If a team has to ship out a big chunk of its roster after winning the Stanley Cup just one time, it kind of makes you wonder if there will ever be another dynasty in the NHL.
The Chicago Blackhawks, only weeks after capturing their first Cup in 49 years, have dealt Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, and Ben Eager to the Atlanta Thrashers, Colin Fraser to Edmonton, and now Kris Versteeg has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It’s all business, salary caps, dollars and cents, accountants, tax shelters, unrestricted and restricted free agents, unions, and player agents in the hockey world now. The soul of hockey is taking a beating. The days of four or five consecutive Stanley Cups won by one team appear to be a thing of the past.
Montreal must learn from this. They must find a way to keep the team intact after they win the Cup next spring. One isn’t going to be good enough. We’ll need at least three, thank you very much.