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Hockey Wilderness
  • The winds of change in the Windy City


    Estimated cap space: 2.4 million

    2015-16 record: 47-26-9 103 pts

    With all the turnover the past few seasons with the Blackhawks, it’s a wonder how the Blackhawks would be able to maintain an elite level of success which has embedded itself with the team over the last decade. Players come in, players go out, yet the Blackhawks have remained a steady driving force in the Central Division. In a way, we can thank them for how ultra-competitive the division has become.

    It’s not to say that the Hawks aren’t going to miss the likes of Andrew Ladd, Andrew Shaw, Teuvo Teravainen. These guys had roles which they filled nicely with the team. And talk about specialists, Wild killer Bryan Bickell may well be missed in their contests against the State of Hockey too. Fortunately for the Hawks, their are stanchions in every arena they can count on to help along the way.

    It's tough to come to the conclusion that the Blackhawks got any better since they were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs. Coach Q has a knack for getting that extra level from his role players though. Although their overall skill level has probably sunk back to Earth a bit, don't expect them to be any easier to play against this fall. They still have some elite level talent on the roster, and will be dangerous for some time to come.

    All that said, they may find life in a division they helped point towards an elite level of competition, just a little tougher come this October. Everyone is fighting for the same 5 Central Division playoff spots (since the Pacific Division can barely muster up 3 playoff teams). Until somebody knocks these guys down a peg, it would be wise to treat them with the respect most of the players deserve.

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