The Blackhawks were forced to make some tough decisions this offseason, watching fan-favorites get traded elsewhere and new faces enter. It's never easy to keep the group that won a Stanley Cup together in tact, especially in the salary cap era.
While next season will certainly feel different, CSN Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk believes the Blackhawks made the best out of a difficult situation, and it may not necessarily be a bad thing.
"I think Stan Bowman and his staff have done an amazing job of making some really good 'hockey trades,'" Olczyk told CSNChicago.com. "It's not easy to make 'hockey trades' in the salary cap era. Sure, you're going to miss Johnny Oduya and Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad and you had to put Stephen Johns in the deal, but the Hawks have picked up some really good players."
Some of those players include Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Trevor Daley, and Ryan Garbutt, all of whom were acquired via trade this offseason. The talent is there, but with the many new additions comes growing pains.
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The Blackhawks will have to overcome that, which Olczyk believes will take some time, on top of battling a short offseason if they want to become the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98.
While it certainly presents a tough challenge, anything is possible under coach Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks leadership.
"It is really difficult. I just think that it's going to take some time," Olczyk said. "You've got one of the best coaches of all-time behind the bench. ... I think he's got an opportunity here with a lot of new faces, a lot of young guys, some new players coming in to mix and match. It's not going to be easy — there's nothing easy."
Check out Olczyk's full comments in the video above.