Blackhawks Announce 2018-19 Opening Night Roster

Here’s your Opening Night roster for the 2018-19 Chicago Blackhawks

Forwards (13):
Jonathan Toews
Patrick Kane
Brandon Saad
Nick Schmaltz
Alex DeBrincat
Artem Anisimov
Dominik Kahun
John Hayden
Luke Johnson
David Kampf
Marcus Kruger
Chris Kunitz
Andreas Martinsen

Defensemen (7):
Duncan Keith
Brent Seabrook
Jan Rutta
Erik Gustafsson
Henri Jokiharju
Brandon Manning
Brandon Davidson

Goaltenders (2):
Cam Ward
Anton Forsberg

Injured reserve (3):
Corey Crawford, G
Gustav Forsling, D
Connor Murphy, D

37 thoughts on “Blackhawks Announce 2018-19 Opening Night Roster

  1. True EB it’s a reload year but i don’t rule out the possibility of being in wild card contention. Have to be alot more go right than last year plus some development and bounce back though.

  2. ER-80 points puts them in 10th worst-based on 17/18 final standings-obviously 80 may make it different this year.

  3. As predicted when he was re-signed in the summer, not only is Martinsen on the team, he is playing ahead of Hayden. I don’t want to hear about AHL playoffs blah blah blah, Hayden has been — and I’ll use Q’s word — “noticeable” the entire camp; he plays w/ a passion. He skates faster than Martinsen. He can kill penalties, Martinsen can’t. He has a better offensive skillset than Martinsen. Yet, Martinsen plays and Hayden sits.

    It’s one thing for a 29-30 yr. old established player to take playing time away from a young player like Hayden; it’s totally another and the opposite thereof for a player of Martinsen’s ilk to do so. A) Bowman 50% @ fault for re-signing him; and B) Q 50% @ fault for dressing him ahead of anyone other than Kunitz.

    Although, if Ward continues to be a sieve, the above won’t mean diddly. Good day.

  4. I hope I’m – either way. If they end up in that 7-10 draft position like the past draft – they will get a good player but most likely not a player ready to step in and make a difference in the 2019/20 season. So I’d rather have them have a better year than my prediction and make the playoffs because drafting in the 18-22 position probably isn’t going to be that much different than 7-10.

    OR

    Really stink it up and end up in a top-3 draft position.

  5. An optimist! Rebuild with Bowman and McDonough in charge…seriously!

    Bowman who lays claim to three Stanley Cups with Smith’s/Tallon’s core…in-spite of the dumb contracts for Bickel and Seabrook. And his boss (chuckle here) McDonough who knows less about Hockey than he did baseball (how did he work out for Cub fans!)…there was no line of Baseball owners to hire him away from the Cubs just as there isn’t a line of Hockey owners burning up the phone lines to Rocky to hire him away from the Hawks.

    Darker days are ahead for us Hawk fans (yes this team could get lucky and make the playoffs but it’s more likely they are one injury away from a top 5 pick in next year’s draft) Unfortunately it will take Rocky a few tries to find a President and GM…hopefully it won’t take the Hawks 50 years to get it right this time.

  6. P.S. I neglected to reference the defense, equal opportunity analysis.

    Seabrook is going to play w/ Manning, really? This is the worst utilization of Seabrook — instead of trying to maximize his strengths and limit his weaknesses it accomplishes the exact opposite. He is going to be paired w/ clearly the worst of the seven D-men currently on the roster.

    The same percentage of blame as to Martinsen applies to this situation — A) 50% on Bowman for signing Manning (maybe Bowman was drunk) and B) 50% on Q for not only dressing him, but pairing him w/ Seabrook.

    Good day.

  7. A big problem with keeping Jokiharju is pairing him. Manning looks like a dumpster fire. Davidson plays a complimentary style but isn’t very good. We all know what Gus is. That leaves DK, and given his propensity to cough it up that isn’t a great fit either.

    I had hoped that Hillman (or maybe Tuulola or Dahlstrom) would stick and that HJ could play sheltered minutes maybe partnering with one of them (although admittedly given their lack of NHL experience that would also be a stretch).

