader from 2016. The expectations are high once again, and the Hawks look ready to deliver.