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Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Offensive Preparation For 2017-18 Season

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Apr 20, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left winger Artemi Panarin (72) hits Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen (92) during the second period in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left winger Artemi Panarin (72) hits Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen (92) during the second period in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 23, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger (16) chases the puck during the first period against the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger (16) chases the puck during the first period against the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

Marcus Kruger

Let’s face it.  I will be incredibly surprised if Krugs isn’t a Vegas Golden Knight next year.  That being said, he probably should be looking into finding a new place to live.  That, and his gambling skills.

Tanner Kero

If Kruger truly will no longer to a Chicago Blackhawk, it’s Kero who will be asked to fill his shoes.  The area in which Krugs will be mostly missed is on the penalty kill; so Kero should be working on how he can best contribute on this special teams unit.

Although, Coach Q recently stated during a press conference that he’d like to see more offensive production from the center as well.  Poor Kero definitely has his work cut out for him.  We shall see if he’s up to the task.

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Dennis Rasmussen

With Kruger gone, Rasmussen could very easily be called upon to fill a third- or fourth-line center position next year.

He suited up for 68 regular-season games last season, and had a fairly decent year.  He even scored a goal in the playoffs!

Rasmussen has the potential to be a solid player, but being a center comes with even more responsibility.  He should be trying to perfect all the little nuances that come with that position, so he can be even more of an asset to his team.

Jordin Tootoo

No. 22 has already done his job for the Chicago Blackhawks.  In late February, he was signed to a one-year contract extension with the team.  This was mostly so he can be one of the forwards who will be exposed in the expansion draft later this month.

This allows the ‘Hawks to protect other younger players from being exposed, namely Hartman.  If Tootoo does end up with the team next season, I would expect him to be more of a locker room cheerleader than an everyday player.   At least let’s hope so, for goodness sakes!  It’s time for the youngsters to get more playing time under their belts!

Next: Blackhawks In-House Defensive Options

The Chicago Blackhawks have a lot of work to do in order to be a better team next year.  Hopefully the players are starting to concentrate on some of these things as we speak!  Stay tuned for a post about defensive player preparations, coming soon.

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