As I said in my last article, I believe the Chicago Blackhawks are ready for a Stanley Cup run.
If Havlat can stay healthy for a full season and produce, he would be a great asset. Robert Lang's hockey sense and skill is always a positive threat on the ice. Who thought Patrick Sharp would lead the team in goals last season? If he keeps that up, we have good expectations, but we're not even done yet up front.
What about the 200 pound 6' 2" Jonathan Toews? There has been a lot of controversy with Toews taking the captain position for the upcoming season. Do you think there is too much pressure on the young talented forward?
I don't think so. The captain will be able to handle all this pressure put on him—but with help.That's where we have the big talent in a little package, Patrick Kane. He burst onto the scene last year with 72 points in 82 games, not missing a game. Mr. Kane and Mr.Toews will take the NHL by storm in the upcoming season.
One player that does not get mentioned enough is Dustin Byfuglien. He is a positive force for the Blackhawks. He is able to play a fantastic offense and an impenetrable defense. I think Byfuglien is a good, reliable player for the years to come.
Kyle Beach was the 11th overall pick in the 2008 entry draft. I think his time could come to play in the NHL, but not this season. We shall see what head coach Denis Savard will do with this promising left winger. Speaking of prospects, I cannot wait to see Jack Skillethis season. It's going to be a great year for the Blackhawks' offense.
The Blackhawks also boast a strong defense. Brent Seabrook is a franchise player. I was fortunate enough to see him play in juniors for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Seabrook is a huge presence on the Blackhawks blue line. He was eighth in the 'Hawks scoring race. Seabrook is a great and key member of a potential Stanley Cup run.
In my last article, I failed to mention Duncan Keith. He is also a major key member to any Blackhawk Stanley Cup run. With the addition of Brian Campbell, this defense is a force to be reckoned with. Brent Sopel on the point provides the experience and dedication a team needs.
Who will be the goaltender in the upcoming season? Huet? Khabibulin?
Will it be a shared position?
This seems to be a burning question as of late. I would say the 'Hawks would win more games if Huet started. He can take them to a Stanley Cup. Khabibulin has the experience first hand for a Stanley cup victory. This is a great pairing, although it does cost a lot. In the end, the tandem will help to make the run.
Off the ice, Scotty Bowman was hired as the senior advisor of operations. He gives the team the front office smarts needed for a great season. We all know how influential and smart Scotty Bowman is. This is a great add for a great team.
Denis Savard knows what needs to be done, and he gets it done.
Overall, I say this team has what it needs both on and off the ice to make the 2008-2009 NHL season a great success.