These last four years have been incredible. Not only for you, but for Blackhawks fans. In 2010, after coming off of their first Stanley Cup in 49 years, the Hawks were fortunate enough to still have a prospect of your caliber and talent on the board at 24th overall. We watched in anticipation as you spent four years at Boston College honing your skills for the NHL.
You had some amazing campaigns for the Eagles, winning a National Championship in 2012 along with nearly every other title the team could win that year, and you were only a sophomore. Last season, as a senior, you had the opportunity to be a key contributor on a line with two other future NHL players, Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold, which was dubbed the “best line in college hockey.” Although your team didn’t win it all that year, you were nominated to receive the Hobey Baker Award for the best player in college hockey. Your line mate Gaudreau won the award, and you contributed to his success. We, as Blackhawks fans, were very excited when your senior season ended, and we had expected the team to get you under contract, and ready to contribute to our organization next season and beyond.
But you haven’t signed.
Rumors began to swirl about contract negotiations between your agent and the Hawks. At first, we thought it was good news. Something was getting done. But them more rumors surfaced. You want to be in a position to start in the NHL immediately. That couldn’t happen with Chicago, because they have incredible depth. It really kind of blows our minds that you don’t want to be part of a team that will be a contender for years to come. Especially after the Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane 8-year extensions became official. The opportunity to play with those two players alone draws the attention of many amazing players. Hall of Famers have made comments about the idea of playing with them.
Wayne Gretzky, The Great One, said this about Patrick Kane when asked which team he would like to play for today:
“…maybe the Hawks. I’d like to get Patrick Kane the puck. He’s a pretty good player.”
If the greatest player ever to touch a puck wants to play for the Hawks, why wouldn’t you? I understand that there are other great teams out there that are looking to swoop you up if you become a free agent. If you don’t sign a contract by August 15, that will happen, and Chicago will receive a compensatory 2nd round draft pick in 2015. Then you could sign with any team you want to. You could even join your former line mates Gaudreau and Arnold in Calgary. But the Blackhawks could most definitely use a guy with your abilities.
If it is that we traded your brother Jimmy, and there are still some hard feelings stemming from that, then maybe you need to understand that the NHL is different from college hockey. In the NHL every decision made is done for a reason, and done for business. If that is what is hindering you, then maybe you need to mature a bit before you step on the ice to play in a grown man’s league.
If you do decide to join another team, we will respect you as an athlete and a great hockey player. We understand that the NHL is a business, and you need to do what you feel is best for you to be successful. But on the ice, you will just be another opposing player. You will have to watch as the Blackhawks contend for the Stanley Cup nearly every season. If you sign with another contender, and win a Cup, then you deserve it. But we want to see you wearing the Indian Head as you lift that legendary trophy. We hope you haven’t completely ruled out coming to Chicago, and we hope even more that whatever decision you make, you be the best player you can be.