What's Next for Chicago Blackhawks After Win in 2013 Stanley Cup Final?

Nicole Blum@@nblumNHLContributor IIIJune 27, 2013

What's Next for Chicago Blackhawks After Win in 2013 Stanley Cup Final?

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    After the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, the team was purged of much of its key role players. This shouldn't be the case after the Blackhawks' 2013 Stanley Cup win.

    The Blackhawks most likely can and will keep most of the team intact—even with a new lower salary cap of $64.3 million. It won't be like 2010 where players like Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd had to leave due to cap restrictions.

    The chance of being repeat champions is high.

    The following slides were ranked in the power of each offseason move to create another Stanley Cup-winning team. 

3. Let Viktor Stalberg Go

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    Viktor Stalberg was one of the best players for the Blackhawks during the 2011-2012 season. He scored 22 goals and had 43 points that year.

    This season, however, was a struggle for the Swedish native.

    Stalberg only had nine goals during the regular season. In the playoffs, he averaged only 10 minutes, 35 seconds per game, tallied only three assists and was scratched for four games.

    That was a major decrease in offensive production from 2012. Now that he's a free agent, don't expect Stalberg to resign with the team.

    He is likely to ask for more than his $900,000 salary—more than the Blackhawks would want to pay when trying to stay under the lower $64.3 million salary cap.

2. Trade Dave Bolland

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    Dave Bolland scored the game-winning goal to clinch the Stanley Cup in Game 6. That doesn't mean the Blackhawks should keep the center.

    Bolland has struggled with injuries for the past year and played only 35 games. He only scored seven goals in the regular season, and yet he is set to earn $3.75 million next season.

    Sure, Bolland can be tough on defense and give the Blackhawks some physicality. His injuries and lack of offensive prowess, however, don't help his cause.

    He's a major part of the salary cap concern.

    Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com tweeted that the Blackhawks are shopping the center. Trading Bolland will free up some much needed cap space.

1. Resign Bryan Bickell

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    Bryan Bickell is now a free agent. The forward who scored nine goals and assisted on eight in the playoffs must be resigned. 

    He offered a physical presence to the first line. The chemistry between Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell is undeniable. Bickell stepped up his game when playing with the two stars.

    He's like the Dustin Byfuglien of 2010. The Blackhawks know how much the team suffered after the physical defenseman left.

    Bickell will—and deserves to—ask for a much higher salary than his $525,000. He can consider himself a part of the core of the team, and an irreplaceable player.

    The question is: How much can the Blackhawks afford to pay him and still stay under the cap?

Honorable Mentions

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    Bring Up Some Youth

    20-year-old rookie Brandon Saad was phenomenal for the Blackhawks this season. He racked up 27 points in the shortened season and gave the Blackhawks more skill and speed. Ben Smith and Drew LeBlanc are two young and skilled players who should be considered for this year's roster. 

    Rest and Recover

    The Blackhawks played with quite a few injuries in the postseason. Bryan Bickell was pained by a knee sprain. Marian Hossa suffered from a back injury. Michal Handzus played with a broken wrist and a torn MCL. The Blackhawks need to rest and recover so that they can get back to their game when October comes around.