The Chicago Blackhawks were Stanley Cup Champions in 2010.
Last season, they barely made it into the playoffs after making some huge roster changes. They then lost in Game 7 of the first round to the Vancouver Canucks.
After adding some much-needed muscle in the offseason, many believe that the 'Hawks are serious contenders again for the Stanley Cup.
The following slideshow presents what each player needs to do this season in order to give the 'Hawks another serious chance at the Cup.
Last Season’s Stats: 32 goals, 44 assists and 76 points (80 games)
He wins faceoffs, scores and sets up goals. He is also great in the defensive zone. Toews is probably one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL today.
As long as he keeps setting up and scoring goals when needed, the 'Hawks will have another shot at the Cup.
He just needs to keep up his great faceoff percentage, assuring that the Blackhawks will get the possession they need and even the occasional shot on goal right off the faceoff.
Last season Toews was one of the more solid players for the Blackhawks. As long as he plays his best, everyone should be happy.
Last Season’s Stats: 27 goals, 46 assists and 73 points (73 games)
Towards the end of the season, he started to get back into the swing of things, providing the 'Hawks with much-needed points.
Kane is starting the season off coming back from an injury, so the faster he can get to 100 percent, the better for the 'Hawks.
His production will most likely be down during the first few games for the 'Hawks. As long as he can score when it counts then no one should be upset.
Another great scorer and player who sets up goals, Kane is a great utility player to have on your team.
Hopefully he will not go through his slump again this season and post similar, if not better, numbers than last season.
Last Season’s Stats: 18 goals, 28 assists and 46 points (82 games)
The depth chart on the Chicago Blackhawks' website shows him playing left wing on the first line with them.
Brunette is known for staying healthy — he has missed nine games in his past 11 NHL seasons. Complementing Toews and Kane, Brunette is expected to also be a great two-way player.
If he can keep providing the secondary scoring he is known to, then the Blackhawks will have another reliable option.
Last Season’s Stats: 34 goals, 37 assists and 71 points (74 games)
Last season, Patrick Sharp often was playing right wing. The year before, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup with him at center.
Quenneville seems to have him playing center again this season, which means he probably will not score as many goals as last season. However, as long as he sets up goals, scores when he can and keeps winning those faceoffs, the 'Hawks will be well-off.
As a centerman, his main job will be to set up goals and win faceoffs, as opposed to just scoring. Sharp is a great player to have in the defensive zone too because he hustles.
Assuming he stays healthy again, Sharp will contribute a great amount to this team.
Last Season’s Stats: 25 goals, 32 assists and 57 goals (65 games)
He puts up great points for the amount of games he plays. But missing almost 20 games out of last season really hurt the 'Hawks, seeing as how Hossa averaged almost a point a game last season.
Until he got hurt in the beginning of the season, Hossa was putting up phenomenal numbers, especially goals. He was on pace for one of his best seasons...then he got injured.
Hossa is such a great player to watch. His stick-handling skills are truly hypnotic, there are no words to even describe it.
As long as Hossa stays healthy this season and plays like he did during the beginning of last season, Hossa will be a constant threat to any team.
Last Season’s Stats: 12 goals, 12 assists, and 24 points (77 games)
However, Stalberg is a very quick skater and he is a sniper. He is also a very aggressive forechecker, which is not surprising considering his 6'3," 191-pound frame.
Playing on the second line with Hossa and Sharp should pick up his production this season.
Stalberg really needs to improve upon his defensive game though because that has been his downfall in the past. Using his big frame to his advantage in the defensive zone will benefit all.
Overall, the young player just needs to improve his all-around game.
If he does, then all 'Hawks fans should be happy. Stalberg has a lot of potential to become a great hockey player.
Last Season’s Stats: 15 goals, 22 assists and 37 points (61 games)
With a limited number of proven centers, the Blackhawks need Bolland at 100 percent and ready to go every single game.
His absences last season greatly hurt the 'Hawks because they did not have that many centers to begin with. So if one goes down the others usually have to pick up the slack.
His numbers last season were decent considering he is a third-line center and that he missed a lot of games in 2010.
Bolland staying healthy should be his main priority this season.
Last Season’s Stats: 11 goals, 27 assists and 38 points (80 games)
This young player also has a lot of potential to become a great player, so the 'Hawks should expect a more productive season this year than last.
That being said, on the third line, the only real expectations facing Frolik are that he puts up numbers similar to last season.
He checks (something he needs to slightly improve upon) and provides secondary scoring.
His line will not see as many minutes as the top two lines, but they are still expected to produce goals when needed. As long as Frolik does this, then the 'Hawks will be pleased.
Last Season’s Stats: 17 goals, 20 assists and 37 points (78 games)
He kept playing until the season was over, and was a huge reason why there was a Game Seven in the first place.
The checking line of Bolland, Bickell and Frolik worked really well in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If they can continue this greatness, then the Blackhawks will have a very deep roster.
Bickell's main concern should be getting back to 100 percent and staying focused.
His three points (two goals and one assist) in the last three games against Vancouver proved that if he stays on task he can be a force to be reckoned with.
Last Season’s Stats: 3 goals, 11 assists and 14 points (78 games)
With over 100 penalty minutes last season, Mayers was an enforced for the San Jose Sharks.
The fourth line composed of Mayers, Dan Carcillo, and Ben Smith figures to be a whole line of enforcers.
