The Chicago Blackhawks will be relying on both veterans and prospects this upcoming season. The Pittsburgh Penguins were also once in a similar situation.
The Pittsburgh Penguins from 2016-2018 were a fast, relentless team who will play to the end. Can the Chicago Blackhawks follow the same style? I think so.
The Penguins were not exactly the biggest, strongest team in the league, but they embraced their identities and their roles, as well as allow young players to play their game and prove themselves (Bryan Rust, Jake Guentzel, Matt Murray, etc.).
The Penguins were also a competitive team for a long time with back-to-back Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and 2009 but began to decline in 2014, and 2015 as well. Then, Jim Rutherford made multiple moves to make his roster younger and faster.
The new additions in Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino, as well as the risky trade for Phil Kessel, helped propel the team forward to become a fast, relentless, skilled team that was able to capture back-to-back cups.
Jeremy Colliton has stated he wants a relentless team with players who commit to playing well on both ends of the ice. The relentless style will involve either frequent hitting, hard-nosed play, or a combination of both. The Pittsburgh Penguins of 2015-16 did have players who would hit every chance they get, and others who made it hard for the opposition to play their game. Let’s go over three categories and see the similarities, as well as the gigantic difference between the two teams.