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It’s Chicago Blackhawks Day at PHT

Aug 4, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

Patrick Kane, Corey Crawford, Patrick Sharp, Michal Handzus AP

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team?  The Chicago Blackhawks.

For more entries in this series, click here.

If you woke a Chicago Blackhawks fan up from a coma that began in 2007, they’d be stunned by this new reality: any season where the Blackhawks don’t hoist the Stanley Cup is now at least a mild disappointment or a flat-out failure (depending upon the perspective of the person you ask).

The Blackhawks enjoyed another nice regular season, although the shocking rise of the Colorado Avalanche and the logical next step of the St. Louis Blues left them in third place in the brutal Central Division … which may even be tougher top-to-bottom in 2014-15. Chicago got the last laugh against its division rivals in the playoffs, however, as the Avs fell in the first round while the Blackhawks dispatched the Blues in a first-round series that seemed more like a deeper postseason bout.

The funny thing about Duncan Keith winning the 2014 Norris Trophy is that the Blackhawks struggled to limit scoring more this season than in their dominant 2012-13 run. Keith was as dominant as advertised but others – even Brent Seabrook – had trouble, although Corey Crawford might be the easiest target since the ‘Hawks were still a dominant puck possession team.

Either way, their dazzling offense out-scored most of their problems … at least until the Los Angeles Kings showed that they were better at out-scoring their problems in a thrilling shooting gallery of a series.

That’s where the “loss that would be a proud year for most other franchises” bit comes in: if Chicago wants to evoke dynasty chatter, they need to thwart the Kings. It didn’t work out this time.

Offseason

The franchise-shaping offseason moves came in locking up Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to mammoth contract extensions. Those two deals will have far-reaching consequences that could force a trade or two as the 2014-15 season goes on (if not even a trade if the mood strikes before October rolls around).

Ultimately, the best news is that this team is largely intact and slightly-to-quite-improved, depending upon how well Brad Richards and Teuvo Teravainen fit into the mix. By most accounts, Michal Handzus long passed the point of usefulness, so potentially finding an improvement at the oft-cited second-line center spot could be a boon.

With players like Brandon Saad needing new deals soon, Patrick Sharp being the target of trade speculation and Marian Hossa breaking down a bit from all that mileage, one gets the feeling that the Blackhawks might be forced to make some tough decisions soon.

Whether it’s fair to the other contenders or not, many likely believe that the road to the Stanley Cup goes through Chicago and Los Angeles.

  1. patthehockeyfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    I’m a Kings’ fan; but, I LOVE the ‘Hawks. What a great team! They continue to bring excellence to the sport each and every season.

    • esracerx46 - Aug 4, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Don’t tell Blomfeld that. He’s the sole reason I despise the Kings, Otherwise the feelings would be mutual

      • patthehockeyfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        “Don’t tell Blomfeld that.”

        It’ll be our secret. ;)

      • avfanforlife - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        Just wait for it – Lame video and even lamer post coming in 5….4….3…….

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        If the Hawks face the Kings again in the WC, and that winner goes on to win the SC, I’m wondering if we should creat/recognize a new sports-term. Most have heard of the term “co-dependant”.

        If this pattern continues, I’m wondering if we should think of “co-dynastic” ;)

        A video-link FREE post :)))

      • blomfeld - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        ‘There’s only one thing I love more than food and that’s the Chicago Blackhawks’ … Oprah Winfrey

      • avfanforlife - Aug 4, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        Blomdouche, you missed your cue…

  2. redwings4013 - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    I don’t get why Bickel isn’t on the trade block. Idk if his contract holds a NTC but 3 million a year is way to much for him. He doesn’t do anything all season then finally shows up for the playoffs. Sharp and hossa are way better and there contracts are only 1-3 more million then bickle. I’m a wings fan and I know this by 2 years agos playoffs when seabroke toews and bickle destroyed our Defence and scored every chance. I’m not saying don’t trade sharp to for more cap but I would much rather trade a 3 million bickle then a 5.9 sharp

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      He is not at this point as the Hawks need bigger/physical players who can still skate with decent hands. He was injured and had surgery during the shortest SC to training timeperiod due to the late playoffs. He also got married last summer.

      I think he knows he needs to come to camp in excellent shape and be ready to deliver.

      So I think it’s his potential that causes him to not be on the block at this point.

