You wouldn’t hire a clown to fix a leak in the john, that’s why The Turkatron was sent back in time from the future…in Canada, to be your hockey specialist. Each week highlighting all you need to know in the world of puck.
If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how the Blackhawks can continuously contend. Each and every year they unload their back-end scorers in free agency and trades. Guys like Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Kris Versteeg, Dave Bolland, Brandon Saad, Troy Brouwer, Tomas Kopecky, Patrick Sharp and even goaltender Antti Niemi have all seen their values rise as members of a championship team and have all gone onto play larger roles with their respective clubs, but nonetheless have been replaced.
So what is going on here? I’m gonna chalk this up to two things: great coaching and great leadership. The Blackhawks core (Toews, Kane, Hossa, Keith, and Seabrook) have won three cups together in the last six years and are poised to contend again this year. As a player coming onto this team you have the immediate advantage of practicing with these young, but experienced players. Joel Quenneville meanwhile is one of the most successful coaches of all-time. He absolutely gets the most out of every player. This season is no different.
Take Artemi Panarin’s three-point night against Edmonton as an example, it is clear the secondary scoring has been replaced seamlessly. Panarin is a former KHL stand-out and rookie in the NHL. He is currently tied for 13th in NHL scoring with 15 points in 15 games. He is almost guaranteed to get bigger money from another team in the future and leave the Blackhawks, most likely after winning a cup.
Teuvo Teravainen and Artem Anisimov are other players who will contribute on the secondary level. These guys have been producing and would be welcome additions to any team’s top-six. Again, these guys are almost a lock to leave the Blackhawks after a successful cup run and be replaced. It makes sense though, these players are put in a situation where they succeed more than they would in another situation, another team thinks it will translate to their club and pay big money for that player, and then Chicago pulls another star out of nowhere. It’s the way championship team’s function.
Why would you pay all of this money for a mediocre player when you can create a gem out of thin air (Artemi Panarin)? Sometimes you have to wonder whether a player is a product of his environment or if he’s just a stud. Hats-off to the dynasty team of this decade, the Chicago Blackhawks, for knowing that difference.