We're going to see a totally revitalized Chicago Blackhawks team in the 2012-13 season. After all, they said so themselves.
Fans flocked to Chicago's Hilton Towers and plunked down good money to attend the team's fifth annual Blackhawks Convention this past. Most of the players and coaching staff attended in a celebration of hockey in the Windy City.
For a $65 pass to the event, the gathered throng was entitled to good news. It got plenty from the 'Hawks.
The Pollyanna in all of us is more than satisfied with our team after hearing from them the past few days. After all, there is so much to be excited about.
The youngsters are all bigger, stronger, faster and smarter.
The new assistant coach is just what the 'Hawks need to improve.
Sheldon Brookbank is going to improve the penalty kill.
Marian Hossa is healthy and eager to get on the ice.
Jonathan Toews and the veterans learned many lessons last season and will put that newfound knowledge to use.
Corey Crawford is one motivated son-of-a-gun.
Patrick Kane wants to be a role model for the youth of America.
Do expect any moves from the Blackhawks from now until training camp?
This 'Hawks team is poised for better finishes than the first-round exits of the last two seasons.
All those things were easy to say. Heck, they were easy to write. The above sentiments are exactly what 'Hawks fans want to hear. The players gave us exactly that.
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman had little to say over the weekend. That's probably because he knows what deep down we all know. Namely, none of this talk makes a lot of difference in how Chicago performs on the ice next season.
Brookbank is the only addition to the roster this summer. Some young guns will make noise at camp, but there are a lot of familiar faces. Those incumbents will need to back up the talk once the skates are laced up in a few months.
While fans bask in the afterglow of the convention, Bowman goes back to work on the roster. There is nothing wrong with feeling good about the 'Hawks these days.
So long as Bowman realizes that talk is cheap.