The Blackhawks opened up the season with four games against Eastern Conference competition, all in six days, playing the first two at home. The first eight games the Blackhawks played were against teams who had made the playoffs the season before, including the defending champions and the defending runner-ups. Their season-opener was to be against the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Then, the ‘Hawks would see a familiar face in Artemi Panarin when they faced the Blue Jackets. They would face the Maple Leafs and the Canadiens up in Canada. They would then go on to finally play against Western Conference teams, playing against the Wild, the Predators, the Blues, and the Oilers. Today, however, we will just be looking at the first game, when the Blackhawks hosted Pittsburgh on October 5.
The Chicago Blackhawks had high hopes entering the 2017-18 season; they hade brought back Brandon Saad in a trade after shipping him off to Columbus just two offseasons earlier. He was to be reunited with center Jonathan Toews, who had been struggling since Saad left his side. Patrick Sharp was returning after playing two seasons in Dallas, signing a cheap contract to take a veteran leadership and depth role in the Windy City.
Vinnie Hinostroza was the most important piece of the trade that was sent away from Chicago when it comes to on-ice production. Marian Hossa’s contract and salary cap hit was the focal point and the reason for the trade, but since he is not playing anymore, Hinostroza becomes the second biggest part of the trade.
Former NHL goaltender Ray Emery passed away today in Hamilton, Ontario.
In a year of inconsistency, Jordan Oesterle was a bright spot on the Blackhawks’ defense, even if it was only for a short while.
The last tangible part of the Hossa salary dump with Arizona is 23-year-old AHL center, Jordan Maletta.
With the Hossa/Hinostroza/Oesterle trade that occurred on Thursday afternoon, the Blackhawks were able to free up some cap space. The Blackhawks currently have $9,300,705 in cap space, and one of the ways they could use it would be to acquire a forward like Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes or Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens.