Yes, another article about Teuvo Teravainen. Chicago Blackhawks fans can’t get enough of the Finnish kid. It’s understandable, really; he’s one of the top prospects in the world and the Hawks’ struggling offense hasn’t exactly been as good as it should be lately.
Of course, there are a few people putting unreasonable expectations on the youngster, but there are also some who, for some reason, don’t seem to want him to play. Why?
The salary cap. Yes, the dreaded enemy of many a Blackhawks fan. It’s resulted in many a fan favorite being dumped off in order to stay under the cap, and the reason why the Hawks could not get past the first round of the playoffs for two straight years. So how does this related to Teravainen? Because if the Hawks play him for more than 10 games during the regular season and postseason, they’ll burn a year off his entry-level contract.
Naturally, there’s concerns about this, but it should not be a reason that Teravainen is forced to either say in Finland or become a Black Ace. The elephant in the room for the Hawks is their second-line center role. Michal Handzus just isn’t going to cut it, plain and simple. Peter Regin was a good idea, but he’s not enough. The Hawks have gone too far without a second-line center. Sure, they won two Stanley Cups without one, but they’ll need one this year.
The salary cap should not be a reason to leave a rising young star like Teravainen off the team. The Hawks are not getting any younger, and investing in their youth will serve them well. If he needs to, Stan Bowman will find a way to keep the Hawks under the salary cap and keep them competitive. He’s done it before.
With that out of the way, Teravainen should be given his break. The kind of talent he has does not fall into someone’s lap that often. He should be used, salary cap or not.