2015–16 Chicago Blackhawks season

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2015–16 Chicago Blackhawks
Division 3rd Central
Conference 3rd Western
2015–16 record 47–26–9
Home record 26–11–4
Road record 21–15–5
Goals for 235
Goals against 209
Team information
General Manager Stan Bowman
Coach Joel Quenneville
Captain Jonathan Toews
Alternate captains Duncan Keith
Brent Seabrook
Arena United Center
Average attendance 21,859 (110.9%)
Total: 896,240[1]
Minor league affiliate(s) Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
Indy Fuel (ECHL)
Team leaders
Goals Patrick Kane (46)
Assists Patrick Kane (60)
Points Patrick Kane (106)
Penalties in minutes Andrew Shaw (69)
Plus/minus Patrick Kane (+17)
Wins Corey Crawford (35)
Goals against average Michael Leighton (1.54)

The 2015–16 Chicago Blackhawks season was the 90th season for the National Hockey League franchise that was established on September 25, 1926.[2] They entered the season as defending Stanley Cup champions having won the Stanley Cup the previous season, their third championship in six years. The Blackhawks finished the season with 103 points to finish in third place in the Central Division, only six points behind the Western Conference-leading Dallas Stars. They lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs to the St. Louis Blues in seven games.

Patrick Kane led the Hawks with 46 goals and 106 points, both career highs. He was named the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy as most valuable player in the NHL, becoming the first US-born player to receive the award,[3][4] the Blackhawks had four players who scored 20 or more goals: Kane, Artemi Panarin (30), Jonathan Toews, and (28) Artem Anisimov (22). Goalie Corey Crawford led the Hawks with 35 wins. Artemi Panarin received the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year.[5]

Off-season[edit]

The Blackhawks faced an off-season of change after being crowned Stanley Cup Champions for a third time in six years. Coming into the offseason, it was well known Chicago was facing impending cap space struggles and moves would need to be made.[6]

On June 27, Chicago traded backup goaltender Antti Raanta to the New York Rangers in exchange for AHL forward Ryan Haggerty.[7] Two days after the trade, defenseman David Rundblad received a two-year, $2 million contract extension on June 29.[8]

The Blackhawks attempted to negotiate a contract for restricted free agent winger Brandon Saad who was a restricted free agent, but were unsuccessful. Unlikely to match any sizeable offer sheets due to cap constraints, Chicago traded Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Chicago sent Saad and prospects Michael Paliotta and Alex Broadhurst to Columbus in exchange for center Artem Anisimov, wingers Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp, as well as prospect Marko Dano and their 2016 4th round pick.[9] Anisimov subsequently signed a five-year, $22.75 million contract with the Blackhawks.[10] The move did not sit well with the Chicago fanbase, as Saad was viewed as another top young player on the Stanley Cup-winning squad, even though Anisimov would score 42 points for the Blackhawks in 2015–16.[11]

Chicago turned to Russia a few times throughout the offseason. KHL winger Viktor Tihkonov, the grandson of legendary Soviet coach by the same name, signed a 1-year, $1.04 million contract with Chicago on July 1.[12] Tihkonov was returning to the NHL for the first time since his 2009 season with the Phoenix Coyotes. Also, Chicago and Edmonton swapped minor league players, sending goaltender Anders Nilsson to the Oilers in exchange for forward Liam Coughlin.[13]

Following season-long trade speculation, the Blackhawks pulled the trigger on another trade by trading another piece of its core Stanley Cup winning teams. Another cap clearing move, Chicago traded alternate captain Patrick Sharp and defenseman Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward Ryan Garbutt and defenseman Trevor Daley.[14] A three-time Stanley Cup winner, Sharp carried a cap hit of $5.9 million in each of the next two seasons, limiting the Blackhawks in what they could do with free agency. A trade was expected following a down year in terms of production and the large aforementioned cap hit.

