Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Accomplishments To Watch In 2016-17

By Colin Likas
Apr 9, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-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 /

Erik Gustafsson: 100 games

This is an interesting one, as it’s far from a certainty Gustafsson makes the Blackhawks’ roster out of training camp. Additions of Campbell and Kempny and the existence of the likes of Trevor van Riemsdyk, Michal Rozsival and Viktor Svedberg make his position in the organization tenuous. But if he does impress Joel Quenneville and Co. out of camp, he could get to 100 career games played. It’d still be extremely tough, though — he’s 59 games away.

Niklas Hjalmarsson: 600 games

On the flip side, Hjammer should have little trouble reaching this mark this season — barring unforeseen circumstances (i.e. an injury). Hjammer sits at 550 games played, and he’s played either 81 or 82 contests each of the last three seasons. The durable Swede is also nine blocked shots away from 300 for his postseason career.

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Marian Hossa: 500 goals, 600 assists, 1,300 games

A player who has been in the league as long as Hossa is going to have some individual accomplishments roll around each season. Hossa has quite a few this season, some easier to get to than others.

Hossa needs just a single goal to reach 500 for his career, and he’s only 10 assists shy of 600. While he did struggle offensively last season, both of those goals are easily obtainable if he stays healthy. That will also determine if he hits 1,300 career games this season, as he’ll need to play in at least 64 of 82 games to reach the plateau.

Patrick Kane: 300 goals, 700 games

The latter of these two objectives should be easier to reach, as Kane is 42 games away from hitting 700 for his regular-season career. Kane took part in every Blackhawks game last season after hitting 69 and 61 the previous two seasons due to injury.

The 300 goals is a very high goal, as Kane is 49 markers away from it. The reason I’m putting it here is he set a new career high in goals last season with 46. That’s not too far away from 49. If Kane can in any way replicate his MVP season from last year, he might just reach 300 goals.

Duncan Keith: 400 assists, 900 games

Keith knows one thing in hockey, and it’s how to be on the ice as often as possible. When he played in just 69 games last season, it marked the only time he hasn’t been in at least the 70s in games played in a full NHL season. So if Keith gets in 67 games this season, he’ll reach 800. It seems like a safe bet.

The 400 assists is also achievable, as Keith sits at 374 for his career. The last time Keith had fewer than 26 assists in a full season — the number he needs to hit 400 — was 2007-08, at age 24. So there’s good precedent to say Keith will also hit this milestone this season.

Next: Kruger Through Rozsival

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