    We’ll see how this works out, but if it goes badly I hope HJ is sent down quickly (and left there where he can learn under Colliton).

    In the bigger picture, this also points to the problem of the lack of balance in our drafting. We still don’t have one high quality stay-at-home prospect at the back. You need both. You need guys who can play shutdown, kill penalties, and do the heavy lifting. Fighter and bombers. A squadron of smurfs will never be enough on its own.

  8. Iceman, I agree. I would like to give Q the benefit of the doubt and see what the lineup looks like after the first few games – hopefully only one of Kunitz and Martinsen are in the lineup at one time.

    If Q’s job security is based on wins/losses, then he is in an unenviable position of being at cross purposes with the long term plan for this team. Simply put, if Q was told he is job survival is based on wins/losses, then he isn’t prioritizing player development and he isn’t the right coach for the current situation. Which is to say that Stan and McD have not made the right decision on what is best for the team moving forward.

    We’ll see how it plays out, but Martinsen/Kunitz playing and Hayden not is not a good sign.

  9. Jordy they want Jokiharju to play meaningful minutes, find out if he’s ready if not do what needs done. Look what they did last year with Oesterle or Caps did with Krmpny except this guy got youth, ton of skill and promise on his side too.

  10. Jordy – spot on re: stay at home D-man, or lack thereof. Hjalmarsson was the prototype/textbook, as reliable as they come. Allegedly, Manning was signed to slot into this role. This is laughable.

    Hjalmarsson was 21 when he was brought up near the end of ’09 season, slotted into top 4 minutes, never look back. Played entire playoffs. Pillar of strength. No experience either. Hillman is now 22, he is the most similar to #4 of anyone the Hawks have now. He would have been a far better choice to play w/ Seabrook, while Manning would have be on another team. We’ll see how long this version of the Hawks’ D lasts.

    This is simply extremely poor player evaluation by Bowman as to someone like Manning. That goes to Davidson to a lesser degree. Who has a better chance to develop and help the team at the same time — Hillman & Dahlstrom or the two Brandons?

  11. This is the downside of having many players not performing to match the % of cap hit taken.
    Relax the hand-winging about Hayden guys…he made the team. If he out-preforms another forward, Q will play him.

  12. I’m not gonna get too bent out of shape regarding the fourth line – most if not all good NHL coaches make young players earn their time

    I’m not a huge fan of Martinsen but as Babcock said in Toronto the “tie goes to the veteran’ so unless noticeably Hayden is better Q is gonna give Martinsen his shot to fail then it’ll be Hayden’s turn

    Like it or not that’s the culture and one of the reasons Q is picked in player polls as the coach players would most like to play for

    Hayden eventually will be in the line up don’t worry then he’ll have his chance to earn continued playing time

    However I wouldn’t say he skates better than Martinsen – that’s at least a push IMO if not an edge to Martinsen – Hayden is a bit of a choppy skater

  13. I don’t have a problem with Martinsen – I think he does a pretty good job playing his role. But – I don’t think he will be a key piece to the 2020/21 team which I guess will be the earliest the Hawks will be Cup contenders. Therefore getting games under the belts of players who could be 2020/21 contributors is a higher priority than winning games in 2018/19, in my opinion.

  14. I hear ya ER but I don’t agree

    Getting games under the belt of certain players because you see them as contributors down the road is not in Q’s job description nor should it be

    You get contributors ready to play in the AHL – when they’re in the NHL it’s time to contribute

    I don’t have a problem with Q being all about winning each game – it’s a good lesson for the young guys and it’s the way the veterans should be playing as well and passing that along to the young guys

    I don’t think it flys in the dressing room if Martinsen is contributing more than Hayden right now but Q plays Hayden because he thinks Hayden will be there in 20-21 – that’ll just piss players off and they’re right IMO and then you’ve got a bunch of pissed off players. That’s not worth whatever progress you might make by playing Hayden even when he hasn’t proven to be better than Martinsen

