Last season: 44-29-9, 97 points. The Hawks entered the playoffs at the 8th seed and lost in 7 games in the first round to the Vancouver Canucks.
Additions: Dan Carcillo, Jamal Mayers, Rotislav Olesz, Brett McLean, Sean O’Donnell, Steve Montador.
Losses: Troy Brouwer, Brian Campbell, Marty Turco.
Offense: The Hawks core remains relatively unchanged from their Championship two years ago. With the re-upping of Patrick Sharp, the team still has three 70 point forwards on their roster. The other spots, it seems, have had a rotating cast of characters since the Blackhawks have had trouble with the cap.
Defense: The same goes for the Hawks D, which still has the dynamic duo of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Young Swede Niklas Hjalmarsson has proved effective on the blueline, and additions Steve Montador and Sean O’Donnell add some veteran talent to the Hawks D.
Goaltending: It appears the Blackhawks are going to ride the wave that is Corey Crawford. Marty Turco, the one year vet out of Dallas, was not resigned this summer, leaving Crawford the net to himself. Their backup, Alexander Salak, was a Florida prospect obtained in the Frolik trade. The Czech native had a 1.97 average in 32 games in Farjestad last year.
Prediction: Second in the Central Division, Fifth in the Western Conference.
The Blackhawks have a strong core both on forward and d. If Crawford holds up, then the team can make it a round or two into the playoffs.
Who to watch for: