Stan Bowman made it known on Thursday the direction he was taking the Chicago Blackhawks in — a rebuild. But that message apparently wasn’t clear to the rest of the roster.
After the Blackhawks decided not to re-sign goalie Corey Crawford, they then traded away Brandon Saad to Colorado for defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm, it made it even more clear they were rebuilding. However, the Blackhawks didn’t get a pick back or any young talent to jumpstart the rebuild.
And now, their captain is a little shocked.
And Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook aren’t happy about it. As one source close to the veterans put it, “They’re pissed. The core guys have had enough.”
Toews took a far more measured — but still pointed — tack.
“Bottom line is, I want to win,” Toews told The Athletic on Saturday night. “The expectation for the other leaders on this team and myself is to come ready to training camp every year to be a playoff team. We prepare ourselves to win a Cup for our fans. I’ve never been told that we were going through a rebuild. That has never been communicated to me, for that matter. A lot of this comes as a shock because it’s a completely different direction than we expected.”
It’s clear the Blackhawks want to rebuild but when they are making head-scratching moves like the Saad trade, it makes it a lot tougher to actually trust them. They still have Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, as well as young talent in Dominik Kubalik, Kirby Dach and Adam Boqvist.
You can rebuild while adding young talent that can help you win, but that’s not easy.
However, pissing off your captain is also not a good way to go…