Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blackhawk Roster Thoughts

And the inevitable has happened. Despite all the questioning of goaltending, the depth, the drive, and the chemistry proved to be the right formula. The revitalized Blackhawks organization has brought home the ultimate prize, if only for one year. The championship winning roster pushed up to the cap and then some, and now there is some value engineering to be done. Just some thoughts on the key (and not so key) members of this lineup...

Jonathan Toews - The new Sidney Crosby (Thank Christ). Think about the year he's had... An Olympic Gold Medal and named the tournament's best forward, then accepting the Stanley Cup as Captain and the hands down winner of the Conn Smythe. And he's already won a World Championship (and a Junior Championship) to become the youngest member of the elusive Triple Gold Club. That's pretty motherfuckin' impressive. That's not being in the right place at the right time, that's being a major cog in the wheels that won those championships. And he's humble.

Patrick Kane - The Yang to Toews Yin. While the kid's got a nose for the net, he's not even close to the vicinity of the complete player that Toews is. I don't know what it is about him, maybe the arrogance, the invincibility, the God complex he carries, that makes me not want to see him succeed. Maybe I'm just hatin'.

Marian Hossa - So unable to believe that he won the Cup that he actually didn't want to take it from Toews. And now everyone's screaming "trade him!" It kinda makes sense in a salary dump/high current market value way, but that would be his fifth team in four seasons. On the other hand, he's one of the pieces you have locked up if you can get the rest of the dollars to add up. And I'm not sure who would be willing to take on that $7.9mil anchor of a contract for the next four years without a support staff already in place.

Dustin Byfuglien - Another arrogant prick. But he's big and he plays big. That is, at least when he's got future HOFer's on his line. I think of two other examples of NHL players when I think of Byfuglien... Dustin Penner, in the sense that his linemates made him better, and he'll probably sign some ridiculous offer sheet that he'll never live up without a supporting cast. And Ray Emery, that all this shit is gonna go right to his head, and make him implode.

Duncan Keith - Another humble warrior. Between Keith and Toews, this team has enough leadership for two teams. Look for that to happen in four years. My choice for the Norris despite the fact the odds are on to Doughty.

Brent Seabrook - Really surprised me as to the kind of player and defenseman he is. His spot on the Canadian roster was for real, and this duo is the best pairing in the League right now.

Andrew Ladd - Did you ever think that Ladd would be a two-time Stanley Cup winner? Now this is being in the right place at the right time.

Patrick Sharp - One of the most underrated forwards in the League. And this guy can shoot the fucking puck.

Niklas Hjalmarsson - One of the most underrated young defensemen in the League. I'd be surprised if the Bowmans' let him walk.

Kris Versteeg - In serious competition with Sean Avery as League's top douchenozzle. I have no doubt the rest of this team will have no problem saying goodbye to this cum stain.

Antti Niemi - If you had to guess which Finnish goaltender between Kiprusoff, Backstrom, and Niemi would win the Cup first, would anyone have the balls to give any thought to Niemi? Its funny despite him getting a ring for the Blackhawks, I'll still don't see him as their long-term goaltender. It'll be interesting to see how the perspective on him in the hockey world will change next year (i.e. Cam Ward).

Cristobal Huet - Have you ever seen a cleaner set of pads for a Stanley Cup picture before? This guy winning a Stanley Cup is an insult. If they have to remove someone else's name to fit Dale Tallon's on, I petition that it should be Huet's.

Brian Campbell - Had his lowest season point totals since his first few years with the Sabres, and his lowest postseason point total ever despite playing in 19 games. This is not the same Brian Campbell that we once knew. He still skates through the neutral zone with the greatest of ease, but there's something about his game that's dramatically different.

Tomas Kopecky - Next to Adam Burrish and Ben Eager, the most useless part of this team.

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