Blackhawks: Ian Mitchell not playing this season is for the best
The Chicago Blackhawks are going to face off against the Edmonton Oilers at some point in the next few months, and no matter what it might be for the best that Ian Mitchell is not on the ice for the Blackhawks.
I think Ian Mitchell is going to be a big part of this team sometime in the next few seasons. The impact that Mitchell is going to bring to the Blackhawks is not going to start with the best of five series. Instead, it would just hurt him. We would be throwing him in a little too early for his development, and it could potentially take the first year off of his three year contract.
Chicago already has enough defensemen on their roster that can make a difference in the play-in series. Players like Adam Boqvist, Duncan Keith, Olli Maatta, Connor Murphy, Calvin de Haan, and Slater Koekkoek are all going to be ready to defend the Blackhawks defensive zone when they are needed against the Oilers.
While I think that Mitchell might be able to make a difference on this blue line, he is not going to be changing the outcome of the series. Maybe he can gain some experience from the locker room and the practice rink should the Blackhawks grant him access to the team just to see how the NHL works.
I would like to see something like that. Having Mitchell around would help make him a better player in the long run, and it would keep him from getting hurt in a playoff atmosphere hockey game.
Keeping Mitchell out of the lineup will also give the Blackhawks management more time to try and figure out which defensemen will be gone come next season to clear more room for players like Mitchell. Not every player on this blue line is going to be here next season as we try and garner in a new era of the Blackhawks blue line (one hopefully that is not making Duncan Keith play 20 plus minutes a night).
While I am excited to see the Blackhawks take the ice again this season, I am even more excited for the direction of the team come next season!