Question 1: There can only be good from the Blackhawks not having to go on their annual Circus Trip anymore. For one, who wants to spend two weeks away from the familiar confines of home with family and friends nearby?
Sure these are professional athletes from around the world, so travel wouldn’t be an issue, but being on the road for that long takes its toll. Look at the energy level the Blackhawks had against the Kings on Saturday night. Fumes.
There was nothing in the tank, and that’s what the Circus Trip does to this team every year. Glad it’s gone.
Question 2: Of all the newcomers to the Blackhawks this year, the one that has the best future is Ryan Hartman.
As far as skill goes, guys like Nick Schmaltz and Vince Hinostroza might have more, but Hartman plays the way that Blackhawks fans love to eat up. He can kill penalties, be effective on the powerplay, plays physically and has the skills to be a 15-20-goal scorer in his high-end potential.
He’s Andrew Shaw 2.0, but hasn’t shown a knack for taking bad penalties. I’d love to see a guy like Hartman have a highly successful NHL career, but to be honest, all the newbies have high potential and the Blackhawks have a solid future ahead of them.