Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: Fourth-Liners And Vegas Celebrities

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GLENDALE, AZ – OCTOBER 21: Patrick Kane
GLENDALE, AZ – OCTOBER 21: Patrick Kane /

John Aubert

Question 1: Kero. I feel he adds better depth, plus he’s known the ’Hawks’ system a bit longer and he’s more trusted. Wingels is a good forward, but Kero I feel has a better overall game.

Question 2: Without a doubt Patrick Kane would be the best Vegas show host. He’s a natural star. He has passion and a great personality that fits well with the city.

Kirk Bennett

Question 1: If I had to choose between the two, I’d have to go with Wingels because of his physicality. But if the truth were to be known, I’d choose neither.

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I think the emergence of Nick Schmaltz as a center on the second line has changed the lineup equation entirely for Blackhawks. It seemed logical to move Artem Anisimov to third-line center, then have Kero or Wingels take the fourth-line center position, and that’s exactly the strategy the head coach employed to begin this season.

The problem is that Anisimov is off to a slow start, and the third line with rookie Alex DeBrincat and veteran Patrick Sharp has not managed to find the chemistry the trio seemed to have right out of the gate. And I don’t think Kero or Wingels are offensive enough to fill that third-line center spot.

I think Blackhawks got it wrong by sending Vinnie Hinostroza to Rockford to begin this season. The NHL in 2017 is about speed. Hino has that in spades and the versatility to play up and down the lineup, at center or at wing, so why not promote him now to play with Sharp and DeBrincat? Anisomov can be employed as fourth-line center.

Question 2: I’m not sure how to answer this, hence I’ll simply say this: The natural choice for me would be Patrick Sharp. He has the looks and the personality.