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Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Final Thoughts On The Preseason

By Gail Kauchak
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Jun 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) acknowledges the crowd during the 2015 Stanley Cup championship parade and rally at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

2.  The Blackhawks don’t want Bickell. Bryan Bickell indicated that the Chicago Blackhawks did not tell him why he was being put on waivers.  

 Well, gee; that’s not very nice.  Is that how you treat a player that you are committed to?  Someone that you want to be with your team for the long term?  I don’t think so.

And then you have Bickell saying that he’s taking this as a wake-up call, and he’s going to try harder, and he wants to be a Chicago Blackhawk forever.  Blah, blah, blah!  Don’t we hear this from Bicks every year?  Multiple times?  Bickell just doesn’t have the magic or the motivation anymore.  And on top of it all the poor guy has medical issues from his physical style of play.

It’s a sad situation that Bickell is getting paid way too much money for the caliber of player that he is.  Because of this, the Chicago Blackhawks are trying to get rid of him, but no one else wants him either.  I feel bad for the guy, but unfortunately it’s the nature of the business.  There’s too many other players (Dano, Baun, Tikhonov, Hinostroza) that could fit that third or fourth line role for a lot less money.

It appears that Stan Bowman has done everything he can to get rid of Bickell, but to no avail.  That being said, I have no problem with him and his salary sitting it out in the press box, or in the AHL.

1.  Defense is going to be dicey. Well, the Chicago Blackhawks have Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Niklas Hjalmarsson leading their defense.  Thank goodness for that!!  Because beyond that, well it’s pretty much just question marks.

Trevor Daley, formerly from the Dallas Stars, was supposed to essentially replace Johnny Oduya.  But he appears to be more of an offensive defenseman, and is criticized for wandering around too much,   which could lead to breakaways for the other team.  The Chicago Blackhawks have Keith and Seabrook to score goals on the back end; what they really need is another defensive defenseman like Hjalmarsson.  Daley doesn’t appear to be that man.

Trevor van Riemsdyk had a pretty good playoff showing last season after dealing with injuries for most of the year.  I personally think he is going to have a solid year; but let’s face it; he’s probably going to go through some growing pains.

Viktor Svedberg has looked all right in the preseason, but it’s hard to say how that will translate over to the regular season.  David Rundblad is still his same old, unreliable self.  And Michal Rozsival and Kyle Cumiskey are both still out on injury.  We don’t know what their timetable is for being ready to play.  Why is it that the best case scenario seems to be rooting for slow, but steady Rozy to come in and save the day?  Nothing has changed since last year.

Well, we can talk all we want, but we just have to wait and see how it all plays out.  The preseason has given us a valuable tool towards predicting where the Chicago Blackhawks stand, at least to start the season.  So many things are going to change throughout these next 82 games, especially with the fickle Coach Q at the helm.  Buckle up, Blackhawks fans.  It all starts Wednesday!

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