The Chicago Blackhawks organization announced on Tuesday that they will be rebuilding their team, and fans should not expect much success in the coming years. Stan Bowman believes the Blackhawks can no longer contend with the top teams, and any observant fan would say the same. So what will the Chicago Blackhawks future look like?
A message to Blackhawks fans. pic.twitter.com/7wBXrJPDQ1
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 20, 2020
Chicago Blackhawks Going to Rebuild
It is disappointing for Hawks fans to hear their organization take a turn towards the bottom of the Central Division. However, it is the correct move to rise back up to the glory years of 2010-2015. The Hawks were the youngest team entering the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, at an average age of 25.6 years old. This inexperience showed, and after making it past the Edmonton Oilers, the Vegas Golden Knights handedly took care of them in the first round. However, the Hawks’ young talent is plentiful. Kirby Dach, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, and Adam Boqvist headline the newer additions to the rosters.
There are also more prospects that many fans may not know about. Ian Mitchell, a fantastic defenceman from the University of Denver, might have a chance to crack the roster this season. And likely the backup goaltender, Collin Delia, has been performing extremely well with the Rockford IceHogs. Paired with Malcolm Subban, this will be an extremely inexperienced tandem, but will give Delia a chance to shine on the big stage, as well as learn and improve his game. This group of young and skilled players may have some issues with leadership, team cohesion, and chemistry. However, they will learn these skills in time as they become the next veterans.
Some of the veteran players that won the 2010 Stanley Cup will be playing their first game ever not wearing the Blackhawks sweater. Corey Crawford is now with the New Jersey Devils, and Brandon Saad (not his first time being moved) is now with the Central Division foe Colorado Avalanche. Yet there are still players that remain from the old times. Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane are all on a ticking clock – for retirement or trading. These players have been on the Hawks for their entire career, but that may soon change. Toews was quite vocal about not knowing about the intention to rebuild the team before it was announced.
Kane and Keith do not show much sign of slowing down, but Toews and Seabrook have been hit hard by old age and injuries. With Seabrook out of commission for the playoffs, he was easily replaced by other defencemen in the depth chart. With the breadth of defensive prospects the Blackhawks have, Seabrook does not have much use as a player anymore. He would be an incredible coach, as he has a great mind and has been around the Hawks organization for multiple years.
Most of these players will likely stick around for a few more years to give the last of their skills, and then will either be traded, or retire and move to coaching roles. However, these players will be instrumental in making sure the young players previously mentioned develop properly and fully.
The Chicago Blackhawks future is still up in the air right now. But Hawks fans, you might not want to read this paragraph. The Hawks are likely going to be the worst team in the Central for the next couple of years while the veterans are phased out and prospects are phased in. However, this will not be a multi-year rebuild like the Detroit Red Wings are going through right now. These few years will be the Hawks focusing on player development instead of playoff pushes. It will be a frustrating time for Hawks’ fans, but the rewards will be worth it.