* 82 game regular season
* Olympic Camp and Olympic Games
* Playoff Games
You are looking in the realm of 115-120 games this season of approximately 10 of the Hawks.
Toews, Keith, Seabrook, Hossa, Kane, Hossa, Hjalmarsson and Oduya among others should make their countries' team, as well as possible surprises: Sharp, Crawford, Saad, Kruger, Rozsival, Handzus.
This over-demanding schedule would KILL any teams chances of winning the Stanley Cup. So, the Hawks (as well as other teams) will be forced to used their depth in their organization, in order to stay healthy for a solid playoff run.
Stanton and/or Kostka, Brookbank, will be used frequently.
Nordstrom, Pirri, Morin will likely interchange a bit. As much as I wanted to see Morin make the line-up, this may not happen immediately. He'll come in to replace players like Hossa (who is having Lower Back issues), or unsuspected injuries that may occur throughout the season.
Nordstrom is quickly becoming a coaches favorite due to his chemistry with fellow countryman Marcus Kruger. They are building that bond that would solidify that PK top pairing. Smart on Joakim Nordstrom to recognize what was needed to make the roster and to do everything to seek that position out.
Handzus, Kruger, Toews and Shaw are the center men (Shaw and Kruger can interchange to the wing when called upon). Pirri is only a center man, Nordstrom is able to play both. Hawks will need a 5th winger for certain. Handzus will not be able to handle that load for 120 games. Not even close.
So, it appears that Preseason favorites Pirri and Morin, may be left off the lineup ONCE AGAIN. But, you will see both of these players being called up frequently throughout the year. Most likely 15 games minimum to approximately 35 games. It has to be done or their core is going to be WORN OUT!!!
It also appears that Michael Kostka has the slight edge over Ryan Stanton. Both deserve it, but reports out there are saying Kostka has the edge. We'll find out soon enough if that report is correct. Rozsival and Brookbank can't handle that load. (At least I wouldn't want Brookbank to handle that load. I don't think he's strong enough to play on a strong team like the Hawks for more than 15-20 games).
I thought since Kostka actually started out with Toronto's top line last year, that Kostka stands a better chance,...that is why I thought the Kostka signing was amazing.
Camp winds down this weekend and we'll have the final roster after the last preseason game against Washhington.