Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Was The Stanley Cup Worth It??

I think as a Ranger Fan that if we ever got to the Stanley Cup Finals again I would be pretty excited.  But what if right after they won the Cup they had to trade away or not re-sign almost half of the team that just brought the Cup back to The Garden.  This most likely bothers most Blackhawks fans to a certain level but knowing that the team has kept the top six players on the team and the fact that they just won the Cup probably eases that disapproval.  But with that said they have still lost some key players.

The players lost that will have the biggest impact will definitely be Kris Versteeg and Dustin Byfuglien. But with all the players traded away, they have received some good young players and draft picks in return that will help keep this good young team alive for years to come while still having good young pieces to play with if things get down.  They managed to keep the main core group of stars and top end talent and now have some rebuilding pieces for the future.  Of course not all of the pieces they received in return will work out but it is a good way to keep the team running for years with filtering young stars to play along side the already proven stars of the Hawks.

Join me after this to see a recap of trades and all the players who have left and my thoughts on each move:

1. Colin Fraser traded to the Oilers for 6th round pick..... Pretty much just a minor trade to free up a roster spot according to many.

2. Versteeg and Sweatt traded to Toronto for Stalberg, DiDomenico, and Paradis... Well the Hawks acquired three young prospects and two top prospects in Stalberg and DiDomenico.  Stalberg could make the team this year and was considered one of Toronto's top prospects.  Versteeg could be the biggest loss for the Hawks but he did take a step back during his second full NHL season, going from 53 points down to 44 but he is still a 20 goal scorer and hard worker that could be missed.

3.  Andrew Ladd traded to Atlanta for Ivan Vishnevsky and a 2011 2nd round pick.. IMO they got a lot for Ladd in a young D-Man and a 2nd round pick and it seemed that this was one of the more excepted deals among Hawks fans.

4. Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel and Ben Eager and prospect Akim Aliu traded to Atlanta for Marty Reasoner(Traded for Jeff Taffe), Jeremy Morin, Joey Crabb and a 1st round pick and 2nd round pick(both picks acquired in the Kovalchuk deal).... Well this was the first trade and came as a shocker to many as Byfuglien was a fan favorite and one of the main cogs in the Hawks playoff victory.  He has not been much of a factor during the regular season but has come up big for the Hawks in the playoffs.  Morin was one of the top prospects for Atlanta and the Hawks also received two top picks.  We will just have to wait and see how this plays out on the ice and see how Morin and the two draft picks play out but this might be the trade that really hurts the Hawks or it could look like genius down the road.

5.  The Hawks have lost Adam Burish, John Madden and Antti Niemi through Free Agency.

Overall the Blackhawks still have there top 5 scorers from last year and 7 out of there top 8.  They still have top end superstars in Kane, Toews, Keith, Hossa, Seabrook, Campbell and Sharp.  They still have great role players in Kopecky and Bolland who can do all the little things necessary from 3rd line players. Hjalmarsson, Hendry and Bickell will be looked upon to provide a little more this year and all have the potential to do so.  Guys like Skille and Stalberg should be on there way up.  The biggest issue could be the loss of Niemi and the replacement by Turco.  Turco is aging and has slowed down over the last couple of years but he has had some pretty poor teams in front of him and Chicago is easily still one of the best defensive teams in the league.  If Turco plays his best then this is a team that could make another run towards the Cup but if he stumbles then it could be difficult for this team to get far in the playoffs.

So in the end the obvious answer to the title of this post is Yes.  It had been 48 years sine the Hawks had won a Cup and now no matter what happens this season or the next, no one can take that away from the fans and players who played on the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks.

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