While the Chicago Blackhawks overhauled their team to an extent ahead of and during the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, one key face stayed in his place
The city of Chicago hosted its first NHL draft in 57 years this weekend. The draft itself was a huge success. Chicago set an NHL fanfest record of 47,514 people. That includes people inside and outside the Chicago Blackhawks’ United Center. I would not be surprised if Chicago hosts the NHL draft again soon because of the glowing reviews it received.
While hosting the draft was a success, the offseason for the Blackhawks has been one of turmoil and loss. Let’s take a look the Blackhawks’ offseason moves as whole.
The Blackhawks themselves might be putting a weaker product on the ice next season compared to last. When the offseason started after a first-round postseason exit against Nashville, the ’Hawks traded away goaltender Scott Darling to Carolina. Darling was going to be a free agent July 1, so the ’Hawks got a draft pick for his rights. Darling signed a four-year contract in Carolina and is now set to be the starter.
In the expansion draft, the Vegas Golden Knights selected defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk from the team. TVR was then traded to Carolina the following day.
That same day is when the big blows started to fall. The ’Hawks first lost forward Marian Hossa for next season and possible for good. As everyone knows, Hossa is lost due to a skin condition.
On Friday, general manager Stan Bowman then traded away one of his top-three defensemen in Niklas Hjalmarsson for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin. Bowman wasn’t done as he flipped Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte for Brandon Saad for Anton Forsberg from Columbus. Bowman brought the Saadfather back to Chicago for the next four years.
Rumors are still floating around that Marcus Kruger could be traded soon as well.
One thing remains the same
After all the dust has settled, one thing remains consistent with the Blackhawks. Tommy Hawk is still a member of the organization. That is right kids, Tommy Hawk has not been traded or fired despite some people’s urging.
He also appears to be taking better care of himself this offseason, unlike the 2014 offseason.
Tommy will be providing the same goofy and laughable stunts during games and off-ice events. He will be at home games banging on his drum, trying to get fans to cheer louder for the team. He will always be available for a great picture and being great at making kids smile.
Now don’t be fooled — Tommy will have a much harder job this upcoming season after all the changes. He will need to be funnier and more likable than he has been in the past. He is going to have to calm down all the people who were very upset when Panarin and Hjalmarsson were traded. If he can do that, then Tommy has nothing to worry about it.
If he cannot and the Blackhawks lose in the first round of the playoffs again — or worse — Tommy Hawk might be the next ’Hawk to be traded out of the organization.