Forward Andrew Desjardins returned on a two-year deal worth $1.6 million, taking less to stay in Chicago.[15] Theteam also extended the contracts of defensemen Viktor Svedberg, forward Marcus Kruger, and defenseman Michal Rozsival, they lost forwards Brad Richards and Antoine Vermette, as well as defenseman Johnny Oduya during free agency.[16]

Season notes[edit]

The Blackhawks began their title defense with and average month of October, the Hawks went 6–5–0. However fortunes increased in November (7–3–1) and December (9–5–1), the Hawks finished December on two game winning streak, looking to keep the wins coming in 2016. The Blackhawks did just that, winning the first 10 games of January to bring the win streak to 12 games,[17] the streak set a franchise record for consecutive wins.[17] The streak tied the Florida Panthers win streak earlier in the season for the longest winning streak in the NHL that season.[18]

Standings[edit]

Divisional standings[edit]

Central Division
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 z – Dallas Stars 82 50 23 9 48 267 230 +37 109
2 x – St. Louis Blues 82 49 24 9 44 224 201 +23 107
3 x – Chicago Blackhawks 82 47 26 9 46 235 209 +26 103
4 x – Nashville Predators 82 41 27 14 37 228 215 +13 96
5 x – Minnesota Wild 82 38 33 11 35 216 206 +10 87
6 Colorado Avalanche 82 39 39 4 35 216 240 −24 82
7 Winnipeg Jets 82 35 39 8 32 215 239 −24 78
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; z – Clinched conference.

Conference standings[edit]

Top 3 (Central Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 z – Dallas Stars 82 50 23 9 48 267 230 +37 109
2 x – St. Louis Blues 82 49 24 9 44 224 201 +23 107
3 x – Chicago Blackhawks 82 47 26 9 46 235 209 +26 103
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; z – Clinched conference.
Top 3 (Pacific Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 y – Anaheim Ducks 82 46 25 11 43 218 192 +26 103
2 x – Los Angeles Kings 82 48 28 6 46 225 195 +30 102
3 x – San Jose Sharks 82 46 30 6 42 241 210 +31 98
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; y – Clinched division.
Western Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 CE x – Nashville Predators 82 41 27 14 37 228 215 +13 96
2 CE x – Minnesota Wild 82 38 33 11 35 216 206 +10 87
3 CE Colorado Avalanche 82 39 39 4 35 216 240 −24 82
4 PA Arizona Coyotes 82 35 39 8 34 209 245 −36 78
5 CE Winnipeg Jets 82 35 39 8 32 215 239 −24 78
6 PA Calgary Flames 82 35 40 7 33 231 260 −29 77
7 PA Vancouver Canucks 82 31 38 13 26 191 243 −52 75
8 PA Edmonton Oilers 82 31 43 8 27 203 245 −42 70
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot.

Schedule and results[edit]

Pre-season[edit]

Regular season[edit]

2015–16 Schedule[20]

Legend:   Win (2 points)   Loss (0 points)   Overtime/shootout loss (1 point)

Detailed records

Playoffs[edit]

2016 Stanley Cup playoffs

Legend:   Win   Loss

Player statistics[edit]

Updated as of games played through April 17, 2016

Skaters[edit]

Goaltenders[edit]

Regular Season[22]
Player GP GS TOI W L OT GA GAA SA SV% SO G A PIM
Corey Crawford 58 58 3,323 35 18 5 131 2.37 1718 .924 7 0 1 2
Scott Darling 29 24 1,560 12 8 4 67 2.58 784 .915 1 0 0 0
Michael Leighton 1 0 39 0 0 0 1 1.54 17 .941 0 0 0 0
Totals 82 4,696 47 26 9 207 2.38 2428 .923 8 0 1 2
Playoffs
Player GP GS TOI W L GA GAA SA SV% SO G A PIM
Corey Crawford 7 7 448 3 4 19 2.54 205 .907 0 0 0 2

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining Blackhawks. Stats reflect time with Blackhawks only.
Left team mid-season. Stats reflect time with Blackhawks only.

Roster[edit]

Awards and honours[edit]

Awards[edit]

Milestones[edit]