Mar 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wingTeuvo Teravainen
(86) reaches for the puck against Dallas Stars centerShawn Horcoff
(10) during the third period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
#3: A Full Season Will Make Him A Trusted Playoff Weapon
Despite the anticipation from Blackhawks fans last season, Teuvo didn’t step on the ice for the Blackhawks in their playoff run to the Western Conference Final. Instead, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenville opted to dress the players that had been there before, both in the playoffs and all season long, over the kid who played only 3 regular-season games. No matter where Teuvo plays this regular-season, he will be a part of the Blackhawks come playoff time, either as a “Black Ace”, or a regular call-up as the ‘Hawks prepare (hopefully) for another lengthy playoff run. What does depend on his regular-season is what he will be doing while he’s with the Blackhawks; he’ll either be wearing a jersey, or a suit. Quenneville simply can’t start a player that has only had time to develop chemistry with teammates and acclimate to the NHL pace in practice; Teravainen will have to have a significant number of regular-season games under his belt if he wants to play at all in the post-season. Not only will Teuvo benefit the team in the regular season, but the experience he will have gained by contributing to the Blackhawks’ playoff seed will pay dividends when it really matters, when the Stanley Cup is 16 wins (or less) away.
#2: The Clock Is Ticking
Yes, Teuvo Teravainen is 20 years old. He will be turning 21 before the NHL season starts, however, and although it is a very slow one, the Blackhawks are sitting on a 20-year time bomb. It may sound absurd to think that the Blackhawks are losing valuable time on someone who wasn’t even around when Ice Hockey was named Canada’s official Winter Sport (look it up), but when one realizes that Toews and Kane are no longer the fresh-faced teens they once were, every season becomes valuable in this golden age of Blackhawks hockey. As the days wear on, Teravainen loses time to learn from some of the best to ever play for the Blackhawks, and soon will be thrust into a leadership role himself. It could all end in a Kevin Hayes-like ordeal, where the restricted free agent chose not to re-sign with the Blackhawks, instead opting for the fast track to a full-time NHL role. The thought of losing Teravainen will strike Blackhawks fans as far-fetched, as the team has only used him for three regular-season games, and that is precisely why the club simply can’t wait any longer to introduce Teuvo to the club full-time. The difference could mean one Calder Trophy, or even a Stanley Cup.