Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chicago Blackhawks Round-up

The Chicago Blackhawks have re-signed Kris Versteeg to a 3 year, $9.2 Million dollar contract, Cam Barker to a 3 year, $9.25 Million dollar contract, Troy Brouwer to a 2 year, $2 Million dollar contract and Ben Eager to a 1 year, $965 Thousand dollar contract.

The Chicago Blackhawks took the league by surprise last season as they exceeded everyone’s expectations and made it to the Conference finals. The off-season has been one of ups and downs for the Hawks. GM Dale Tallon was successful in landing one of the most coveted free agents in Marian Hossa, but was ultimately relieved of his duties when he cost the team millions with his restricted free agent blunder. The Blackhawks are looking to be the top team in the West this season and fantasy owners should hold on to their Hawks tightly.

Kris Versteeg found himself playing on the top line with Toews and Kane for most part of last season. An offensive threat that plays a big game in his 5’10”, 179 lbs frame, Versteeg scored 53 points in 73 games. He is a great option as a depth player and look to draft him in the mid-rounds if he is not kept as he should improve on his totals for next season.

Cam Barker was a success when he was called up last season. Scoring 40 points in 68 games, Barker helped anchor the power-play and was another weapon on an already deep team. Look for Barker to repeat his point totals next season and possibly going into keeper value as well. Don’t hesitate to draft this kid in middle rounds as he could be a steal there.

Troy Brouwer also made the leap into full time NHLer last season. The 23 year old winger plays a power forward game and added depth to an already deep team. Brouwer shared time between the second and third line and netted 26 points in 69 games and 50 PIMs. Brouwer has limited fantasy value right now but he is a player to keep an eye on in the future.

Ben Eager is one of the resident tough guys on the Blackhawks. He will add the occasional point and pick a fight with you just because he can. With 161 PIMs in 75 games, Eager added 15 points as well last season. If your pool rewards PIMs, look at Eager as an option as he may be busy protecting the young Hawks next season.


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