Chicago Blackhawks: Thinking 2021-22 is a compete year is a mistake

(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks had a decent season based on the expectations that are put on them. They were not one of the worst teams in the league. Even after their 0-3-1 start, you can’t say that the entire first month of the season was anything less than a success. In fact, they looked like a lock to be in playoff contention all year long. After a downward spiral in March, they failed to make the postseason for the fourth year in a row.

Unfortunately, the Chicago Blackhawks are not a good hockey team anymore.

There are people that think that if Jonathan Toews was healthy all year long they would have made it. The truth is that is a bit of a stretch. The Blackhawks went 24-25-7. Their 55 standings points trailed the final playoff berth by nine and they had a -25 goal differential. Their team defense was as bad as it has ever been so it is hard to see Jonathan Toews making up for that.

This team’s management group should be ashamed of themselves because nobody should believe that 2021-22 is a year where they are competing either. They are in serious danger of going the entire duration of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane’s contract without winning a single playoff series. They need to rebuild but nobody will truthfully admit it.

Rebuilding is different than retooling. They don’t have enough in the tank to go through a retool. They need to rebuild while they have some assets that other teams would pay for. Nobody wants to talk about trading Patrick Kane but it should be in the mix of ideas. His value is as high as it ever will be again this summer with two years left on his deal and with him producing offense at the rate he does. It isn’t ideal that they should be thinking about this but they should be.

The Hawks are not contending for the playoffs next year. It is not being objective to say they will be better than the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, or Winnipeg Jets in 2021-22. Oh, the Arizona Coyotes are coming to the Central Divison as well and they are better too. Tearing it down and starting from scratch works if you do it right

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It should also be mentioned that there is a game-changing group of players at the top of the 2022 NHL Draft. If the Hawks bottomed out and added one of those guys to the mix with Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach, and Ian Mitchell, they might be on the right track at that point. Going for another failed playoff attempt next year is not worth missing on one of those guys.