If there were any questions about the Blackhawks plans for this year, we now have them. The are blowing it up and rebuilding. It's absolutely disgusting. I want to puke at this trade. Anton Lindholm sucks. He will probably never play for the Blackhawks. Depth guy for Rockford at best. Why they felt the need to toss Dennis Gilbert into this trade I'll never understand. Stan being Stan I guess.
As for the big piece, it is Nikita Zadorov. Or I should say Nikita Zadorov's rights because he is an RFA.
Zadorov is fine. Stay at home type defensemen. Plays hard and physical. He belongs in the NHL. Long reach. He is likely an upgrade over Maatta, but not by much. Their flaws are the same which is to say that Zadorov isn't the best skater. As of right now he is going to be a 3rd pair defenseman for the Blackhawks. He's not as good as Keith or de Haan at this point. He could be a good partner for Boqvist on the 3rd pair. Probably looks something like this
You can mix those around a bit, but however Young Jeremy actually puts it together, you're looking at like 17-18 minutes a night for Zadorov and a significantly weaker top 6.
Imagine trading Panarin for Saad straight up and then before Saad's deal expired he was flipped for a 3rd pair RFA defenseman. That is absolutely ABSURD. And they had to retain a $1M to make it happen. It's absurd that Stan gets to keep his job.
I don't understand why the organization felt the need to make a change from McDonough to...Danny Wirtz/TBD if McDonough's two biggest puppets in Stan Bowman and Jay Blunk get to keep their jobs and continue to ruin the on ice product. I am sure that positive changes will be made to the organization on the business side. I am sure that marketing will be modernized. There will be digital campaigns and new ideas and all of that. That's all well and good, but the best marketing campaign in the history of sports is winning. The Blackhawks aren't trying to do that. That is clear. Which is a shame because, you know, the core guys who were absolutely gifted to Stan Bowman on a silver fucking platter 10 years ago have proven that they're still good enough to be the best players on the best team. Stan has just failed to surround them with talent even though Mark Kelley and his staff have done a pretty good job over the years.
The Blackhawks should stop bullshitting everyone by saying this is about opportunity for younger guys and implying that they're still trying to win. They're not. You can have the most advanced targeted digital marketing campaign ever programed, but eventually those new fans you're targeting are going to get on google and pull up the standings and find out that the team is in dead last...again. Those new fans aren't going to spend $300 to watch a shit product.
Bowman's best skill is keeping his job. That's it. He has tricked everyone into thinking he deserved all the credit for the Cups and that everything since 2015 was either McDonough's fault or Joel Quenneville's fault. It's really hard to have faith in anything the organization is doing right now.
I think it is safe to assume that more damage is coming. If you're not keeping Crawford and Saad, then you're probably not keeping Keith and Toews either. I wouldn't fault those guys one ounce if they asked for a trade. Good night.