“Well Chicago. Thats three cups in six seasons. I’d say you have a dynasty. Dyansty? Did he say dynasty? yes, in fact those are the famous words from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman the night Chicago beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 to clinch their third title in 6 seasons and sixth overall. Chicago is coming hot off a year where many began to question if they would even reach the postseason, let alone win the cup. Now with the season looming on, and new faces in new places, the Hawks look to rebuild and repeat in 2016. And who is to say that the can’t?
For a good stretch of the season, Chicago was left without star forward Patrick Kane. Kane, who before his injury led the league in points, left a huge void in the lineup when he went down with his clavicle injury. That left it up to others to step up and produce in his absence, two of which where Brandon Saad and Brad Richards. Both of them also played huge in the plaoyoffs averaging combining for 25 points in 23 games along side Kane. Now as the the offseason comes to a close, Saad and Richards find themselfs in new uniforms, along with veteran Patrick Sharp and key defensivmen Johhny Oduya. With these losses, can the Blackhawks maintain that dynasty status and repeat next season? Yes, and here is why.
During the 2015 offseason, Chicago traded veteran foward Patrick Sharp to the Dallas Stars in exchange for left wing Ryan Garbutt and defensivemen Trevor Daley. Garbutt tallied 25 points (8 goals, 17 assists0 last season in 67 games. That is nearly half of what Brandon Saad totaled last year ( 52 points, 23 goals, 29 assists), but Saad did that in 15 more games and Garbutt seems to be a good replacement for him. Daley was also a key part in the Sharp trade, because he will be replacing Oduya, who left for the Stars via free agency. Chicago also found a way to fill the no. 2 center spot left by Brad Richards, who is now in Detroit via freee agency, by aquiring Artem Anisimov who tallied 27 points in 52 games withh the Columbus Blue Jackets. Chicago needed to fill the holes left this offseason and did a great job doing so. The core players are still there in defenseivmen Duncan Keith, who played monster minutes during the postseason due to a lack of definsivemen, forward Patrick Kane, who is considered to be one of the best players in the game today, and Captain Jonathan Toews. Young stud Tuevo Teravainen, who came up around the time Kane got hurt, looked good last season and will only get better with expierience. And with the two-headed monster back in goal in Corey Crawford,who has won 2 titles with Chicago and Scott Darling, who playedb huge in the opening series against the Predators, Chicago looks like they will have another strong season as long as they can stay healthy. Will they be as string as they were in 2015? No, but don,t be surprised to see Coach Quinville and company back in the postseason once April rolls around.