The Rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks



from Tracey Myers of NHL.com, The Chicago Blackhawks are in a rebuild, a message made very clear in an offseason that saw them remake their roster, with the exception of veteran forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, and defensemen Seth Jones and Connor Murphy. The Blackhawks signed unrestricted free agent forwards Max Domi, Andreas Athanasiou and Colin Blackwell, and goalie Alex Stalock. They acquired goalie Petr Mrazek in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs and hired Luke Richardson as coach. The additions are one thing, but the subtraction has been at the forefront. The Blackhawks traded forward Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators and forward Kirby Dach to the Montreal Canadiens. They didn't extend qualifying offers to restricted free agent forwards Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik; Strome signed with the Washington Capitals, and Kubalik signed with the Detroit Red Wings. Unrestricted free agent defensemen Calvin de Haan (unsigned) and Erik Gustafsson (Capitals) are gone too. It's all part of a restructuring for the Blackhawks, who have missed the playoffs four of the past five seasons, including last season when they went 28-42-12 to finish second to last in the Central Division, and expect it will be some time before they're in the postseason again. "I think it's really hard to determine right now, to be honest," general manager Kyle Davidson said, "because going into last season, a lot of the preseason projections probably had us doing a lot better than we did. And I'm assuming going into this season, a lot of people will be doubting us." Mrazek said he wasn't concerned about joining a rebuilding team. continued

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