The Blackhawks Garage Sale Continues. McCabe And Lafferty Sent To Toronto For Futures

Admittedly I am in a mood where I am not going to like anything.

This doesn't feel like good enough value to move both McCabe and Lafferty at this junction. A top 10 protected first round pick three drafts from now and a 2nd in 2026. Hard to get too excited about the rights to draft kids who at this moment are probably sitting in an algebra class. If this is the best you can get for both of these players and retaining 50% of McCabe then you're better off holding out in my opinion. Both are under contract for another year. There would've been more opportunities to trade them. Either this summer or at next year's deadline. Maybe these future pieces help them move around the draft board this year. Always good to have more ammo, but I am underwhelmed with the return and surprised by the timeline. 

My thing with Lafferty is that he fits the exact. mold of the player the Hawks should be looking to add, not subtract. He is fast, smart, strong, still only 27, and making $1.15M per year. The Blackhawks have drafted with an emphasis on skating lately. The Blackhawks are probably praying that Aiden Thompson, Ludwinski, Landon Slaggert, and many of those draft picks above turn into a player as useful as Sam Lafferty. 

I think some of my frustration is with the timeline. Its been 8 years of misery and disappointment that seemingly gets compounded by the day. I believe in what the Blackhawks are building so far. I am even considering some type of ticket package (though without Kane I am leaning towards no now). Having said that…this rebuild suddenly feels like it is on a knife's edge or bouncing lottery balls. It was always about being bad enough to get a realistic chance at Bedard, and if that didn't quite work out then settling for Fantilli was a GREAT consolation prize. 

IF you fall out of the top 2, then things start to get kind of bleak around here. No franchise players (I am not convinced Carlsson is a franchise type guy) to build around. No players from the past to give the organization a flag bearer. A bunch of a very good looking players. Very good players don't lead you to Stanley Cups. Great ones do. And if you're picking 5th in this draft you're probably looking at a core of prospects good enough to get you back to the playoffs, but not much beyond that. And if that is the case…then what has all this pain been for? 

Did you tear everything down just to essentially get back to a place that you probably would've been already with a good coach, Kane, Debrincat, Strome, Hagel, Dach, Lafferty, and McCabe? I do think that the Hawks with Richardson at the helm and Domi still signed probably get you into the Wild Card mix in the West this year. We are still at the beginning stages of the rebuild and I do think that a ceiling with the current group of prospects is certainly higher than the ceiling of the team listed above, but that could very well change on draft lottery night. 

I am hopeless romantic. I am willing to wait for something if it's right and special. I hope the balls bounce Chicago's way this spring. Otherwise we probably just end up as the Winnipeg Jets or the Minnesota Wild. A team consistently good enough to make the playoffs, but probably not contend. Which is something 50% of the league does. It's not some great feat. I know its Year 1 for Davidson, effectively, but it's year fucking 8 of being disappointed for all of us. People call refer to the stretch between 1997-2007 as the worst years ever in Chicago. No playoff series wins in that span. Well we are 80% of the way there already with this current stretch. Wasted a decade of Patrick Kane and then traded him. Zero players to be excited about in 2023-24 (pending Bedard or a Kane summer return). So excuse me if I am not excited about a lottery protected pick in 2025. And excuse the fans if they don't sell out the building next February like they did this past one.