The Hockey News released the ranking for the Chicago Blackhawks today and they come in at a stunning number 4.
The reason for this ranking was Why: The team with the most summer turnover, Chicago GM Stan Bowman did well in trading, given the position he was in. Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, John Madden, Brent Sopel, Andrew Ladd and Adam Burish were among the players moved out, but none are recognized as integral for regular season success. With the core collection of skill still in the lineup, the Blackhawks filled in the holes with Fernando Pisani and Viktor Stalberg and have room to promote prospects such as Jack Skille. Chicago’s defense far and away allowed the fewest shots on goal per game and with the blueline looking much the same it should help Marty Turco adjust to his new team. The loss of Antti Niemi isn’t a good thing, but Turco, though he has struggled the past couple of seasons, is a veteran capable of doing the job. And just in case he isn’t, Corey Crawford is itching and ready for his opportunity.
My two cents:
I know I may be sounding like a homer but I just can't help but laugh at the fact the Hawks are 4th behind Detroit, Vancouver and San Jose. I understand the Hawks lost some pieces but the core is still in tact and the one thing everyone fails to mention with this team KANE AND TOEWS ARE GOING TO GET BETTER!!!
San Jose lost there starting goal tender and Rob Blake, Detroit was kind of old last year and will continue to get older and I don't think Mike Madano makes them world beaters at this stage of his career and Vancouver, although they have added some pieces, hasn't gotten past the second round because of the Hawks. In addition, are the additions of Dan Hamuis and Manny Malhotra the thing to put them over the top this year? Not to mention Pavol Demitra left the team for the KHL. Not saying it is a big gain or loss, but does that really put the Hawks below Vancouver?
I am not saying the Hawks should be number one (although some could argue, you are number one until you are knocked out) but just as much as the Hawks have lost, they are going to only get better. The D is still in tact for the most part, goalie is debatable depending on your feelings of Turco, and the top 2 lines are going to be strong with Kane and Toews getting better, and a full season of Hossa.