    Let him earn his time – it’s better for him and for the team

    and I’m sure pretty sure Hayden will outlast Martinsen in the long term anyway – patience

    Q is doing it the right way IMO

  15. Don’t confuse this for optimism, but I’m glad that Hockey, and the Blackhawks, are back playing games that count.

  16. Wraparound – well argued and I understand and respect your position … but (you knew there was a “but” coming) I disagree. Your point is well taken regarding the other players wouldn’t like a clear cut better player not playing for a young player who isn’t contributing – but that wouldn’t be the case with Hayden versus Martinsen. Actually I think it should be Kunitz not playing more so than Martinsen – but Hayden should be playing over either of them. I agree a player shouldn’t be handed a spot unearned and I was in favor of Sikura going to Rockford because he clearly didn’t play well enough to make the roster. But Hayden did play well enough to make the roster and I think he clearly played better the Kunitz. And yet there’s Kunitz in the starting lineup while Hayden sits. That’s wrong and it doesn’t help the 20/21 team

  17. Funny how everyone is finally realizing hown poor our GM, pro and amatuer scouts really are. It is pathetic when you realize the HAWKS have not drafted a NHL goalie since CC, an NHL winger since SAAD, an NHL right winger since KANE ( Debrincat will not scare anyone especially teams in the west, too small), and a solid dman since the HAMMER. We could have drafted EVAN Bouchard or Dobson, we shluld have drafted wingers with size, speed and skill and we should have drafted a goalie. Instead, our lazy GM signs useless free agents two years in a row and our Coach has no patience for developing talent. This team should have allowed Fortin, Highmore, Dalhsrtrom and Hillman make the team, Build with size and speed up front. Adding Kunitz, Manning, Davidson, Ward and Martinson has made us old and slow.Why???

  18. EB the Kunitz is the only one of him, Hayden and Martinsen who has an established offensive game in NHL, Q trying to give one of the bottom 6 lines a needed chance to help with offense. Sikura was given a longer look too for that reason. If Hayden shows he can be more of a threat to score, he will play there. Martinsen was the bar and they obviously felt nobody played well enough in camp to push him out or that he played poorly and deserved to lose his spot.

    As the season wears on Kunitz will be in lineup somewhere but Martinsen may be moved or waived to make room. Kampf is probably there because he is faster but his spot will be up for competition too if he can’t find some offense.

  19. Brookaok……..all John McDonough is here for is to make money. He doesn’t have to know baseball or hockey or any sport at all. Right now, you see and hear advertisements for the Hawks that “tickets are available” for ALL home games. THAT statement in itself should make Bowman wake up and take notice. That has NOT happened in at least 9-10 years. People are not renewing their season tickets, either.

    The sign of a really good coach or GM is not known until that person loses their job with their present organization, then, you see how quickly or how hesitantly teams are to sign them. We already know that Q is a Hall of Fame coach, but is Bowman a really good GM or just a guy who had the right last name and the pedigree to be the GM after Dale Talon? We’ll know at the end of this year.

  20. Good point-many president’s like but don’t intuitively know that sport and offer very little true insight on the field or rink. There job as it relates to the on ice product does include that they trust and know that the GM is doing the job, both in terms of the immediate and long term vision.

    Interesting to see Sparks will probably start for Toronto in the Hawks home opener. The Leafs got the overtime win last night but were out played by the Habs who might surprise a bit.

  21. Reg your correct putting out a team that gives the best chance to win until the young guns are ready and the team can be serious contenders again, is the hope, to keep the faithful happy in the meantime.

    Therefore replacing Bowman and Q may be tied more to being able to look like team is progressing to getting back to playoffs, as to keep team making money.
    Bowman may have had or agreed himself to have FA purse strings shortened this off season to do that, until team is ready to be serious cup c9ntenders again.

  22. NHL opening nite… quick observations

    Canucks- got young …pretty quickly…

    Max Comtois… really liked what I saw from him… Hawks were rumored to be looking at him during draft 2017… big kid, wheels, heavy shot… lot of Teams wishing for a do-over there!

