Chicago Blackhawks: center

Changes at center could be in Hawks' future

August, 1, 2013
8/01/13
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Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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Brandon SaadBill Smith/NHLI/Getty ImagesThe Blackhawks are hoping Brandon Saad will emerge as the answer as a second-line center.
CHICAGO -- Changes are likely coming for the Chicago Blackhawks in the not-so-distant future.

Don't worry, the core will likely stay intact. There isn't expected to be much turnover in the team's wingers and defensemen. Wings Bryan Bickell, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp and defensemen Duncan Keith, Nick Leddy, Johnny Oduya, Michal Rozsival and Brent Seabrook are all signed through at least the 2014-2015 season.

Where change may occur, though, is at center. Aside from Jonathan Toews, there's plenty of uncertainty over which players will fill the team's centermen roles in the future.

Some center changes will arrive next season. Most notably, the second-line center is up for grabs again.

Brandon Pirri, Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger and Michal Handzus, all of whom have played center in the past, were thought to be the logical choices for the spot. But Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville did away with that assumption when he recently said Saad, who has mostly played left wing in his career, will be given first crack at the second-line center opening.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
36 16 20 9
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 16
AssistsP. Kane 20
+/-K. Versteeg 15
GAAC. Crawford 2.00