So this blog got started rather late, and as such the offseason primer is rather late. Anywho… here goes! It’ll be divided into three parts: Defensemen (what I think needs to be shaken up the most), Kane and Toews, and everyone else.
Defensemen Carrousel: The ugly truth from this last year is that our defense wasn’t as good as it was in our Stanley Cup run. Last year the team allowed 2.02 goals a game (the best in the NHL), and was second in the NHL in scoring. In the postseason, it was 2.09, which was good for 4th in the NHL. This year the numbers weren’t as good as they were, with a 2.58 in the regular season and a 2.9 in the playoffs. Yes it was good, but we’re from Chicago! The City of Broad Shoulders! The Monsters of the Midway! We love defense! It wins championships! So lets get some new guys in there.
We have three guys in the AHL (Stephen Johns, Adam Clendening, and Klas Dahlbeck) who could either make the jump right now or do it soon. By the way, just for laughs watch this hit that Johns puts on a BC player. It’s amazing. Plus we have to shed salary to make room for our dynamic duo, to extend Saad, etc. I like our forward group, (Versteeg and Bollig aside), but I have more problems with our defensemen. Leddy had a rough playoffs (this seems to be a thing), but he’s still young, fast, a puck mover, and he made big strides this year, so I say keep him. Rozy I would trade, but I don’t think anyone would want him. Niklas Hjalmarsson is one of the absolute best defensemen in the league and no one knows it. Duncan Keith is the best defenseman in the league and everyone knows it.
Oduya and Seabrook are more interesting though. Oduya needs to go. He’s good, and was bomb-diggity in the playoffs last year, but he’s got to go. I want his money (to give to other people, not keep for myself, but that would be nice). This year he made many more defensive errors, and generally wasn’t as effective. While he did make a number of fantastic defensive plays this year, it was usually because he had just made a bad play and had to throw up a prayer to stop it, and oftentimes they lead to goals. We have enough talent waiting in the wings, it’s time to give them a chance. Young and cheap is always, always a good thing. So let’s trade Oduya! We could probably get some good draft picks for him considering how lean the UFA market is in defensemen this year.
Seabrook is more interesting. He’s declining, there is no doubt of that. I want to trade him before the bloom goes off the rose (funny side note, when proofreading this my girlfriend thought this meant losing his virginity, and she was confused). Plus, he makes SO MUCH MONEY! Money we could give to talented, younger players! But he is still Brent Seabrook, and we could get a great return for him. There is a wrench in the plan though, as brought up in a recent Cheer the Podcast… who replaces him? I don’t know, which is of course the answer you want from a blogger, isn’t it! I think we have to shop him, and see what kind of a return we could get. It’s a sellers market, so lets dip our toe in the water.
Later today I’ll be posting Part 2 of this series, with Part 3 coming tomorrow. Enjoy!