Chicago Blackhawks: Checking In with Former 'Hawks from 2013 Stanley Cup Team
The Chicago Blackhawks are dropping the puck in Boston on Thursday night in a rematch of last spring's Stanley Cup Final. The 'Hawks and Bruins meet in the TD Garden for the first time since Chicago stunned Boston in Game 6 with a pair of goals in the final minutes.
The man who scored the series-winner is no longer with the Blackhawks. The same can be said for several players who currently toil for other NHL teams.
As is the case every season, moves are made, and turnover is a reality in the NHL. The 'Hawks said farewell to some of the 2013 Stanley Cup winners. With the two combatants back in action Thursday and the season nearing completion, it's a good time to check in with some of the players not currently on Chicago's roster.
I'm going to focus on the players who spent the bulk of 2012-13 with the Blackhawks and are still active this season. That leaves out Jamal Mayers, who retired this summer after hoisting the Stanley Cup.
That also doesn't include Jimmy Hayes (10 games) and Brandon Pirri (one game), whom were both traded to Florida in separate deals this season. Ryan Stanton (one game) was claimed off waivers by Vancouver and has 16 points in 56 appearances.
Drew LeBlanc (two games) has struggled in Rockford this season. Shawn Lalonde (one game) is playing in Europe.
Here are updates on some of the major contributors to the 2013 Stanley Cup champs. All stats are from NHL.com.
1. Dave Bolland
Dave Bolland was traded to Toronto in one of general manager Stan Bowman's first moves after the victory parade last June. Bolland was a big part of the early success of the Maple Leafs, until he got hurt.
The latest chapter in the long medical history of the Rat came on Nov. 2 when the skate of Canucks forward Zack Kassian sliced into Bolland's ankle. Bolland has only just recently returned to action from the freak injury.
Bolland came back this past Saturday and has played three games for Toronto as it battles for a spot in the postseason. In all, he has played 18 games for the Maple Leafs with six goals and four assists.
He is scoreless with a minus-two rating so far since his return. Perhaps, he can get a chance to display his fabled playoff skills if Toronto can finish strong.
2. Viktor Stalberg
Viktor Stalberg signed with Nashville for four years and $12 million this past summer. If Barry Trotz expected Youngblood to kick start the Predators offense, the signing has fallen short so far.
In 47 games with the Blackhawks last season, Stalberg had nine goals, 14 helpers and was a plus-16. In 61 games for Nashville, those numbers have slipped to eight goals, nine assists and a minus-15 rating.
On Nov. 16, Stalberg did have a goal in the Predators 7-2 over the 'Hawks. However, Nashville is not likely to reach the playoffs.
On a quick side note, ex-Rockford IceHogs goalie Carter Hutton, who played one game with the 'Hawks last spring, signed with the Predators to back up Pekka Rinne. That move also did not play out like Nashville had hoped.
Rinne missed a huge chunk of the 2013-14 campaign, and Hutton was relied upon as the starter through much of the season's first five months. Hutton is no Pekka Rinne, though he has gone 16-11-4 with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.
Hutton's numbers aren't overly impressive, though he is the only Predators goalie this season with a winning record.
3. Michael Frolik
Last season's penalty kill stalwart, Michael Frolik was traded to Winnipeg on June 30 for a third- and fifth-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft. The Jets aren't candidates for the postseason, but it would be hard to pin that on Frolik's play.
Frolik has eclipsed his offensive numbers in two-plus seasons in Chicago in just 72 games with Winnipeg. Frolik has 36 points (14 G, 22 A), and has seen his oft-maligned shooting percentage swell to 8.4 percent (his best with the 'Hawks was 4.3 by comparison).
Obviously, the Jets have used Frolik in a different role than Chicago did. Frolik has responded and been a decent value for Winnipeg at a cap hit of $2.33 million.
4. Ray Emery
Ray Emery shared the William M. Jennings Trophy with Corey Crawford last season as the league's stingiest goal tandem. Looking for a chance to start, Razor signed with the Flyers for $1.65 million.
The starting job eluded Emery in Philadelphia. Steve Mason won that battle and was given a three-year extension by the Flyers.
Emery has played in 24 games this year, posting a 2.96 goals against average and a .901 save percentage. The Blackhawks chased him from the net in Chicago on Dec. 11 after burning him for six goals in just over two periods.
Emery gained a measure of revenge March 18, leading the Flyers to a 3-2 overtime win over the 'Hawks that may prove key if Philadelphia hangs on to a playoff spot.
5. Daniel Carcillo
Daniel Carcillo has logged a lot of travel miles since the victory parade in Chicago. The 'Hawks moved Carcillo in mid July, sending him to the Los Angeles Kings for a conditional sixth-round pick. In turn, the Kings traded the gritty forward to the New York Rangers for a conditional seventh-rounder.
Carcillo has currently played 52 NHL games this season, split evenly between L.A. and New York. In that time, he has three goals and an assist. I guess it's interesting to point out his total of 98 penalty minutes would lead Chicago in that category.