As hard as it has been to watch the Blackhawks go through their summer salary-cap purges, fans can take comfort in the fact the team has kept its core players in place while winning three Stanley Cups in this decade.
The team's top players — Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa — all are locked into expensive long-term contracts. The challenge for general manager Stan Bowman has been to fill in the blanks around his stars, and he largely has succeeded.
Of all the players the Hawks have been forced to shed, only a few of them were shipped off with much regret. Brandon Saad, Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd come to mind, and you can throw in Nick Leddy and...
The Hawks are finally on the right side of the handshake line. After back-to-back first round playoff exits, the Hawks trounce the Wild 5-1 in Game 5 to advance.