The 2022 Chicago Blackhawks are a bad hockey team. There isn’t much else to it. They sold off pieces at the deadline for picks and young talent and they don’t seem very close to being good, let alone contending for a championship.
The dynasty has fallen, yet its stars still remain in red and black. Should they though?
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews need no introduction. Both have letters on their jerseys and a championship pedigree. They are the faces of the Blackhawks and they have been for over a decade. That being said, maybe it’s time they were dealt. I am quite certain that is not what many Blackhawks fans want to hear but given the state of the team and the possible profit that could be netted in a deal, it might be the right move.
Kane is still as productive as ever (if not more) and Toews is still a reliable two-way center, even if his scoring has decreased with age. They both carry pretty hefty contracts with a cap hit of $10.5 million. Those are difficult numbers to move around, but with salary retention and both contracts coming to an end at the conclusion of next season, it is not out of the question that teams looking to add some firepower in Kane or some center depth in Toews could be enticed to make a deal. The Blackhawks could use some draft picks and prospects if they want to build for the future, Kane and Toews can certainly net them that.
I’m sure you’re probably still warry of the prospective future of the Blackhawks without their dynamic duo. Of course you are. They brought Chicago to the promise land three times and have remained faithful to the city through thick and thin. They are the pride and joy of Chicago hockey and it’s hard to imagine them on any other team. That hasn’t stopped Captain Serious from ruminating on it. After the deals made at the deadline Toews had this to say:
“The thought never entered my mind to leave Chicago, And in this case, you can’t help but picture yourself and what it’d be like to play for another team and what that experience would bring.”
If he can imagine that possibility, maybe we should start.
Of course, there is still the case of Kane. Around the deadline there were reports that if one of Kane or Alex Debrincat were to be traded the other would surely follow. That is a problem for reasons I need not explain. Departing with Kane and Toews would be hard enough, but a player of Debrincat’s talent and a full decade younger than the duo in question would be a hard pill to swallow. It would be in the teams best interest to communicate with him and keep him on the team, but if it needed to be done he could surely catch a high price, but would it be worth it?
Selling the two aging faces of your franchise to save the future is one thing, but to also have to part ways with someone who could take that role for years to come? Or do they keep them around for another year of disappointing results and risk losing them in free agency anyways? It’s a tough question to answer. Hopefully GM Kyle Davidson has an answer.
One thing is certain, there will be some interesting phone calls taking place come draft day 2022. If they move, may it bring bountiful picks to Chicago and plenty of W’s wherever they land.
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