Bad news for the Blackhawks...I am getting numb to their ineptitude. They're a comedy of errors and they are trending towards being so bad for so long without any sense of direction that it makes it impossible to even care anymore. That is the worst place to be. A place where the Blackhawks organization should know very well and should be scared to ever approach again. The Blackhawks organization is filled with yes-men and cronyism.
If you tell Stan everything he does is great and you share his vision, congratulations you get a promotion and/or extension. If you speak your mind as the Titanic is flying towards a giant iceberg like Norm MacIver well that is a shame because you are shut out, demoted, and then leave for greener pastures. That's the way it is. That isn't me speculating. That is the stone cold truth and the people in charge of the organization apparently don't see it that way.
I always go back to Colliton's introductory press conference and the reasons we were given for the change.
"I believe it is in the best interests of the Blackhawks organization. We need to maximize each and every opportunity with our playoff goals in mind and create continued growth and development throughout our roster at the same time".–Stan Bowman
Two key themes there. "Playoff opportunities" and "growth and development". We have seen neither. The Blackhawks finished 6th in Colliton's first year. And then in year 2 with a full year of "communication", a full summer to implement a system, a full training camp to install said system, and a ton of veteran acquisitions like Lehner, Shaw, and de Haan to make the Blackhawks more competitive they finished...7th in the division.
They regressed as a team and as individual players. Did we see any growth out of Nylander...nope. Kid was given every chance in the world and at the end of the year he was scratched for John Quenneville with the season on the line. Boqvist hasn't shown any real development. I am hoping for better things in year 2, but he has not been on par with his peers breaking into the NHL taken high lately like Makar, Heiskanen, McAvoy, and Hughes. Jokiharju was run out of town by Colliton and now he looks like a bonafide top 4 defenseman in Buffalo. Has Debrincat or Strome gotten better as young players under Colliton? Has anyone?
Can you imagine what the outlook would be like for the Blackhawks if they didn't luck into a top 3 pick and Kirby Dach? Can Stan Bowman sell his vision for the future if it is built around Matthew Boldy, Boqvist, and Lukas Reichel instead of a kid who looks like a future 1C? Should Stan be rewarded for that luck?
It's incredibly frustrating as a diehard Blackhawks fan to watch this team spin in circles and waste the end of Toews, Kane, and Keith after running Crawford into retirement. There's no accountability. There's no vision. There's no leadership. The team is going nowhere slowly and will stay there until someone wakes up and cleans house. Until then you're alienating your core players, your core fans, and the rest of the people who drove the standing room only tickets to $300 are going to stay home and watch re-runs of The Office without even knowing the Blackhawks are playing. Frustration and apathy. That's where things are.