After the departures of Campbell and Brouwer, the Hawks are down to 10 members of the Stanley Cup winning squad.
5 of them could potentially be shown the door any time from tomorrow to a year or two from now, while logic would have you believe that the other 5 are relatively safe for the foreseeable future. So 2 questions arise: Who will be the last to stay, and the first to go?
Out the door candidates:
Bickell - Probably not a huge threat to be traded having had what most would regard as a high caliber season last year and costing the Hawks next to nothing.
Bolland - A team with the continuous nagging question of a 3rd line center isn't too likely to trade away the one anchoring their 2nd line. Also unlikely.
Hendry - For my money, the most likely candidate to narrow our Cup captives to 9. His contract's up, he didn't show much of anything in our abbreviated playoff run, he just seems very replaceable at this point, especially with the money we have to spend.
Hjalmarsson - An interesting candidate thanks to our old friend the Panthers. The thought going into the offseason was if we were moving anyone to unload cap space, it'd be him. But now we're free (free at last) of Campbell's paper. So does the slash-and-burn technique continue or have we cleared enough to do what we want to do? And at 3.5 a year, is anyone biting?
Sharp - Every indication is he's plans A, B, and C of our to do list. Seems like he'll be locked up in the same manner Seabrook was unless things were to completely break down. Stranger things have happened, though.
Committed to the Indian:
Hossa: He's 32, but his contract goes on seemingly forever. At some point, something's gotta give does it not?
Kane: When the question comes up "If you're gonna trade any of the Hawk stars, who are you most likely to move?" he seems to be the prevailing response. He's young, he's an All-Star, he's a silver medalist, he's a scorer...is he un-tradeable?
Keith: He's signed long term, he's the heart and soul of the defense if not the team, he's still relatively young at 27, you'd have to believe he's Toews most serious threat to be here for the longest run...wouldn't you?
Seabrook: He's got the advantage of being a full 2 years younger than Duncs, he's got that fat new contract, he'll be here awhile no doubt, but is that while the longest of the bunch?
Toews: I'll be shocked if this isn't the runaway choice. He's the captain, he embodies everything that is Blackhawk hockey, he's a Conn Smythe winner and a gold medalist, and oh...he's 23 years old. I've ended all these brief bios with a question so I guess in his case the only one you can ask: If he isn't your choice, explain yourself....please?
(Please note you're expected to vote twice on the poll, once for next to leave and again for last to stay)