Why the Hawks have a lot to look forward to next year
After falling one goal short of going to consecutive Stanley Cup Finals, talking about next year still stings.
Hossa: “It’s a tough pill to swallow a few days after… But you start having new ideas for the new season.” #Blackhawks
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) June 3, 2014
The Blackhawks have a lot to look forward to in the years to follow.
Bowman: I’m proud of our group of what they accomplished. I’m optimistic for the future.
— Scott Powers (@ESPNChiPowers) June 3, 2014
The way it looks, they will continue to be Stanley Cup contenders. A majority of the Blackhawks players return next year. The only unrestricted free agents for the Hawks are Sheldon Brookbank, Michal Handzus, Peter Regin and Nikolai Khabibulin. While there are a few restricted free agents, the Hawks will also add some new faces next year. Overall, there won’t be any big changes to an already dynamic group.
Bowman: No big roster changes coming http://t.co/eplfl5aKbW
— ESPN Chicago (@ESPNChiHawks) June 3, 2014
Not only do the Hawks already have a winning, championship-capable team, they have young players who are looking to improve for next year.
“I don’t think we’re going to have wholesale changes. That certainly isn’t warranted at this point,” Bowman said. “Our team performed very well in most areas of the game. Ways to improve would be certain players are going to be looking growth from within. We’ve still got lot of young players that play big roles on our team, and I think you saw that this year.”
Lets not also forget there will be no Olympic interruption next year like we had this year. There were 10 Blackhawks who went to the Olympics in 2014.
Sharp said he felt the fatigue right after the Olympics, but that it wasn’t a factor in the postseason. #Blackhawks
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) June 3, 2014
It would be hard to deny any sort of fatigue settling in after that amount of games and three intense playoff series. Luckily, the Olympics will not be a factor next year.
While Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are up for contract negotiations for 2015, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is already making them a priority.
“It’s the highest priority for us looking at next year,” Bowman said. “There’s no doubt that’s what we’re going to do. I’ve made it clear. We’ve never wavered from that. There’s no doubting the importance of those two players.
While there are things that will need to be addressed this offseason, Hawks fans can still look forward to next season. The Hawks aren’t going anywhere and we’re sure to see them in the Stanley Cup Finals again soon.