With the retiring of Chicago Blackhawks fan favorite, Andrew Shaw, there are few NHL players from their Stanley Cup winning core. Including Shaw there have been three notable retirees from those cup winning days. Brent Seabrook stepped away due to injury earlier in the season, as did Corey Crawford before the season started. As the seasons progress the players from these rosters will become fewer and fewer. Let’s take a look at the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup core and where they are today.
The Last of the Core
Non Core Players Abroad
There are more than a handful of players that appeared on the 2015 roster that still play in the league today. Sure, they might not be considered players from the “core” of those years, but they’re making impacts today for their respective teams. One of these players is Carolina Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen. After being traded in the summer of 2016, Teravainen has found himself a home on the Canes top line. His playmaking abilities have propelled him to the ranks as one of the best passers in the Metropolitan Division. He’s spent this season bouncing around the injured list, but has seen decent production. Through 15 games he’s notched three goals and eight assists for 11 points. Last season through 68 appearances he put up 63 points and was on a pace for his second 50 assist campaign in a row.
Defenceman Trevor van Riemsdyk has also found success on other teams blue lines. After a three year stint in Carolina, the depth defenceman is currently playing in Washington. He’s only appeared in 14 games this season due to injury, but has proven his worth on the bottom pair. Recently the two-way defender has seen an increase in ice time, playing 21 minutes in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 29. Other notable names from those cup winning rosters that are still playing include Ryan Hartman and Vinnie Hinostroza.
Niklas Hjalmarsson was, arguably, one of the team’s most underrated players during the cup years. At his best he was a Norris caliber defenceman with elite shutdown capabilities. At his worst he was still a useful top four defenceman with a huge, sweeping stick. He was a workhorse on the top pair with Duncan Keith as well, eating up 20 minutes-plus a night during the cup years. He has never been a huge point producer, but putting up 15 goals and 82 assists for 97 points between 2009-10 and 2014-15 is pretty good for a shutdown defender.
After the last cup he was still a valuable player, increasing his ice time and improving defensively. After being traded to the Arizona Coyotes before the 2017-18 season he preformed similarly in a more sheltered role for the Coyotes. He’s battled through injuries and is starting to show his age a little bit more. At his best he’s still a fantastic top four option for Arizona and shows sparks of his former self.
Despite missing this most recent season due to an undisclosed reason, Jonathan Toews has plenty to build upon. After having his worst season of his career in 2017-18, he bounced back by producing nearly a point-per-game the following year and just under a point-per-game last season before the pandemic. Based on how he played in the Edmonton bubble last summer, he might be back to his Selke winning self. In the nine postseason games he played he was on a point per game pace. That’s almost Conn Smythe level production that he hasn’t seen since he won the trophy in 2010. Whether he’ll be able to replicate that production when he laces them up this fall remains a mystery. Regardless the team’s captain has a long way to go before he hangs them up, and a lot left in the tank too.
At 37 years old it is amazing that this man can play 25 minutes a night without getting an injury. And yet he is able to do it every night without fail. He’s won two Norris trophies and is one of the NHL’s top 100 players for a reason. With that being said he definitely is not the player he was during those cup runs. He has moments where he plays the game like he can still be a top pairing defenceman. That very same game, however, he could lose three key footraces to a younger, faster winger and give up a scoring chance. This isn’t to say he’s a bad defenceman, he is far from it. But it would be a shock if come this fall, at the age of 38, Keith can play to the same effectivenes he once had.
Patrick Kane is good at hockey. Like, really good at hockey. He notched 66 points in 56 games played, the tenth time he’s scored at an over point-per-game pace. There were many games this season where he dragged the team to the finish line for the win. And there are surely many more of those to come. Even in the late years of his prime, at 32 years old, he’s able to keep up with young talent of today’s NHL. Year after year he makes top ten lists of the league’s best forwards. By the time he retires he will surely be considered the best American born player to ever play. Likely the best Blackhawk, too. For now, though, he continues to rack up points and shock the league night in and night out. Who knows, maybe next year he’ll lead the league in points and win the Hart Trophy.