One reason to watch the Chicago Blackhawks this season

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks are at the beginning of a massive rebuild. General manager Kyle Davidson traded away budding superstar Alex DeBrincat and former first-round pick Kirby Dach before the NHL Entry Draft. He also let Dylan Strome walk in free agency.

Blackhawks fans will have a hard time recognizing a lot of this year’s players outside of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Seth Jones.

They are going all in on a rebuild very much like what they did back in the early 2000s. The Blackhawks are going to be bad. Expect this season to be heavy on losses.

The hope is all this losing will pay off by acquiring the necessary talent in the draft that results in winning multiple Stanley Cups down the road. Still, tanking is never fun to watch. If there is ever a season to tank, this is the one.

If the Chicago Blackhawks lose enough games, the reward is a chance at having the best odds of winning the NHL Draft Lottery.

That means the right to draft Connor Bedard. He is a franchise-changing talent that can be the biggest impact draft pick since Patrick Kane.

Even if the Blackhawks lose out on the No. 1 pick, landing the second or third pick is still a prime draft spot. Adam Fantilli or Matvei Michkov have the potential to be special players for a long time in the NHL as well.

The 2023 NHL Entry Draft is a long way from now. There is still hockey to be played this season. While winning is not going to happen often this season, there is one reason to check out a Chicago Blackhawks this season.

This might be the farewell tour for two amazing Chicago Blackhawks legends.

Toews and Kane have been the franchise cornerstones since 2007. Together they have won three Stanley Cups and provided Chicago with countless hockey memories.

They have both skated in over 1000 games for the Chicago Blackhawks. Each has also won a Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs.

They are both shoe-ins for the Hall of Fame and to have their numbers hanging in the United Center rafters. Both are also entering the final year of their deals.

Having two superstars on a rebuilding team is a luxury. Kane and Toews hold more value in the trade market for the Blackhawks than they do on the ice.

Toews can probably still fetch a good draft pick or prospect return from a contender looking for a second or third-line center that can still win face-offs with the best of them.

While Toews’ skills have declined because of age and the physical nature in which he plays, Kane is still at the top of his game.

He can still yield a nice return of picks or prospects from a contending team desperate for his scoring and playmaking ability.

The catch is both have no-movement clauses so Toews and Kane would have to approve any trade.

Toews might be inclined to approve a trade at the deadline. He is not exactly thrilled with the prospect of a rebuild.

Toews is committed to guiding this year’s team. Kane might also approve a trade. He was willing to stick it out long-term if the Hawks had kept Alex DeBrincat. Now that the Hawks are in a race to the bottom, maybe Kane wants to go to another team for a shot at a Stanley Cup.

Kane admitted that there was not much to off-season trade rumors and he is committed to playing for the Chicago Blackhawks.

It is nice that neither has demanded a trade and is willing to mentor the younger Hawks. Still, with a rebuild in progress and the possibility of losing both franchise icons next off-season, it would not be a shock to see both traded before the trade deadline.

The duo’s Chicago Blackhawks’ probable last go-around will be a major theme this season. Every game might be the last chance to see those two legends skate together.

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