The Chicago Blackhawks have shed some significant talent on their roster since last season, but picking them to miss the 2017-18 Stanley Cup Playoffs is just laughable
It’s truly amazing what one season has done to the image of the Chicago Blackhawks. Here are just a few thoughts that have crossed Blackhawks fans’ minds from the lonely corner known as the internet:
- Brent Seabrook goes from Mr. Clutch playoff hero to “he has lost a step, trade him and his huge contract ASAP”;
- Coach Joel Quenneville goes from leading the Blackhawks to the playoffs nine straight seasons to “how long does Q have left if the Hawks get off to a bad start?”;
- Jonathan Toews goes from the one player you would start your franchise with to the 12th-best center in the league;
- The Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2015 with only three reliable defensemen and now that Niklas Hjalmarsson is gone, the sky is falling;
- Artem Anisimov goes from the second-line center we’ve always wanted to a guy who needs to be on the trading block because he can’t win a faceoff.
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My dad always tells me that people who look at the stock market every day are losers. Why? Because if you get caught up in the day-to-day ups and downs of the market, your emotions will get the best of you.
The key is to focus on the long-term trends that get you to where you need to go. That’s why the smart investors build portfolios with diversity and long-term reliability through blue-chip stocks.
Losing in the first round of the postseason hurt last year, especially to a young and hungry Nashville team. I think a lot of people saw that series defeat as a sign of the times, that maybe the Blackhawks’ dynasty has come to an end.
But how can you seriously think that?
How can you listen to talk radio, read blogs, read the papers and come to the conclusion that this Blackhawks team is done?
The plan is simple: solidify a core and consistently replace role players that price themselves out or aren’t producing up to expectations. The Blackhawks literally do this every year. So how does this year make things any different?
Yes, the team lost significant players that helped in the past, but how long do you expect that to last? Every asset loses value over time; that’s just a simple principle of depreciation. The smart thing to do is sell when you still have value and hope to recoup what you lost.
General manager Stan Bowman is a finance guy and got his MBA from Notre Dame. He grasps the concept that this team is his portfolio and sometimes he has to make hard decisions to move on from things that made him successful in the first place. Bowman is great at plucking guys from the bargain bin and finding value in them, and at the same time he knows when he’s losing value in a player.
My point of all this is that the ‘Hawks still have tremendous value on this team and they will continue to win games because of that. Their strategy and strengths may have been figured out by other teams, but you can’t measure up to pure talent. The ‘Hawks will find ways to combat neutral-zone traps and make other teams pay on the powerplay.
The Blackhawks, like any great team, will adjust. They have all the pieces to make a playoff push. Will it be a deep run? Who knows. There are several questions that will be answered here in a couple of weeks. But to count them out of the playoffs without a significant injury seems like using the “jump to conclusions” line.
Have some faith.