Rest Your Hearts: Patrick Kane’s Injury Minor Blip In Drama-Free Offseason
The main problem I’ve had during this offseason for the Blackhawks begins and ends with my four days spent in Boston two weekends ago, when for four days I witnessed Bruins fans with hats and t-shirts bearing their latest accomplishment.
That’s it. Everything else has been smooth, even with Patrick Kane having surgery to fix a broken bone in his wrist. Compared to the Capacolypse beginning mere days after the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victory, Stan Bowman has given us a very a nice 2011 summer.
To clear my opinion quickly regarding Kane’s injury, calm the flying hell down. If anything, celebrate the fact it was caught at the perfect time to fit in the requisite surgery and recovery time. I broke my wrist in high school and was back on the basketball court at full strength less than a week after the cast was removed. He’s still a kid and recovers much quicker than if, say, Andrew Brunette would if he snapped his wrist. He’ll heal, and we won’t be thinking about this anymore after he’s a point-per-game forward again this season.
It’s the little drama we’ve experienced as fans during an offseason we should be thankful for heading into the season. After Kane’s offseason from hell in 2010, we should be extra thankful he discovered an injury while working out. The Blackhawks are a better team than when Game 7 ended, and that’s what everyone should be thinking about leading up to this quiet time until training camp.
With that being said, there’s still plenty of things to be discussed with players’ roles as camp begins, but for much different reasons than we’re used to. Depth is a strong point, not a weakness, this coming season. Bowman and the players saw the deficiencies from last season’s squad and fixed it with a veteran presence, physical forwards and very serviceable and experienced defensemen in order get better.
It’s going to be interesting to see where Viktor Stalberg fits in with the emergence of Ben Smith during the postseason, along with the investment the organization has put in Marcus Kruger to be a part of the big club. The additions of Jamal Mayers and Dan Carcillo to the bottom lines puts Stalberg in a situation he couldn’t afford to put himself into after a largely disappointing 2010-11.
And where does Rotislav Olesz fit in after coming over in the Brian Campbell deal?
Bowman’s response of Sami Lepisto to Chris Campoli’s demands was probably the most telling move of how things are going to work on his watch in Chicago. You’ll get what he feels you deserve, or you can go somewhere else. For a guy who has taken a ribbing in the blogging community and among the fans for the better part of a year and a half, that’s a hell of an approach and a statement which also says, “You’re going to like what I do here if you’re just patient.” He’s smarter than us, and even though we have our opinions – myself included – he knows what’s best. And he’s given us fans a better team to watch come 2011-12.
The Patrick Sharp extension? Another non-issue. It’ll get done, and don’t believe for a second Bowman wasn’t thinking about Sharp’s potential cap hit when making his trades and signings this offseason. The Handsome Man made a bold statement, saying he feels like he’s “just getting started” after last season’s success. He’ll get himself paid, and it will be from Bowman and it will be during the season. I have no doubts.
So as we gear up for some quiet time, rest easy. Kaner is fine, the new guys are going to contribute and make the mainstays work for their positions, and Bowman has made the necessary improvements.
Editor/founder of Cheer the Anthem, season ticket holder in Section 326 and full-time sports writer who lists June 9, 2010, as one of the greatest days of his life. Contact him at email@example.com.