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Plus/Minus – Grading the Chicago Blackhawks Offseason

Posted By Corey Krakower On Aug 2 2011 @ 1:20 pm In Chicago Blackhawks | 1 Comment

**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade

Team: Chicago Blackhawks
2010-11: 97 points, #8 in Western Conference

GOALIES

Returning: Corey Crawford

Arrivals: Alexander Salak
Departures: Marty Turco

Grade: +1

This grade is more about how bad Turco was last year, rather than how good I expect Salak to be.

DEFENSE

Returning: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Nick Leddy, John Scott

Arrivals: Steve Montador, Sean O’Donnell, Sami Lepisto
Departures: Brian Campbell, Chris Campoli, Jordan Hendry

Grade: -2

People rip on Brian Campbell all the time, but lets remember that he put up 27 points in 65 games, boasted a +28 plus/minus rating, and averaged close to 23 minutes per game. Chicago added depth on the blueline, but they will struggle to replace Campbell.

FORWARDS

Returning: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Dave Bolland, Michael Frolik, Bryan Bickell, Viktor Stalberg

Arrivals: Andrew Brunette, Rostislav Olesz, Dan Carcillo, Jamal Mayers, Marcus Kruger, Ben Smith
Departures: Troy Brouwer, Tomas Kopecky, Jake Dowell, Fernando Pisani, Ryan Johnson

Grade: -1

Losing Brouwer hurts, but the Hawks did a very good job adding depth to their top 3 lines, and adding some size and nastiness to their fourth line. The key for Chicago is how quickly their top forward prospects (like Morin, Beach, McNeil, Hayes and Pirri) become NHL ready.

OVERALL RATING: -2
2011-12 Prediction: #6-#8 in Western Conference

The Hawks will still be a playoff team this year. They had an off year in 2010-11 because of all the trades they needed to make in the offseason, but I expect that they will be a dangerous team in 2011-12 and beyond.

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