The Chicago Blackhawks reached the official midway point of the season. Through 41 games, the Hawks have seen injuries decimate a roster that was already thin on elite talent.
The result is the Blackhawks are dead last in the Central Division. Only the San Jose Sharks have a worse record than the Hawks which means the Chicago Blackhawks have the second-best chance of winning the NHL Draft Lottery again.
Monitoring Tankathon.com/nhl daily also means this is another lost season.
It has become a lost season for three players in particular who are underachieving despite lofty preseason hopes.
Reichel's struggles have been well documented here. It still does not mean he should not be discussed as the most disappointing player this season.
Reichel has had just two good games this season. Otherwise, he has been a non-factor on most nights with just eight points on the season.
The hope was he would be pushing Bedard for the team lead in goals scored. The hope was he would be a good second-line center by now. The hope was he would never have to be a healthy scratch to get a message sent to pick up his game. The hope was he would never have to skate on the fourth line just to get some ice time.
As you can see there were a lot of hopes, and he is not living up to any of them.
The one thing working in Reichel's favor is his age and the rebuilding phase the team is in. He is still just 21 and skating in his first full NHL season. That is still too young of a player to abandon hope and the Hawks can be patient with him since they are not competing to make the playoffs.
He was supposed to be the No. 1 goalie by now. Much like Reichel, the only reason he is still in the NHL is because of the current competitive state of the team.
Normally his awful numbers would have had him in Rockford by last November. Since the Hawks are in the chase for the No. 1 overall pick again, he is being afforded time to develop in the NHL.
Soderblom has played better in his last two starts. Hopefully, that continues so the Blackhawks can trade Mrazek to a goaltending-needy contender.
Kaiser makes this list because there was a belief he could form a trio with Vlasic and Korchinski as the future of the blue line out of training camp. That belief never came to reality. This is not to say he will never join them, but things did not go well after he broke camp with the Hawks.
He struggled to the point that he was sent to Rockford. The difference between Kaiser and say Reichel or Soderblom is they have played their share of games for the IceHogs. Kaiser has not and that is why he is now developing his game in the AHL instead of the NHL.
Remember, the only reason these three are listed as the most disappointing players was there was optimism about their contributions to this season coming out of training camp. Their play this season has been negative, but that is not to say they cannot have a positive impact on the franchise in the future.