Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Roster: Looking Forward to 2018-19 Season

By Tim Martens
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 12: Anthony Duclair
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 12: Anthony Duclair /
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CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 06: Brent Seabrook
CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 06: Brent Seabrook /

The Four Who Have Seen This Before

It has been a decade since the Blackhawks last missed the postseason. But the last time they were on the outside looking-in on the playoffs, the direction for the team was clear. The team had a core of young talent in Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook on the roster.

Ten years later, those players are once again part of a Blackhawks team that will miss the postseason, but the direction for the team is far less certain. The question now is who should be part of the team’s future plans?

Kane and Toews will be 29 and 30, respectfully, when the 2018-19 season opens. While many have pointed to Toews and said he is starting to slip or see Kane’s low point production (by his standards) and questioned his game, I can’t imagine the ‘Hawks plan on moving away from generational talent after a few rough years. Both players would be considered in their prime as far as age is concerned, and each year that the salary cap rises, their mega deals are easier to work with.

Then we move to Keith and Seabrook. By opening night for the 2018-19 season, Keith will be 35 and Seabrook will be 33. As each passing year goes by, worry comes over fans that the two veteran defensemen left for the ‘Hawks are past their prime. Both have played in around 1,100 regular and postseason games over the past 13 seasons, as well as Olympic games in 2010 and 2014.

With their age climbing and so many games (many of which were high pressure games played with all types of injuries) under their belt, can the Blackhawks rely on the two veteran blue-liners? If not, who can the team turn to? Keith and Seabrook are the only two experienced defensemen on the team and there are not many other names currently in the organization that look like sure top pairing defensemen.

Seabrook, in particular, has received much ridicule this year for his play on the ice, which seems to be regressing rapidly. Couple this with the fact that he has 6 years at $6.875 million a year remaining on his deal, and it is no wonder why many fans are calling for the defenseman to be traded. But any fan has to ask themselves what team would want to take on such a big contract; especially for a player that may already be past his prime?

On top of all of this, all four of these players have clauses in their contract where they would need to agree to be traded. If you found a team that would be willing to trade and compensate enough in return for one of these ‘Hawks, a no-trade clause would still need to be waived for the trade to be complete.

There is just too much going against the ‘Hawks with contract size, age, clauses, and proper compensation in return to think that any of these four players will not be suiting up for the team at the start of 2018-19. That is if the ‘Hawks even wanted to consider trading any of these four players, which they have said time and time again that they have no interest in doing.

Next: The Next Generation