The Chicago Blackhawks have a plan to return to the Championship, but it may take some time.
Last season, the Blackhawks (32-30-8, .514 percentage points) finished 12th in the Western Conference. They were the last team to advance to the Stanley Cup qualifiers in the West when the season resumed with a 24-team tournament after the season hiatus on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
Chicago won the best of 5 playoffs against the No.5 seed Edmonton Oilers in four games, but lost in five games to the Vegas Golden Knights in the best of first 7 rounds.
The roster overhaul began this month, with the departure of two members of Chicago’s two most recent title teams: The Keeper Corey Crawford and forward Brandon Saad.
Crawford signed a two-year, $ 7.8 million (average annual value of $ 3.9 million) contract with the New Jersey Devils on October 9 after being told before free agency began that Chicago would not sign it again. Blackhawks traded Saad and defenseman Dennis Gilbert to the Colorado Avalanche for defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm October 10.
Chicago added two free agency forwards on October 12, in agreement with Mattias Janmark on a one-year contract, $ 2.25 million and in accordance with Lucas Wallmark on a one-year contract of $ 950,000.
The Blackhawks’ letter is similar to the one the New York Rangers sent to their fans on February 8, 2018.
The Rangers missed the playoffs this season for the first time in eight seasons and have made big changes since. They gave forward Artemi Panarin a seven-year contract of $ 81.5 million (AAV $ 11.6 million) on July 1, 2019 and the acquisition of two advocates in the trades: Adam Fox the Carolina Hurricanes on April 30, 2019, and Jacob Trouba of the Winnipeg Jets on June 17, 2019. They also selected the forward Kaapo Kakko with the second pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and forward Alexis Lafreniere with the No.1 pick in the 2020 Draft.
Several young Blackhawks players have gained regular season and playoff experience, including the forward Kirby Dach and defender Adam Boqvist.
Dach, 19, has 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 64 regular season games and six points (one goal, five assists) in nine playoff games. Boqvist, 20, has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 41 regular season games and zero points in eight playoff games.
Captain of the Blackhawks Jonathan Toews told The Athletic on Oct. 11 he was surprised at the direction of the Blackhawks.
“I was never told we were going to have reconstruction,” the center told the website. “It was never communicated to me, by the way. Much of it is a shock as it is a completely different direction than we expected. ”
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman told NBC Sports Chicago on Tuesday that he, coach Jeremy Colliton and senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac had spoken with forward Toews. Patrick Kane and defenders Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook after Toews’ comments were made public. These four players were part of the three teams in the championship.
“We had a really good discussion, an in-depth discussion of where we are going,” Bowman told the Blackhawks Talk podcast. “I think part of this communication here is to clarify some communication errors or perceptions. It’s really not a rebuild as we tear this down and just get rid of all the players. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions to trade popular players and it’s tough for our veterans who have been together. ”