Comparatively speaking, the Dallas Stars have been quiet on the transaction front as opposed to the Chicago Blackhawks, who continue to "wheel and deal" with teams and sign some free agents. The most recent as the entire hockey world knows, is goaltender Marty Turco.
After letting go of the goaltender who helped them win their first Stanley Cup since 1961, Antti Niemi, Chicago found themselves in a peculiar situation, still holding on to Cristobal Huet, who is a guy that I’m trying to figure out how he hasn’t sat in a corner and cried himself to sleep at night because he just isn’t the same guy between the pipes anymore (well, I guess it’s easier to stop the tears when you are making $5 million you don’t deserve).
Not only does Chicago have Huet and Turco now, but they have a guy who will get his shot this year as well in Corey Crawford. This young goaltender was drafted in the 2003 draft by the ‘Hawks, and has played in a single-digit amount of games during that span, playing most of his games in the AHL. So, it’s probably about time this guy gets a shot to show the big club what he’s got for a full season in the NHL.
Why did Chicago sign Turco? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out they weren’t going to roll with Huet in net, and although Turco wears gold in the pipes, he hasn’t been gold himself the past few seasons. Give Turco credit where it’s due, though, he hasn’t exactly had a defense worthy enough to guard a president of a country, so he needs to be given a little slack there. However, he’s in the Windy City now, where defense is about as stacked as Tom Hicks’ debt papers.
Chicago did trade away some big pieces of their team, most notably Dustin Byfuglien and Brent Sopel to the Atlanta Thrashers, but they also shipped Kris Versteeg north of the border to play for the always intriguing Toronto Maple Leafs. Even with those moves, this team is still worthy of another run at the Stanley Cup. Not too many teams can go multiple years with young stars like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson, and veteran leaders like Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.
Turco still needs to prove he can be that top goaltender like he has been in the past, but he is still very capable of doing so. With a better defense and some serious skill up front, there is no reason why Turco can’t have a comeback season.