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Who is better: Blackhawks or Penguins?

Updated: December 4, 2009, 5:06 PM ET
By E.J. Hradek

On Thursday, after weeks of speculation, the Chicago Blackhawks finalized their new deals with young stars Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith. In a previous era of Hawks hockey, these three guys likely would have been headed out of town a la Jeremy Roenick and Ed Belfour. Chicago puck fans should be thrilled that Rocky Wirtz is running things a little differently than his dad, the late Bill Wirtz.

Now, the Hawks need to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup since 1961 in a hurry. With approximately $60 million committed to just 15 players for next season (the salary cap upper limit is not expected to rise much -- if at all -- past its current level), the 2010-11 Blackhawks will have a much different cast of supporting characters. In other words, in Chicago, the future is now ... right now.

Here are Five for Friday.

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