Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Blackhawks collapsed after the 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks
Artemi Panarin #72, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

2015-16 Season

After winning the Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks didn’t lose many pieces to their team. Star players Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were on new deals, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith were still playing elite hockey, and Corey Crawford was coming off of his second Stanley Cup.

The Blackhawks might have lost a few depth players but they added a young Russian star in Artemi Panarin. Panarin would win rookie of the year and be part of Kane’s best career season, up to that point.

Towards the trade deadline, the Blackhawks would trade for Andrew Ladd. Ladd was an important piece to the 2010 Stanley Cup team. The move for Ladd was seen as a role player that could help strengthen up the Blackhawks forward lines. He was someone who could add depth for a playoff run.

After finishing third in the Central Division, with almost an identical record from the year prior, the Blackhawks faced the Blues in the first round. After falling down 3-1 in the series, the team would battle back to force a Game 7. In Game 7, the Blackhawks would lose a close one, setting them up for a longer offseason than expected. It was the first time they lost in the first round since 2012.

It was seen as a minor setback, as fans expected a big run by the team in 2016-17. In the offseason, Panarin was named Rookie of the Year and Kane was named MVP, while also leading the league in points with 106.

The team did lose Andrew Shaw, Bryan Bickell, and Teuvo Teravainen in the offseason, but it was swept under the rug, as John Hayden was coming up to take Shaw’s role, Bickell was spending more time in the AHL and Panarin was better than Teravaninen.