Before we wrap up the 2012-13
Beckenbaugh is the federal mediator who helped negotiate an end to the labor dispute that threatened to wipe out the 2012-13 NHL season. If not for his success in bringing the league and the players association toward an agreement, there might not have been a season -- and without a season there wouldn’t have been the splendid post-season pageant that ended Monday with the
Thanks, Scot, wherever you are.
The Blackhawks were the class of the league from the fabulous start they launched on Jan. 19 against the
A salary-cap squeeze forced the Blackhawks to break up their championship team almost immediately, and it took General Manager
"It was tough to replace that depth. It took us some time," Bowman told The Times in February.
"We've tried to develop some guys from within, and they're a little bit older now and have taken on bigger roles. And we've been able to acquire some other pieces from outside the organization. When you add it all up, I do think we've got that depth that kind of helped propel us to the Cup that year."
In addition, their payroll is structured better now than it was in 2010, so this could be more than a one-and-done push. They’ll have to figure out a way to keep winger
“The year that we won the Cup our three best players were also our lowest-paid players,” Bowman said, referring to
“We knew they were going to jump way up. The same thing with Duncan Keith when he won the Norris Trophy. So those three players were not making much money the year we won the Cup, and that allowed us to have guys like [
"But we don't have that phenomenon this year. Everybody's signed. There's a few restricted free agents, but we don't have any of our main guys getting $5-million raises."
Goaltending was supposed to be the Blackhawks’ weakness but
"There are other guys that could have won it," Kane said. "You look at Crawford, he probably got snubbed a little bit."
The Bruins were worthy adversaries. They were plucky in rebounding in Game 7 of their first-round series against Toronto, relentlessly physical and solid defensively. Courageous too.
The Blackhawks had their share of bruises. Center
There was no doubting either team's passion, making the final a fitting end to a compacted and intense season that saw the NHL landscape change a little bit just before realignment changes the look of the league quite a lot.
The Kings got deeper into the playoffs than any defending champion had in a while, and they should be able to keep their core together. The
There was much to cheer for this season and much to look forward to next season -- which begins on Sunday with the entry draft. Thanks again, Scot. The pleasure was ours.