The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the NHL’s best teams, but they haven’t been able to translate that success on the ice into a Stanley Cup Championship. That was until this past season where their stars finally found their form and led them all the way to victory in Game 6 against Tampa Bay. If you are wondering what do now with regards to fixing your team, then read how other teams have navigated similar situations before.
The “chicago hockey team” is a team that has made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. They have been struggling in recent years and need to take some steps to fix them on the ice.
The Chicago Blackhawks’ descent into obscurity has been one of the most precipitous in NHL history.
The team’s disastrous handling of former player Kyle Beach’s accusations that former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually abused him in 2010 has resulted in significant adjustments. Following the publication of an inquiry into the situation, both general manager Stan Bowman and senior director of hockey operations Al MacIsaac resigned. The NHL imposed a $2 million punishment on the Blackhawks.
The blemish on the team’s Stanley Cup victory — from which Aldrich’s name was erased — was so bad that the Blackhawks had to postpone Marian Hossa’s number retirement due to poor timing. “We express our deepest apologies to anybody who have been harmed as a result of these events as an organization. We must – and will – improve “In a statement, the Blackhawks stated.
There’s a lot of work to be done off the rink. There’s also work to be done on the ice, where a five-year slide from grace has been continuing.
The club that won three Stanley Cups in six seasons is no longer with us. The 2015 Stanley Cup Final was the Blackhawks’ most recent postseason series victory. In three of the last four seasons, they have failed to get beyond the first round of the playoffs. Bowman’s offseason coups — goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury and defender Seth Jones — were devoured by their mediocrity out of the gate, and coach Jeremy Colliton was sacked following a 2-9-2 start.
Is it already the end of the season? Despite a.231 point % after 13 games, interim GM Kyle Davidson believes the team still has a shot to succeed — or at the very least figure out how to get there for next season.
“In April, you’ll find out whether you’re a [playoff] team. Let’s face it, the arithmetic isn’t working in our favor right now to get to that point “After Colliton was dismissed, Davidson stated. “However, no season is ever wasted since you may always learn something new and continue your review process.”
From safeguarding the safety of the players to mending the brand’s image locally and worldwide, there are organizational considerations that take priority over the hockey product. However, one aspect of those considerations is determining the next measures to make the Blackhawks a competitive club.
The following are five measures to get the Blackhawks back on the ice:
In the front office, be inventive.
After Bowman maintained both positions for the last decade, it’s widely assumed that the Blackhawks would ultimately appoint a president of hockey operations and a general manager. That is the magnitude of the task at hand.
The president of hockey operations must be capable of two things: changing the organization’s culture and healing relationships that have been strained or damaged as a result of the team’s treatment of Beach’s charges. The former will necessitate collaboration with individuals such as team president Danny Wirtz and president of business operations Jaime Faulkner, while the latter will necessitate clear communication about the changes — as well as a fair amount of salesmanship — to players, agents, and others with a stake in this global hockey brand.
There have been a few noteworthy names cited in connection with the presidency. Eddie Olczyk, a Blackhawks fan favorite who works for Turner Sports, has been discussed, however there has been speculation throughout the league that his present connection with the Blackhawks isn’t as strong as many imagine.
After interviewing with multiple clubs over the last several seasons, ESPN analyst and insider Kevin Weekes has been waiting for this sort of chance. Since leaving his NHL job, former Canucks president of hockey operations Mike Gillis has attempted to broaden his awareness of how other sports organizations function, and has indicated interest in hearing from the Blackhawks.
Jim Rutherford, the former general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is eager to return to the league, but one wonders whether the Blackhawks would want him to serve as a general manager for a limited period while also serving as president, as was the original idea for Rutherford in Pittsburgh.
Angela Ruggiero, a former member of the United States national team and co-founder of Sports Innovation Lab, is one name that may be considered. She was being considered for a front-office position with the Florida Panthers and would be an interesting executive appointment for Chicago.
The general manager will be recruited once the president of hockey operations is appointed, although there are several obvious alternatives there as well. Jeff Gorton, the former general manager of the New York Rangers, makes a lot of sense, particularly if the Blackhawks are attempting to rebuild or retool. Former Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager Michael Futa and current Seattle Kraken assistant general manager Norm Maciver, both of whom worked under Bowman in Chicago, might be candidates.
However, according to one NHL insider, Wirtz wants to “go young” with the general manager role. That seems to prefer interim GM Kyle Davidson, who famously rose from minor-league intern to Bowman’s top lieutenant in less than a decade. Mark Eaton, the team’s head of player development, is 44 years old, while Meghan Hunter, the team’s director of hockey administration, is 40 years old.
Patrick Roy, 56, the current GM and coach of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the former head coach and vice president of hockey operations for the Colorado Avalanche, is a wild card for either position. He may, on the other hand, be a wild card for the future head coach.
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“You’re in danger” when a large number of players retire wearing just your jersey, according to one former NHL general manager, who spoke to ESPN this week. “You’ll have to dangle Toews and Kane as the key to winning the Stanley Cup to someone so that you can get what you deserve after paying them so much money over the years and winning three Stanley Cups yourself. Give someone else an opportunity to win the Cup, but they must pay for it.”
Toews and Kane hold all the cards this season and next, with complete trade protection. However, the executive feels that the tandem is done if the Blackhawks need to go back to the drawing board.
“You need to get your hands on some fresh Toews and Kane. Because if you’re still attempting to develop around those folks in two years, guess what? They’ll depart for nothing since they won’t want to remain with a rebuilding squad at that age. This is merely the NHL’s current method of doing things “he said
It’s a tough topic to broach. Given their role in franchise history, it’s probably not a popular decision to make, however one has to ask how connected the fans are to nostalgia anymore.
However, their responses to the question “What is your future?” are critical.
“Those responses will offer you a lot of direction on what to do next,” one person added.
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The Blackhawks have had four draft ees play 80 or more games in the NHL since the 2016 class. Two of them are DeBrincat and Dach; the other two, Boqvist and Henri Jokiharju, have left the franchise.
This season, Corey Pronman of The Athletic lowered Chicago from 14th to 23rd in his prospect pipeline rankings. Elite Prospects’ J.D. Burke provided a bleaker view, placing them No. 27.
Both analysts were critical of Bowman’s front office’s acquisition of prospects. The best way to put it was as Burke put it: “In the quest of size and gumption, they’ve spent a lot of mid-range draft cash on low-upside plays, which has pulled down the quality of their pool. This system is one of the NHL’s most comprehensive, yet it lacks real star power.”
That thinking must shift.
But then there’s the matter of the Blackhawks’ organization. With all of the options for improving the on-ice product, the most important choice will be decided by ownership and what the Wirtz family want.
Is it time for the Blackhawks to reload? Reorganize around their long-serving standard-bearers? Or do they go for the sort of rebuild that got them Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and a cap-era dynasty in the first place?
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