On Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks sent out to their season ticket holders a letter confirming the team was committed to a rebuild after trading winger Brandon Saad and allowing veteran goaltender Corey Crawford to leave in free agency this month.
As many of you know, that might now have sat well with captain Jonathan Toews, star forward Patrick and veteran defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, who have openly criticized the moves in the past weeks.
However, Pierre LeBrun explained on last night’s Insider Trading that GM Stan Bowman contacted all four players before publishing the letter, hoping to get them on board in this rebuilding process.
“When it comes to Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith, they want those guys to be part of this rebuild. In fact, general manager Stan Bowman had a video call a few days ago with those four to further explain where the Blackhawks are going and what they plan to do.”
The question now is, will these players stick out during the rebuild or will they be looking to be traded in order to play for a strong contender in the last years of their respective career. While LeBrun has no clue what will be the reactions of these star players, he believes Bowman is making a huge effort to get them interested in staying in Chicago and becoming mentors for younger players.
“Now, we’ll see how those players react. At this point we haven’t heard from them and they’ve got time to digest this during the off-season but certainly the Blackhawks want those players, those veterans to be part of this rebuild. We’ll see where that goes.”
It has been a tough couple of years from the Hawks, who still managed to defeat the Edmonton Oilers in the qualifying round of this year’s playoffs before falling to the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round. However, no one can ignore the fact that the Blackhawks have not advanced past the first round of the postseason since winning the Stanley Cup in 2015. Something had to be done and Bowman has made it official, hoping fans will understand and be patient with the process.
On top of that, he is hoping his star players will be key parts of this new process.