Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 07/26/13 at 10:20 PM ET
The one and only one comfort I took in "my team" losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champions involved the fact that "my team's" season ended on April 27th, and the Chicago Blackhawks' season ended on June 24th.
Training camps for the 2013-2014 regular season will start on the weekend of September 13th, and thanks to the shortened season and its incredibly late starting date, Chicago ended up playing 71 games over the course of five-and-a-half months, and they're at a significant disadvantage in terms of their rest and recovery from a very hard 2013 campaign.
The Blackhawks are holding their annual summer convention this weekend in Chicago, and as you might expect, they insist that they're neither suffering ill effects from their extended playoff push, nor do they expect to struggle particularly hard in defending their title given that, this time around, the vast majority of their team remains intact, as they told ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers:
“It’s a huge relief not to see half your team traded away or re-signed with other teams in the offseason, especially after winning the Cup,” [Jonathan] Toews said. “It’s a special thing. We know we lost a couple of guys. You never want to see guys go, and I think you always have that bond with the guys you win the Stanley Cup with. I wish them all the best. We’re very happy with the fact our team has pretty much stayed intact. I think that’s going to carry our energy and confidence into next year, too.”
The Blackhawks completed their Stanley Cup finals on June 24 and will open their training camp on Sept. 12. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville anticipated another unique season with conference and divisional realignment and the Olympics occurring this season.
“We’re going to be busy,” Quenneville said. “It’s an interesting year, a lot of new things going into the season with the new alignment, the Olympic year as well. We’ll have several players going to camps going into the season as well. There’s going to be a lot of things that are going to be happening. The schedule gets compressed as well.
“Winning the Cup, the question is going to be, ‘How is that Stanley Cup hangover?’ I think we’ve dealt with that in the past, and I think going into this year we’ll be comparable to how we started this year knowing that you want to make sure your depth is going to be important and valuable throughout the year and right off the bat use everybody and make everybody contribute to the team’s success and get off on the right start.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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