Chicago Blackhawks at a glance
LAST SEASON: 48-28-6, 102 points. Beat Tampa Bay Lightning in Stanley Cup Final.
COACH: Joel Quenneville (eighth season, 19th NHL season, 754-438-77-106).
ADDED: F Ryan Garbutt, D Trevor Daley, F Viktor Tikhonov, C Artem Anisimov.
LOST: F Brandon Saad, F Patrick Sharp, C Brad Richards, C Antoine Vermette, F Kris Versteeg, D Johnny Oduya, G Antti Raanta.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Artemi Panarin. The Blackhawks won a crowded competition for the Russian winger when they signed him to a two-year contract in May. He was slowed by an upper-body during the preseason, but his teammates have raved about his moves and instincts. He likely will begin the year on Chicago’s second line, and his transition to the NHL could have a big impact on the Blackhawks’ season.
OUTLOOK: As long as Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are around, the Blackhawks are a legitimate threat to win it all. But the Central is loaded again and it could look ugly at times while Quenneville tries to find the right lines and defensive pairings for a much different group than the one that won the championship in June.