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  • Central Division Preview: Chicago Blackhawks


    Record (46-21-15); Goals For - 267, Goals Against - 220

    Key Acquisition

    Key Departures

    Calgary acquired Brandon Bollig via trade during the Draft for a third round pick. Bollig was a thorn in the side to a number of our colleagues at Second City Hockey. Bollig had terrible deployment as he started the majority of his already limited time on ice in the defensive zone. Then, on top of that, he had an abysmal Corsi Rel of -3.15 percent and a Fenwick Rel of -1.13 percent. Plus/Minus is a pretty useless stat so instead look at the Goals For percentage and Bollig was on that short end of that with a 47.4 percent.

    The Blackhawks re-signed both of them to identical 8-year $84 million contract extensions back in July. Toews has appeared in 484 games in Chi-Town and tallied 440 points in that stretch. Patrick Kane has played in 515 games with 493 points. That kind of firepower from two core guys that are locked down for the long-term is the envy of most any franchise. Add in their playoff experience, 94 and 93 Stanley Cup Playoff games respectively, Chicago has a team that not only got deeper, but has incredible experience to make them perennially the toughest hurdle for the Wild to have to get over.

    In the System

    The Blackhawks have been drafting near the end of rounds in the last six years. However, that does not mean they don't have solid prospects in the system. In last summer's Entry Draft, Chicago drafted two Minnesota natives in Eden Prairie's Luc Snuggerud and Minnetonka's Jack Ramsey. Ramsey, a forward, is the son of former Wild assistant coach Mike Ramsey. Snuggerud, a defenseman, was one of the higher rated Minnesota defenseman in the 2014 draft.


    Many of us bloggers around the Central Division feel it's still Chicago's division to lose. The Blackhawks seem to be an every-other-year kind of team where they will absolutely dominate every team in every way, or like last year, be great, but not as dominant. Chicago looks like they have done some under-the-radar improvement and have another star in waiting in Teuvo Teravainen. It would be a shock if the Blackhawks did not make another appearance to the post-season as a cup favorite. However with the division getting stronger, the Blackhawks will be in a much tougher battle than they've ever had for the top spot in Conference III.

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