Plugging the Holes: Central Division
The Hawks need role players, while the Red Wings are in search of an elite D-man
With the Stanley Cup heading back to Boston, it's time for every NHL team to evaluate its roster and see how it can retool for next season. The analysts of Hockey Prospectus provide some help, identifying the biggest shortcoming on every NHL roster using their GVT valuation metric (explained here) and offering a unique suggestion on how to fix it for 2011-12. The series continues today with fixes for the five teams in the Central Division, where the Blackhawks need to find some pivotal role players on the cheap.
The hole: Low-cost defensive forward
The Chicago Blackhawks are built around an impressive but high-priced collection of talent. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook together total more than $36 million in cap space, which is more than seven other entire teams, and will continue to do so until 2015-16. They need to fill their roster with bargains. Chicago won the Stanley Cup in 2009-10 thanks to low-cost secondary players like Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Andrew Ladd and even our proposed fix.
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