Celebrate these players now. Some are destined to be elsewhere in the matter of a few days.
The Chicago Blackhawks will be parading the Stanley Cup through Chicago Friday morning. Don't be surprised if at least one conquering hero is property of another team before the parade starts.
No one is deluding themselves by thinking that Chicago's roster will remain intact. Friday may serve as a farewell address for at least a couple of players.
It hurts to say that moves are going to be made even before we get the chance to shower adulation on the 2013 NHL champions. Thanks to the lockout, it may be a cruel reality.
As we have watched the action on the ice this spring, the 'Hawks front office has surely been preparing for the offseason. That offseason starts, well...now. The draft is Sunday. General manager Stan Bowman has just five picks heading into the draft.
Bowman used his second and third picks to get Johnny Oduya back at the 2012 trade deadline. He used one of his two fourth-round picks to get Michal Handzus this spring. A seventh-round selection obtained through Ottawa was used to pick up Henrik Karlsson back in January.
This leaves the 'Hawks picks in rounds one, four, five, six and seven. For an organization that likes to build depth through the draft, that may not be enough picks for Bowman's liking.
At the same time, Bowman has contracts he needs to shed to bring Chicago's salary cap down in compliance with the new collective bargaining agreement. A good way to move some of that money and get a few more picks is to make a trade before or during the draft.
Bowman could also begin the process of using one or both of the buyouts the CBA affords him. There could be a lot of movement over the weekend on this end as well.
There are expiring contracts that need to be dealt with very soon. Bowman and the Blackhawks don't have the luxury to spend more than a moment or two basking in the cheers before moves have to be made.
That could begin as soon as Thursday. It wouldn't come as a shock for the 'Hawks to announce a contract extension to the gathered throng at Grant Park. It also wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that one or more of the world champs are already on their way out of town.