Fans of the Chicago Blackhawks are still celebrating. Even though three weeks have passed since they won the Stanley Cup, fans still sport their championship tees and hats with pride. (I know I do.) But fans in Blackhawks nation were shocked on Wednesday to hear that Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and a prospect were traded to the Atlanta Thrashers for two 2010 draft picks and three players. On top of that, Colin Fraser was traded Thursday morning to the Edmonton Oilers for a 6th round 2010 draft pick.
The thing that upset people the most was that beloved Byfuglien would no longer be sporting the Indian head sweater. It was disappointing to see a player who is so talented on both sides of the puck leave Chicago. Big Buff has proved that he not only is a force on defense but that he is a heck of an offensive player too. He was a major factor in the Blackhawks championship run, whether it be his hat trick performance in Vancouver or the three game-winning goals he had against San Jose.
It’s hard news to swallow yes, but should we cry? No. The Blackhawks are running a very smart system; the front office turned the franchise around from having one of the worst records in the league to winning the Stanley Cup. The reality is that when it comes to cap space, some players have to go. I would have rather seen someone like Kris Versteeg, who has a relatively pricey salary, go but hey, that’s why I’m not the Blackhawks GM.
It’s all about the future with this team. Chicago’s captain, Jonathan Toews, is only 22 years old and superstar Patrick Kane is only 21. They are both secured for the next five years. Plus, with the acquisition of all these draft picks, it’s obvious that the Blackhawks believe youth is the best way to build the team, so have faith Hawks fans. Yes it’s sad to lose great players like the ones that have been traded in the last 24 hours, but you need to look at the bigger picture and maintain faith.
To Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel and Colin Fraser, thank you for what you did for the team. We’ll miss you guys and good luck.Google+