Hossa addition buried in off-season troubles: Season Preview
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It was a busy summer for the Chicago Blackhawks and not just on the ice.
To kick-off the off-season, the Blackhawks botched qualifying offers to the teamís restricted free agents, bumping their cap stance and removing Dale Tallon as GM who is now a senior advisor with the club. Scotty Bowmanís son Stan has filled the GMís chair.
The Hawks then received word that big-ticket free agent Marian Hossa would have his contract ($62.4 million over 12 years) investigated, though the results of that remain undetermined. The Blackhawks then learned that Hossa was dealing with a nagging shoulder injury and could be out of the lineup until December. Still, the addition of Hossa adds to an already solid forward core in Chicago.
More bad news continued for the Blackhawks in the off-season. Last month, news broke that young star Patrick Kane was in legal troubles after assaulting a Buffalo cab driver. Kane has since issued a public apology.
Due to limited cap space, the Blackhawks did not re-sign forward Martin Havlat, who had a breakout year last year with Chicago. Hawks fans were teased with juicy information from Havlat via Twitter, stating his distaste with the Blackhawks organization with quotes like, ďThere is something to be said for loyalty and honour.Ē
The team did however, sign standout checking centre John Madden to a one-year contract.
After not opting to re-sign goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, question marks exist in goal with Cristobal Huet as the teamís No. 1.
Still, the Blackhawks remain a solid core and the top threat in the West. There is reason to believe that the Blackhawks will advance to the Stanley Cup final, but unfortunately for Hossa, it will mark his third consecutive loss.