After Saturday night's loss to the Seattle Kraken, the Chicago Blackhawks are now at the half way point of the season. At the 41 game mark, the Hawks have the worst record in both points and point percentage. This was the plan, right?
Of course it was, we all saw the roster that Kyle Davidson gave new head coach Luke Richardson after all. So does a 11-26-4 (26pts) record show us everything that has happened so far this season? Not exactly.
There have been bright spots. Jake McCabe has rebounded from years of inconsistent play due to injuries. He has been my MVP this year so far. A plus 4 and on pace to set a career high in points, McCabe has played hard all year thusly making him a prime candidate to be traded. With 2.5 years remaining at a 4 million aav I expect alot of contenders to be on the phone with the Hawks over the next month.
Lukas Reichel had a 3 pt night. This one was big as you could see great improvement in his decision making and timing. Unfortunately, he was sent down to Rockford for the all-star game and playoffs. This is a decision I strongly disagree with. He looks ready, therefore play him and it's as simple as that to me. It would also benefit Philipp Kurashev to play with a potential linemate as well.
The bad (there are many) aspects to the year:
1. Losing is a trait that I don't want the young players to get used to.
2. Not a great way for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to potentially leave us.
3. Our scoring being down can only hurt our assets' trade value.
Currently on a 52 point pace, the truth is that the next 2 seasons after this one will likely be similar. Our roster will be devoid of the championship hold overs, the solid free agent pick ups may be traded, and the young 1st rounders will not yet be ready.
I loved writing that article as a prospect analyst as I know not alot of fans are aware (yet) of the Misa and Hagens of the 2025 class. Yes, the present is bleak Hawks' fans, however with at least 5 first round picks in the next 3 drafts and a load of talent on the horizon available there is hope coming.
What will the second half of the season look like? For me, I'm squarely focusing in on the development of Isaak Phillips as well as the callups as veterans start to be traded. Will McCabe or Murphy be traded, what are the futures of Kane and Toews, will Kyle Davidson somehow acquire a 3rd first round pick? Only time will tell.