Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) hoist the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
3. Chicago Blackhawks
It’s hard to maintain a budding dynasty, just ask the Chicago Blackhawks. The ’Hawks may have had the worst offseason in the NHL, and they really had no choice.
The roster was gutted again following their third Stanley Cup in six seasons. Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya, Brad Richards, Antoine Vermette, prospect Stephen Johns and Antti Raanta were all offseason casualties. The ’Hawks did add Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt, who should all be contributors next season.
The Blackhawks’ core is still intact and Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Marian Hossa, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Corey Crawford and will be especially vital during Chicago’s title defense.
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The blue line will be a question for the ’Hawks, as they will be hoping to get good contributions from Daley and Trevor van Riemsdyk behind the top three defenders. Fortunately, Crawford does a very good job of hiding his defense’s blemishes — just watch his performance in the Cup final.
The Kane rape investigation adds more questions to the upcoming season, but the ’Hawks should still be a contender if the core holds up.
Next: Next: No. 2
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