While Chicago Blackhawks fans not so patiently await Teuvo Teravainen’s arrival, speculation about where he fits on the team has pretty much been in unison.
Teuvo Teravainen is the long awaited, true 2nd line center, the Blackhawks have been waiting for.
In all likelihood, this hope/assumption isn’t wrong. Teravainen likely fits best as the 2nd line center, with Jonathan Toews remaining as the 1st line center. Many believe that since Teravianen is an center with huge offensive upside, that he is the perfect compliment to Patrick Kane, on the 2nd line. This however, is NOT TRUE.
Yes, Stan Bowman, and the Hawks’ front-office have struggled to find a center with complimentary skills, to play alongside Kane, on the 2nd line, but Teravianen is not that player.
As you can see, Teravainen is a “pass first” type of player. 35 assists, in 49 games played is incredible. Once he adjusts to the NHL game, and develops some chemistry with whoever he’s playing with, those numbers should be even better, especially when considering the talent and types of players, on the Hawks’ roster.
Teravainen has been referred to as the “Finnish Patrick Kane”, since his skills and upside are almost identical to Kane’s. Both are playmakers, with great vision that allows them to make passes that most other players in the world are unable to pull off. Both players are better suited on different lines, that way the Hawks would have 2 individual scoring lines that feature a player that create other-worldly scoring chances.
With the addition of Teravainen, Kane could easily slide up onto the 1st line, with Toews centering, and either Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad, Bryan Bickell or even Marian Hossa on the left side, of the top line. There’s no need to get too deep into what the lines could potentially look like, especially considering that with Joel Quenneville’s line blender, we will likely see every combination imaginable, anyways.
The only way that it makes sense for Kane and Teravainen to play on the same line would be if the Hawks had one of the players shift their philosophy from “pass first”, to “shoot first”, while the other stays on their pass happy trail. This option could work, but it really isn’t necessary, especially this late in the season.
The point is that Teravainen gives Coach Q and the Hawks endless options that most centers don’t give you. The player who will really reap the benefits, of these options would easily have to be Kane, who will be able to play on a line that features players with similar talent and complimenting skill-sets, an option that fans have been craving, for quite some time. While that happens, the Hawks still have plenty of remaining wingers that will fit nicely, with Teravianen, on the 2nd line.
This is all hypothetical, but with the information we have and everything we know, this is the best potential scenario that the Hawks could hope for. A bit optimistic? Sure, but not as outlandish as it seems. Hopefully Teravainen is able to adapt and excel, quickly, at the NHL level.