14. Calvin de Haan
Another new addition to the Blackhawks’ defense is Calvin de Haan. Like Maatta, de Haan is known as a defensive defenseman who is not afraid to step in front of a puck. He has 793 shot blocks in 7 NHL seasons, and no, that is not a typo.
Although de Haan is defensive-minded, he can still contribute on offense as a facilitator. I am expecting de Haan to step in as a top-4 defenseman for the Blackhawks in 2019-20.
If you haven’t seen Calvin de Haan in action, this highlight reel should give you an accurate idea of what to expect from your new defenseman in 2019-20.
13. Brandon Saad
Brandon Saad has had an interesting 2nd stint with the Chicago Blackhawks, to say the least. He played most of the 2017-18 season on the 1st line, but wasn’t very effective.
Saad was acquired to ease Jonathan Toews‘ workload, but it hasn’t worked out as well as his first time around.
Saad had an extremely frustrating start to the 2018-19 season. He started on the 2nd line for the first few games, then proceeded to bounce between the 3rd and 4th lines; he was even a healthy scratch. A $6 mil AAV healthy scratch is no bueno, especially with the state of the team.
After being scratched, Saad seemed to pull himself together and get back on track. He had a fairly productive 2018-19 season and his possession numbers were strong.
He finished with a stat line of 47 points (23G, 24A) with a -9 ± in 80 games. Hopefully, Saad can build off of his recent success and reclaim his old 1st line role in 2019-20.
12. Andrew Shaw
Andrew Shaw was arguably the heart and soul of the Chicago Blackhawks from 2011-2016.
Although he wasn’t much of a scorer, he made up for it with physicality and pest-like antics. He is a great team player and I’m sure he’s a great locker room guy as well.
When Shaw left, it seemed like the Blackhawks weren’t the same team. Now that he is back, I’m really interested to see how the team comes together, and whether or not they will play with an added edge again as they did during their stellar 6 season Stanley Cup run.
Shaw is coming off of a career year with the Canadiens, where he notched 47 points (19G, 28A) with a 17 ± rating in 63 games.
Hopefully, he brought that with him when he returned. The Blackhawks can use all of the firepower they can muster.
11. Corey Crawford
Corey Crawford has been the backbone of the Chicago Blackhawks for the past 9 seasons.
Blackhawks’ fans really learned how important Crawford was to the team’s success in 2017-18 when he missed a majority of the season with a severe concussion, which lingered until the start of the 2018-19 season.
Crawford, 34, is now playing on an expiring contract. After two concussions in the past two seasons, the obvious conclusion to come to is to question how much longer he will play.
Stan Bowman must have been thinking the same thing, because he went out and pulled off the biggest surprise of the offseason, when he signed Robin Lehner to a one-year deal.
If Corey Crawford plays well in 2019-20, then we could possibly see the Blackhawks give him another year if the price is right.
Another option could be retirement, unfortunately. We will have to wait and see how things play out.