Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Shouldn’t Rest On Their Laurels

By Nick Heupel
Apr 9, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Please, Chicago, don’t be a dynasty. Just be the hungriest team to ever chase the Stanley Cup

Dynasties force themselves upon the world, craft a new vision for the future and define a specific period of time. Think of the great dynasties of ancient China. Think of the vast influence of the British Empire. Think, even, of the Green Bay Packers. Is this the company Chicago Blackhawks fans are so eager to join?

All dynasties rise to supreme domination. And then complacency gives way to stagnation, and it all goes stale. Eventually, all dynasties crumble and fall. The Detroit Red Wings once controlled the Central Division with a now-familiar arrogance. Their fans would swagger into the United Center, already drunk and stinking of sweat and fried dough. The Red Wings would wallop the ‘Hawks, and all the Detroit faithful would stomp back to their Winnebagos, farting with delight and cooing: “Did you see the score, pal?” or “Missing Chelios yet?”

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The Blackhawks built this team under the boot of the Detroit Dynasty

Too often, the oppressed quickly become the oppressors. The Blackhawks organization suffered through the 2000s, keeping an eye on the throne and smartly snatching great draft picks. It’s true: this team has dominated the NHL in recent years, and many people have said that the Blackhawks organization has defined success in the salary-cap era.

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Still, dynasties fall back on their own past, instead of leaping into the future. And even though the future looks scary right now, ‘Hawks fans should be reluctant to rest in the comfortable shade of “We are a dynasty.” Fans should expect, and even encourage, big moves from the front office this summer. The roster dumps after 2010 and 2013 created opportunities for new players to break out and stoke the coals under a simmering core group.

So before everyone kicks back in their lawn chairs to drool over the season Patrick Kane just had, Chicago fans would do well to remember that there will be no Stanley Cup parade this June. Another team will be taking the Cup around the world this summer.

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A dynasty would brush this off and declare, “It will be ours again, soon enough.” But the Stanley Cup goes to the winners, not the trophy-case polishers.

Dynasties are arrogant and short-sighted. Despite the years of success, the Blackhawks found themselves wading through a flood of distractions and shame this past season. We all paid the price for our arrogance this spring. Wasn’t it sweet watching ex-Blackhawk Troy Brouwer clinch the series victory for St. Louis with his goal in Game 7? Hopefully, everyone in Chicago can lose their ego and focus on doing better next year.

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