5 Chicago Blackhawks Stories to Follow During 2014 NHL Offseason

2014 NHL Offseason: 5 Chicago Blackhawks Stories to Follow

Chicago Blackhawks
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The 2014 NHL offseason promises to be a compelling one for the Chicago Blackhawks. With questions surrounding the futures of some of the team's biggest stars and an ever-present gap at the second-line center position, it won't be a quiet offseason in Chicago. Here are 5 of the biggest Blackhawks stories to track throughout the summer.

5. Will Johnny Oduya or Nick Leddy Be Traded?

Johnny Oduya Nick Leddy
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5. Will Johnny Oduya or Nick Leddy Be Traded?

Johnny Oduya Nick Leddy
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With the Blackhawks not having much cap space and looking to upgrade a roster that was consistently bad defensively last season, a few players with moderate contracts seem to be on the trading block. Johnny Oduya and Nick Leddy are among them, with both of their names repeatedly coming up in NHL trade rumors.

4. The Search for a Second-Line Center

Chicago Blackhawks Second Line Center
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4. The Search for a Second-Line Center

Chicago Blackhawks Second Line Center
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Chicago's almost infamous lack of a second-line center morphed from "problem" to "disaster" early in the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings, and many have speculated that Blackhawks' management is serious about addressing the issue this summer after ignoring it for every offseason since 2010.

3. Is a Patrick Sharp Trade on the Horizon?

Patrick Sharp Trade
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3. Is a Patrick Sharp Trade on the Horizon?

Patrick Sharp Trade
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Strange rumors are leaking out that suggest Patrick Sharp has become a problem in the locker room and is on the trading block after a horrific postseason. The "locker room cancer" speculation is likely unfounded and completely off the mark, but Sharp's hefty contract does make it seem plausible that Chicago is indeed shopping him around.

2. Jonathan Toews Contract Extension

Jonathan Toews Contract
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2. Jonathan Toews Contract Extension

Jonathan Toews Contract
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It is all but assured that Jonathan Toews will spend his entire career in a Blackhawks jersey. Rather than wondering whether or not he'll re-sign, focus instead on the specific terms of his all-but-inevitable contract extension. Any deal with an annual cap hit of $ 9.5 million or less is a win for Chicago. Anything more than that and Toews' deal starts to hinder the team's ability to fill out the rest of the roster with quality talent.

1. Patrick Kane Contract Extension

Patrick Kane Contract
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1. Patrick Kane Contract Extension

Patrick Kane Contract
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Patrick Kane is less of a sure thing to remain in Chicago than Toews, but the odds of him re-signing are still very high. Like Toews, the real intrigue lies in the terms of Kane's contract extension. Chicago's contending window may depend more than anything else on the amount of money its two franchise cornerstones demand.

Sean Sarcu is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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  • anothertoothpick

    Hossa, Versteag, Shaw, could go.

    Do not trade Leddy! Sharpe, or Seabrook.