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Friday, June 28, 2013
Hawks' Sharp: Why not a repeat?

By Jesse Rogers

Sharp
Patrick Sharp hopes the Hawks can be the first repeat Cup winner since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.
CHICAGO -- Everyone has a different definition of what makes up a dynasty, but most would agree if the Chicago Blackhawks win another Stanley Cup championship, the word would apply to them.

"In 2010, you guys waited 49 years to do this," forward Patrick Sharp said at a rally on Friday to celebrate this year's title. "This year, we waited three years -- what do you say we get back here and do it again next year?"

No team has repeated as Stanley Cup champion since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. That Wings team also won it all in 2002. That's what the Hawks have their sights set on.

"We have some young players here with pretty impressive résumés at a young age," Joel Quenneville said recently. "And they're competitive and they want to do well and want to win. That's a good thing."

Marian Hossa is the oldest member of the "core" at 34. Sharp is 31, while star defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are 29 and 28, respectively. Then there's Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, both in just their mid-20's.

"The core is special here," Kane said. "They did a great job of keeping it together. I don't see why we can't do it [again].

"It's a fun feeling going out there every night knowing you have a chance to win a hockey game. Hopefully, we can keep that feeling and win a few more because we have something special here. Everyone wants to stick around and be a part of it."

The Hawks became the first team in the salary cap era -- starting in 2005-06 -- to win two titles. With that core group under contract along with Corey Crawford, Dave Bolland, Michael Frolik, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad, there's plenty of young talent to contend.

"When you win one championship in your career, there's always that feeling you can do it again," Toews said.

Repeating might be difficult, as the Hawks found out in 2011. They stumbled after the short offseason, barely making the playoffs as the No. 8 seed. Next year might be even more challenging considering their clinching Game 6 victory this time around came on June 24 which was very late due to an extended lockout before the season.

It means an even shorter offseason, but that doesn't mean the Hawks should be counted out.

"As long as I've been a Blackhawk, there's something about that group," Toews said. "Those guys just want to win."