The Chicago Blackhawks defense is the biggest anomaly when it comes to the ‘Hawks roster, and it is still up in the air.
The Chicago Blackhawks are not going to go out and win the Stanley Cup next season. In fact, they will have a tough time making the playoffs thanks to their moves the past few weeks. That does not mean fans have nothing to look forward to though.
The Blackhawks hopefully are going to show some improvement in their own end next season defensively. I say some because their goaltending is going to be a liability now. Without goalies like Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner, Chicago can not leave their goalies on their own.
The Blackhawks defense has been a weakness for a long time now, and the team even added some defensive forwards to make sure the forwards are doing their part in the team’s own end. Lucas Wallmark and Mattias Janmark should both be great assets for the Blackhawks defensive play so should Nikita Zadorov coming over from Colorado.
Zadorov, who was apart of a four-player trade with Colorado, had this to say about what he wants to bring to the Blackhawks.
[Here’s] what I want to bring to this team: play big minutes, play in big situations and try to shut down the best players on the opposite team. (From Chicago Sun-Times)
So the defense is hopefully going to show some signs of improvement next season; with the additions of Nikita Zadorov, Ian Mitchell, and a healthy Brent Seabrook, there is no question this team is better off. However, fans do not know what kind of defensive pairings they are going to see next season.
Here are the players available: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Adam Boqvist, Ian Mitchell, Calvin de Haan, Connor Murphy, Nikita Zadorov, Nick Seeler, and Lucas Carlsson. Chicago also has some young AHL players who will get opportunities as well, but I believe these nine guys are the prime candidates.
Let’s take a look at three different potential lineups for the Blackhawks’ defense next season.