Back From the Dead
No, not the Blackhawks, me.
I have been fighting a losing battle against a cold that has knocked me down for the past few days but I feel like I'm back up to 20% of my usual self, which as you all know is plenty good enough to write this blog.
Back to hockey, for now.
Last night's Blackhawks game against the New York Rangers was the final piece of the puzzle that should have convinced senior management that there needs to be massive changes.
Not one part of their game looked good, and if they thought Lehner and Gustafsson would bring them some nice chips back in a trade, well they killed any idea of that with their horrible play last night. In My Opinion hockey insider, John Markiewicz, and me got into a long discussion Wednesday on what these guys could bring back in a trade and unfortunately they have crushed John's dreams.
I have maintained all year that Lehner was overrated and nothing I've seen has changed my mind. John felt he would get them a number one and a player and I felt if they got a 2 or 3 draft pick it would be a win. Today, I don't think they can trade him.
Maybe you can get a player with an expiring contract, like you will for Gustafsson, and if so take it and run. The only players with value right now are guys you really don't want to trade like Saad, Kubalik, DeBrincat, and the other young guys. If they are going to do any serious fixing it is going to take a two year rebuild so get ready fans.
The two things we did agree on, were that Colliton and Bowman need to be gone. If McDonough is serious about keeping this team on top, as a consistent winner, then he needs to make big changes. Bowman is a mess and I have zero faith in his judgement and Colliton has proved that he makes a great AHL coach.
Look, it is hard to keep winning when you are forced to turn over your team every year, and the fact that they have stayed as reasonably competitive as they have is noteworthy, but guys have reached their peak levels as managers and the team needs some fresh blood.
2020 is looking like it will be a shallow draft, according to Markiewicz, however there is a Russian 17 year old goalie by the name of Yaroslav Askarov that he feels is a slam dunk. Go get him and start your rebuild. As Edzo always says, you can't win without a goalie.
The Blackhawks have 22 games left in this season, and unless they go 19-3, which is not going to happen, they are done. Clear some dead weight, and cap space, and get ready for the offseason by getting things in order for changes.
We may even need to start thinking the unthinkable, trading Kane and Toews. Maybe they would like to finish their careers in Buffalo and Winnipeg in front of their homies? How about Crawford in Montreal? Keith in Winnipeg? They've certainly earned that right if they are interested. I'm sure it won't happen but why not ask?