When Corey Crawford hands back the cup to the keeper-of-the-cup, this will conclude the Hawks victory tour. This will allow the Hawks to officially store all those photos, videos and memorabilia in their attics, crawl spaces, garage rafters, sheds and storage units...and begin a new chapter on the 2013-14 season. They have 2 weeks to get mentally prepared for a season that is going to have every single team gunning for them. Teams that lay eggs 90% of the season will find that extra energy to play the defending Stanley Cup champs.
With our hats, we tip them to Michael Frolik, Viktor Stalberg, Dave Bolland, Daniel Carcillo, Ray Emery and Stephane Waite (goalie coach). A clean slate is created that will include hungry rookies, seasoned cup-winning veterans and a city that has flipped itself on its head to become the loudest, hungriest hockey fans in the league.
Who is going to prevent the team from "settling"? I think that that player is going to truly be one of the most important players on the team. Will it be Toews? Seabrook? Keith? Who will keep order?
Who is going to be the one to bring the energy to the room? Will it be Shaw? Will it be Kane? Will it be Bickell? The team playing for each other is one of the biggest reasons the Hawks won. They all like each other and they suppress any egos for the one common goal: The Stanley Cup.
Will there be a surprise player this year? In other words, will someone like Toews, Sharp or Kane score 50? Will Seabrook capture the Norris? Will Crawford win the Vezina? Will Saad or Bickell hit 30 goals this year? How well will Pirri or Morin do? Will either of them surprise us (in a positive manner)?
All of this is yet to be seen. However, in just about 2 weeks, the Hawks will travel to Notre Dame Campus to start their training camp. THIS is the time to focus and get ready for the season. Because this year is extra big. You have an 82 game schedule,...and throw in an Olympics as well. We (Hawks fans) need to see our Hawks committed to bringing home Stanley again.
So, as well get through the summer and get ready to welcome the autumn air,...we remember the past,...lock it away to talk about again some time in the future. Here's to you Blackhawks. Time to do it again.