      And he needs to deliver during the season.

    • thesportsjudge - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      Bickell is $4m a year.

      • thesportsjudge - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Haha, love getting thumbs downed on a FACT.

    • sneakers10 - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      If you think Bickell is overpaid at annual hit of 3million, how do you feel about his real hit of 4 million a yr.

  3. blomfeld - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    LET US BE ‘MAGNANIMOUS’ TOWARDS THEM !

    magnanimity: the generosity of the victor towards the defeated or vanquished

    Even though we SC Champion LA Kings no longer view the Chicago Blackhawks as being a ‘legitimate’ threat, we nonetheless wish them ‘well’ in going forward … God speed friends.

    *** somewhere out on the great plain ***

    Blom Feather: who are these riders who go before us down in the valley below ?

    Ten Bears: it’s hard to tell brother, though it appears to be the Black Hawk nation ?

    Crazy Dog: well whatever … I say we ‘waste’ these mo-effers again man, right now !

    Blom Feather: no brother … there is a time for everything and today is ‘not’ the time.

    Ten Bears: yes, don’t worry brother … we’ll have ‘our’ time again with them soon enough.

    Crazy Dog: okay man, but when that time does come, we’re gonna fix ‘em ‘real’ good !

    GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

    • parasolmonster - Aug 4, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      You’re quite possibly the worst sore winner I’ve ever witnessed, and a bandwagoner to boot. As esracerx said above, I despise you. Not only because of how annoying and downright crappy you are, but because you’ve made me dislike the Kings – an organization I’ve always respected and rooted for when they weren’t playing the Hawks.

      • avfanforlife - Aug 4, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        Don’t forget to mention the LAMEASS comments and thread-killing f’n videos – Why doesn’t PHT put an end to this a$$clown?!?

      • blomfeld - Aug 4, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        “You’re quite possibly the worst sore ‘winner’ I’ve ever witnessed” …

        So I’m a ‘winner’ then eh ? … hell ya, coming from a ‘loser’ like you, I’ll take that any day ! :)

  4. lakeshoreleafsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    While I’m a Leafs fan until the day I die, I have to say I respect the Blackhawks, and they are my favourite team in the Western Conference. I would love for the Leafs to take cues from Chicago on how to build a team, how to be consistent contenders, and how to win and be championships. I hope with Brendan Shanahan now in charge, we’re on the road to that. Although I was born six years after the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup and want them to make as many Stanley Cup appearances as possible (they don’t always have to win, and don’t expect them to) there is ONE thing I want more than anything, and something that has not happened since 1962, when JFK was president…is to witness a Blackhawks-Maple Leafs Stanley Cup Final

    • blomfeld - Aug 4, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      ICH BIN EIN BERLINER !

      I wouldn’t hold you breath pal. The Leafs are mired in an ‘endless’ sea of struggles, while the Blackhawks have just now begun what is likely to be ‘many’ years of futility. So you should do yourself a favor and get with the program by ‘falling in’ with us Kings right now ! Yes sir, we’re the team of ‘today, tomorrow and forever’ and being a King’s fan is an absolute riot man ! :)

      FEEL THE ‘LOVE’ AND BECOME A KING’S FAN NOW !!! :) :) :)

      • lakeshoreleafsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        blomfeld : YOU are the reason I am starting to have a dislike for the LA Kings. I highly doubt (at least I hope not) Kings fans and Kings’ players are as obnoxious and arrogant as you are, but it’s people like you for the reason that I, and possibly maybe others who feel the way I do, who are starting to have a disliking for the Los Angeles Kings. Kings finally have some success the past handful of years or so (after years and decades of mediocrity) and YOU act like they’ve been champions, will be, and are entitled to be championships forever. Don’t gloat and don’t be so arrogant because…have you ever heard of teams going from first to worst in the span of one year? It can, and does, happen in sports and it’s possible that can happen to the Kings. And if you keep up the attitude that you have (which is very similar to the Montreal Canadiens’ and their fans’ attitude) I will wish that upon the LA Kings. GO HAWKS…GO LEAFS

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      Lake Shore – I’d have no problem with that!!!!!

  5. zinger99 - Aug 4, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    A well run organization. Be proud Chicago!!

  6. tfilarski - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    the hossa situation will be getting very interesting very soon. he signed before the new CBA, if he decides to hang em up, there will be some serious cap implications

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