As with most teams after a Stanley Cup win in the Salary Cap Era, trades are bound to happen. Since winning the Stanley Cup a week ago, talks have moved on from the win to who will be traded. And, the rumors continue to roll out. From trading Crawford to clear cap space to Seabrook and Sharp, we have heard it all. Do us all a favor, relax. If you haven’t realized that Stan Bowman knows what he is doing, you will soon.

Saad is Here to Stay

Let’s face this issue first: Brandon Saad is a restricted free agent and other teams want him—why wouldn’t they? Teams have to come up with a sizable compensation in draft picks to acquire RFAs, but there is a possibility that some team decides it is worthwhile to try to get Saad from Chicago. And, even if a team tries to break away from the pack and sign Saad to a massive deal, Chicago has every indication it will match any offer, just like it did in 2010 when the San Jose Sharks tried to sign Hjalmarsson. Saad has even stated that he doesn’t want to leave Chicago—he would take a pay decrease just to stay. So, what does this mean? Stop worrying because Saad wants to and will stay.

We’ve Got Rockford

In the offseason we will likely see a lot of players coming up from Rockford. This season we saw Teuvo Teravainen step up and dominate in the playoffs, just as Trevor van Reimsdyk and Scott Darling did. And, with them in place, we can expect to see even more Rockford IceHogs coming up to the Blackhawks next season. To name a few, the IceHogs has Stephen Johns, Phillip Danault, Ryan Hartman and Mark McNeill who can all step up next season to make an impact—the new faces of the Blackhawks. With entry level players from Rockford, Coach Q can fill roster spots with affordable, young players to stay within next season’s salary cap.

Let’s Talk Trades

Change is inevitable in every aspect of life, and rumor has it Patrick Sharp, Bryan Bickell and Johnny Oduya will be traded. While it is still a rumor until action is taken, it appears to be more real as days pass by. General Manager Stan Bowman needs to maneuver through these rumors this summer to make some difficult decisions—it always works out for the Blackhawks, though.

Don’t freak out just yet. Yes, Sharp, Bickell and Oduya have been huge assets along the way throughout the years, but this is an opportunity for the franchise to rebuild and stay a strong contender season after season. Trading Sharp and Bickell alone would free up nearly $10 million in cap space.

This is a chance for the Blackhawks to lean on a new core group of players. We continue to see Brandon Saad, Marcus Kruger, and Niklas Hjalmarsson grow, and we will watch more players grow, including Tuevo Teravainen. As we saw in 2010, trades and complete overhauls of the team won’t change the fact that this is a strong franchise with a perfect mix of veterans and entry level players.

Don’t Forget Our Seasoned Veterans

Throughout the trade rumors and everyone freaking out, you seem to forget one big thing: We have seasoned veterans who are here to stay. We can continue to count on our core group of veterans just as we have all season. The Chicago Blackhawks still have:

  • Jonathan Toews
  • Patrick Kane
  • Brandon Saad
  • Marian Hossa
  • Duncan Keith
  • Brent Seabrook
  • Niklas Hjalmarsson
  • Corey Crawford

This group of veterans still continues to be better than just about anyone else in the league. I mean, just look at Keith, he is on his way to the Hockey Hall of Fame and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. You can even look at Brad Richards, a veteran, who loves the idea of playing with the talent that the Blackhawks currently have—he may stay on for another season if the price is right. While we may not get lucky to land another bargain like Richards, there is a chance that other veterans will want to take less money for a greater chance at winning the Stanley Cup.

Summer officially started on Sunday and it has only been a week since the Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup in 6 seasons. With rumors swirling about, don’t let it get to your heads. One thing is clear, though, the Chicago Blackhawks know what they are doing and will continue to remain contenders for the Cup—have a little faith Blackhawks fans! After all, we saw a big change in the lineup after the Stanley Cup win in 2010 and look where we are today!

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