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Chicago Blackhawks Sci-Fi Part VI: Next 10 Years (Part III)

By Tim Lively
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Jun 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) acknowledges the crowd after bringing in the Stanley Cup during the 2015 Stanley Cup championship rally at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks Sci-Fi is a mini-series I periodically do here at Blackhawk Up that is reserved for fantastic hypotheticals. I consider the following speculation science fiction at this point because as of now, it’s pure fantasy, but who knows what the future will bring…

So it’s the year 2015, and it’s simply amazing to look back and reflect just how far our beloved Chicago Blackhawks have come, and all they’ve done for Chi-Town in the past 10 years. So I thought I’d take this occasion to predict what the next 10 years hold in store for our boys in red, white and black, as well as their fans.

In the first part of this three-post article we took a look at the years 2016-2018, and in the second part we speculated about 2019-2022.

Today we’ll take a crack at years 2023-2025.

Jun 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) acknowledges the crowd during the 2015 Stanley Cup championship parade and rally at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

2023 – Patrick Kane Departs Chicago

This may not sound as sacrilegious as it would have about three months ago, but the caveat here is that this prediction assumes Patrick Kane emerges from his current scandal as cleanly as possible, which will still be with a permanent proverbial black eye in the best-case scenario.

Perhaps it’s presumptuous to assume Kane will remain with the Blackhawks this long. Considering the severity of Kane’s current predicament, there are certainly circles in ’Hawks Nation calling for (and perhaps rightfully, but that’s a conversation for another day) Kane to be traded, and there have been accompanying rumors to give this notion traction. However, I personally feel nothing short of a criminal conviction would prompt the Blackhawks’ brass to ship Kane elsewhere. It’s a rotten situation, but his talent is too great and the ‘Hawks have invested too much in him to simply turn their back on Kane.

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Again, assuming Kane emerges from his current circumstances sans a conviction, if similar past instances elsewhere in professional sports serve as any kind of guide for the future, Kane will continue to plug along for the Blackhawks, earning guarded praise for his achievements, for the duration of his contract.

It’s once Kane reaches the end of his contract in 2023, that things will get interesting. By this time, Kane will be 34, and while he will certainly have some gas left in the tank, his glory days will be behind him.

Still, Kane will be able to command a somewhat competitive price, but considering his history with the Blackhawks organization is now checkered at best, I can’t imagine the ‘Hawks resigning him for market value, especially because by 2023, today’s young up-and-comers in red, white and black, i.e. Teuvo Teravainen, will have emerged as the new faces of the Blackhawks franchise.

Thus, I can see Kane finishing his hockey career as a guiding veteran force for another team with a youthful roster, or possibly skating for his hometown team, the Buffalo Sabres. We all know this is a common occurrence in the NHL, and Kane’s present-day situation has certainly made him a more likely candidate to fall into this category in the autumn of his career.

Next: Looking To 2024

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