Three Stanley Cups in six years for the Chicago Blackhawks, this is as close to a dynasty as you will get in hockey these days.
If not for the Los Angeles Kings, who have also won two Cups in that span, I would crown the Blackhawks as that dynasty team. But to be a dynasty you have to be a team that has dominated everyone…the Hawks are not there just yet. But take nothing away from them, they are a heck of a team.
This takes us to how the Hawks arrived in the Promised Land; through the NHL Draft. 11 players on the Chicago roster are homegrown. The seven core players that have been on the team for all three championships are all home grown with the exception of Marian Hossa, who came in as a free agent.
Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are all high first round draft picks, goalie Corey Crawford and defensive stud Duncan Keith were second round selections. Chicago had to be terrible before they were good, but more important than that, they did their homework when they drafted their guys, and that is the difference.
Kane and Toews were slam dunk picks, with Kane being a first overall selection in 2007, Toews third overall a year earlier. But many teams had a shot at Seabrook, Crawford and Keith. Seabrook was passed over by 13 other teams in what was a massive 2003 draft year. Seabrook was drafted behind star players Marc Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Dion Pahneuf, Thomas Vanek and Dustin Brown…no one has more Cups than he does of that group.
Duncan Keith was drafted 54th overall, the year that the Canucks took defenseman Kirill Koltsov with the 49th pick. Bad drafting…Koltsov never played an NHL game.
Which brings me to Vancouver and why they hired Jim Benning; Benning worships the draft. He knows how important it is to build through the NHL Draft.
So when Benning makes moves over the next few weeks, including moving some key veteran players for draft picks. Look at the bigger picture, and look at Chicago.
You can hate them all you want, but you have to call them Stanley Cup Champions.