How Hard will it be for the Blackhawks to Break into the NHL Elite Group of Teams?

An exercise in futility
Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins
Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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A common thought in sports is that the worst place to be is in the middle... Thinking on this, Blackhawk Up looked into the standings over the last 5 completed seasons to see how this played out and if teams wavered from their "typical" seasons at all.

First and foremost, this will obviously not be kind to the Chicago Blackhawks as the timeframe is coming off of a dynasty run where they won 3 Stanley Cups.

Chicago Blackhawks Victory Parade
Chicago Blackhawks Victory Parade / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

There have been 4 Stanley Cup champions over the past 5 seasons (Golden Knights, Avalanche, Lightning x2, and the Blues which is not a typo). Each of these 4 teams placed inside the top 10 of average finishing position in the league (the Seattle Kraken were not included in the statistics) over the past 5 seasons. Here is the full standings breakdown:

Average finsihing position in the regular season over the last 5 completed seasons:

1. Boston (5.0)

2. Carolina (5.6)

3. Colorado ๐Ÿ† (6)

T4. Toronto / Tampa Bay ๐Ÿ† (6.8)

6. Vegas ๐Ÿ† (9.6)

7. Pittsburgh (10.4)

8. Washington (10.8)

9. Florida (11.2)

10. St. Louis ๐Ÿ† (12.2)

T11. Calgary / New York Islanders (12.6)

T13. Edmonton / Dallas (13)

15. Minnesota (13.9)

16. Nashville (14.2)

17. New York Rangers (15.2)

18. Winnipeg (15.4)

19. Philadelphia (20.4)

20. Vancouver (20.8)

T21. Los Angeles / Columbus (21.4)

23. San Jose (22.4)

24. New Jersey (23)

25. Montreal (23.2)

26. Arizona (24)

27. Buffalo (25.4)

28. Chicago (25.8)

29. Ottawa (26.2)

30. Detroit (27)

31. Anaheim (27.2)

Some clear trends exist in each of the 3 tiers of the league over these past 5 years (Contenders, Mid-Tier Teams, Lottery Teams).

> In each of these years Boston, Carolina, and Toronto never finished worse than 13th however none of the 3 teams won a Stanley Cup.

> The Capitals and Lightning are the only teams that have finished worse each season over the last 5.

> The Devils and Flyers have outlier seasons unlike others' trends finishing 3rd and 6th respectively in different seasons. For the 24th and 19th ranked teams in this exercise, these are unlike the other teams.

> In this exercise, the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators (15th and 16th place in a 31 team league) are the teams with the most mid-tier finishing average. Neither team has won a Stanley Cup in their existences.

Consistency in the regular season is clearly a big milestone to reach in order to become a true Stanley Cup contender. Out of the top 6 finishing teams in the regular season over the last 5 years, 4 times the Stanley Cup winner has come from that group.

How can Chicago build a contender to compete with these consistent winners?