Rmemeber last week when I finally got around to writing an article about GM Kyle Davidson stating how he was "very interested" in moving up into the first round. We discussed the likelihood of that considering the team is bereft of first high picks this year and that it must come down to players if that is what he hopes to do. We asked the question at the conclusion of the article, "Who would it be to be traded first?" Our guy, Seth Stauffer just published an article two days ago about Connor Murphy maybe having value in a trade with Ottawa in an effort to move into the first round.
The point is, there has been a lot of emphasis from Kyle Davidson and thus, the Blackhawks media that he wants to move into the first round. Again, not really feasible based solely on draft capital, but when you consider players available on the team, you could certainly make that happen, but it depends on what price you are willing to pay.
We published last month about the possibility of an Alex Debrincat trade. Well, apparently, that is pretty likely, according to Frank Seravalli.
Many hadn't considered the possibility of the Blackhawks trading Alex DeBrincat (their best, young, offensive star) during a rebuild. He seemed like a piece that would be worth building around, but with the suggestion of an imminent trade, it has caused many to wonder if Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews could be on the move as well. Many have considered Toews a trade candidate for a while, since he is getting older, while still productive (though the Blackhawks would certainly have to eat a majority of his contract, or give up other valuable pieces). But Patrick Kane is certainly a new suggestion. Nevertheless, I side with CHGO's Mario Tirabassi on this take:
That's just it. If they commit to the identity, then fans can get on board. What was so hard for fans during the Stan Bowman era was that he would often say one thing and then do the other. The most recent example of this, of course, being when he stated at the end of the 2020-21 season that the Blackhawks would pursue a rebuild. Just to follow that up with acquiring Seth Jones via massive trade and contract extension and Marc-Andre Fleury through another trade. Those are not pieces a rebuilding team acquires.
So I think if Davidson buckles down and tells fans, "Hey, we are rebuilding through and through. The Stanley Cup dynasty is history. It is of yesteryear. Enjoy the memories, but we are moving forward." It may be a hard pill to swallow, but it is certainly necessary. I know it is challenging to move from one era to the next, but unwillingness to change will keep your team in mediocrity. Scott Powers and Shayna Goldman of The Athletic suggested this big change could be coming.
I know they are different sports, but I think it is helpful to consider the New England Patriots model during this Blackhawks rebuild. Sure, Tom Brady was kept around because he was always performing at a high level. Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, and Julian Edelman all saw significant stretches with the team. You can point out other various stars like Junior Seau, Vincent Wilfork, and Malcolm Butler as well. But the reality is the Patriots moved on from players all the time. They knew when time was up. Dump what assets you have, be smart in your scouting, coaching, and developing and build yourself back up. Tom Brady always kept them competing, but the cast of players and characters around the team has been a revolving door, but one focused on getting players at their very best while they are with the team.
It is time for a reset. You never know how quickly the Blackhawks may be able to turn this around. There was a decade gap between the Patriots' Super Bowl victories from the first dynasty to the second dynasty. If the Blackhawks can commit to rebuilding now, and lean all the way in, then they can see themselves at the top again in a couple years. I am an eternal optimist, but I truly believe that the Blackhawks can be a serious competitor by 2025. If trades are made and young, valuable players are acquired, the turnaround could be even sooner.
Just brace yourselves for change, because...