5 Things The Chicago Blackhawks Need To Do This Offseason
By Dylan Terry
It’s no secret that the 2019-20 Season was a roller coaster ride for the Chicago Blackhawks. Contrary to showing many promising moments for the future, the team also showed some potential question marks moving ahead.
All in all, the Blackhawks performed at the level that many people expected heading into the year. They finished the regular season with a record of 32-30-8 in 70-games played before the season was cut short due to the ongoing pandemic. Many people had the Hawks labeled as a “tweener” team, and they proved to be just that.
While the stoppage of play allowed the Hawks the opportunity to participate in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, it was a fortunate break for Chicago. Had the pandemic not hit, the Blackhawks had only a measly 33% chance of making the postseason according to HockeyReference.com
After upsetting a high-powered Edmonton Oilers squad in the qualifying round, the Blackhawks qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since that dismal exit in 2017. While the series against the Vegas Golden Knights was brief, it proved to be a showcase of what is to come in the future for the Blackhawks.
Even though Chicago lost the series 4-1, they put up a much better fight than the scoreline shows. Vegas looks to be a perennial Cup contender, with a ton of depth at each position. Other than being dominated in Game 1, the Hawks were able to keep pace with the Knights. They managed to take Game 2 into overtime, and only lost by a 2-1 score in Game 3. After emerging victorious in Game 4, they closed out the series with another narrow 4-3 loss to the #1 seed in the Western Conference.
They played much better than expected, and many fans were satisfied with the effort that was displayed by the Windy City, aside from some of the questionable coaching/management decisions down the stretch, such as John Quenneville playing in Game 5.
Now with a young roster that has a playoff run under their belt, the Blackhawks need to find out what they are going to do for next season and beyond. The league salary cap did not go up as many had expected, so this leaves the Blackhawks with many difficult decisions in the next few months. Here’s my look at the 5 things that the Blackhawks should prioritize this offseason: