Mailbag: Coaching Staff, Team Needs & More

Alex DeBrincat - Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings
Alex DeBrincat - Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings / Harry How/GettyImages

A few days ago I asked the followers on Twitter to give some questions for today’s mailbag and they did not disappoint. In today’s segment, I’ll answer every question that was asked, and give some final thoughts as the season comes to a close

Who do we see as a realistic head coach option

  • @ThePriceIsRyte

I still slightly lean more towards the Blackhawks keeping Derek King around in some capacity. If not the head coach then he will stay around as an assistant. With that being said the most ideal options for a new coach would have to be someone that’s hard on his guys, but somebody that the team wants to play for. 

Mike Babcock and John Tortorella are both names that come up, but I don’t see either of them coming to Chicago to coach. I can see the Blackhawks looking at Oilers assistant coach Glen Gulutzan, as he’s been an NHL head coach before and struggled, but the Hawks could let him run the team how he wants, and he’s been having success in Edmonton. It’s also hard not to mention Rick Tocchet or Claude Julien, who have both had success with the teams they coach.

I honestly think Chicago will look Internal and end up bringing back Derek King, but if they don’t, my prediction is Glen Gulutzan or Rick Tocchet. 

What is more important: Assembling a first class front office and coaching staff or pursuing draft picks?

  • @Endtoen2022

Can’t have a good team without a first class front office, as we’ve seen many times in this league. You can’t just throw a bunch of guys in a room and start drafting if they have no love or knowledge about the game of hockey. Personally, I believe assembling the front office and coaching staff is more important 

It also sucks that the Blackhawks will probably lose this year’s first round pick, but hopefully they’ve been doing some scouting for the later rounds. 

Final Thoughts

The Blackhawks have some bright spots, as tough as they are to see during a losing season, they’re still there. There’s young players who are improving every day both on the ice and with their attitudes in getting used to life as an NHL player. There’s veterans who are using their knowledge and skill to produce and teach at the same time, and the organization seems to be moving in the right direction as far as a brand new culture seems, for now. 

Going into next season, the Blackhawks need to continue embracing the rebuild. There’s no real reason for the front office to think the team is anywhere near contention. Sign the players you want as a part of the future, take some risks and gain some assets. The team has the stepping stones, just need to execute the proper rebuild.