Chicago Blackhawks’ Cost Of Winning May Have Caught Up With Fans
By Aaron Goldschmidt
The new Blackhawks look
After a long run of winning three Stanley Cups in six years, the Blackhawks have since taken their biggest step back in terms of player personnel. They have said goodbye to a handful of Stanley Cup champions, but this isn’t anything new for the Blackhawks.
Even when they won the Stanley Cup in 2010 with the current group of core players, the following offseason the ‘Hawks were forced to part ways with major contributors because of salary cap constrictions.
Since 2010, the Blackhawks have seemed to make it work by trading prospects and draft picks for midseason rentals, keeping the “win-now” window open a little bit each year. But as the Blackhawks continue to be bounced from the playoffs and the prospect pool is baren, that window at this point is barely cracked open.
More from Blackhawk Up
- Blackhawks: Grading Connor Murphy and a position comparison
- Blackhawks: Shuffling the lines to try and spark offense at 5 on 5
- These Lineup Changes could Solve the Blackhawks’ Scoring Problem
- Blackhawks: List Of Things To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving
- The perfect holiday gifts for the Chicago Blackhawks fan
GM Stan Bowman knows this, hence his plan to kickstart the minor league system to get the Blackhawks back on track. With a team that still has marquee names like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith, the Blackhawks will still remain competitive for the near future. The question is can they compete for another Cup now, or are they betting on some of their young talent to blossom into the next generation of great Blackhawks?
Many fans including myself are concerned with the defense and the group’s lack of depth. Spoiled in the past by names like Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya and Brian Campbell, the ‘Hawks don’t have the luxury of reliability anymore.
What has previously been the best back end in the league could now be questionably be in the top 15. The ‘Hawks did, however, draft two quality defensemen in this year’s draft by taking Finland’s Henri Jokiharju in the first round and the University of Denver’s Ian Mitchell in the second, but they are years away from NHL contribution.
Could some Blackhawks fans look at this roster and simply say, “This team’s not worth $100 a ticket right now?” They sure can. And with losses in the forward group like Artemi Panarin and Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks’ “flash” could be a lot less entertaining than in years past.