In the past, the Chicago Blackhawks have had the privilege of beginning their Stanley Cup title defense with a near-identical roster to the team that brought it home the year before.
As the Blackhawks step on the ice for their 2015-16 campaign, attempting to defend their 2015 championship, that will not be the case.
This offseason, though far from over, has already qualified as the Blackhawks’ busiest since the Salary Cap-ocalypse after their 2010 championship. Gone are the likes of Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp and Brad Richards. In, are Marko Dano, Trevor Daley and Artemi Panarin.
Da Windy City
With the drastic changes come pressing questions. There is no shortage of those in Blackhawks’ circles, as the dog days of the NHL offseason drag on. In anticipation of the Blackhawks’ 2015-16 season, we have come up with our top 10 questions the ‘Hawks will have, heading into training camp, in no particular order.
Today, we give you the first five, and tomorrow, the other half. After reading, please add your predictions, or questions of your own, in the comments section below!
Too Much Youth, Or Just Enough?
Best Case Scenario: Just like 2009.
The Blackhawks entered the 2009 season with one of the youngest rosters in the league, and had many eye-openers throughout the year. Though many thought the Blackhawks would crack the playoffs that season, no one expected them to take it as far as they did, eventually falling to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Final. That season of surprising success laid the foundation for the Blackhawks’ championship teams of the past six years.
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Worst Case Scenario: Inexperienced team falters early, and often.
The Blackhawks will not only roster NHL rookies next season, but North American professional rookies as well. If they fail to acclimate themselves in time, the Blackhawks could dig themselves a hole too big to get out of. With mentors such as Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa on the team, however, the chances of this happening are definitely slim.
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