They do occasionally score, but their main goal is brawn. They all have to ensure that no other teams push the top guys around. If Mayers can do this, then he will more than serve his purpose.
Last Season’s Stats: 1 goal, 0 assists and 1 point (6 games)
Rookie Ben Smith only had one point in his six games with the Chicago Blackhawks. However, at 5'11," 195 pounds, he has some mass to him.
Being on the fourth line, he is expected to hit hard and go for the net, seeing as how he probably has the most talent for scoring on this line.
Smith is a very good all-around player, being able to skate well and always knowing what is going on. He would make a good bottom-six forward for the 'Hawks.
Expect to see Smith come into his own this season. He will surprise us all.
Last Season’s Stats: 4 goals, 2 assists and 6 points (57 games)
However, Carcillo has said himself that he has been learning to control his emotions and that he is trying to not take stupid penalties.
If you look here, you can see the drastic decrease in his penalty minutes the past few seasons.
As long as our guys do not get tossed around this season, Carcillo will have done his job. He may even become a fan favorite.
Last Season’s Stats: 7 goals, 38 assists and 45 points (82 games)
He still put up great stats last season but he is capable of a better season than last year and everyone knows this.
He is a great puck-mover when he is at his best, and he is overconfident when bringing the puck up.
If Keith can avoid slumping this year, then the Blackhawks will have a great half of one of the best defensive lines in the NHL.
Last Season’s Stats: 9 goals, 39 assists and 48 points (82 games)
He had arguably one of his better seasons, looking just as great as he did during the 'Hawks' Stanley Cup Championship.
Seabrook makes up the other half of the Blackhawks' first defensive line. He is a very aggressive defenseman, willing to use his body to protect both the net and the goalie.
If Brent can do what he does best — protect the puck, skate and set up goals — then the first line of their defense is secure.
Last Season’s Stats: 3 goals, 7 assists and 10 points (80 games)
He took a lot of penalty kill minutes because of this. He took a lot of heat because after the San Jose Sharks signed him to an offer sheet last free agency, Hjalmarsson ended up costing a lot more than most people thought he should.
Even though he is not the most offensive defenseman, he has great stick action and protects the front of the net, not caring about the cost to his body.
He surprisingly never missed a game last season because of injury.
A lot of people blamed Hjalmarsson for the under-par performance by the Blackhawks last season. Keeping in mind that he is not an offensive defenseman, he is actually a great player.
The Blackhawks need him to keep blocking shots and to keep making his presence known in front of the net.
Last Season’s Stats: 5 goals, 21 assists and 26 points (73 games)
Steve Montador plays a style of defense that complements that of Hjalmarsson's. He is also a very physical player and blocks many shots.
Like Hjalmarsson, he makes his physical presence known in front of the net.
He plays a very effective shut down style of defense, one that works very well on the penalty kill. He is a very reliable defenseman, something that is always much-appreciated.
Also, he is not offensive. He does score some goals and registers some assists but he is not a puck-mover like Keith.
As long as Montador and defensive partner Hjalmarsson can continue playing their effective styles of defense, the Blackhawks will have not only a deep offense, but a deep defense.
Last Season’s Stats: 4 goals, 12 assists and 16 points (70 games)
Campoli was asking for too much money for his style of play. Lepisto's signing saved them a lot of cap space and they received a more than comparable defenseman to take his place.
Lepisto needs to further his hitting, but so did Campoli. Lespisto is a very confident player and is not afraid to carry the puck up.
However, one of his best assets has to be his hard left-handed one timer. This is a great weapon to have in the 'Hawks arsenal, especially for a third-line defenseman.
With just a little more work on his defensive game, Sami Lepisto can become a very reliable player.
Last Season’s Stats: 4 goals, 3 assists and 7 points (46 games)
Picture this: One day, I was sitting at home with my father, watching the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships.
There was a very impressive young defenseman, one whose name seemed very familiar.
Not only did he impress me with his great playing ability, he also impressed my father — a very tough thing to do.
So imagine my surprise and satisfaction when I turned on a Chicago Blackhawks game, only to find this young man wearing the Indian Head logo.
He received a lot more playing time with the Blackhawks after his phenomenal performance for Team USA at the World Juniors.
The Nick Leddy I saw during that tournament is the Nick Leddy the Chicago Blackhawks need.
He was a great two-way player, with superb transitions, skating ability, and puck awareness.
He is a very responsible defenseman and always knows the big picture. He takes away opportunities from the opposing team and creates them for the 'Hawks.
If Leddy can bring his World Juniors game this season and become a little more physical, anyone who did not watch that tournament will be pleasantly surprised.
Last Season’s Stats: 2.30 Goals Against Average, 0.91 Save Percentage (57 games)
He became a very solid goaltender and quickly became No. 1 for the Blackhawks.
He made saves so shocking I had to watch a play three times to make sure he had actually caught the puck.
All the Blackhawks need is another solid goaltending performance by Crawford. The Rockford Ice Hogs do sure seem to train their goaltenders well.
Last Season’s Stats: 1.97 Goals Against Average, 0.926 Save Percentage (32 games)
What is Needed: There are not that many expectations for Alexander Salak besides providing a solid backup to Corey Crawford. As long as he can do this, no one will really have any reason to complain. No one in the USA has really seen him play, besides the two games he played for the Florida Panthers a few years ago. If he can do this, then he will be a common feature for years to come.