Atlanta 11/13/2014 8:07:58 PM
News / Sports

Chicago Blackhawks Labeled Early Odds on Favorite for Stanley Cup Champs

Kane, Toews, and Crawford look to lead Chicago through 2014-15 Season

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A thrilling Western Conference semi-final in last year’s playoffs denied the Chicago Blackhawks their hopes of winning another Stanley Cup. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Blackhawks in overtime of Game, and would then go on to win the Stanley Cup. Chicago will enter the 2014-15 season with redemption on their mind. A roster that could be considered the leagues best stayed in tact through the off-season. Due to the limited amount of cap space, Chicago didn’t have much money to spend on new players. They did however, lock down their best players in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

Each player was signed to an 8-year contract worth $84 million. Also remaining with the team despite multiple trade rumors is the team’s leading scorer from last year, Patrick Sharp. One move that the Blackhawks were able to make was signing the veteran center, Brad Richards. Richards signed a massive contract with the New York Rangers back in 2011, which was bought out due to the lack of production on the ice. General Manager Stan Bowman was able to sign Richards to a one-year contract worth $2 million. The deal is a low risk, high reward situation for the Blackhawks if Richards can return to his former production of play.

Corey Crawford will be returning to the net to play goalie for Chicago for the sixth consecutive year. Crawford has played a huge role for the success Chicago has had in past seasons. Since 2009, the Blackhawks have reached 44 wins in every season. Consistency is what keeps Chicago in the running to win it all each and every year. Coach Joel Quenneville who owns an impressive record reaching the playoffs 16 out of 17 seasons as a coach in the NHL leads them.

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