Former Chicago Blackhawks center and current NHL on NBC analysts Jeremy Roenick has never had issues finding the words to express how he feels no matter if it’s praise or criticism.

In a recent interview with ESPN Roenick talked about how much he liked the fact that the Blackhawks have now locked up Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews until 2023…

“When I signed my contract, the pressure that was released off of me was immense,” Roenick told, detailing his thought process after the ordeal, “‘Now I can play for my team. They took care of me, now I can take care of them.’ It’s going to be really fun to watch [Kane and Toews] flourish and play with a free mind and confidence.”

Roenick continued to talk about how he thinks the Blackhawks will be one of the heavy favorites heading into the 2014-15 season…

“I think they’re one of the strongest built teams in the league,” said Roenick, who played eight seasons for the Blackhawks and scored 513 goals in his 21-year NHL career. “With them, they have amazing star power surrounded with good quality core players. The addition of Brad Richards coming over there as a role player who can help on the power play and be a good leader, brings another experienced guy into a locker room of winners.”

“I think team has done a very good job of putting together the pieces and with Kane and Toews signing these mega-deals they’ll be playing with so much confidence. There’s no competition between the two. They are both top five players getting paid like it and it shows the loyalty that the Blackhawks have become known for and [for] building championships.”

JR thinks one central division foe is going to come out pretty ticked off about how the Blackhawks ended their season last year…

“I think the St. Louis Blues are gonna come out extremely angry and embarrassed about bowing out early,” Roenick said about the Blues’ first-round exit this past spring after losing in a six-game series to the Hawks in the first round.

“I know how Hitch [Blues coach Ken Hitchcock] is, and those two teams are gonna be battling tooth and nail again. I don’t see anyone else really challenging either of those teams.”

It’s always good to see members of the media (especially outspoken ones like JR) take notice that the Blackhawks are set up for awhile.