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Chicago Blackhawks: Analyzing Offseason Losses

By Melissa Peterson
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This one goes out to the players that have not been re-signed to the Chicago Blackhawks this off-season. Most notably: Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, Brad Richards, Antti Raanta and Johnny Oduya.

I’m not here to discuss the worth of trade returns for these players (minus Oduya), but rather to just look at these players and their careers and contributions to hockey and the Blackhawks’ organization, specifically during this last season.


Brandon Saad | 22-year-old left winger, drafted 43rd overall in the second round of the 2011 NHL draft. Two Stanley Cups. He moved from the second to the first line for this season, which showed a tremendous amount of trust from Coach Joel Quenneville, playing alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa for most of his TOI.

(This chart was edited to include colored lines from individual players without Saad versus with him for easier readability. No figures were altered in this change). 

This chart includes players who were on the ice for a minimum of 100 even-strength minutes with Saad, and that includes: Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Michal Rozsival, Toews, Andrew Shaw, David Rundblad and Hossa.

What we lost and what we won’t miss

This past season, Saad was on the ice for 28.7 percent of Chicago’s total ice time (third among forwards) and ranked third in goals scored with 10.73 percent of Chicago’s total goals (31). As you can see from the chart above, every player saw an increase in shots-for playing alongside Saad, except for Oduya, Hjalmarsson and Rozsival.

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  • Unfortunately, many of these players also saw an increase in shots-against. In fact, the only players that didn’t see an increase were Rozsival, Oduya and Shaw. Some increases in shots-against were offset by a more dramatic jump in shots for, but some figures presented glaring issues. (Hossa, for example, saw an increase of fewer than five shots for while also seeing an increase of nearly nine shots against while playing with Saad; he also played the largest amount of time with Saad.) Hjalmarsson saw both an increase in shots against and a decrease in shots for.

    Saad hits the ice with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who Chicago will face for the first time Saturday, Oct. 17.


    Patrick Sharp | 33-year-old left winger, drafted 95th overall in the third round of the 2001 NHL draft. Three Stanley Cups, Olympic gold with Team Canada. He moved down to the third line this season, which signaled a potential issue given his $5.9 million cap hit.

    (This chart was edited to include colored lines from individual players without Sharp versus with him for easier readability. No figures were altered in this change).

    This chart includes players who were on the ice for a minimum of 100 even-strength minutes with Sharp, and that includes: Hjalmarsson, Keith, Toews, Seabrook, Rozsival, Richards, Patrick Kane, Bryan Bickell, Shaw, Hossa, Oduya and Rundblad.

    What we lost and what we won’t miss

    This past season, Sharp was on the ice for 22.83 percent of Chicago’s total ice time (seventh among forwards) and ranked fifth in goals scored with 7.27 percent of Chicago’s total goals (21 goals).

    Of the people Sharp spent most of his time with (Richards, Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson), all four saw a reduction in their shots-for rates with Sharp. Other players that saw this reduction included Rundblad, Bickell, Rozsival, Shaw, Oduya, Kane and Hossa.

    Not too many saw an increase in shots against (Keith, Toews, Shaw and Bickell), but Toews’ dramatic increase suggests that pairing was not great.

    Sharp hits the ice with the Dallas Stars, who Chicago will face for the first time Tuesday, Dec. 22.


    Brad Richards | 35-year-old center, drafted 64th overall in the third round of the 1998 NHL draft. Two Stanley Cups, Conn Smythe winner in 2004 with Tampa Bay. He centered Kane for a majority of the season, the pair being most notably nicknamed “Peanut Butter”.

    (This chart was edited to include colored lines from individual players without Richards versus with him for easier readability. No figures were altered in this change). 

    This chart includes players who were on the ice for a minimum of 100 even-strength minutes with Richards, and that includes: Hjalmarsson, Keith, Seabrook, Rozsival, Oduya, Kris Versteeg, Kane, Bickell, Sharp and Rundblad

    What we lost and what we won’t miss

    This past season, Richards was on the ice for 23.05 percent of Chicago’s total ice time (sixth among forwards) and tied for seventh with Versteeg in goals scored with 5.19 percent of Chicago’s total goals (15 goals).

    A lot of players saw a reduction in their shots-against total alongside Richards (Versteeg, Rundblad and Oduya withstanding). Unfortunately, a lot of these players also saw a reduction in their shots-for total as well (most notably Kane, but also Hjalmarsson, Sharp, Versteeg, Keith and Seabrook).

    Richards hits the ice with the Detroit Red Wings, who Chicago will face for the first time Wednesday, March 2.

    Next: A Look Back At Johnny Oduya And Antti Raanta

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