  23. I love the Hawks but I can’t seem them anywhere but last in the Central. Only a few miracles could vault them into a playoff position. I hope I’m wrong. Crawford is a huge key obviously. This team rarely shows any sense of urgency.

  24. Lots of different perspectives which is good – it makes this blog worth reading and contributing. Some of my opinions may be proven incorrect, and that’s fine, they are, after all, just the fevered musing of a Hawks fanatic.

    But thankfully, by the end of the day today, there will be more to talk about than off season opinions – because it is no longer the off season – YIPPEE!

    I’m feeling optimistic this morning – Hawks 4 Ottawa 2.

  25. OK…so then who is supposed to select the next GM? Rocky?

    BTW…the Cubs were barely breaking even under McDonough…and do Hawks fans want the Hawks to become the new “lovable losers” of Chicago? Bowman and McDonough both have to go!

  26. Next coach, especially if the club is committed to development, could be Colliton. He probably needs to prove more, but he seems to be doing some good things. I don’t know about GM, but there’s always Pully in a pinch.

  27. I have no problem with some veterans in the lineup. Especially early in the year. Let the guys with a chance to play in Chicago get big minutes in Rockford. And as the season goes on call them up.
    Hawks call up Colin Delia for an injured Forsberg ( hit high by a shot). Hawks also place Jordan Maletta on waivers for purposes on terminating his contract(acquired in hossa deal).
    So once that goes through they are down to 47 of 50 contracts.

  28. Brook, McDonough did not run the Cubs, he was the head of the marketing department, I believe. He knew that they would bring in a guy like Theo to run the team under the new ownership so he left, no shame in that.

    On January 1st, if the Hawks are not in the race, Bowman will be gone. You can’t fire Q because the new GM will want to hire his own coach, so you keep Q.

    Let’s see where this “youth movement” takes us.

  29. ER – agree with you on Kunitz not playing better than Hayden but being the respected veteran he is I don’t think he loses his job in the pre-season

    He can lose it in the regular season however and wouldn’t be surprised at all if he does

  30. Reg if that scenario were to play out, i would think bringing in Mark Hunter as GM and naybe he brings in Dale Hunter next srason as head coach, might be a good route.

  31. Anyone watch the HABS / Leafs game last nite. I `ve posted a link below to some comments about the game from Babcock and the speed and structure of the HABS last night. More importantly was the feature being about Julien`s setting the tone for his team. He benched veterans Plekanec and Alzner last night and played the Kids. It also led to this post-game comment from Toronto coach Mike Babcock:

    “Montreal played with great effort and great structure. I thought they worked real hard. I thought they were above the puck. They got on top of us.
    “It doesn’t matter how many points they had [last season],” Babcock added. “They’re a really good team.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-ca/sports/nhl/coach-julien-has-set-the-tone-for-canadiens-to-surprise-this-season/ar-BBNU9dF?li=AAggFp5

    Quennville should take notice here….. and if he doesn`t Bowman should as well, because with this team , if they don`t play with speed and structure they aren`t winning too many games. We don`t need Kunitz in this lineup. We need the kids to learn structure. If he won`t teach it then someone else should.

  32. The only teams, right now roster wise, that are better then us are the top 3 teams in conference NAS, WIN, STL. Those teams are 3 of top 5 teams in conference.

    MIN, DAL, COL are good but not better then us, they just did better record wise, while we played with 2 ahl goalies and without 81 and 4.

    Who cares if any of those teams have a better record then us last yr or this yr. We would rather have another top pick, if record sucks.

    Theres only good this season. We win and make playoffs, which we only need to do better then the teams we are better then. or have a sucky record and get a top pick. No matter what we win.
    Next yr is the yr, we need to coming on and we will.

    I fully expect EDM, CAL, CHI to do good because head off yrs and are good teams.
    For DAL, COL, VAG to do worse because they overachieved for how good they are.
    Doesn’t mean those teams are in and out.
    Just that teams that did good last yr arnt garmented they will again, just because. It will be harder on them, when teams play them harder.
    (look at EDM, DAL, etc after good yrs the next yr not so much.)

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