The Chicago Blackhawks big four are still missed today

Chicago Blackhawks, Niklas Hjalmarsson, (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks, Niklas Hjalmarsson, (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks were once the best team in the NHL. For six seasons they were the team everyone wanted to be, and that was in large part thanks to their defense.

Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya, and Brent Seabrook made up the main four defensemen that won the Blackhawks the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015. These four defensemen made up the backbone of the Chicago Blackhawks. They were speedy in getting the puck out of their own end and always were able to shut down opponents before scoring opportunities occurred.

I honestly never thought that these four guys were that much stronger or better than their opponent. The one thing they did have on their side as they worked harder and found a way to get better positioning.

I mean, it does help when you have some of the best offensive players in the world on your team ready to score goals, however that should not take away from how great these four were. Hjalmarsson sacrificed his body every game for the good of the team. In his 10 years with the team, Hjalmarsson blocked 1186 shots in his 623 games with the team. That is a crazy amount for any one player to block.

Joel Quenneville‘s favorite defensemen were Hjalmarsson, that might have been why the tension between Q and Stan Bowman was so high after Stan traded Hjalmarsson to Arizona. The crazy thing about these four Blackhawks defensemen was after they started to split them up, this defense fell apart.

Johnny Oduya left after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2015. After that, the Blackhawks did not have the same playoff success. While Keith and Seabrook have remained with the Blackhawks, they have aged and are not the same players they were when Keith won the Conn Smythe.

It amazes me that the Blackhawks were able to ride four defensemen for three years in the NHL. Yes, they had Michael Rozsival to help out in the bottom six, and a slew of other defensemen from time too time, but those four guys were the main ones in 2013 and 2015.

Related Story. What the Chicago Blackhawks defense should look like next season. light

Who knows, maybe our new core group of four defensemen is already starting to form in Chicago. Maybe someday we will be talking about Adam Boqvist and Ian Mitchell the same way we talk about Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya. One thing is for sure, the Blackhawks currently miss the big four defensemen skating up down the ice night in and night out shutting down opponents.