Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Are The Chicago Blackhawks a Dynasty?

Websters dictionary defines a dynasty as: “a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time”.  

The Montreal Canadiens from 1955-1960 won 5 straight Stanley Cups.  They won 4 Cups in 5 years from 1964-1969.  They then rattled off 4 straight Cup wins from 1975-1979.  Needless to say, domination was on their side and they could be considered a Dynasty.  Especially winnin13 Cups in 24 years

The Edmonton Oilers won 5 Cups in 7 years during the ‘80s and some would say that they were the last of the hockey dynasties.  The Detroit Red Wings won 4 Cups over an 11 year period from 1996-2008.  Some debate that they belong in the Dynasty Club as well.

The 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks have now tossed their name in the basket as the next arguable hockey dynasty.  There is one difference that the Blackhawks had to deal with that none of the prior hockey teams, dubbed a dynasty, had to.  The dreaded Salary Cap.  The Blackhawks waited 49 years to become Stanley Cup Champions in 2010.  Within the following week, that team was dismantled to where half of that team were either traded or not re-signed. 

The salary cap was introduced after the 2004-2005 season was completely cancelled due to a lockout.  It was put into place so that teams would be limited in spending a certain amount of money based on the revenue brought into the league the prior year.  This would bring parity to the league.  And that it did.  Since it’s conception, the Chicago Blackhawks with their Cup win in 2013, were the first team to win multiple Stanley Cups in the salary cap era.  With the Blackhawks winning again this year, (note: they missed going back to the NHL Finals in 2014 by losing to the Los Angeles Kings in game 7 of the Western Conference Finals in overtime), they have now won 3 Cups in the last 6 years.

Because the league is now, and will forever be, locked into a salary cap, the definition of a dynasty should be redefined to include the phrase ‘salary cap era’.  Based on the Blackhawks success, (they also have reached the Western Conference Finals in 5 of the last 7 years), the Chicago Blackhawks should be declared a ‘Modern-Day Dynasty’.  

Will they continue to add to their total?  A bold suggestion, but a valid one since they still have Jonathan Toews, PatrickKane, and Duncan Keith for 8 more years, (all were named Conn Smythe MVPs for the last 3 Cup titles), Marian Hossa and newly acquired Artem Anisimov for the next 6 years, Corey Crawford for the next 5 years, and Niklas Hjalmarsson for the next 4, there is a very good chance that they can claim Lord Stanley’s Holy Grail yet again.  If so, that would lock them as a genuine dynasty and not just a modern-day dynasty.

Then, the debate will then lead to, ‘Would the Blackhawks be considered one of the greatest dynasties’?   The handicap of working through the salary cap era is quite the challenge to string together success for a long period of time.  Such problems we will have to discuss at a later date.  Until then...


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