A cool project has started this week within the Fansided network, and it’s time you got caught up on it. The “Around the NHL in 30 Days” series is going to around the league, allowing the lead for each team site to do an extensive preview for their team. Each day a new team will release their preview, and in 30 days we will get 30 talented reads. So with that you can anticipate seeing some of the posts getting attention here and my Dallas Stars preview coming this weekend!
Today’s preview comes from BlackHawk Up and one of the best NHL sites within the network, as John Schultz released the Chicago Blackhawks preview today. Here is a sort preview of the post for you to read:
Make no doubt about it, that’s the mission this year. After suffering through the worst post-Stanley Cup cap crunch of any team since the lockout, the Chicago Blackhawks have re-emerged with most of that core still intact and retooled for what we hope is another deep run in 2012.
Looking at the names on the roster, one can’t help but get giddy with anticipation. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Dave Bolland, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook; is there a better core group in the NHL? The simple answer is “No.” Aside from solid years from the departed Brian Campbell and rookies Corey Crawford (.917 Sv%, 2.30 GAA) andBrian Bickell (17 G, 37 Pts), these guys for the most part dragged around a group of has-beens and never-should-have-been-yets, and still came within an overtime goal of taking down the Presidents’ Trophy winners and hated rivals, the Vancouver Canucks. With a long summer to recharge and another year’s experience under their belts, this still young crew will have a much better – and much deeper – supporting cast this season.
GM Stan Bowman pulled off this summer what many thought impossible just one year earlier: upgrade the bottom half of the roster, replenish the supply lines, and create additional cap space for potential in-season reinforcements.
The biggest of Bowman’s summer moves was trading Brian Campbell and his $7.14 million contract to the Florida Panthers for oft-injured Rostislav Olesz, a former 1st round pick who had worn out his welcome in the Sunshine State. Although Olesz never developed as a goal scorer, he had some success in a checking line role and will most likely be used again in that manner in Chicago. Dave Bolland, arguably the league’s best checking line center when healthy, has managed to elevate the play of less talented players in the past, so I expect Rusty to finally eclipse the 15-goal mark for the first time in his career. If he doesn’t pan out, there are a number of talented forwards, among them speedy Viktor Stalberg and the Hawks’ top AHL prospect Jeremy Morin, waiting in the wings to get their shot.
You can read the full post over on Blackhawk Up right here. A couple of other great previews from earlier this week come from Cardiac Cane looking at the Carolina Hurricanes and Jeff Skinner right here, and the preview of the Buffalo Sabres by Sabre Noise. Some great previews across the board so far by the rest of the Fansided team, and this is just the first week. Of course look for my Stars extensive preview this weekend, and further updates on the project every couple of days.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter (Twitter.com/blackoutdallas) for news, opinions, quick access to posts, and much more.