The Chicago Blackhawks are entering one of the most interesting preseasons the team has had in a long time.
With so many new players on the Blackhawks and battles still going on throughout training camp, this preseason has a lot to offer. The NHL did not have a preseason last year during the shortened season, it was game on from night one in Tampa Bay, this year things are back to normal.
While the preseason is usually spent determining the level prospects are at before they are shift off to their minor league teams, this year is about determining positions on the starting roster and who is on the outside looking in for a roster spot.
There are a number of players that could be the top-line center, there are a few different forwards that make sense in the bottom six, but that won’t be on the roster, and there are a handful of young defensemen looking to separate themselves from the rest.
Guys like Jonathan Toews, Seth Jones, Dylan Strome, Henrik Borgstrom, Wyatt Kalynuk, Ian Mitchell, and Lukas Reichel will be fun to watch during the preseason. I think everyone agrees seeing Toews play and determining whether or not he will be in the opening night roster is one of the biggest storylines right now. That one player alone, the captain, could determine the outcome for the season, playoff-bound or on the outside looking in right by the door.
The Blackhawks have not had a training camp and a preseason like this in a lot of years. Sure there has always been a few surprises year in and year out, but not this much uncertainty on the actual NHL roster.
The Hawks roster is probably going to look very different than what a lot of people are expecting it to be right now. It is in the hands of guys like Kurashev, Nylander, and Carpenter to keep their spots, and it is up to guys like Reichel and Borgstrom to force the coaching staff’s hands and put them on the ice because of their skill level throughout the preseason.
"Blackhawks: Why not create a new rival up North?"
The opportunity is there for a lot of players, and the competition is going to go a lot longer than it has in the past. Chicago opens their preseason against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.
Want your voice heard? Join the Blackhawk Up team!