ANALYSIS: The Blackhawks publicly commit to a rebuild (wait, no)

  

“We want more than another window to win, we want to reach the summit again, and stay there—an effort that will require a stockpile of emerging talent to complement our top players.”

— Chicago Blackhawks press release, Oct. 20, 2020

Deftly straddling the right message for an increasingly anxious fanbase on one hand, and yet another massive PR faux pas on the other, the Blackhawks issued a statement today that hit all the right notes—but also clearly suggested they are not being completely truthful with someone.

Consider these words about their alleged rebuild very carefully: “an effort that will require a stockpile of emerging talent to complement our top players.”

This is basically the formula the Blackhawks have been following for four years—just not trying to call it a rebuild.

The fact remains, the Blackhawks have neither the draft picks nor the prospects nor the cap room to fulfill this promise without biting the bullet—risking alienation of the diehard meatheads who continue to lap up the “anything can happen” pig slop every year—and trading those same “top players,” meaning Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith.

In other words, it is still not going to work, even if you “step out” and call it a rebuild.

At face value, the Blackhawks are like Lucy: Pulling away the football yet again on a dwindling, delusional fanbase that just will not let go of the now decade-old One Goal dream.

“Rebuilding is fine, as long as I get my ‘Kaner’ fix and can fantasize about the playoffs for a month or two.” This is where it has come to, and that is not a rebuild.

This is not being negative, either. It is living in the world of actual “facts.” Do the math.

Even if Kirby Dach, Adam Boqvist and Ian Mitchell (as long as we are fantasizing here) end up being very good or great NHL players, the Hawks need at least three or four more NHL players of that ilk to become remotely what they were from 2010–2015, when they had four future NHL Hall of Famers, and another four or five terrific players.

And by the time Dach, Boqvist and/or Mitchell would become those players, Keith, Kane and Toews would all be 35–40 years old, or old and injured enough.

And where is that “emerging talent” coming from? Picking guys like Lukas Reichel at 17th overall in the first round? Alex Vlasic? Jake Wise? Being jacked up to the salary cap every year because of four guys over age 30 with no-movement-clause contracts into the next century?

But maybe the Hawks have an ace up their sleeve, and they intend to quietly shop Keith or Toews or Kane as the in-season trade deadline approaches in hopes of getting the boatload of high picks and prospects a real rebuild requires.

Well, then they apparently would not be leveling with those players, would they? Unless you are willing to believe the Hawks—with a straight face—are defining Dylan Strome as a top player, in which case, we have a bridge we want to sell you.

No, for the fourth consecutive year, here come the Hawks! The double-talking Blackhawks! Not contending (but at least they are not pretending about that anymore!). Not rebuilding (but now saying they are—probably only as a justification for reducing salary—let’s be honest here).

If that sounds familiar, you must have been around during the Bill Wirtz era, when Stanley Cups were “too expensive.”

Bit of advice: Stop trying to put a positive spin on this organization’s annual “bs” simply because it is easier than facing the fact that this team is swirling the drain as a serious hockey franchise. Because that’s when they have you—yet again.

Which is, in the end, why the Blackhawks are actually hemorrhaging fans (and sponsors). The team is mediocre, but not terrible. But, the brand is tanking.

Why? Because they cannot be completely honest in meaning what they say—and doing what they say. Not with their fans, possibly not their players and maybe not even themselves.

Center Ice Forums ANALYSIS: The Blackhawks publicly commit to a rebuild. (Wait, no)

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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  • #18362
    John Jaeckel
    Keymaster

    “We want more than another window to win, we want to reach the summit again, and stay there—an effort that will require a stockpile of emerging talent
    [To continue reading full article, click here: ANALYSIS: The Blackhawks publicly commit to a rebuild. (Wait, no)]

    Apparently, all goalies are Vikings

    #18365
    Under Qs moustache
    Participant

    The Hawks are in talent limbo. The next crew either isn’t NHL ready yet to lead this team or isn’t talented enough to do so ever. Either way, should the Hawks strike gold like they did with Panarin and Kubalik or build thru the draft, this team won’t be good for awhile, and certainly not within the careers of 2,19, or 88. They may make some noise during the season by beating a few teams that are better but as composed now and next year they will be lucky to make the playoffs, especially with the trio in the net.

    Tampa has the depth the Hawks used to have before the big contracts priced it away. The real cost of keeping your talent is paying them more than they are worth. The Hawks out priced Detroit for Hossa, he won 3 cups with them. It goes both ways. Detroit sucks and is rebuilding, the Hawks are behind them in the process.

    Kane and Toews never looked down the road when they signed those huge deals, ditto for Sharpe. All are aware of the cap problems this team has every year, but they got theirs. SO if they are upset with the direction the team is going than waive your NTC and help the Hawks with the rebuild, because your contracts are handcuffing moves that could help this team retool. If you elect to stay, then STFU and play. Help develop these kids so they become NHL’ers sooner, and realize its your contract that handcuffed Stan, cost Q his job, and kept you out of the playoffs. 8 year deals should be a thing of the past, 5 should be the max, and no NMC/NTC after year 3. The Hawks as they are now, is the reason why these changes need to be made.

    #18370
    Mister Ricochet
    Participant

    “This is basically the formula the Blackhawks have been following for four years—just not trying to call it a rebuild.

    In other words, it is still not going to work, even if you “step out” and call it a rebuild.”

     

    My exact thoughts, JJ, after the very best interview I’ve ever heard with StanBow.  Hats of of to Laz and Powers.  …..  Adding Janmark and Wallmark is the same thing as adding Kunitz, DeHaan, Matta and Caggulia.  Gives the franchise the “make the playoffs and you never know” spin while they draft 10th again.  A formula, the same as this yr, that has seen them miss the playoffs for 5 straight yrs. Stuck in the squishy middle that accomplishes nothing.

    5 wasted yrs of delusional “One Goal” thinking.

    And I’ll beat this drum until proven wrong. I think going with in house goalies this yr is a backdoor tank under the guise and cover of “letting the young kids get their chance”.   With this goaltending, and this defense, under this coach they have a real shot of being a lottery team. …….. No honest evaluator can think this is a good idea unless tanking is the goal.

    But at least Stan is on record but not sure that matters.   Until Rocky has seen enough and brings in an adult as prez with a hockey background and he cleans house expect to continue drafting 10th with a shot at the lottery this yr.  …….. Or until Kane, Toews and Keith say enough, I want out or we wait until their contracts are off the books in 3 yrs and the Hawks get ZERO for them ala Zetterburg and Datsyuk.

    Indeed, nothing has changed.

    #18375
    CTBLACKHAWKFAN
    Participant

    “We want more than another window to win, we want to reach the summit again, and stay there—an effort that will require a stockpile of emerging talent[To continue reading full article, click here: ANALYSIS: The Blackhawks publicly commit to a rebuild. (Wait, no)]

    JJ

    Couldn’t agree more but than I’d be to negative with meatballs,  I assume you heard Stan on Powers and Laz Podcast? I mean his last 2 off seasons not counting this one? he had some cap space and gets 2 vet D AND then gets Shaw back by giving up 2nd’s? that’s not a rebuild! They had the space at one time to sign Hossa but I’m thinking he’s playing out the string with big 3 , buys out Seabrook in 2 years and gets his cap space , or he thinks Kane and Toews sign team friendly deals for more cap space because he said you need veterans too? I’m just trying to think what he might do but as you guys say on your podcast , if you are really rebuilding the big 3 need to get traded to move forward in rebuild!

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