The calendar has finally turned to September and so it’s time to bring back one of our traditional favorites over/under. We predict the Blackhawks players stats and you tell us if you think they will go over or under those stats! It’s a fun way to preview the season and we look forward to your comments! Is It October 9th in Dallas yet?
Today, we take a look at the Blackhawks’ lone off-season acquisition, and one that has arguably caused the most excitement among ‘Hawks fans over the past two months; Brad Richards.
Richards joined the Blackhawks on the first day of free-agency this summer, signing a one-year contract worth $2 million. Immediately, the Blackhawks’ long-standing issue at the second-line center position had been filled. The Blackhawks added a third Conn-Smythe trophy winner to their roster, and at a rock-bottom price.
Richards is certainly an improvement over previous second-line center Michal Handzus, who seemingly dragged Kane around the ice, much to the angst of ‘Hawks fans.
In 2014-15, the expectation for Richards is much higher than the 20 points and 31 assists he put up last season with the New York Rangers. Playing alongside one of the best right-wingers in the league, expect point totals to skyrocket for the 34-year old.
2014-2015 over/under– Playing alongside #88, it isn’t unreasonable to expect 22 goals, 44 assists, for a total of 66 points. Staying healthy will be the key for Richards, but the Blackhawks have plenty of options to fill the void in case of injury (see: Teuvo Teravainen).
The key for Richards will be in training camp. If he can find chemistry alongside Kane and a left winger such as Brandon Saad, the Blackhawks will have a second line better than most of their opponents’ top line, and that will be good news for both Richards and the club.
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