Fresh off being announced as the Blackhawks' new content analyst, we caught up with Colby Cohen to take a deep look at the Blackhawks offseason thus far and the changes President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Stan Bowman has made to the roster:
Blackhawks.com: Which move this offseason has you most excited?
Colby Cohen: That's a tricky one because there's really two in particular that are super exciting. Marc-Andre Fleury immediately gives you a chance to win every game for 82 games, without anything else. Between that and then Seth Jones… Guys like Seth Jones do not come around often. He is a big time No. 1 defenseman and his ability to create and really dominate a game is really special. Those two moves, I don't know how I would really rank them, one and one, I guess. Those are two big time players to bring to Chicago.
Overall, how would you characterize an active offseason?
I think it was opportunistic by Stan (Bowman). I think he had a little bit of cap space, which is not something he's had much of in his tenure and I think he made the most of it. He got creative. He brought in a two-time Stanley Cup Champion in Tyler Johnson… You start looking at (Jake) McCabe, (Seth) Jones, that's two guys that are going to play on your back end every night. A new starting goaltender (Fleury)… Those are powerful moves. (Henrik) Borgstrom will come in this year from overseas, former first round pick that I know Stan is very familiar with from watching Ian Mitchell at Denver. There's a lot of new faces that are going to be pushing for NHL jobs this year it's going to bring a lot of really good competition to training camp and that's the most healthy thing for any team.
Video: Colby Cohen on impact offseason additions
How excited are you for the upcoming season?
It's unbelievable. These were impact moves. These are the moves that every team wants to see their general manager go out and make. The fans of Chicago should be really excited because these are impact players. These are All-Star, Norris Trophy level, Vezina Trophy level, Stanley Cup winners, impact players that you're going to see play every night, score points, play good defensively, be leaders probably on and off the ice.
How balanced is the team now up front and on the back end?
It's hard to have a D corps as good as your forward group when you have Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Well now you have Seth Jones and Connor Murphy and Jake McCabe… (Riley) Stillman returns with another year under his belt and Calvin de Haan. It's a good group now. I'm going to just keep talking about this, but competition that we're going to see in training camp and preseason and probably most of the season, the internal competition, is really going to push this team to be successful.