Question 1: There are definitely a few holes in the Blackhawks lineup. The team needs depth, but there’s always a price for that. More often than not it’s a gamble trading away potential key pieces to the team.
I know it sounds awesome possibly adding a name like Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene, etc., but the price has to be right, and for big names it simply won’t be. It’s true that the Blackhawks have been thinner than ever in terms of depth, so the team needs to address that while preserving the future of the team.
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Seeing these athletes incorporate their children has been my favorite part of the All-Star Weekend. Although I don’t really care all that much for Kesler as a player, I could only imagine how big of a moment it was for him.
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As fans we tend to forget that outside of hockey these are just regular human beings, fathers and husbands who genuinely care more about their kids than the money and the glory of showing off during showcases intended for such.
Question 1: The Blackhawks could really use another winger with a proven ability to score. A cap-friendly player, maybe past his prime, who’s having a good year like New Jersey’s P.A. Parenteau or Arizona’s Radim Vrbata would be a great fit for the ‘Hawks down the stretch.
Question 2: The Skills Competition, especially Fastest Skater, Skills Challenge Relay and the debut this year of the Four-Line Challenge. In contrast to the dopey 3-on-3 games, the players are actually giving it their very best to win the skill events and really showcase the amazing talent they offer in today’s NHL.
Unfortunately, the switch to a 3-on-3 format has done little to increase the generally moribund level of competition in the All-Star Game, where defenders try to stare opponents off the puck and the goalies only sheepishly wave at the puck as they’re falling to the ice. It was nice to see Arizona goalie Mike Smith make a game of it in the final.