Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks’ Defensemen Who Will Make Team

By Mike Brennan
Dec 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) skates past Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) skates past Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 19, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) celebrates his goal against the St. Louis Blues during the second period in game four of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

Which Chicago Blackhawks defensemen are on the right side of the cut line?

The Chicago Blackhawks’ downfall last season was the lack of a competent defense. The mileage on the legs of the defensemen showed in the second half of the season, which ultimately put the ’Hawks out of the playoffs early.

The front office took note of this during the offseason by signing some young talented defensemen to contracts within the system, and by going out and obtaining Brian Campbell from the Florida Panthers.

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With only 23 open spots for the NHL squad, some players will have to be sent down to Rockford. Here are the defensemen who will make the team after the top four defensemen of Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Campbell.

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Apr 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) is congratulated for scoring a goal during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

Trevor van Riemsdyk

TVR was a clearly one of coach Joel Quenneville‘s favorite players throughout the duration of last season. He averaged 19:59 in ice time in the 2015-16 campaign, which ranked fourth on the team.

At points during the postseason in 2016, the name Trevor van Riemsdyk was used as a punchline. He was falling all over the place and turning pucks over.

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However, on the optimistic side, he played very well in the second half of that series against St. Louis. He was getting back and keeping Blues forwards in front of him, which was something that fans really did not see very often out of TVR.

Last season was TVR’s first complete season in the NHL. He did alright with three goals and 11 assists. He was exceptional in the shot blocking department with 155. A big problem was that his plus/minus came out to be minus-5 after 82 games.

I think TVR should be cut a little slack. The ‘Hawks do not exactly have the cream of the crop to choose from behind TVR, so they will continue to work on him and condition him to make him better. After all, this will only be his second complete season in the NHL at the age of 25. Come opening night, TVR will most likely be the fifth, maybe fourth defenseman for the ‘Hawks.

Next: Viktor Svedberg

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