Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: John Hayden And Second-Line Centers

By Colin Likas
Mar 18, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks center John Hayden (40) during their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Blackhawks beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks center John Hayden (40) during their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Blackhawks beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Blackhawks will spend the next several days tinkering with their lineup and trying to get healthy ahead of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

It’s certainly not a guarantee that the Chicago Blackhawks have wrapped up the Central Division and Western Conference titles, but they seem to be approaching the regular season’s final two weeks like it is.

At this point, coach Joel Quenneville seems to be tinkering with his lineup and trying to find out which forward units are the most effective. That’s included finding a home for rookie John Hayden, who burst onto the NHL scene with three points in his first six games.

Hayden has primarily spent time on the top line alongside Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik. However, once Artem Anisimov returns from injury, it’s expected Nick Schmaltz will bump up from second-line center (which he’s been in and out at in recent games). That leads to the question of where Hayden can play, if he should play, when the postseason rolls around.

Today’s Chicago Blackhawks roundtable questions are actually intertwined, as Hayden’s spot in the lineup is a lot murkier once Anisimov returns to the lineup and fills the second-line center role. Here are today’s official questions:

Question 1: If John Hayden plays in the postseason, which line would you like to see him on and why?

Question 2: Who do you think makes the best center for Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane while Artem Anisimov is out and why?

Let’s see what our esteemed panel of Blackhawk Up experts had to say this week.

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