The Kyle Davidson era in Chicago became officially official as the Blackhawks made their announcement on Tuesday morning before making their new GM available to the media later in the day.
• Kyle Davidson spoke to the media at the United Center for about 30 minutes on Tuesday afternoon just hours after being named the new GM of the Chicago Blackhawks. Davidson said all the right things, and while only time will tell if the 33-year-old new GM will deliver on his promises, it sounds like it’ll be a new day for an organization that desperately needs it.
Davidson Speaks: Rebuild Imminent, Trade Deadline Outlook, Thoughts on Next Head Coach, Morehttps://t.co/05P14tLbtx
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) March 2, 2022
• The most important thing that Davidson said (and made very clear) was that the Blackhawks are well aware of where they sit in the standings, and it’s not good enough. Davidson’s solution; a rebuild from the ground up, both on and off the ice. Davidson and the Blackhawks seem determined to get it right regardless of how long it takes.
Davidson: "It's clear that we need to be better, the standings tell us that every day"
"We're a long way from where we want and need to be as a team, and we intend to rebuild this on and off the ice. No matter if it takes 3 years, 5 years, to reach the level we want to achieve"
— Patrick K. Flowers (@PatrickKFlowers) March 1, 2022
• Naturally, the impending NHL trade deadline seems like a good place to start that rebuild with the Blackhawks entirely out of contention this season. The team has some assets that they can extract some value from, something Davidson said they would explore, and they start with the most intriguing to other clubs, goaltender Marc-André Fleury.
• Fleury, 37, is 16-19-4 with the Blackhawks this season, posting a 2.83 GAA and .911 save percentage with four shutouts in 39 starts and will indeed have suitors for his services in the coming weeks if the Blackhawks choose to move the veteran netminder. Last night on Blackhawks Live on 720-AM with Joe Brand, Davidson said that he has had and will continue to have conversations with Fleury’s representatives and stressed that giving Fleury the respect that he deserves in this process remains a priority for him.
Davidson confirms he’s had conversations w/ Marc-Andre Fleury’s agent:
“He’s played so well and has been such an amazing influence in our locker room and you want to do right by that. He’s definitely (deserving) of that respect on our end and we’ll keep giving that to him.” https://t.co/aredxNiVMi
— Joe Brand (@Joe_Brand1) March 2, 2022
• On Tuesday night’s Insider Trading segment on TSN, Chris Johnston reported that despite the veteran goaltender being an obvious trade candidate at a deadline sell-off, the veteran goaltender was leaning towards finishing the season out in Chicago if he has his way. This tracks with what we know about Fleury in that he isn’t a fan of moving his wife and two young daughters around at this point in his career.
• I would imagine that if Fleury requested to finish the season out here, Kyle Davidson would strongly consider obliging the veteran netminder’s request given his comments on Tuesday.
• As far as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are concerned, Pierre LeBrun opined on Insider Trading that Davidson would have a conversation with the two stars and begin to try and map out what their future might look like in Chicago or elsewhere. Still, LeBrun doesn’t believe that anything will happen before this summer, if at all. One way or another, Kane and Toews will be brought into the loop by Kyle Davidson; that much was made clear by Davidson on Tuesday.
Kyle Davidson on whether or not he'll be consulting the team's biggest stars in this process: "Jonathan [Toews] and Patrick [Kane] are extremely important pieces to the organization," Davidson said. "They're definitely going to be brought into the loop." #Blackhawks
— Patrick K. Flowers (@PatrickKFlowers) March 1, 2022
• We’re going to be talking much more about the immediate and long-term future of the Blackhawks and everything that Davidson had to say on Tuesday this week, but let’s change directions for the remainder of this morning’s bullets and take a spin around the league.
• We’ll start in Anaheim with the human highlight reel Trevor Zegras:
• I would love to have heard what Rod Brind’Amour had to say to Brady Skjei after this whiff led to an easy Dylan Larking score in Skjei and the Canes’ zone.
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) March 2, 2022
• For the TikTok-ers out there; “This is a work of art” …
• “But this, this is bulls**t” …
— adidas Hockey (@adidashockey) February 26, 2022
• Those jerseys were hot trash. It’s a good thing not many people tuned into the Stadium Series game to see them. You know, for Addidas’ reputation. Not so much for the NHL. That’s a problem that the league needs to fix.
— Mike Organ (@MikeOrganWriter) March 1, 2022
• Mike Organ of the Tennessean reported that the “game was the fourth most-watched Nashville sports event of the week behind the Wise Power 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Fontana, California and the men’s college basketball games between Kentucky and Arkansas and Kentucky and Tennessee.”
• One of the NHL’s premier events was the fourth most-watched sporting event, in the host team’s local market, behind a NASCAR race and a couple of college basketball games. That’s a significant problem for the NHL.
• But, at least the NHL doesn’t have these problems (right now):
MLB Announces That It is Unnecessarily Cancelling Regular Season Games – https://t.co/hp86e1cDHb (via BN)
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 2, 2022
• At least we have the DeMar DeRozan and the Bulls …
Pool of NBA Executives Vote DeMar DeRozan Second-Most Clutch Player in the NBAhttps://t.co/8842Sobs0V
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) March 1, 2022
• That’s it for today!