The Chicago Blackhawks season ended last night, and there are a lot of questions that need to be answered.
Now what? With the season in the books, the Chicago Blackhawks enter the 2021 off-season that should hopefully be the shortest in a long time thanks to the season starting so late. The Hawks played hockey all the way into May this season, their longest run since the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, but that had nothing to do with going on a playoff run and everything to do with scheduling.
There was hope for a good amount of the year. Honestly, I was kind of shocked that we actually got to see competitive close hockey as late into the year as we did. While fans, myself included, want to see the Blackhawks be better, I think we can all recognize this team did overachieve this season.
The Hawks are a different team this year than they were last year, that is just a fact. The team is made up of so many new pieces and they are going to be destined for more in the next few seasons. However, all that hard work needs to lead to something. Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks cannot afford to take the summer off.
There are so many questions that need to be answered right now. The holes in the lineup, and over need to improve is apparent, and now they have the pieces to do it. So let’s jump in with 10 questions about the Chicago Blackhawks.
1. What will the defense look like?
The Chicago Blackhawks played 12 different defensemen this year. In a handful of games this season, they actually played seven defensemen as well. When the Blackhawks were winning their championships they only needed four to do it.
The Hawks have a lot of NHL defensemen, but they do not have a lot of top four players. This summer I hope the team emphasizes figuring out who will fit with the franchise and who might have to pack their bag. Obviously, so many of the guys on this team are young, and whoever the team does choose needs to get their ice time next season to help take their game to the next level.
Duncan Keith, Connor Murphy, Nikita Zadorov, Calvin de Haan, Riley Stillman, Adam Boqvist, Nicolas Beaudin, Ian Mitchell, and the list does not stop there. Having an abundance of defensemen is not a bad thing, but Bowman needs to figure out who his guys are that are going to be relied upon every night.