The Chicago Blackhawks might want to look to New York for how to rebuild.
The Chicago Blackhawks continue to let Stan Bowman lie to the fanbase and the hockey community as a whole. In turn, he is lying to people under him in the organization as well. That includes the players. The Blackhawks, with or without Stan Bowman, need to take a page out of the New York Rangers playbook on how to execute a rebuild with a team that has a lot of popular players that are used to having a chance at the Stanley Cup.
The Rangers and their old core never won the Cup but they came close on many occasions. They know what it is like to experience a winning culture with a core that the fans love but after they knew it was going nowhere anymore, they made changes. The organization put out a letter to the fanbase admitting that some of their favorite players might be on their way out. They made it clear that some tough years might be ahead for them to build towards some great years.
The Blackhawks have the same issue on their hands, but their GM has a different story once a week. He claims they are trying to win all the time but then when they announce that they aren’t bringing Corey Crawford back, he uses the young player excuse as to why.
It would be a valid excuse if the Hawks showed that was the direction they were going in over the past few years since they started to fall off. Instead, they add players like Chris Kunitz, Brandon Manning, and Robin Lehner in free agency and trade for guys like Calvin de Haan and Olli Maatta. Those guys are almost all gone now but they still can’t decide what direction they are going in.
The Blackhawks haven’t been done making confusing moves lately as the last week has provided even more confusion. After announcing Crawford’s departure, they acquired Nikita Zadorv for Brandon Saad. They wanted to address their defense by getting rid of a good forward like Saad but they won’t have an elite goalie in the net anymore so it won’t make much of a difference.
Later, they signed Mattias Janmark which would be a great signing if they were trying to win but we don’t know their plan anymore. They have no direction whatsoever and nobody knows what they are trying to accomplish. They really just need to take a page out of the New York Rangers book and rebuild if they’re gonna do anything.
That might mean making some unpopular moves. They can’t actually rebuild as long as guys like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, or Duncan Keith are in the room. They can still get something of value for them so they might as well try to trade them. If they don’t trade them and try to continue to win, then they should have brought back Crawford. It just all makes no sense and it needs to be fixed soon.