After tasting some playoff success in the post-season, the Chicago Blackhawks are ready to charge full-steam-ahead into next year with a pile of signings that will boost the profile of the young team.
While Martin Havlat and goalie Nikolai Khabibulin may have departed, the Hawks boosted things by signing superstar winger Marian Hossa, shutdown centre John Madden, and former Red Wing Tomas Kopecky.
Hossa is a step up from Havlat. He’s a more complete player when he’s on his game, boasting more strength, skill, and speed as well as toughness on the puck. Hossa signed a 12-year deal with the Blackhawks worth $5.2 million per season, so he’ll be expected to perform well and provide the team with more offensive jump. Putting Hossa alongside guys like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane would formulate one of the league’s most dangerous offensive lines.
Kopecky is a great addition, too, as he can play both directions with ease. At 27-years-old, he’s got plenty of time to turn into an impact player and should service a checking line on the team well, especially given who his new teammate is in John Madden.
Madden, a Selke Trophy winner from the New Jersey Devils, heads to Chicago on a one year deal worth $2.75 million. He’ll be expected to close up shop and help the Hawks hold some leads.
All in all, it looks like Chicago will be one of the most dangerous teams to play against in the upcoming NHL season. They’ve got a great mix of players and are solid at just about every position. If they can find more consistency in goal, they’ll be tough to beat.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.