Is Stan Bowman starting a rebuild for the Chicago Blackhawks? A few recent moves suggest so.
The Chicago Blackhawks did something that should make heads turn. Just a few days after announcing that they weren’t going to bring back Corey Crawford in 2020-21, they announced a trade that is strange. They sent Brandon Saad and Dennis Gilbert to the Colorado Avalanche for Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm. It is a trade that suggests that the team is going backward which is a ridiculous decision based on recent events.
For a few years now, Stan Bowman has preached that the organization has a certain standard and are trying to win. Since then, they have made some questionable moves that make you wonder whether or not they are true to that standard or not. They make moves that make it look like they are rebuilding and then they make moves that make it look like they are trying to win.
Trading Saad isn’t a terrible idea but it was an awful return for a player of his caliber. He wasn’t worth Artemi Panarin when they reacquired him and he was traded away for the low value the second time the Hawks traded him away. Nikita Zadorov is an okay player at best and not even close to being the answer to the Blackhawks’ defensive issues.
If the Hawks are going to rebuild, there are things that need to happen that won’t make the fanbase happy. It is hard to claim that you are rebuilding when you have Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith on your roster. It just feels like an organization that has no idea what their plans are for the present or future.
For Brandon Saad, fans can remember that he was a great player for them for a long time. He put his heart into being a Blackhawk despite the talk about him not being as good as Panarin. It had to be tough but he kept on and was a good player. He scores goals and plays hard which is all you can ask from a power-forward like him. Now, he is going to an Avalanche team that has a legit chance to win the Stanley Cup for the next five years at least.
As for the Hawks, they might have some pain ahead of them. It looks like they are going to start going younger which might cause the team to fall off again. It was a promising sight in the “return to play” series against a very flawed Edmonton Oilers team but now they are taking steps back with their roster. Hopefully, they are able to inform their fans of their intentions and not lie but that doesn’t seem realistic at this point.