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TODAY

Tuesday, October 27

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Blackhawks Wed Jun 23 2010

And It's Back to Reality... Slightly

Thought I was kidding when I said I was speechless, didn't you? With the press overload on the parade and all the Stanley Cup partying post victory, I sat back and basked in the excitement and glory with everyone else. (And as detailed in Merge, fans will get another chance to celebrate at this weekend's Pride Parade with Brent Sopel and his family).

However, it was also a chance to drink in the championship before worrying about the difficult position the Blackhawks find themselves in entering this offseason. The drought of '61 has been broken, but the team that takes the ice next year figures to look pretty different, and some fan favorites are bound to be wearing new sweaters in October.

More on this next week, after the completion of this weekend's NHL draft, which may see the first in a flurry of moves for the Hawks.

In the meantime, there's still the matter of finishing up this season, with tonight's NHL Awards show on Versus, where Duncan Keith is up for the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman. Were the award voted on after the postseason, Keith and his "Teeth" would probably be a shoo-in, but the competition looks tight between him, the L.A. Kings Drew Doughty, and Mike Green from the Washington Capitals. All three can make convincing arguments for the award with three different styles of play, though Keith's skill set is unrivaled in both ends. Good luck.

One other item of note, the schedule for next season was released on Tuesday, after opening the season in Colorado on Oct. 7, the Blackhawks return home to hoist the Stanley Cup banner Saturday, Oct. 9, against the rival Detroit Red Wings. Other highlight games include a Cup rematch against the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday, January 23, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins Sunday, February 20, and the return of former GM Dale Tallon in his new gig with the Florida Panthers Wednesday, March 23.
Check out the full schedule here.

 
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