It’s been a season of disappointment and frustration thus far for the Chicago Blackhawks, both on and off the ice. The horrendous start on the ice, coupled with the findings of the Jenner & Block report being released, made for an ultra turbulent November for the organization and the fan base, but, believe it or not, we have some things to be thankful for this holiday season.
A Fresh Start in the Front Office
The Jenner & Block report (rightfully) ensured that the franchise rid itself of Stan Bowman and all involved in the Kyle Beach scandal. The dismal on-ice performance ensured that Jeremy Colliton was relieved of his duties as the head coach of the floundering franchise.
Kyle Davidson has been a breath of fresh air in his short tenure as the interim general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks. Derek King has been the same for a locker room that probably felt like it was suffocating. The question of whether either of those two will be the long-term solution still looms large, but either way, much-needed change is here, and more is on the way.
We still have the current face of the franchise, Patrick Kane, in tow, and he’s playing like his usual self for the most part. Kane, who celebrated skating 1,000 games with the Blackhawks a few weeks ago, said he has much more hockey left in him at just 33-years-old. Will he fit into the Blackhawks’ future plans? I don’t know at this point. It’s tough to make predictions regarding the roster construction of a team with no hockey operations department intact. Still, I would venture to say that Patrick Kane will be wearing a Blackhawks sweater for as long as he wants to, and that’s something that is just fine by me.
— Talkin’ Hawkey (@TalkinHawkey) November 19, 2021
When Patrick Kane moves on from the Blackhawks, or they move on from him, Alexositioning himself to fill Kane’s shoes as the franchise’s face DeBrincat is p.
DeBrincat has 14 points in 19 games this season (11 goals, three assists) for the Blackhawks, and he’s tallied 50-plus points in three of his four seasons with the Blackhawks and 45 in the other season. DeBrincat looks primed to return to the type of production that we saw when he posted 76 points during the 2018-19 season for the Chicago Blackhawks, and as Mario wrote recently, DeBrincat is a superstar.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 18, 2021
Fleury’s Return to Form
While this one isn’t a long-term thing like the reasons above to be thankful, it will go a long way towards this season being watchable for Blackhawks fans.
Marc-André Fleury started the season about as bad as, well, everyone else on the Blackhawks not named Alex DeBrincat. Since his rocky start, Fleury has returned to his Vezina form and played a pivotal role in the Blackhawks’ 5-2-0 record over their last seven contests. It certainly hasn’t been the offense’s doing. The math is simple; when Marc-André Fleury is good, the Blackhawks have a shot at beating anyone in the league.
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) November 22, 2021
Happy Thanksgiving, Blackhawks fans!