It will be interesting to see, not only how fans respond to a letter issued by the organization that the Chicago Blackhawks are committed to a roster rebuild, but how players react. It wasn’t long ago that Jonathan Toews came out and said he wasn’t told the team was rebuilding and he wasn’t pleased management had sent out Corey Crawford and Brandon Saad. This won’t help.
The team wrote in the statement to fans:
We recently said goodbye to a pair of popular, two-time champions and acquired some new players via trade and free agency. We understand it was tough to see those respected veterans go and realize you may have some questions about our direction. We’d like to address that direction and share why we’re hopeful for the future of Blackhawks hockey.
The statement goes on to talk about their commitment to developing young players and rebuilding the roster. Instead of just being competitive, they want the chance to create a team that will be competitive for years. Citing they are were the youngest team in the 2020 playoffs, they’re hoping that postseason experience is nothing but positive.
As our young players develop and learn how to win consistently, they’ll make some mistakes. Inevitably, we’ll miss the mark sometimes, too, but we’ll communicate openly with you on this journey together. We know that what comes next must be more than just words, and that inspires us.
What Next for the Blackhawks?
This isn’t the first time a team has addressed fans in this manner. The New York Rangers did so in 2018. But, the Rangers then proceeded to sign Artemi Panarin in free agency and lucked into the drafting of top-overall pick Alexis Lafreniere. The Blackhawks aren’t likely to be so lucky.
How will players like Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and others react to the news? Will they stick with the rebuild? Is this a hint they should be flexible to move? Will they want out?
We’re about to find out.
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