In my previous hockey-related article, I predicted that Andrew Ladd would come back to Chicago as a rental. Now that the trade deadline is complete, Chicago is looking as good as ever, and will be after a fourth ring.
When you have the best line in hockey, followed by Jonathon Toews, the most complete player in the NHL, and then established veteran in Marian Hossa, plus on the back end you have the best two-way defensemen in Duncan Keith with his partner Brent Seabrook, you are bound to go far in the playoffs each and every year, and let’s not forget about the Crow between the pipes.
I do not know how Stan Bowman supplies a supporting cast for this core, given the fact that they take up like 80% of your cap, but he finds a way to do the job.
Here is what I think the Hawks will look like, without any injuries of course.
1st Line: The primary reason the Hawks brought in Andrew Ladd was to find someone to play with Toews and Hossa.
2nd Line: Due to the Hart trophy season of Patty Kane, this has been the best line in hockey, and finally after years of searching the Hawks have finally found a #2 centre in Artem Anisimov.
3rd Line: Secondary scoring will be key, and that’s why Stan brought in Dale Weise, who was having a terrific year in Montreal, will help that cause. My X-Factor, Teuvo Teravainen, will be a lot more effective in the middle due to his tremendous skill.
4th Line: I put Andrew Shaw here, just because he’s an energy guy, plus he’s very versatile he can play anywhere in a lineup.
1st Pairing: Though Duncs has played with Nik Hjalmarsson all season, I always like to have a lefty and righty together, and since TVR has really stepped it up this season, I put him with the Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
2nd Pairing: In my opinion, this would be your shutdown pair due to Nik being on this line. Both would the perfect for it, because TVR could be a bit of a liability due to inexperience.
3rd Pairing: It was between Erik Gustafsson and Christian Ehrhoff for the final spot, and I simply chose the German due to experience.
Corey is obviously the man due to his 2 cups, but Scott Darling is a very solid backup, due to his performance in last year’s first round after the Crow’s meltdown, so hopefully that won’t happen again.
With the way this roster is shapping up, Chicago could possibly be the first team to win back-to-back since Detroit did it in 97-98′, and that would be 4 cups in the past 6 years. Dynasty? I hope so.