Welcome to the beginning of the first annual Blackout Dallas Central Division Preview. This month we will be taking a look at the rest of the Central Division teams to see what they have been up to this offseason. We will start in the basement of the division and work our way up to the top. Let’s kick things off by previewing the Chicago Blackhawks who had the number one overall pick this year in the NHL Draft.
The Chicago Blackhawks have been a pain in the butt for the Dallas Stars for as long as I’ve watched hockey. There have been games where the Blackhawks have gotten into the Stars’ psyche and have pulled off upsets. After a terrible season, trading away Patrick Kane at the deadline, and not re-signing Jonathan Toews, they are entering their post-Kane/Toews era. They have entered the Connor Bedard era as they look to get out from the basement of the Central Division.
Chicago Blackhawks Preview: Key Losses
Chicago Blackhawks Preview: Key Signings
Chicago Blackhawks Preview: Assessment
By all means the Chicago Blackhawks did okay for what they signed during free agency this offseason. They are bringing in some veterans that will even out the young players on their team. Donato will definitely help out the Blackhawks with the speed that he showed while playing on the Seattle Kraken. Foligno and Perry bring a physical and gritty presence to this lineup. Basically, the big splash was them drafting Bedard with the number one overall pick in the draft this year.
Chicago Blackhawks Preview: 2023-24 Prediction 7th-8th place
The reason why I’m split between 7th and 8th place for the Chicago Blackhawks is depending on how fast Bedard adapts to the quick playing style of the NHL. He is not going to hit the ice this fall and drop 50-plus goals this season. He will have some bumps in the road as teams will quickly adapt to his style of play and give him fits. Also, it will take time for whoever Bedard’s linemates will be to grow some chemistry between them.
I think that the Blackhawks will still have a good season offensively, however, it won’t be enough to get them out of the basement of the Central Division. They need to surround Bedard with more great young talent. I could see them starting the formation of that at the trade deadline this upcoming season. Until they get that talent, the Blackhawks will remain hidden in the Central Division.