After being one ot the dominant teams in the NHL for the last seven years, the Chicago Blackhawks have undergone a dramatic face lift. A number of factors were behind the change. The Hawks have long had salary cap issues and their core of star players is getting a little long in the tooth. Plus, medical issues have forced one of the best two way players in the NHL, Marian Hossa, to miss at the 2017-18 season. A quick exit from the playoffs for the last two years also contributed to the makeover.

Is this Murphy's Law?

The Hawks got the ball rolling by sending shot blocking defenseman Niklas Hjarlmarrson to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Connor Murphy and center Laurent Dauphin. While Hjalmarrson will definitely be missed, Murphy is six years younger and a little cheaper. Dauphine projects to be a low line center.

After dealing Hjarlmarrson, the Hawks ten moved prolific goal scorer, Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte to the Columbus Blue Jackets for winger Brandon Saad and goalie Anton Forsberg.

The Hawks are very familiar with Saad, as he was on two Stanley Cup winners with them. Look for him to be reunited with his old center Jonathan Toews.

The Breadman will be working a different route.

While Panarin is probably a better natural scorer than Saad, Saad is bigger, faster and plays a more physical game. After losing backup goalie, Scott Darling, to the Carolina Hurricane the Hawks needed a backup goalie. Forsberg fills the bill.

There's no replacing his class.

In addition to the trades they made, the Hawks will also be missing Marian Hossa. Hossa's medical situation may clear some cap room for the Hawks, but he'll be hard to replace. In addition to his great defensive work, he scored 26 goals to go with 19 assists.

Maybe this guy can help.

After being eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup for the last two seasons, the Hawks were ready to make a change.

The Hawks have been a team that relied on speed and skill and they were slowing down. The Hawks recent moves probably pave the way for prospect, Alex DeBrincat to have a shot to make the roster. DeBrincat is an undersized wing who has shown outstanding scoring instincts. The Hawks could sorely use that.

Who's next?

Another staple of recent Blackhawk teams, center, Marcus Kruger, has also been a subject of trade rumors.

Kruger's strengths are his defense and penalty killing ability.

The Blackhawks will definitely have a different look in the 2017-18. Whether they will be better remains to be seen. At some point the Hawks were going to be forced into making some changes. With their core of high priced stars, something had to give. The Blackhawks are a testament to the effect a hard salary cap has on NHL teams.

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