Chicago, Il — If there is one thing that the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans have had to get used to over the years is saying goodbye to some very talented and popular players in the salary cap era.
Of course that doesn’t mean we have to like it.
This past week again the Hawks had to bid adieu to a couple of players when they sent Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen to the Carolina Hurricanes for picks but more importantly for salary purge.
The upsetting thing as a fan is this may still not be enough to keep Andrew Shaw who is a RFA this year. I’m praying it is and that the cap will at least go up a bit and not the rumored decrease. If it decreases well I don’t even want to think about that and I’m sure Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks don’t either.
I remember like it was yesterday when Teravainen was in prospect camp and thrilled all of us in the stands with his slick stick handling skills and vision.
We never really got to see Teuvo fully develop, which is a shame, but again thank the cap.
I console myself with the thought that next year he would have needed to get paid along with Artemi Panarin and there probably would not have been enough cap space then for both.
I also console myself with the notion he will get a better opportunity in Carolina on the top 6 whereas here is Chicago that did not seem like it was going to happen. Still I for one will miss Teuvo and wish the kid nothing but the best.
Now Bryan Bickell is a different story. We did see him develop and maybe what’s more disheartening with Bickell is he went from playoff dynamo, the Hawks would not have won the 2013 Cup without him, to a casualty of injuries and maybe satisfaction that I’m not sure.
Hopefully for Bickell he will get a new start in Carolina and can regain some of his old form back. Either way the guy was a great person and did much for the community.
So where does that leave the Blackhawks now? Waiting, waiting like an ingénue at home for her love to come calling.
The Hawks are waiting for the NHL to disclose what the cap number will be for the 2016-17 season and until then they are at a standstill as to what their next course of actions will be.
Yes I said actions even if they are able to re-sign Shaw it is almost certain more moves will need to be made if not now then through out the year if the Hawks want to have any room at all at the trade deadline before the 2017 playoffs.
The window to win Cups is now so they need every advantage to achieve this. The good news is Mr. Bowman and his staff have some beautiful minds ala John Nash without the paranoid schizophrenia.
No Stan Bowman and his staff are all to aware of the realities they face and some of the hard choices that may still need to be made. I’m sure their work room boards with all the various dizzying options look like one of Mr. Nash’s problems/theorems.
The good news is salary was cleared and one problem averted with dealing Teravainen now. I’m just glad I didn’t have to make the choice between Panarin and Teravainen although I think the Hawks made the correct one it’s still a tough one and there is no guarantee they still can re-sign Panarin but I must hope that they will.
The other good news is they were able to land Michal Kempny who I did get a look at IIHF Worlds. The guy did everything well. I saw no flaws in his game on either side of the puck and his price tag is right so again props to Stan Bowman and his staff for another pick up from Europe.
I also caught Tyler Motte for team USA and was really impressed with the kid who knows he may make the team in bottom 6 capacity or special teams i.e. PK.
So while we say goodbye to some, you must remember we said hello to others like Anisimov, Panarin, Panik ect. We still don’t know the heights these players can achieve and that should give every Hawks fan reason to put a smile on their faces.
The next few months should be interesting to see how the Chicago Blackhawks get reshaped yet again due to necessity. The one thing you can count on though changes will be constant and if there is any fan base used to this it is Chicago.
So well wishes to Teravainen and Bickell and here’s to the newbies whoever they may be and from where ever they may come.