The Chicago Blackhawks are going to face something rather scary within the next ten years, they are going to be without their two leading superstars that helped transform the Blackhawks.
We have seen the decline of Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith rather quickly over the last few seasons. While I still believe Keith can be a game-changing force on the ice, he has dropped off from his inhuman years of playing over half of the game. Every player reaches the tail end of their career at some point. Even Jaromir Jagr could not play in the NHL forever, age is going to catch up to everyone.
There is no reason that Blackhawks fans can believe any different for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, and honestly, the sad realization is that we are going to need to rely on someone else besides Kane and Toews rather soon.
Do not get me wrong, I do think that Dominik Kubalik and Alex Debrincat can score goals, but they can not do it at the same pace as Patrick Kane. While Kirby Dach is promising and Dylan Strome has the heart and soul of this team on his shoulders night in and night out, they can not compare to the greatness of Jonathan Toews.
The Blackhawks are going to need to let their stars leave the game, and hopefully, they can leave it knowing the legacy of the Blackhawks is still intact. I want to see Toews and Kane keeping winning Stanley Cups, but I also want to see them finish their career with the Blackhawks. Those two ideas might not be able to go together down the road, and I would rather see them finish their career with the Blackhawks.
In an ideal world, I think the Blackhawks are going to have to start focusing on bringing in young talent to help bring this team to the next level sometime in the next four or five years. I am talking about top-level draft picks that can lead this team in the future the way Toews and Kane can. Hopefully, we can even see these new young players play with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane the way Sidney Crosby had the chance to play with Mario Lemieux for a season in 2005-06.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have been the leaders of the Blackhawks since they broke into the league after being drafted. They mean so much to this team and the organization. Without Toews and Kane there are no Cups, no rejuvenation, and very few Blackhawks’ hats seen throughout the city. These two players are going to be given a trophy in front of the United Center someday, I just hope that comes along with a new Stanley Cup and some great hockey on the ice.