I am afraid this might get worse in Chicago. And it’s already bad. Extremely scary news came out on Tuesday when Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews announced that he will not report to training camp and is out indefinitely due to a medical issue. There is no timetable for his return. This is a terrible blow to the Hawks, sure, as their center depth will be put to the test early, with Toews out on top of top prospect Kirby Dach, who will miss the first four-to-five months after undergoing wrist surgery.
You simply don’t know what to do first and Ken Campbell of The Hockey News believes the Blackhawks won’t be able to replace Toews at all on their lineup. He even wonders if this means that the Hawks should go all-in with a teardown rebuild.
“So how do you replace Jonathan Toews? Well, if you’re the Blackhawks, you probably don’t. And if his career is in jeopardy, do you not get to the point where you look at a complete teardown, knowing full well that the last time you bottomed out it set you up to build a team that won three Stanley Cups in a six-year span?”
When asking this tough question, he wonders if Patrick Kane will demand a trade out of Chicago, hoping to get another shot at a championship before hanging up the skates.
“Kane has a no-move clause in his contract that has this season and two more left on it at a team-friendly cap hit of $10.5 million. But don’t the Blackhawks owe it to themselves and Kane to at least explore whether he might like to try to win another Cup or two before the end of his career? If Kane continues to be a top-10 scorer in the NHL and one of its most dynamic talents, there would be a conga line of teams willing to give up multiple draft picks, prospects and young players to get him.”
I don’t think anyone would be upset at Kane for wanting out when it seems almost impossible for the Blackhawks to get out of this hole in the next seasons. They weren’t good at the start of the week and have gotten worse now with Toews and Dach out… Suddenly, the Blackhawks are faced with a center ice corps that consists of Dylan Strome, David Kampf and Lucas Wallmark.
And Kane might nothing to do with this…