The last time the Chicago Blackhawks raised a Stanley Cup champions banner to the rafters at United Center, the team they put on the ice wasn’t very much like the one that celebrated the title four months earlier.
A salary-cap crunch meant the Blackhawks started the 2010-11 season with just 10 players who were in the lineup when Patrick Kane scored his overtime Cup winner in Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers. That wasn’t a problem this time around, and when Chicago opens the 2013-14 season against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday it’ll have 17 players who raised the Cup in Boston.
“It’s kind of nice, especially when we went through what we did in 2010 and we lost over half of our team, over half the guys that played pretty big parts in a Cup run there,” captain Jonathan Toews said. “So it’s nice to come back and have things almost be exactly the same. It’ll be what we’re used to: the same group in our locker-room and the same group of guys that just make everything flow.”
Source: The Canadian Press, NHL