The Chicago Blackhawks truly have been lucky when it comes to giving their star players championships.
Joe Thornton has been playing in the NHL for a long time. Since 2005 he has been the face of the San Jose Sharks and has had some great playoff runs with the team. Thornton and the Sharks failed to win the Cup. Luckily the Chicago Blackhawks won’t go through that with their top stars.
Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton are like the Sharks’ Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. They are two of the team’s top stars and have been with the team for such a long time. However, San Jose failed at bringing the two players championships, causing each of them to ask for trades or sign elsewhere in the hopes of winning a Stanley Cup.
I have read a lot on Twitter in the past few years that the Blackhawks are wasting Patrick Kane’s prime. While it has been hard to watch Kane have these great individual seasons while the team struggled around him, Kane already has three championship rings.
The Chicago Blackhawks might have to trade away their star players eventually, but at least they will do so knowing they have already won it all in the city. Chicago has provided Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook three Stanley Cups. All four of those guys were drafted by the Blackhawks and managed to win it all in this city.
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In the past, fans have seen so many players traded from the teams they have spent ten plus years within the hopes of winning a Stanley Cup before they call it a career and hang up the skates. Jarome Iginla left Calgary in the hopes of winning a championship, and so did Patrick Marleau a few years back when he signed with Toronto. Chicago even had Marian Hossa come to the city in the hopes of finally winning the championship he was chasing for so many years.
The NHL is not as creative as the NBA when it comes to stars moving cities. NHL players usually take a massive long contract and then play out their careers with one or maybe two teams. Look at Lebron James, the NBA’s best player right now. He has played on three different teams, while the NHL’s best player Sidney Crosby has spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The NHL has seen stars traded in the past and will continue to see it in the future; at least Chicago already sat at the top of the mountain three times with their star players. It was hard watching the Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad and let Corey Crawford walk in free agency, but knowing that they have won with this team made it a little easier to see them go.
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Jonathan Toews and the core can be frustrated about the direction this team is going in right now, but at least they already have some fun times in the city to fall back on. At the end of the day, though, hopefully, Chicago will be able to give Toews and Kane one more shot at the Stanley Cup before they call it a career.