Stop Fucking Telling Me Not To Be Upset With The Blackhawks Just Because They Won Three Stanley Cups In The 2010s

So I tweeted this last night after the Blackhawks lost again and essentially sealed their playoff fate. Many of you liked it. 881 to be exact at the time of this blog. Some of you disagreed, but Stan did fundamentally change the complimentary pieces of that team in the days after the Stanley Cup parade. Saad, Sharp, Oduya, Vermette, Richards, etc were all traded or replaced. That, to me, constitutes at least a partial rebuild and since they haven't won a playoff series since then I think that is an appropriate time to start the evaluation of the "rebuild". 

There were, and always are, objections like this one when I am critical of the Blackhawks

Buddy....SHUT THE FUCK UP. 

I loved the success as much or more than anyone. I think that is largely because I lived through the dark ages. An era after they pissed away Hasek, Roenick, Chelios, Belfour, and Amonte and then took ALL OF THE GAMES OFF OF TV. I will never forget reading an ESPN article that ranked every major North American sports organization and the Chicago Blackhawks were dead last. I was going to the games watching the Arnason, Bell, and Calder teams. I was talking myself into Steve Sullivan as a premier winger. I was paying for $4 tickets in the 300 level. Those days are EXACTLY why the hockey renaissance in Chicago meant so much to me. And if it didn't happen I probably wouldn't be sitting here doing the job that I am doing right now. That run of success legitimately changed the trajectory and path of my life. Believe me, I appreciate the success. I am grateful for the success. In anything though, you need to balance gratitude with criticism. I live by that mantra. That balance. I think we need more gratitude and less criticism in our culture in general. 

Having said that...it's two sides of the same coin. The same reason why I LOVED the golden era from 2009 to 2015 is why I am so angry now and so fearful of the future. A team with Toews, Kane, Keith, Danault, Teravainen, etc hasn't won a playoff series in 6 years. That is inexcusable. It is a waste of talent. It's also a waste of goodwill. I, like most of you, know EXACTLY how hard it is to have teams and players like the ones we've had and have. We know that teams and players like that don't grow on trees. We know that because we wandered the hockey desert with zero Cups between 1961 and 2010. We know because our owner wouldn't even let us watch home games on TV. We know because even though we had handful of hall of famers in the 90s the team still wasn't good enough to win the Cup. I fully appreciate how lucky I've been to be a fan of this team in the 2010s. I also know that things will be worse because they always have been. I wanted to capitalize on this group and ride it out as long as we could as fans before time caught up to us. That isn't what happened. It was power moves and a mixture or ignorance and arrogance that ended this run. The team didn't slowly age into being uncompetitive. It was prematurely stripped down from the inside out all while the mouth pieces from the organization patted us on the head and told us that it was someone else's fault. It was the coach. It was the hockey ops department besides the ones Stan like. It was the salary cap. It was everything except for the leadership brass who usurped the driver seat on a rocket ship and then blew it up. 

So I am allowed to be mad. I am allowed to be annoyed with the leadership group. I am absolutely right to be angry, frustrated, and fearful because the track record with this group for evaluating talent on and off the ice is not good. Smith and Tallon put those great teams together more than anyone who is currently here. There's no reason to believe that things will get better. There's plenty of evidence to suggest things will get worse. It's hard to watch year in and year out, but I love the team so I continue to do just that. Just don't tell me not to complain or call out an organization that increasingly can't get out of it's own way and talks to fans like we are morons.