He watched teammate Artemi Panarin net his first NHL goal in the Chicago Blackhawks‘ 2015-16 home opener on Wednesday, so Chicago rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk decided to get into the act himself as he potted his first NHL marker in his team’s 4-1 win Saturday over the New York Islanders at the United Center. Read more»
The 2015-16 season is one of uncertainty for the Chicago Blackhawks. The harsh realities of the salary-cap era were quite evident during the offseason. Brandon Saad (CBJ), Patrick Sharp (DAL), Antti Raanta (NYR), Stephen Johns (DAL), Michael Paliotta (CBJ) and Alex Broadhurst (CBJ) were all parts of trades meant to add flexibility as well as talent to the organization. Furthermore, the likes of Brad Richards, Johnny Oduya and Antoine Vermette have found new teams through the free agency market. In other words, this year’s Blackhawks squad will look different than the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions we saw in June.
The Blackhawks are stockpiled with young talent, especially down the middle and on defense. Six of those prospects got a look at some point during the 2014-15 season, the most notable being Finnish phenom Teuvo Teravainen.
However, with Chicago having eliminated the Minnesota Wild in the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s quite evident head coach Joel Quenneville feels more comfortable playing his seasoned veterans in the postseason as supposed to the rookies. Teravainen and Joakim Nordstrom only dressed for two games in the first round series against the Nashville Predators, while defenseman Michael Paliotta has been a healthy scratch.
It’s no secret the Chicago Blackhawks have a knack for scouting and developing young talent. In fact, it is one of the prime reasons the Blackhawks have been one of the premiere franchises in the NHL for the past seven seasons. Due to this success, they continue to draft near the end of each round. Nevertheless, general manager Stan Bowman has managed to assemble an impressive system at nearly every position.
While Chicago Blackhawks fans are expecting nothing less than a championship parade come June, there is another concern lingering in the back of everyone’s mind. The salary cap is projected to rise only to around $73 million for the 2015-16 season, which means fans should expect to see somebody make their way out of Chicago.