Chicago Blackhawks: Blueprint for ideal offseason

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Chicago Blackhawks

Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks had their most disappointing season of the Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews era. How do they recover, and what does an ideal offseason look like?

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to need a great offseason to recover after this past regular season. For the first time in the Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews era, they aren’t in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blackhawks have already announced both Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman will be back for next season.

Quenneville has been put in charge of coaching decisions, which means the assistant coaches might be back as well. So with no major overhaul in the front office, what do the Blackhawks have to do to recover for next season?

After all, expectations for this team are unlikely to change. With a good group of young players, an AHL team that’s likely playoff bound, and their core, Chicago fans will continue to expect the best. Here’s how the Blackhawks deliver it.

Forwards

The Chicago Blackhawks had the 28th best power play in the league and scored the 21st most goals in the league. Their forward corps has gotten younger and faster, but at the same time, they’ve had numerous injuries.

Let’s start with the longest one – Marian Hossa has been out since the summer. It hasn’t been announced whether he’ll ever play NHL hockey again, but his allergies to his equipment likely make that impossible. However, the perfect offseason for the Blackhawks includes a miraculous recovery by Hossa. Jonathan Toews needs Hossa. His numbers with and without Hossa show the impact of the future Hall of Famer.

The Blackhawks’ ideal long-term first line is likely Brandon Saad, Toews, and Hossa. If Hossa is never coming back, though, the Blackhawks likely need to move on from the line as a whole. After all, even though everyone had a down season, Saad didn’t awaken the slumbering Toews the way the Hawks were expecting when they traded Artemi Panarin for him.

Instead, the Blackhawks should focus on the young forwards they have. Incorporating them (and re-signing the ones who need new contracts) will likely help the Blackhawks now and into the future.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse