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Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach hopes to benefit from Chicago's salary cap exodus

Sep 3, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

The reports of the Chicago Blackhawks’ demise as a Stanley Cup contender are greatly exaggerated.

Sure, they lost some valuable pieces. Dustin Byfuglien was a jumbo-sized headache for goalies like Roberto Luongo and Evgeni Nabokov. Kris Versteeg could provide the occasional jolt of goal scoring energy while Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd were quality character guys. Of course, they’ll have to make a transition in net from Antti Niemi and Cristobal Huet to Marty Turco and Corey Crawford.

Still, most of their very best players are still in Chicago. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Brian Campbell are still in the fold, so I think it’s hasty to shut the door on their status as contenders. They’re just lacking a bit in depth … unless their replacements break through in a big way.

One prospect who can gain a lot from the Blackhawks’ salary cap losses is big, tough forward Kyle Beach. NHL.com gathered his thoughts regarding his very high chances of making the NHL squad full time.

“Any time you see a teammate or friend get traded or go off to another team, it’s tough,” Beach said. “I started to get to know these guys pretty well throughout the playoffs as a black ace, at the training camps, at the Chicago Blackhawk conventions, different player appearances here and there, training in Chicago this summer. When they got the call, I know for them it was pretty devastating. It hurts to see them go, but at the same time, the NHL is a business.

“As much as it hurts to see them leave, that’s what was necessary to open this possible spot for myself. It’s very unfortunate, but it has to happen and hopefully that’s the opportunity I need to make the NHL.”

Not only is he replacing players with which he formed bonds, he’s also going to be asked to fill the roles of players who brought Chicago its first Stanley Cup since 1961. But Beach is looking at this as an opportunity to do something special, rather than looking at it as an unenviable situation where he has to fill the shoes of a champion.

At 6’3″, 200-plus lbs., Beach could be a nice fit for a team that lost some serious size when Byfuglien and Eager departed. It might take Beach and their other prospects a while to adjust to the NHL game, but if things work out, the Blackhawks front office could come off looking brilliant.

It’s a golden opportunity for Beach. We’ll see if he can make good on it.

  1. vancitydan - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Please. He is a bum. Regardless of this piece, dude beat up his own teammate(s) at prospect camp, has been suspended by his team at almost every level.
    It makes us so happy in Vancouver that we took Hodgson. A kid that will meet the challenge.
    Beach has a ton of growing up to do.

  2. Slak - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    They’re not bitter in Vancouver.

  3. Cam - Sep 4, 2010 at 6:23 AM

    Yes, but can he pull hair and call players who beat him in fights “cowards”?
    If so, he has a future with the Nucks.

  4. Paul H. - Sep 4, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    Hawksfanhere…vancitydanielle….still crying in your wet diaper? Let it go sunshine, 2 straight years the nucks laid down. You’re like obama – it’s everyone else’s fault, from the announcers, referee’s, bettman and other conspiracies. Get over it. If you’re so happy to be a nucks fan, why can’t you stop the whining? Have you seen a doctor about your ‘obsessive compulsive’ problem? You really need to. And, right on Cam and Slak.

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