When the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on Tuesday night, fans will see some familiar faces in their lineup, but there will be plenty of new guys in the mix as well as the team debuts a new look for the 2015-16 season.
The top line will feature two mainstays, with Jonathan Toews skating at center and Marian Hossa alongside as the right wing. On the left wing, the team will give new acquisition Marko Dano the first crack at replacing Patrick Sharp, who was traded to the Dallas Stars during the offseason.
Dano came over to the Blackhawks in the June trade that sent Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the team is very high on his potential. He is only 20 years old, and he made his NHL debut last season in Columbus, scoring eight goals in 35 games with the Blue Jackets. Putting him on a line with two veterans is a similar strategy to the one that Joel Quenneville used with Saad early in his career, and if the results are similar, the Hawks would be thrilled.
On the second line, new acquisition Artem Anisimov will get a crack at locking down the second line center role that the Hawks have been looking to fill for several years. On his wings, he’ll have two of the best playmakers on the Blackhawks’ roster, as Teuvo Teravainen will ascend to a top-six role and Patrick Kane looks to benefit from having a talented offensive center alongside him.
The Blackhawks’ third line features several new faces, with Ryan Haggerty skating on the right wing and Daniel Paille on the left side of the line. Haggerty came over to the Blackhawks in the trade that sent Antti Raanta to the New York Rangers, and Paille is in camp on a tryout basis after playing for many years with the Boston Bruins.
Centering that line is Dennis Rasmussen, who is trying to crack the NHL roster after spending several seasons with the Rockford IceHogs.
The fourth line features who players who will likely see playing time there this season, with Andrew Desjardins sliding into the center’s spot in the absence of Marcus Kruger, and Ryan Garbutt making his preseason debut with the Hawks. Kyle Baun will also play in the game, as the college free agent signee looks to make the NHL roster as the Hawks eyeball cheaper contracts to stay under the NHL salary cap.
The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. at the United Center, with the game scheduled to be televised on WGN.