5. New faces on the coaching staff
In addition to fresh faces on the ice, the Chicago Blackhawks have added a few pieces to the coaching staff. Ulf Samuelsson replaced Mike Kitchen as an assistant coach. He played with both head coach Joel Quenneville and assistant coach Kevin Dineen for the Hartford Whalers. Samuelsson looks to take over on defense and the penalty kill, both of which struggled last season.
The team also added Don Granato, who most recently was an associate head coach for the Wisconsin Badgers. He was also the head coach for the Worcester IceCats, which was the AHL affiliate for the St. Louis Blues when Quenneville coached there. Granato will most likely oversee helping with player development for the Hawks.
Apparently Coach Q was pretty upset with the firing of Kitchen, but it appears he did have a hand in these two most recent hirings. Hopefully these new faces can provide a spark and a fresh start for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Now I would like to add that Jeffrey mentioned a struggling defense as one of his reasons the Chicago Blackhawks won’t make the playoffs. He has a very valid point; as this is also one of my main concerns going into the season. How the Hawks fare of the blueline could be a major factor in determining how far they go (please see the Next Post below for more on defense).
Hopefully Corey Crawford will have another stellar year in front of them. And yes, the Central Division looks to be strong across the board next year. But the Chicago Blackhawks need to concentrate on themselves, as that is the only thing they can control. Because of the reasons above, I believe they will make the playoffs.
LET’S GO ’HAWKS!!!