Blackhawks Training Camp: Maybe The Lineup Is Already Decided

Tyler Johnson #9, Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tyler Johnson #9, Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Hey! It’s the first day of the Blackhawks’ training camp. All around the league, players are dragging themselves back to the ice in order to secure a roster spot for the season, or at least opening night. So of course, Chicago is practicing as well and the important thing is to draw unreasonable conclusions from the first sessions the players had.

What’s most important to remember is that, without a doubt, what happens in training camp is going to tell you everything you need to know about what will happen during the regular season. As I write this post, the Chicago Blackhawks are taking drills with what will no doubt be the lines for the duration of the 2021-22 season. Personally, I’m excited to see Captain Jonathon Toews come back and hold down a spot on the second line.

That’s what we’re all here for right? Especially considering that the shrewdly acquired Tyler Johnson is centering Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat on the top line. Don’t believe me? Well, all the beat journalists have the proof via Twitter:

This is what we’re here for folks. Future number one center Kirby Dach is on the third line, and the previous plan “B” for Toews’s inability to play, Dylan Strome, is on the fourth line as a winger. I kind of wish I was a season ticket holder. Clearly, the opening night roster has been decided.

Even though there are 63 players invited to the training camp, and no one has yet been cut, this is almost assuredly how things will play out this season. Johnson will be centering what is probably the shortest top line in the NHL, and frankly, I am here for this. Head Coach Jeremy Colliton is clearly ready to begin trolling the NHL.

With the season only just around the corner, the Blackhawks are back on the ice, in as haphazard a manner as you will likely see this year.  Yes, players like Adam Gaudette could excel, and the team will need to rely on Marc-Andre Fleury, but “short” guys rule the day today.

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Unless Jeremy Colliton got too much fresh air during the off-season, the team cannot possibly look like this. Although I kind of hope it does, at least just once. I would love to see a line of players under six feet tall (Johnson is 5′ 8″, Debrincat is 5′ 7″,  and Kane is 5′ 10″) put pucks in the net when everyone is apparently obsessed with size and the idea that teams need lots of gigantic players.