That was evident Monday when the latest round of cuts left six rookies on the Blackhawks roster for Wednesday night's opener against Minnesota. Chicago hopes the new blood of center Tuomo Ruutu, defenseman Lasse Kukkonen and wingers Igor Radulov, Pavel Vorobiev, Travis Moen and goalie Michael Leighton can pump some life into the struggling organization that has made the playoffs just once in the past six seasons.
"These six rookies deserve to be here right now," Blackhawks general manager Mike Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Rather than get a 32-year-old guy who couldn't make it with another team, we've decided to start with these six. But it'd be optimistic to think we'll play all year with six rookies."