By Ricardo Guzman @rcky_guzman on August 10, 2014
The Chicago Blackhawks came very close to advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals last season. That being said the Hawks still have some question marks that need to be answered by season's start. Here are the top 5 in no particular order.
Marian Hossa has been a workhorse his whole career. At 35, it may be time to hold back on the minutes and situational play. Being one of the top defensive forwards in the league, Hossa logs big minutes in power play kill. He struggled at times on the Stanley Cup Finals and would benefit from a smaller workload during the regular season.
As it stands, the Blackhawks are .2 million over the NHL salary cap. Nick Leddy is currently earning .7 million while Johnny Oduya earns .3 million. Either of these guys being traded as a salary casualty would even out that issue. The big question is who?
The top two centers are set in stone (Toews and Richards). That leaves Shaw, Marcus Kruger, and possibly Teuvo Teräväinen. If Teräväinen can make the roster, he will play center, pushing Shaw over to one of the wings.
Kris Versteeg struggled since making his return to Chicago. The struggles were especially evident in the playoffs. He was benched for an extra d-man in Sheldon Brookbank. If he can't turn his play around this offseason he may have played himself out of a job.
Teräväinen is the front runner to make the roster out of the current prospects. We could also see Jeremy Morin in the everyday lineup as well. There will need to be young players worked in with the veteran stars of the Blackhawks.
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