Blackhawks News

The Center Experiment Continues

By Greg Boysen

The saga of the Blackhawks’ 2nd line center continued last week during prospect camp.  Top prospect Brandon Saad spent some time playing the middle during the scrimmages at camp.  Saad has never played center in his career but was willing and eager to give it a shot.  When asked about playing center by the media, Saad replied “It’s something I’m willing to try for sure. Just to be helpful and play as many positions as I can is something I’m willing to do.”  This attitude has to sit well with the coaching staff and his veteran teammates.

The 2nd line center position is starting to become another mythical position in Chicago sports like the Bears quarterback or third base for the Cubs.  It seems every season the Hawks have the same problem, no one to fill that slot on the 2nd line.  Dave Bolland was paid to be a 2nd line center but has never stepped into that role.  Marcus Kruger was given a shot on the 2nd line, but he doesn’t have the offensive ability at this point to play there.  The Hawks let Patrick Kane give center a whirl on more than one occasion last year.  He did a pretty good job but Kane is much more effective playing his natural wing position.  If Stan Bowman isn’t going to go out and get a true 2nd line center this offseason, someone on the current roster must step up.  I don’t know why they have forgotten about Patrick Sharp at center.  He played center on the 2nd line during the 2010 playoffs and that turned out pretty good for the Blackhawks.  I would love the Hawks to go out and get a real center and not play someone out of position.  The LA Kings proved what depth at the center position can do for a hockey team.

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