The Chicago Blackhawks have been missing one key area of hockey for a few years now. That key area is physicality. If Chicago wants to be a playoff team next year, they need a big, physical player in their lineup again.
The Chicago Blackhawks have against physical teams for a while now. They no longer have that player that puts the fear of God in opponents, as Dustin Byfuglien did. They no longer have a player that will rough up the opponents. They’ve relied on their team’s skill to get them places.
As skill helps score goals, so does a big, physical player who gets in front of the net and disrupts the play. They’ve lacked that since losing Byfuglien after winning the 2010 Stanley Cup.
Of course, they’ve had their gritty players like Andrew Shaw, but, they’ve still lacked being physical. If they could get more physical, they’d be a serious threat in the Western Conference for years to come.
The Hawks have to add a player with great size, who can skate to the net, and cause havoc. They currently do not have that player on their roster.
Kirby Dach is a well-sized player, but, he isn’t going to be a depth role on this team for much longer. Expect to see a more offensive year out of Dach in 2020-21. It would be beautiful if he could add more offense while being physical like Alex Ovechkin. That could change so many things for Chicago.
Two free agents Chicago could look at are Brian Boyle and Brenden Dillon.
Boyle, at 6-foot-6, 245-pounds, brings great size to the Hawks. He gets to the net, causes havoc, and can get in the head of opponents. At 35 years old, he wouldn’t be a permanent fix, Boyle would see action for a season or two with Chicago.
Dillon, 6-foot-4, 225-pounds, brings great size to the Hawks defensive unit, along with a physical play. Unlike Boyle, you wouldn’t see him crash the net, as he is a defenseman, but, he still lays the body on players and isn’t afraid to do so.
Of course, there are other players to look at. Those two are just the two I’d look at, especially with their contracts not being crazy. Stan Bowman, it’s up to you to make the correct decision. If you want this team to do some damage in the playoffs, you have to bring in more physical players.