By Tracey Myers, CSNChicago.com
As his fellow Chicago Blackhawks worked on fitness tests and all things regarding season preparation at Fridays media day at United Center, Troy Brouwer was stating a simple fact that spoke volumes.
As soon as the season starts, we raise our banner and we give the (Stanley) Cup back to the league. And from then on, all it is, is just trying to win it again.
Yep, last season was fun. Fantastic, actually. The Blackhawks ended a 49-season Cup-less drought, drank from it, reveled in the celebration of it and hoisted it numerous times. Now, it begins again.
When the Blackhawks hit the ice in front of 18,000 fans to begin training camp tomorrow morning, the party is officially over. Itll no longer be about what they did last season or the players they lost. Theyre focused on the now, because every team in the league is focused on them.
Guys look good, ready to go, defenseman Brian Campbell said. Were excited to get going. We have to be just as prepared and hungry and try to repeat.
That quest will start with a grinding training camp schedule that is basically nonstop from Saturday until early October.
I think itll be one of the more serious camps Ive ever been through, Patrick Kane said. What we did last year was good and all, but were still not satisfied with where were at.
One thing that will linger is the tough-to-repeat talk. Its just natural, considering no team has done it since the Detroit Red Wings in the late 1990s. But the Hawks are feeling confident in what theyve got and what theyve gained.
Nobodys picking us to win this year, and I think that could work in our favor, said captain Jonathan Toews. We know the obvious challenges that are going to be waiting for us: short season, changes, new guys. But the most important thing is were all ready to go, all excited to be back here. Were all excited about that.Focus on Seabrook
Stan Bowman said that, with the summer behind them, the Blackhawks will look to try and sign defenseman Brent Seabrook. The restricted free agent will make $3.5 million this season.
Hes been a great player since weve drafted him and a great partner for Duncan (Keith). Now that weve gotten through the summer, well start addressing that and see how it goes.
Patrick Kane said he spent some time working on his shot, and all that could help it, this offseason.
I worked with a guy I (had worked with) when I was 11 or 12. He helped me not just with my shot but with the release, Kane said. We worked on a lot of skating, crossovers. The more you cross over, it just creates space for yourself. You work on everything.
Help us help you
Goaltender Marty Turco can certainly benefit from the Blackhawks strong defense, and vice-versa.
I think this group could be the best defense (Ive played with), at least from watching them last year, said Turco, who joked that his midget team defense wasnt so bad either. If anything theyll get better, add confidence; these guys have been together for a while. I was fortunate to play with (former Stars defenseman Sergei) Zubov, probably best Ive ever played with. He made my life real easy. Its nice to see a group of guys perform those kind of duties for me on a nightly basis.
Said defenseman Brian Campbell on Turcos puck-handling: The biggest attribute for us is not having to get behind the net (to get the puck). They can try to forecheck him and we can go to our corners and receive passes that way from him. Hes going to be able to stop pucks moving around because hes such a good skater. Our PK will improve that way. There are a lot of keys that are going to help us.
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