We've talked about the new additions. We've discussed how that's affected team competition. We've even looked at what the roster looks like as of July 2019.
Let's keep it rolling in the dog days of summer and dive into a few more of my thoughts:
Andrew Shaw – there were mixed emotions with Shaw returning to Chicago. I, for one, welcomed the change.
If you've been reading my stuff here on Hockeybuzz, you know that I'm a huge proponent of team chemistry and while Shaw might infuriate me with the odd offensive zone penalty or even possible suspension, I know what he can bring to the dressing room.
"Shawzie" was all the rage at the Fan Convention this past weekend and the Hawks players, executives and fans have welcomed him back with open arms.
"He's one of the great guys in the game," defenceman Brent Seabrook said. "He's one of those guys that always brings energy, whether it's on the ice or off the ice. You know you need those guys around to spark things.
"The season gets long. The season gets dragged out. You're in some dark cities, you know, snow and weather and all that kind of stuff, and then a guy like Shawzy really brings that energy, that fire." (Courtesy: The Canadian Press)
I think that statement alone from Seabrook is worth a couple of draft picks and $3.9M every day in my books.
"The Buzz" – I know it was a PR spin all wrapped up into a weekend but you can't help but think after a couple non-playoff years the Hawks players are hungry to get back there.
The core players on this team are tired of losing. That's evident. Some younger players – like Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, David Kampf and even poor Connor Murphy – have yet to taste playoff hockey.
The players are excited to get started and this training camp will be one of the best ones we've seen in years.
Kirby Dach – speaking of buzz, Kirby Dach is on quite a magical summer tour. He played well – even turned some heads – at developmental camp, he was calm and composed during the fan convention and most recently had a really strong first game in the Summer Junior Summer Showcase tournament. He had 2 goals and added an assist. Here's one of his goals.
I'm excited to see how he looks in the Traverse City tournament, as well as against NHLers in the preseason.
Chris Kunitz – what a career for Kunitz. I believe working with the Hawks in his post-NHL playing life was always in the cards and the Hawks are lucky to have him.
Sure, Kunitz's play last year didn't help the Hawks but his presence on and off the ice with his experience and winning attitude would only have helped the younger Hawks. Now, he'll get to help mold the Hawks of the present and future in his new role with the organization in the Hockey Ops department.
Congrats on the career, Chris!
What are your summer thoughts?
See ya out there,