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.
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.