Good morning, Stars fans! Happy Wednesday to you all!
I thought it would be helpful if I were to do a brief overview of every Central Division team’s moves as a quick refresher and to expand on whether the team will be better or worse in regards to their moves. I will also stack them up against the Stars and show you how the Stars series against each team may end up panning out.
Let’s start off with the Chicago Blackhawks:
The Chicago Blackhawks 2014 Offseason Moves:
What they did:
The Chicago Blackhawks had a silent but deadly offseason throughout the first two weeks of July. In regards to the minor names, they were able to re-sign forward Peter Regin to a one-year deal. They also signed forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie from Tampa Bay and forward Cody Bass from Columbus, with one-year deals going to each.
They did, however, send away three-year veteran Brandon Bollig to the Calgary Flames on June 28th in return for the 83rd pick in the NHL Draft.
But the biggest news of the Blackhawks offseason that most people seemed to just sweep under the rug was the signing of Brad Richards. Richards has been a consistent player for his past 13 seasons in the NHL, and he will look to build upon his stellar career with one of the most consistent teams in the NHL. Richards will fit in the second line center position for the Hawks and will be a major boost to their presence in the dot.
The biggest move by the Blackhawks, though, would be their major extensions to both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane’s contracts. Kane and Toews both received eight year extensions to their deals and will hold a cap hit of $10,500,000. So the powerhouse and dynamic duo of the Windy City will be back at the Madhouse, scoring goals and taking names, for a long time to come.
Better or worse?:
So, with these signings and only one person lost to trade was the average Brandon Bollig in which they received a draft pick for future building, the Blackhawks only got better. Every player gained one more year of experience and skill. Brad Richards came in and will help evenly spread the talent throughout the already dominant line scheme. Along with the Toews-Kane duo alive and well and looking for another 130+ point season, expect the Blackhawks to be even better than they have been over the last few seasons. Winning the division seems almost inevitable this season for Chicago.
How will the Stars fare?:
This is going to be a fun series to watch, and it just so happens that the Stars will be the first team to get a crack at the new Hawks. Many people will make sure to count the Stars out before the season opener even commences, but the Stars will likely find their way into some victories against Chicago this year. With five upcoming games this season between the two clubs, the Stars along with their one-two punch of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn along with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky, they will be able to counteract Toews, Kane and Richards rather easily.
As long as the Stars defense holds up, the Stars will win three of five games against the Hawks. But that’s a big “if” that is going to be necessary for the Stars entire season.
Speaking of the Blackhawks, check out Skylar Peters and I’s conference call by clicking here. Thanks to Skylar for the questions and for all the news of the Stars division rival, go to blackhawkup.com.
Comments below on how you feel about the Blackhawk’s pickups and if the Stars will be able to skate with them next year. Go Stars.