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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Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson (52) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson (52) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Erik Gustafsson

Gustafsson is probably one of the brightest points in the dark hole that is the Blackhawks defense. He played 41 games with the big boys last year with 14 assists and no goals. He also had a plus/minus of plus-11.

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In the 2014-15 campaign, Gustafsson played in the Swedish Hockey League for the Frolunda Hockey Club. That season he played 55 games with four goals and 25 assists, and a plus/minus of plus-2.

It is time for the Blackhawks to start looking young. Gustafsson, 24, is a great place to start. He should be given an entire year up with the ‘Hawks, which will become his coming out party.

I think this is the year Gustafsson breaks out and becomes one of the Blackhawks’ top D-men. If I had to guess, I would say that he would be on the third pairing with TVR. Those two young defensemen will feed off each other all year, and will solidify the final pairing.

The last person out for me is Michal Rozsival. The 37-year-old had a pretty bad year last year, and it is clear he is declining.

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I think Rozsival should not see the ice very often this year. The ‘Hawks need to begin to look younger for their defense, and placing Rozsival in the game will do nothing but hurt the Chicago Blackhawks.

By the way, it is 76 days until puck drop.

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