The season is nearly upon us. The Tom Kurvers showcase has come and gone. Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks start pre-season play in just 1 week from today. While it was evident since May 8th (day the Blackhawks won the draft lottery) that the likelihood the fanbase would grow, recent developments within Chicago's other professional sports teams may give the Hawks an even larger boost than anticipated.
The Bears, depsite an expectation that the team was on the whole an improved team, are 0-2 and making headlines for all the wrong reasons (starting QB Justin Fields making comments about the playcalling as well as coaches stepping away from the team in just week 2 of the season).
The Bulls hiring a new GM and staff, in an aggressive turn, went after some big names to build what many believe was at the very least a conference champion contender. Despite having Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball, and Coby White it seems that the team is not built to succeed after all.
In terms of baseball, the White Sox had a massive implosion that was frankly embarrassing for the city to watch. With recent firings, it appears that yet another full rebuild is about to start. The Cubs, who were bellicose making a team this past offseason, looked like the standout club in the city, but are now limping towards a murkier finish to the long endured 162 game slate.
So that leaves the Blackhawks, from my perspective, as the one Chicago team of the 5 major (not counting the Sky / Fire who were both average teams in their latest seasons) franchises in the city with a clear path to being really good and contending sooner rather than later.
In Kyle Davidson's interim GM days he was bold and then as soon as he was fully hired he was even more so. That left fans seeing a dynasty team (3 Stanley Cups in 6 seasons) being torn down in record time and an influx of new draft picks coming into the prospect pool.
Connor Bedard is certainly the headliner here and will be the face of the Blackhawks for hopefully 15+ seasons, however it is also laden with depth and talent to spare in such short order. Long story short, while it appears that the other 4 teams arrows are pointing one direction, it can't be argued which way the Blackhawks are headed.
Will this translate to a fanbase being so frustrated with their long beloved Bears, Bulls, White Sox, or Cubs that they focus their time and money soley on the Blackhawks? Time will tell on that, but from my view there has never been a greater discrepancy within a city (opinion) on how all the teams are being run and handled. Kyle Davidson and staff are giving us access to the players and content like never before and it's easy to start to cheer for these young players now.
While the Bears and White Sox (in particular) are making headlines for all the wrong reasons of late, it's good to know that the UC will packed full of excitement, #98 jerseys, and at least a few new fans that have decided this is now the time to support the team with the brightest future in Chicago.