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Blackhawks down- season in review

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PRESEASON OUTLOOK The Hawks went all in, trading their first, second great prospect Boqvist for Seth Jones. Then they got Fleury from the Knights for free to shore up the net. Toews was back after missing all of the year before. Long time Hawk Keith was jettisoned to Edmonton for Seth's younger brother Caleb. Dach who missed most of the year before was coming back strong. Two time champ Tyler Johnson was added from Tampa. The Hawks felt for certain that they were ready to not only get back in the conversation to be a playoff contender and possibly make a deep run. In their mind the rebuild was done on the fly and complete.


FINAL RECORD 28-42-12 7th in the Central well out of a playoff spot.


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR None. Truthfully, there was no high point. They were out of it early and never recovered. It was an awful season.


LOW POINT OF THE SEASON They discovered early that they were pretenders and not contenders losing nine in a row to start the year then after a win over Ottawa they lost two more, after losing to Winnipeg 5-1 on November 3rd they were 1-9-2 the season wrecked, outscored at that point 47-26 with Fleury looking old and the Jones kids looking like fish out of water. During this time Stan Bowman was fired for the events of a dozen years ago involving the unfortunate Kyle Beach.


WHAT WENT RIGHT Debrincat has in many ways surpassed Kane as the stud of the franchise he led the team with 41 goals but Kane, not to be undone as he continues his assault on the Hawks all time records led the team with 66 assists and 92 points. Hagel was having a solid year and was dealt for futures. Connor Murphy was very underrated and solid on the back end when healthy. Dylan Strome had his usual 50 point season like punching a clock. 


WHAT WENT WRONG So very, very much. To start Seth Jones was third on the team in scoring but was dreadful, he was minus 37 and the supposed power play specialist had zero power play goals and never looked comfortable. Fleury was awful early before kind of finding himself and was sent to the Wild. Tyler Johnson is done, he missed 54 games and sucked when he did play. Toews returned but was a shade of his former self. Kubalik took a step back, Dach was awful looking like a kid who had missed most of the previous season and had no idea what was expected. Top prospect Lukas Reichel looked way over his head in 11 games with only one assist and a minus 8. Lots of kids got long looks and none impressed. This is a team that looks like the rebuild on the fly simply exploded in their faces.


FREE AGENTS They wont have any goalies under contract, Lankinen and Delia are UFAs and unlikely to come back. De Haan and Gustafsson a couple of veteran mediocre defenders are moving on. None of the above will be missed.


TOP PROSPECTS Reichel is supposed to be their next scoring threat, I like him but dont love him. Alex Vlasic, Alec Regula and Ian Mitchell are all c rated defenseman prospects who have been given chances and havent done anything with it, all are expected to perform next year and if they are lucky one will turn out to be a mediocre player. Slavin and Hardman are young and might be okay in a third line role.The team is nearly devoid of nhl ready prospects just a bunch of low level guys who are going to be roster fillers at best.  They lost their first rounder in the 


STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR The Hawks did not have a single plus player, not one. Most bad teams at the very least have a couple of players who get into four or five games and get a plus one or two or something, not the Hawks. Every single player was negative, they were led (if that is the right term) by Seth Jones minus 37. In fact, the Hawks had seventeen players who were double digits in the minus category. 


OFFSEASON OUTLOOK New Hawk GM Kyle Davidson  has to take a hard look at the roster and make some honest decisions on where they are. The retool on the fly failed in the worst possible way, Davidson two days ago in an interview said the team was terribly slow last year and he wanted quicker players next year. Toews and Kane only have one year left so that will have to be addressed very soon, Debrincat will be a RFA at the end of next season and will be expecting a monster contract. This is a team who tried to do the rebuild the easy way which seldom if ever works, they tried to add veteran players to stop the errosion and made it worse, Boqvist is a damn solid player now for Columbus and one of the picks for Jones is this years 6th in the draft. IMHO they need to accept the fact that it is going to get worse before it can get better.

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