Blackhawks News

Nick Leddy and Staying Out of the Dog House

By Chris Schubert

May 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy (8) during game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Leddy is extremely talented. From his defensive abilities to his speed to his quarterbacking of the power play, Leddy brings a ton of skill to the table at the blue line for the Blackhawks.

One of Stan Bowman’s prized possessions, Leddy has emerged as one of the best young defensemen in the game. Yet his tendency to be a bit timid has caused him to find himself in Coach Q’s dog house on a number of occasions, both in the regular and the post-season.

The 2014-2015 season for Nick Leddy needs to be one of progress. More than likely a defensemen is going to be the casualty in order to get the Blackhawks underneath the cap. Johnny Oduya is one of the names that has been circulating since the draft, as his value to other teams could be quite high.

If Oduya is the one sent packing, more minutes will be given to Nick Leddy. These will also be quality minutes. Leddy will be asked to take on a different role than in years past, being one of the top four defensemen on a nightly basis. The core of Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Leddy will be asked to mentor whoever steps in to the bottom pair role in the 2014 season.

Leddy, in this new role, will have to cut down on mistakes that found him stapled to the bench in 2014. Albeit, some of those mistakes weren’t his fault and shouldn’t have resulted in his stapling to the bench. Leddy will be asked to play more crisp hockey, more aggressive hockey in the Hawks end and to continue his great transition game that all Hawks fans love to watch.

The 23-year-old is entering his fourth full season with the Hawks. In three short seasons, Leddy has shown how good of a defensive player he is with a ton of room to grow. This season, Leddy will more than likely be asked to take a huge step forward in his game. That step will make or break the Hawks defensively this season. Leddy has to keep himself away from the doghouse in the 2014-2015 season. When he is able to do that, he takes the final step towards becoming a star in this league. And when that happens, the Hawks will have struck gold again.